My first ever building model - Can I get some feedback?

So - this is an exterior model for a building. It is the only thing I have ever modeled that is more complicated that a flat wall or pillar.

The general idea was to create a semi futuristic building that will look REALLY out of place in a snowy terrain, and will overpower the view when seen (A player could always look to the sky to see where it is, as a way of knowing what direction they need to be going).

I really don’t have much of a clue as to what I am doing with this part of the process - but all feedback is greatly appreciated.

Untextured, because I don’t know how to so that yet

Front of building (The gap in the window extrudes in the middle, is where I might try to place a government emblem or something at some point)

Back Left…

Back Right…

In UE4…

Not gonna to you. But for something that is purely for exterior use, the model itself is pretty decent. One suggestion I would give is even though there are numerous examples in the real world of what seem incredibly odd shaped architecture, however these are designed by individuals who spend years studying how to incorporate practicality into unconventional design.

The things that immediately strike me as features that could present issues if this were an actually building in the real world is certain features of its slanted theme. Don’t get me wrong, the slanted theme is radical and I love it. But some changes you might want to make would be the angle of the mid-sections roof. It just seems like when it begins converging to the highest point in the building past the majority of the structure, that area would either be unused/wasted space OR it would be an area with minimal practicality because of the ceilings bizarre angle. My suggestion would be to make the ceiling level and maybe replace that angled ceiling with some sort of rooftop atrium or something else to give a unique flare.

The other thing that strikes me as a bit unpractical is the windows. A central theme of many science-based organizations in the past several years is an emphasis on the offices having direct access to as much natural light/sunlight as possible. I think the best example of this that I’m familiar with is the major medical research firm in Boston (well, technically Cambridge, but they’re more or less the same.) called Genzyme (Which, surprisingly enough, all the beautiful photos of the place don’t do it enough justice, in-person it’s even more beautiful than any photo could show.)

But my point in using this example is that the windows of your building are oddly arranged. By that I mean there’s a maybe 10-15% section that’s nice and covered in window’s but the rest of the building doesn’t appear to have any windows at all. You might want have windows on at least one side (preferable two or three sides) laden with windows for each major portion of the model. Lastly the spacing between each row of windows seems significantly thicker than it could be. There really only needs to be six inches to a foot of space between each row. An example of the evidence that I am personally familiar with is at the college I attend, Fitchburg State University. They opened a new, super-modern science center in 2013 and it displays the features I’m speaking about very well.

Other than those things, I think it’s very well done for a first try at something of this magnitude. One more pro tip, no matter what kind of model you’re making, ALWAYS use photo reference if you’re able. A number of my former classmates often believed that using references is some sort of handicap, but believe me its not. All the greatest Production/CGI artist use references. In fact, a relatively common practice in the industry when artists are brought onto new projects is for them to spend of the first week, sometimes two weeks, gathering reference photos and nothing else. I’ve had the entire walls in offices completely covered in thousands of reference photos, because it is easily the most valuable tool you will ever have.

Speaking of, here’s some photos from both Genzyme and the new FSU science center, to help kickstart your reference library. (FYI, you can never have enough reference photos, my reference library is probably 300GB+ by now!)

Genzyme Interior:

Genzyme Exterior:

FSU Science Center:

Hope this helps!

@Riley1389 wow… I learned a ton just reading your post. Thanks for the great feedback!

@Riley1389 Thanks for the feedback - I listened and changed the model a bit! I don’t have any reference images to work from because I did this one as I went along, but for my next model, I will def use them if I can!

Here is what I came up with based off of your feedback…

Straighter edges, new front window that is a bay window style, covers the whole front of the building, pretty much.

New back side also, bigger, straighter windows on the side and a windowed back section

In UE 4…

Looks great. As unrealistic as your original model seemed with it’s slant, I think that it looks really cool, and I love the design.

It definitely looks pretty menacing and futuristic, reminds me of the Citadel from Half-Life a little bit.

What did you make this in, out of curiosity?

Wonderful first try, to be sure!
I am an artist with a engineering parent and what screams out at me at least is the ‘bulk’ at first glance, and yes the angles, that you fixed which is now much better.

If it were me, I would morph from this, which is a great start clearly, to a pyramidal design, not unlike stargate but obviously something of your own design, keeping your base if you wish but giving the entire building more multi-tiered breadth,and as it goes up, some unique organic yet rock look to mimic the background mountains; not unlike scenes I remember from I think it was Superman II ? ( showing krypton infrastructure and the ‘dome’ center )

I wasn’t going to respond thinking prior ones were excellent, but I had a idea so there it is.

Cheers, gl :slight_smile:

@namrats - I built this in Modo Indie - Just bought it today on the steam subscription. Thanks for the positive words :slight_smile:


Thanks for the input! And the idea here is that this building will be placed under a climate control dome - the building you see here, and others like it when I am done will have various amounts of details to set them off - this particular one will be a government building - and as such is going to tower over everything, it is supposed to be menacing. Other buildings will have varying degrees of greenery and stuff on them because of the lack of upkeep etc - I am aiming for a place that was once an outpost on an alien world but had been built into a utopia, and then for one reason or another had come crashing down.

Thanks for the guidance! :slight_smile:

Hi LeamDelaney.
Your building model is looking really great. Many first timers don’t get that much right. Apart from technicalities it is looking beautiful.
Carry on.


I also played around with Modo (30 day trial), because I am mostly interested in MeshFusion, but it was a bit less intuitive than I hoped. :frowning:
Being relativel fluent with 3DSMax, I know something about modelling, but the concept with the workplane and how the object hierachy works evades me a bit.
Cant you make a nice tutorial for Modo beginners? :smiley:
Its pretty hard to find a good tutorial…

I like that it looks unrealistic.

One thing that I would improve on, if that’s a large building…It needs light for interiors, or it would have no point to be so tall. So you need to carve some light entrances, imo atleast.

Maybe its a super secret intelligence headquarter. For security reasons some of those bulidings have indeed surprisingly few windows.

For example the home of the MI6:

Especially sci-fi buildings tend to be short of windows in general. Like the architecture in Stargate Atlantis:

So, windows are not really critical :smiley:

@KVogler - Yeah - the terrible aspect of modo is the lack of good literature - and the stuff that is even half decent can cost some serious money to get access to. I will write a tutorial for this type of modeling as soon as I learn the rest of the process - I have absolutely no idea how I am going to even go about texturing this at all. I don’t even know if that is done from within another piece of software, or in unreal.

One thing I will definitely say I have learned from this model - is that I think there is something to be said for building up the ways first, floor by floor - that way it would be easy to have things like terraces added between floors without too many complications later on.

Extrude is the bread and butter of the model - along with the x-y-z position grabber, for things like adding angles.

Oh, and I think for horizontal extrusions (out the side, etc) it might be best to add them in after the building structure is complete - Not sure - still learning… when I know about what I am doing, I will likely write a document on it for everyone.

@Aquazi - Thanks for the info! This building will not have interior lighting showing through - the windows (as I see them, anyway) will be either tinted dark, or will have a mirror finish. This would mean that from an artistic point of view, the mood or emotion of the building will never sway with whatever kind of chaos is going on in the world around it.

Cool :stuck_out_tongue: looks like something from Judge Dredd city btw how you made this snowy mountains landscape?

@Sadaleus The landscape is purchased, It is a part of the “Infinite affordable landscapes” pack on the market place - some of the terrains in the pack suffer with poor quality, but that particular one is great - which is lucky, because a snow terrain is exactly what I was looking for.

make modular parts of the building. so you can make different building with them in the map