# The Last Great Downtown Hotel in Bludhaven, at Sunset

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Everything is procedurally generated with geometry nodes, except the color.

## Inspiration

The opening pages of the most recent Nightwing volume, featuring incredible art from Bruno Redondo, inspired me to try creating something in the same style in Blender.

## Geometry nodes

The only hand-modeled assets are the air conditioner units and the balcony- everything else exclusively created by geometry nodes. I used a modular approach, combining multiple building blocks into a panel, then turning that panel into a grid. Hereâ€™s just one panel:

Note that the ground floor uses a different set of rules, to provide variety.
Instanced to one direction of the grid:

### Building block closer look - molding

I used a float curve node to generate the profile of the molding from a curve line, then simply extruded it to form the molding building block.

### Air conditioner placement

I encountered an issue here- you canâ€™t go â€śbackwardâ€ť in a geometry node tree; that is to say, you canâ€™t randomize placement on instances after the instances have been instanced. (Say that ten times fast! ) To solve this, I used a hacky approach of setting a unique material to the window frames, converting each island into a reduced number of points, and using Boolean math to remove any instances of two AC units per window frame:

While this isnâ€™t perhaps the best way to do this, it worked really well. And Iâ€™m not sure what the best way is

### Window blinds randomization

Same as the AC units, I couldnâ€™t naturally randomize this. Fortunately, a Select Material node and a Mesh Island node worked perfectly:

In an earlier screenshot, you can see that the window blinds move above the top of the window this way- I used a simple mesh boolean with a large cube to cut off any visible excess at the top of the building.

## Line art

I used the grease pencil line art modifier to add line art. I also added an Edge Split modifier, set to 20 degrees, to increase the amounts of drawn lines to the desired amount. To get all the lines in high quality, I had to render at 17280x9720 and downscale.

## Prep for painting

I used cryptomatte to prepare this work for coloring- I separated out each material into a unique matte:

Doing this gave me a bunch of images like this:

Unlike the line art, these didnâ€™t need to be super high resolution (and when I tried rendering with this compositor tree at high resolution, my computer immediately ran out of RAM and crashed)- instead, each of these images is 3840x2160.

I took these images into Affinity Photo and made each of them a mask for a new pixel layer, thus allowing me to paint each material on a unique layer while maintaining sharp boundaries:

You can see in my layers that each layer has a mask.

## Painting

I hand-painted each layer, using a quick color fill first and then adding details with watercolor brushes. I then mixed the lines back over the top. Some pixelation is visible if you zoom in:

But even with this, I was still able to get the watercolor look I was going for from a reasonable zoom level.

## Post-processing

Once the painting was done, I had this:

I then added in a slight warm Multiply layer, a slight grain overlay, a Curves adjustment, and painted some light effect to get the final result.

Thanks for looking!

34 Likes

That is very, very cool!

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Some great details on everything!

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You lost me somewhere between instancing and instancing- but the result looks great!

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@piranha4D @Minamookevlar thanks, Iâ€™m super proud of it

@kaamura yeah, I tried to make a simple explanation but ultimately this was absurdly complicated. Iâ€™m still debating if the process is worth the result, Iâ€™ll probably try it again and see if I can get it faster

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Nice style, the final looks very nice! And those geo node groups are nice to have to more easily add buildings and details to other scenes, if the need arises.

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Thanks! Yeah, I have a graphic novel project in pre-production limbo (waiting on the writer) that will definitely need a lot of line-art/painted backgrounds, Iâ€™m going to be using these groups and others to make that process a lot faster. The cool thing about this method is that the style is entirely independent, so I could have for example painted this a lot grungier and made the lines sketchier, without making any modifications to the Blender file or having to re-render. I could also easily make a full street of buildings that all look unique with geometry nodes, which would for sure make up for the time it took to make these groups

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This is more of a proof of concept than anything, I decided to do a quick daylight pass to see how it would look. I changed the sky, lowered the shadow contrast and amount, and mixed in an ozone layer and a daylight air layer, using what Iâ€™ve learned from Nishita sky. I also turned the streetlights off. The whole process took about five minutes and gave decent results. Iâ€™m now going to do a sunrise version and a night version, and compile all of them into a Windows Dynamic Wallpaper (.ddw) file, which Iâ€™ll be using as a desktop background.

With these four files, you can make your own .ddw file / dynamic desktop background, if you want.

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I featured you on BlenderNation, have a great weekend!

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Youâ€™re on the #featured row!

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