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Question about scale of textures/models for scenes

Hey all.

I’m trying to recreate a vista somewhat like: http://michaelgloversmith.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/metropolis1.jpg

Which is from Fritz Lang? Metropolis.

But I’m curious how you art guys would go about trying to get the scale of the various models and textures right?

So I’ve got a problem in that eventually you have to be able to get to the central building. So by that I mean I’ll have to have buildings of quite varied scales in the visual scene, but I’m open to breaking down the scene so that essentially once you reach a certain distance it loads another scene entirely.

I guess this goes to the heart of scenes like the ones in BioShock Infinite too. How do they do the large buildings that are off in the distance in terms of texture detail etc? Just LOD one of the closer buildings?

Anyone with any ideas/tutorials/examples etc. Would be lovely to hear your thoughts.