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ArtZone Heading
"Metropolis"
Added on: Sun May 09 1999
Page: 1 

Now that all the main shapes where there, I considered how to balance the light and inevitable fog that was going to be all throughout the cityscape.
The first thing that came to mind was making some sort of volumetric skylight pattern, so the air chase could fly through the volumetric light beams with shadows and all.
For the most dramatic effect, I put in a series of mirrors that fit into the dome and reflected the sunlight from above, so they could be facing at different angles all throughout the city. Since it would be too processor-intensive to try and raytrace all those mirrors and volumetric lights, I simply linked a direct light that matched each mirror's shape to get the same effect.
Cylindrical fog gizmos were added in the center of the city to create the blue and brown fogs as well.


I was up to 200k polys before I knew it, and with all the lights and volumetrics, optimal
performance meant cutting off the addition of more polys and lights. In order to combat
this, I had to rely on custom lighting texture maps to cover the rest of the details.
I created all the maps in Photoshop, layering the details in a fractal pattern almost so that everything would look interesting from both far away and nearby as well.
The city-floor map was the most intensive, a 5000x5000 map with textured grass, textured lighting, and textured water with bump and textured specular maps, slapped onto the relatively simple extruded shape underneath the buildings.


Everything managed to work together, fit, and have some eyecandy value, while at the same
time being completely functional. There was no unnecessary geometry added, everything had to have a set purpose.
The mirrors are pivoted and set up to cover a wide array of possible light angles, including an industrial purpose with the city's dome I hope to demonstrate in a later animation. When the contest due date crept up, the city was finished for the most part, the additional details that need to be done will only add to any animation I do at a later time.

The final image in wireframe and fully rendered is shown below.


 
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