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Charging Station
Updated 7 months ago
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This scene is an abandoned charging station for electric vehicles sometime around the year 2100. Built in 2024, this station was fell into disrepair when the singularity occurred just a few years later and all modern technology quickly became obsolete.

Final Video


Introduction

Hi everyone! I'm Paul Gerla and this is my Neon Challenge project. I'm a technical artist with an animation background; before finding my calling as a tech artist I worked as a freelance pixel art animator, focusing mainly on effects. I have a BFA in Animation but am also self-taught in various languages, including C#. I'm doing this project on my own so I'm the only team member.

Inspiration

I don't really have any specific concept art for this project, though I've been loosely basing some elements on a gas station around the corner from my home. It's definitely inspired by the art of games like The Last of Us and Crysis 3.

Production

All of the modeling is being done in Maya. I start by blocking in the major shapes and importing to Unity as soon as possible to see in the scene with lighting, and then refine the model from there.
For texturing most objects in the scene I've been using a Unity editor tool I built recently to allow pixel-perfect painting in the scene view. Here's a short time lapse video of it in action. (Please excuse the gnarly UVs and the weird starting texture -- I just duplicated a different texture and started from that to easily keep the same color palette.) Near the end of the video I start to modify a metallic/roughness map too. The tool allows you to switch between an arbitrary number of textures on the fly, which is very helpful for PBR work.
I used Substance Designer for the ground texture, it's a 2k map. Substance Designer is definitely not intended for pixel art, but I made liberal use of the Histogram Scan node to reduce textures to black and white at different levels and then blended them together to get textures to just 2-3 levels.

Assets Used

Next-Gen Soft-Shadows Great asset with with some of the the best shadows I've seen.
Amplify Shader Editor A must have for shader work! Amazing tool, and an awesome team behind it.
Volumetric Lights for Unity Using this volumetric lighting solution by SlightlyMad because it supports directional lights.
And of course the latest Unity Postprocessing package and Cinemachine.

Update #4 - Jan 14th 2018

Most of the texturing is done now, with just a few small objects needing treatment. There's some pretty dramatic texel density differences across the scene which I am not sure if I like or not, but one of my purposes for this piece was to explore the style and see how far the pixelated look can be pushed. I decided to darken the leaves a lot, I think it improves the look of the foliage quite a bit.
I also spent more time adjusting the Timeline for the scene and added a few more Cinemachine cameras.

Update #3 - Jan 10th 2018

Finished up the texture work on the pumps and the garbage cans, need to get going on the building itself next. I also added some wind phase variations to the tree shader by assigning each leaf card a different shade of red in the vertex colors. The biggest change I made I think was adding a volumetric light/fog, which changed the whole feel of the scene. That forced me to spend a lot of time tweaking the lighting and overhauling the color grading to fit with the new feel. Overall it was a lot of fun!

Update #2 - Jan 9th 2018

I've started playing with some camera motion with Timeline and Cinemachine. Very simple work so far, but it's been fun experimenting. Also began some texturing work on the "pumps."

Initial Upload - Jan 6th 2018

Hey everybody! I'm a bit late to the party here, but I've been very busy over the last couple of months so I'm just now finding the time to dig into my entry to this challenge. It's an old abandoned charging station for electric vehicles circa 2100. It's been a lot of fun playing with Cinemachine and Timeline, both of which I was unfamiliar with before starting this challenge. I've used the Postprocessing package quite a bit in the past, but mostly for VR projects, so being able to use screen-space reflections and ambient occlusion and depth of field for this has been lots of fun.
I've decided to go with an art style using very low-res unfiltered textures. A 3D + pixel art aesthetic, inspired a lot by the art of the game The Last Night.


Assets Used (So Far)

Next-Gen Soft-Shadows Great asset with with some of the the best shadows I've seen.
Amplify Shader Editor A must have for shader work! Amazing tool.
And of course the latest Unity Postprocessing package and Cinemachine.

Paul Gerla
Technical Artist - Artist
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Comments
Blair Renaud
7 months ago
CEO/ Director - Designer
Love the idea of it being so far in the future that there are rusted out disused charging stations. Looks great so far also.
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Paul Gerla
7 months ago
Technical Artist - Artist
Blair RenaudWe don't have permission to view your video at the top of the page.
That's really weird, I just put it up as an attachment. I'll look into that, thanks!
1
Blair Renaud
7 months ago
CEO/ Director - Designer
We don't have permission to view your video at the top of the page.
0