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I don't mind creating reference images for projects I want to do...maybe get some extra points for completing that step of the design process.

Say for instance I'm signed up for project 068 Alt. Roman Structures and I make a quick sketch of my idea (and I did....)


Then submit it and make a revised version after some feedback...clean it up and maybe even add some straight lines!

anywise...just an idea.

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It is a nice concept - reminds me of Michaels art :)It is a nice concept - reminds me of Michaels art :P

I like the shape of the building. I like the details you added in your first concept though (the porch roof, the roof over the door). Technique wise, it looks good. The building looks a little modern and doesn't quite fit in with the theme of our existing roman buildings. Especially the roof. Try something like this (Top view)


│\ /│

│ \ / │

│ ›―――――――――――――‹ │

│ / \ │

│/ \│




│ │

│ │


│ │

│ │


not this

Also, note that the scale of your building is closer to real world scale, rather than game scale. I think the art spec mentions how scale in the game is different than the real world.

I updated your task (hopefully SVN worked and completed - I didn't have time to see if actually finished), there is lots of ideas on roman architecture in there.

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Also, note that the scale of your building is closer to real world scale, rather than game scale. I think the art spec mentions how scale in the game is different than the real world.



As for the scale, I'm a bit confused on how to change my image to make it fit the appropriate scale...make it smaller?

I looked over the files in my project folder, looks like fun.

I'll wait for some final feedback on this image before I start to model off of it, Thanks.

Edited by ewu_swarrington
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I think for a concept and to get started modeling - what you have here is good. Scale will take care of itself as you model it and compare it to the other roman buildings that you will use as guides for scale.

Note these concepts and how different they are (in scale) than what is used in the game (and in your max file):




Oh, one thing I forgot to note in the task instructions .doc file is that you need to maintain the story height (1 story building vs 2 story). The pitch angle of the roofs should be the same too.

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Alright, I’ve started to model out just a simple building. I want to make sure I have the style your guys are looking for down before I start to work on the more complex models. Here is a screen shot of my first model. It has 67 polys so far and I think this might work as one of my 7 models for the task...although its pretty simple so its your call.

When I compare it to the other buildings in the max file the structure seems to fit the style.

I haven’t added any of the props yet…I’ll wait to do that at the end.



Compared next to one of the other buildings:


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Some words on realworld scale vs the illusion of realworld scale we've cooked up.

The details that make this illusion work is that the finer elements on a building, such as the lumber, wooden posts, windows, doors, window panes, props, etc - all these small objects should be in a scale that when placed next to a human unit, should be scaled so that it would look like a unit in the game can pick those things up. So for example a 2x4 of wood should look like a 2x4 interms of a unit's scale. The rest of the building ,like walls and roof and the things that take up the most space - those things are anywhere from 50-75% realworld scale. What people's eyes hover on though are the fine detail, and this is what makes the building "look right" given the scale its in.

You have it right basically. I would scale the building up a tiny bit - the elements that stick out from the building like those wooden posts can touch the border or even excede the 2x2 tile limit a tiny bit, its the walls that we want to have some slack on. Scale the building up a tiny bit so it fits its tile a little bit more - we are keen in not letting any of that space get to waste. Unless you intended a small fence to go around, go ahead and scale it up abit :P and its spot on - You can extend that awning too if you wish, it might look better and leave more room for props. Perhaps make it look like its a part of the roof and extend it down further and add 2 bits of wood going horizontally at the ends towards the building to give the impression of support.

Just some ideas :)

Great so far though, there is very little to nit-pick about ;) Those concepts you drew are spot on as well.

One last detail that'll be necissary, on the building you have for refference - see those prisms extending along the lining of the roof? We'll texture in those tiles that give it that distinct roman villa look. Like:


That sort of thing. We initially did the roman structures without that and though the texture was correct it just did not look right. See also: http://www.stallman.org/photos/peru/tipon/...-hacienda-1.jpg

If you can scale those up so that they are the thickness and height of your reference building, thats about it for the vital tweaks we'll want.

Also, thicken that space where the roof meets the wall abit so that it matches the reference building - you may even model like a hollow rectangle around it so it looks like the roof is supported on beams of wood that run along the perimeter of the roof. When we texture it that'll either be like a concrete curb or a lining of wood to create a contrast line between the roofing tile and the walls.

That is a nitpick though and is not a vital detail, its acceptable as it is already :P Not too hard eh? ;)

Edited by Aeros
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A big Ditto on all of Bobbo's comments :P

Just a few quick comments - Nice work! I like the wireframe images you posted - it is easier to help give feedback :)

It looks like you rescaled the door and window? That is a no-no per the task description document. If you would like to use that door, you will need to either raise up the roof line or remove the decorative triangle piece from the top of the door frame.

Like Bobbo mentioned - the decorative caps on the edges of the roof lines goes a long way.

Your pitch on the roof looks a little steep.


