Plaka (Old Town Athens)

I’m not sure whether to post this in Work in Progress but there isn’t a “Work about to progress” section.

A couple of weeks ago I was at a meeting In Athens and managed to grab a few hours to look around. I loved the Plaka area, the Café culture and steep narrow alleyways. The character of the old buildings was fabulous. I thought that maybe it would be a good project to try and recreate a street scene and try to incorporate the same character.
I am posting this because I am fairly experienced at modelling (engineering Stuff) but have almost no experience of UV texture mapping. It will be a good way to push me to learn a few new techniques, besides my wife bought me a graphics tablet last Christmas and I need a project that will get me use to using it. I think I will start blocking out the general layout tonight to get an idea for the perspective I want.

The photo is the reference I am basing the scene on.

I spent a while last night blocking out a rough layout of the buildings, it doesn’t look much at the moment but it gives me the general perspective of the scene in Blender space.
I might add a few green cones and cylinders tonight to represent the vegetation.

Well I think I am happy with the position of everything from this cameras perspective. I am only doing a still image from the scene so I can keep everything simple by only modelling the visible sides of the buildings, it will make unwrapping easier.

The next stage for me is to have a go at texturing and detailing the front right hand building. It seemed pretty run down and weather beaten, should be a good challenge for my limited experience of texturing.

Added a bit more detail and applied a bump and colour map to the walls. I think it’s starting to look a bit like a weather beaten building now.

looks good there Robbur. the colors seem to be going the right way. There’s no unwrapping in this as of yet right?
But I don’t know if you’ll actually be needing that for this scene.
Not to worry, you’ll still be able to use that tablet. I hardly use anything else. even for mechanical modeling.
Your approach looks good, but since we know you can model, I’m rather curious how this will turn out., texturewise.

Amazing the difference a good texture makes…

Thanks FreakyDude and joeab.
There is a bit of unwrapping if you count projecting the walls from the view as unwrapping, but nothing complicated. I needed to get the dirt stains below the windows lined up. One good thing is I have found out how useful W is in the UV editor. I am always amazed at how many new things you keep learning with Blender.

I have added the door and frame, but I am not looking forward to unwrapping it. If I project the front face of the frame from the front view then project the side of the frame from the side view and stitch the two UV’s together it keeps everything in proportion and I get a good UV map to paint the wood texture onto. If I use the unwrap feature it completely distorts the UV map making the long thin rectangles of the frame more like squares. Is there a quicker way to unwrap the door and keep everything in proportion?

Unwrap the front faces of the door using project from view, then pin them. Then select the front and side faces, and use plain unwrap. The pins will hold the frame in place. It won’t be perfect, you’ll still have to straighten out the side faces, but it’s quicker than stitching things together.

Orinoco: I had a play at pinning the projected view then unwrapping again. It will save me a lot of time.
This is where I am at with the door. _______

And the UV, bump and colour map.

good texture! keep it up it’s good so far :slight_smile:

Quite nice to see how this evolves and quite instructive too. :slight_smile:


Looking really nice so far, out of interest as I am pretty new and also going to be making some wood textures for a project I’m currently working on, did you hand draw the wood surface after unwrapping or are you using imported images to create the grain effect?

Well a bit more progress, the front window.

paulsgruff: I used an image texture of 5 planks for the bump map, placed them on a separate layer to the UV map in Gimphoto (I am trying to wean myself off Paint Shop Pro) brought down the opacity so I could see the UV map then used gimps deform tools to reposition the planks. The colour layer was on top of this with a mask, just removed the mask where I wanted the wood to show through then added some grunge. After saving the wood layer to a new image I turned it to grey scale and added a slight gausian blur, so the bumps weren’t to sharp.

The first buildings almost complete. Just a roof to add and maybe play around with some minor details. Any serious C&C of this would be appreciated. I would rather know if I am going wrong now before I start detailing the next building.

For someone who’s main thing isn’t materials, you’re doing a rather spectacular job here. If you want some crits, to tired to look close anyhow, uuuhm, maybe something about the wall tex looks a little odd, can’t nail it down. Maybe the tex looks more “low” res than for instance the doors, it looks a little to blurry compared to the doors/windows etc.
Maybe, I’m just fishing here so I’ve got something useful to say as well.
gudnight peeps.

Thanks for the reply about the bump and colour maps, it’s helped me out alot!

Looking very good still, the textures are great. I agree with FreakyDude about the walls looking slightly wrong for some reason though. As some of the outer surfaces are scuffed off on it, I would expect the colour to not be quite so uniform all over, some faded bits that then sun has always been on and some extra slightly dirty bits might add something to it.

The texture on the wall next to the window (where it looks as if part of the wall has chipped off), the top edge of that goes off nicely upwards, however the bottom part of that area looks extremely horizontal, which might also be making that are look a little strange. A change in direction in it could make it look a little more natural.

It depends on the details in the reference I suppose, if I’m suggesting anything that isn’t on there and you have been following it accurately (it’s pretty small and hard to make out details) then ignore it.

Keep up the good work. It’s a very nice looking project.

That little t-shaped thing to the left above the lamp, what is it? Because I can’t quite tell what it is, and I don’t see it adding much to the picture.
Everything else looks pretty prime! :smiley:

Thanks for the comments, I will keep working at it.

Its not really fair to ask for Crit’s without posting a decent reference image. So theirs one below. I am not going for an exact copy just something with the same feel.

When it comes to doing something new (texturing this time) I read the books, follow the tutorials then have a go. But call me paranoid or something but I always feel I am doing it the hard way and someone will tell me a much quicker method after I have laboured over the project for 10 times longer than is needed. Maybe it simply that at the beginning of a learning curve, things take a lot longer?

I am calling this first building done for now. I might need to come back to it and tweak a few things after the foliage is added?

Its on to the coffiee shop next, ah caffeine :stuck_out_tongue: