CyberCity: UE5 Lighting & Composition Study
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CyberCity: UE5 Lighting & Composition Study

Alex Ireland
by 04irale on 30 Jul 2021

This is a cyberpunk blade runner inspired city, created in Unreal Engine 5 using Raytracing, Nanite and assets from Quixel Megascan and KitBash3D.This piece hopes to emphasis layout, colour and composition. In all this project took about a week.

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This was the first quick block out. I was thinking of placing the camera on a bridge and using the bridge to lead the viewer to the horizon, to the city scape or some type of jungle of concrete and metal in the distance. decided to take the route of horizon being my focal point, with building on the side with there lines point towards the road/bridge. I downloaded some flying car models and use them instead of the road but it just didn't feel the same. So I stuck with the road. I learnt how to make fog fall off depending on height to create foggy grounds, this would of helped with the previous scene. However as I kept blocking it out I just wasn't feeling it. So, I as the crazy person I am I restarted the whole scene.

First lighting pass, for the new block out to get an idea of lighting I might wanna use. The idea is to get the lighting coming from the bottom and leave the sky at blue hour but on the night side to get a nice dark blue sky with maybe a horizon colour. 

The goal with the positioning of the buildings is to add leading lines all to the focal point in the alt image it shows what I mean better than what I can explain.

When I was creating this one feedback I got kept lingering in my head (scale make sure the scale works) and I went through a couple of designs with the massive building first one was more of a factory feeling since that was my original goal; however an issue was once again the scale and it not feeling big rather than just a scaled up asset. So, I picked the most interesting medium size building and basically kit bashed/collage them all together to try and keep the scale correct and make it feel like a genuinely large building or amalgamation of buildings.

When it came to colouring the neon signs the sign dead in the middle I decided to go for a more red pink colour as it is a dominate and strong colour and making the rest purple, blue or yellow as they are weaker colours.

In the end I decided to move the camera down to the overpass with a low shot looking up the building in an attempt to emphasis of show how big these building actually are. 

So I decided to go with a double complementary colour scheme of blue and yellow (80%) (very cyberpunk 2077) and green and purple (10%) with and red and orange (10%). I think the thing that sold me on this angle was the reflections on the road, so gorgeous... I believe I have taken everything I have learnt in the past 6 week and put it all into this. more dynamic camera angle, offset focal, colours, lighting (Form and object separation mainly) and story telling. 


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