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Another thing about creating illusions is that the 2nd Story is not actually 1:1 scale with the 1st floor of a structure. The height of the 2nd Story should actually be about 85% the height of the 1st story because of the foreshortening that occurs with an RTS camera view which looks downward at the structure at a 45 degree angle (take a look at the L shaped house in the render Wijit posted :P). I'll make a bunch of mockups this weekend for you guys when I get a chance. Promised Wijit. :)

Edited by Mythos_Ruler
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Sorry its taken me so long to give an update, these buildings take me longer to do then I thought (about an hour up to two'ish)

Here is what I have so far...


keep in mind these have not been unwrapped or textured correctly. I'll wait until the modeling is done.

I'll upload the max file into my project folder titled "068_alt_rome" so comments can be made. I still have a lot of modeling cleanup to do and I'll try to get to it tomorrow.

Edited by ewu_swarrington
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..extra geometry showing the 'bottom' of the building. You can cut that off because it is never going to be seen in the game.

Good point, I'll wait for the list of changes you want me to make to the buildings before jumping in and doing the final cleanup.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Edited by ewu_swarrington
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Ok, well I had a chance to look them over and here are some tips :P

Please don't take the feedback personally.

I was going to do an image of each and try to show you with pictures the issues with each one, but it took me an hour just to do one... so I'll try typing a description and I'll clarify as needed. I'm going to number you buildings from the photo you took, 1-4 on the back, left to right. 5-7 on the front left to right.

Here are a few generic comments that apply to most all of them:

  • Roofs can be detatched and be enlarged just a touch to drop down over the building, it give an appearance of more geometry than there really is.
  • There is unneeded geometry on the underside of some buildings. This helps me find it... right click a building go to properties and turn on backface cull, that will show you how the building will look in the game (because we don't have 2 sided objects in the game).
  • The smoothing groups in many of the buildings are messed up. What I would do is select the building (ignore props like windows, posts, etc...) in poly mode and do an autosmooth with the value of 15. It is also easier to see without a material and just a simple color. Also you might want to turn up the ambient light in the scene from black to a dark grey.
  • In general your buildings are short, I think it is because your second story is short. Compare the 2 story buildings to the other 2 story buildings that were given as reference.

Building #1 - I like the style and this was the first one I did with the photo so I'll upload that as a reference to the comments.

*Top left of the image shows smoothing issues (see below)

*Bottom left shows some duplicate geometry, when I selected the face - do you notice the zdepth-fighting?

*Bottom right shows an arch that seems to be off on the right side

*Top right image shows a lot of duplicate geometry in the roof

*I needs some more props (windows?) on it's walls, kind of bare

Building #2 - Looks good, I remember seeing lots of this style shown in the reference images.

*Make the second story taller

*I'd like to see some more geometry under the eaves, right now they are just flat plains. Have a look at the reference building that has the crane with it, see how those eaves were done. Notice how it has much more depth to it than a flat (no thickness) plane.

*The posts can be made thicker, note the object titled 'port' in the reference model

Building #3 - One of my favorites of your buildings! It has a unique Roman look to it with lots of detail

*Make the second story taller

*Back door needs some geometry on the right side of the entry (left probably isn't needed because the camera would never go that deep)

*The posts on the porch should just barely touch the upper beam, and could perhaps be scaled down a touch to prevent zdepth-fighting

*Like building 2 the eaves need more geometry and the front posts should be made thicker

*There is smoothing group problems, mainly in the back portion under the porch

*Could use some props on the sides to make it a bit more interesting

Building #4 - this is a very simple building. I'm not sure if it has enough roman character as it is. Could you show me what building in a reference image you were using for inspiration? Maybe find a way to give it something more that says it is Roman and not a simple box home. Perhaps you could try one of the inward directed roof buildings like what you see in ref04 and ref05?

*If you decide to stick with the eave, it needs more geometry

*Posts could be larger

Building #5 - Same comments as 4

Building #6 - I like this building a lot too. Exact same comments as 3 actually.

Building #7 - It looks like you used the hospital in ref03, I thought it would be a good reference, but now that I see it, I can't help but think it looks like a http://www.texasbarnco.com/images/horse_barn1_lg.jpg.

I think it would be great if you did something that had pillars or was a defensive structure too. I'm going to ask Michael to put his 2 cents in on buildings 4, 5, and 7.


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I went in and gave building 1 some much needed love, I didn’t realize how bad I messed up the roof so I deleted it and made new one.

Building # 5 was from the “ref04” image as a barrack.

I think I’m going to model out the temple in ref04…now that I look at it I think it would be a good substitute for building # 4.

I was wondering if I should add a face behind the arch opening in this building so when the camera pans around it there’s something behind it. (See second image)



Edited by ewu_swarrington
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I updated the file, added some new buildings. File name is 068_alt_rome_v2.

I don’t understand what you meant by “back door needs geometry” on building 3 and 6. Do you mean the lower doors with the openings?

When you have the time, please give me an updated on any necessary fix’s and please verify the heights of the second stories are to what’s desired.


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