Europolis City Scene



Here’s a scene I’ve been working on for almost a month now. It’s called Europolis, it’s an expansion of a previous scene I worked on based on some Dreamfall Chapters concept art. The concept is available here:

And here’s the original scene:

Since then I’ve started working on a much bigger seen taking place across several blocks of the city.

Here’s the work I’ve done so far:

It’s still pretty Work In Progress as there’s some pretty egregious lighting artifacts in some of the scenes. Also, I only have half of the planned city area done. Also, I’m going to put up more ads on the billboards around the city. You can’t tell from these pictures but I’ve made the city living and breathing. Rain drops and runs down the pavement and road, sparks fly randomly from busted machinery, lights pulsate and screens flicker. You can hear people indistinctly chattering when you get close to buildings with lights on. I’m working on adding even more stuff to make the city come to life. I’m really working on making this city as believable as possible. There are a few areas where things just don’t look quite right to me but I’m ironing those out. Often it comes down to how entirely clean or entirely dirty it looks and I’ve found reality to come somewhere in between those two extremes. When I get closer to the end I’m going to put in a few effects that I think will really sell the scene, namely floating dust particles, papers blowing in the wind, steam rising from manholes, and more sparks coming from more busted machinery and electronics.

All of the work was done with Maya, Zbrush, XNormal, NDO, and Photoshop.

Please let me know how it’s looking currently and what I can do to make it better.


This is fantastic work, very nice. Only suggestion I would make is play around with the sky a bit more, right now it looks too bare. Other than that, the screenshots look great. I can only imagine how a video would be given the description of liveliness you are going for. Keep it up. =)

yeh this looks amazing the second picture looks like niko’s first house in gta 4 :stuck_out_tongue:

Awesome! I’m going to keep an eye on this one :slight_smile:

This is looking great! Would love to see a fly-thru video when you get the city to a size/spot you are happy with it. =)

Reminds me of the EU3 demo trailer! Looks awesome! Love the rain and lighting!

Very amazing work right here. Just awesome.

Alright, time for an update.

So, I’ve been implementing lots of suggestions and they’ve all really helped shape up my scene/ level. Particularly the camber on the roads. It really made even the boring roads into something visually appealing, especially with the water running down them in realtime. I’ve tried to manually unify the lighting. Less outliers in terms of color saturation levels and it makes it feel a little more coherent. This is still an ongoing process though and will be for the remainder of the project I imagine. I’m still working on the hard shadows in places where they don’t fit. Lighting in UE4 can still be a little tricky to work with but I’m learning. Now I’m sure you’re probably noticing the lack of cables and that’s because I had a map error and had to copy and paste the whole scene to a blank map, thus killing the cable’s connections. I’ve decided to leave them out for now as I also found out that cables were causing my standalone version to crash when packaged so it looks like those will be left out til the very end and even then just for still shots.

Now for the screens:

And here’s a little bonus video: Europolis Megacity Walkthrough - HEAVY WORK IN PROGRESS - YouTube

Now here are some suggestions for myself just to give ya’ll an idea of what I’m working towards. The biggest problem I see with my scene is the lighting problems. I don’t color or whatever but in certain places you can see shadows being cast strangely and some objects receiving light in a strange manner. Additionally, some object’s normals are all screwed up so I’ve already started to go back and rebuild the normals for objects that need it. Third problem is something I’ve seen but you wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at it is that a lot of posters and flyers aren’t showing up on walls and windows unless there’s direct lighting on them. I’m guessing this is a UE4 issue with decals but I’ve started to remedy it by switching some decals to flat meshes with regular ole materials applied to them. Then there are some screenshots where you can tell there’s not a whole lot going on. That’s more a product of it being a full level and not a scene set up for glamour shots. I’m still going to work on making the boring areas more interesting though.
Next up will be adding more signs. The blank white ones are only like that because I haven’t created any new materials for them. Also I’m going to continue adding verticality to the scene to make it more line with the original concept. I’m thinking Kowloon style urban hopelessness and badassery. Also bear in mind that there’s still a third of the city that needs to be done. I’m thinking adding an ocean view that peers out into oil drenched seas with a really ominous looking coastline. That sounds cool, we’ll see how it turns out. Additionally, I’m thinking of adding another ethnic corner, maybe French, to spice things up. After all, this is a very cosmopolitan city.

Anyway, let me know what you think and I’d love even more feedback, cheers!

This is fantastic!!!

Thank you so much for the update and the new video. Great stuff!

The entire scene looks amazing :slight_smile: Feels very Deus Ex-ish (which is awesome IMO). Can’t wait to see where it all goes :wink:

This looks amazing, great job! I can’t wait to see what else you add.

Stunning !!! It look and feel fabulous :smiley:

A flyby video with a blade runner style music track would be awesome :slight_smile:

This is a really rookie question, but you’ve modeled all the buildings, props, etc and set up materials for them?

What would you say your estimated time is so far with the project?

Thanks for the kind words guys, I can’t wait to show you the next round of updates.

As for SwiftMalachi’s questions, Yes, I modeled and textured everything. The only things I didn’t make were the vent steam effects, the sparks, and the dust particles however, I do plan on replacing those with my own ones.
Everything else is mine.

Estimated time is 40 hours a week for the last 8 or so weeks(whenever UE4 was released) so a total of roughly 320 hours so far. I estimate a few more 40 hour weeks until I call it done.

Thanks for the questions.

Hey, great work samifira! just out of interest, are you using decals to create the water on surfaces? been looking into doing it recently and seems pretty complex. Just wondering if there are other ways of ‘skinning the cat’ or if you can recommend any tutorials on the matter?


Hey , I’m actually using Vertex Painting to get the water effect on objects and surfaces. I make a wet and dry version of each surface and lerp between them according to how exposed the object/surface is to the rain.

As a small bonus, here’s 3 screens of my latest update:

These are a few days old but are still current as I’m out of town for a week or so. I’ll get back to work on Europolis as soon as I get back in town but I figure it’s been awhile since my last update, haha.

Nice! Though to me the green filter over everything seems way to intense, even the cones that I would expect to be very red or orange are getting swamped by it, try dialing back the colour a bit and getting a bit more colour variation in there maybe :slight_smile:

Ya know it’s funny, if you work on something long enough even the most obvious things will slide right past you… If you hadn’t brought up how the orange cones are actually looking green I might not have even noticed. When I get back into town I guess I’m going to have to straighten out the color balance some more. Thanks for pointing it out.

Amazing work here!

Super pro artistic skills! Amazing :slight_smile: