Decaying 1960's Americana Diner

Decaying 1960's Americana Diner

Tom Keir
by TomJK on 30 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

The 1960’s Americana diner, once a lively and vibrant family eatery, has long closed its doors and decayed into a husk of its original self. Survivors have taken emergency refuge here in a bid to find shelter from events that have caused mass displacement and hysteria in the area.

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This real time environment was created in my spare time over a span of 12 weeks. The main aim for the project was to create a scene that is composed of modular assets that fit seamlessly together to make believable environments, without having noticeable repetitions.

All modeling, lighting, and composition was completed by myself. Texturing was fully carried out by myself also, with the exclusion of a few vector images, and promotional designs, for example the posters and table stands.

It was a fun few months getting to experience this new workflow, and getting used to new texturing and material creation techniques. I also have to thank the discord communities that offered their feedback and advice to help me push this scene further throughout the production.

Total Tris:

Wall and Ceiling Assets 7600 -  Floor and Overhang Assets, and Ceiling Props 16400 - Counter Assets 6600

Total Tris:

Table, Chair, and Machine Assets 22400 - Wall Assets 5300 - Table Top and Trash Assets 32000

This is a brief look at some of the what I thought to be most important exercises in this project. To begin with, I wanted the environment to be built of modular pieces that would encourage customised level layouts and quick reiterations, that also utilise processing efficient texturing methods, such as tileable textures and trim sheets. The next essential practice in this project was the use of vertex paint, to help avoid any noticeable repetition, which I implemented in both the tiling textures, for cracks and grunge, and the wallpaper textures, to give a decay/rot look to the walls and ceiling. Below are examples of the multiple texture sets applied to the checkerboard tiles that are applied to the individual RGB channels for vertex painting. Following this is one of the trim sheets texture setsused in the scene that contributed towards texturing multiple assets, and how texture sets are built in this scene, with a diffuse, normal map and then a channel packed map for the roughness, metallic, and AO values.

Material functions were another exercise I tasked myself with, to encourage the use of dividing my material node setup into chunks that not only give a neater look to the material node editor, but also allow the same code to easily be brought into a future projects. This environment made use of a few material functions, but the ones I felt gave real character to the scene are the flickering emissive maps, to imitate broken lighting, and applying dust to an asset depending on its worldspace position and angle. The example below shows the aforementioned function with a saturated blue tint to highlight the dust effect.

Some final aspects I practiced with this project is effective use of lighting and composition for key areas, then the application of colour grading, bloom, and the depth of field options to help push the final look of your scene to the next level. Below is a demonstration of subtle use of colour correction to cool the space, to promote the ominous tone in the scene.

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