Creating the scenery for a scifi looking hi rise scene

Hi all,

I am trying to create a small scene, albeit something along the lines of a hi rise scifi city.
After some looking around, I found I wanted something in the vein of the fantastic LA 2097

Whilst I have my own buildings and ideas, I want to gather from the community how I would approach the lighting of such a scene…

  • the ambient light? if any?
  • Should it be night lighting? Dusk?
  • Neon lighting?
  • Smaller environment details - save to last?

I am looking for thoughts and ideas on how I could tackle some of the environment effects as listed here, in particular how to make the buildings come to life.
I have the buildings with detailed textures, but they have been created as if it was a day scene.
Should I redo some of the textures in photoshop and make them bright so as to highlight windows?
Perhaps I could use the same textures and apply another over it almost like an emissive noise mask? can I do such a thing?

I don’t really care so much for a sun, more so purely an ambient scene. Dusk feels the right thing I am looking for from a time point of view.
If I could just control ambient lighting, it might work nicer and I might try that over the next day or 2…

I have tried

  • pure night time - just did not have the right feel. I think that was due to the lack of lighting…but it’s better then the daytime
  • ground scene - lit and baked…looked terrible :slight_smile: hence exponential height fog…
  • I notice at night with a super bright sun but no skylight, I get the effect of reflective textures from the distance…could I use this to my advantage?

n ight.jpg

With a little investigation I came to find the easiest way to create a few cyberpunk looking things, and with a little work I can achieve a half decent result.

I can use emissive lighting for most of the effects I am after, that includes lighting the scenery and text rendering of signs.
I wanted to try it with just one building and work out how I can make just 1 building ‘come to life’, and I got half decent results.

A key setting was having some small amount of sunlight in the scene to help create a tiny bit of ambient light.
So my main directional sun is set to 0.02 intensity and that allows enough of the building frame to be seen alongside it’s emissive properties.
The emissive stuff will be either the office building windows or random lights to try and make the building look lively.

A few key links:
emissive lighting and baking
Importing and rendering a font

I will post more shots once I get more buildings and environment detail in there.