We are in a not-so distant future where our planet is hot, over-populated, and covered with mist, concrete and water
One man team
Hi, I'm Oliverrs Pavicevics, also known as OliVR, media designer and realtime graphics generalist. I'vebeen working in fields of VR and realtime graphics from 2001. Space Elevator Project
"We are in a not-so distant future where our planet is hot, over-populated, and covered with mist, concrete and water. After sea levels rised and soil got consumed, most cities were built on remaining isles.
Space Elevator City was built for workers that were making Space Elevator - megastructure that was built as an ultamate and desperate way to escape Earth."
Production of this video was done differently from what I would do usually. In this case I was using Unity like a sketchbook - and letting inspiration flow, by making changes and decisions on fly.
Assetstore assets used for this project:
Post processing effects:
-Post Processing Stack V1
-Beautify - Kronnect
-HX Volumetric lights - Hitbox Team
Systems and tools:
-CScape - OliVR
-Amplify Shaders - Amplify Creations
-NordLake Lite - OliVR
3D models (in order of appearance):
-3D Cloud Models - Quantum Theory
-Arid Environment Rock - David Miranda
-Space Station Builder - Triplebrick
-Realistic Waterfall - Rivermill Studios
-PBR Zuikaku - Jian Tsai
-PBR Airship LZ 18 – Imperial German Navy L 2 - Hessburg
-Freight Train Pack - PolySquid
-Futuristic Soldier Pack - VAndropov
-SF Spaceship Cockpit C2 - CGPitBull
-Spaceship - fighter class - Grumpntug
-Bird Flock Bundle - Unluck Software
-Universal Sound FX - Imphenzia
It's been two days that I'm working on final changes - spending time mostly in Unity Timeline. I'm using timeline for first time for this project - and as a newbie, I'm pretty slow - still learning while working. It is a great tool, and it definitely changes the way I used to do edits in Unity.
Said that, this edit is quite complex, as there are many shots and movement, and I want it to look as cinematic as possible. If I had some more experience with timeline and Cinemachine, it probably wouldn't require so much time. But I can say that timeline gives a possibility to do something that would be pretty hard to do without it.
This isn't a firrst cinematic expeerience that I'm making in unity, but untill now, I've always did renderings by shot: this is a common workflow in cinematography, where time and space are mostly faked. But in this case, the time and space are real, so this requires approach that is more similar to live video directing and editing (like in sports) than movie directing.
I've also finished my music, but there is still some work to do on audio sound effects (audio is manipulated and spatialized directly in Unity nad then mixed with soundtrack in video editing application).
One of the main concerns in this project was performance - and even if we can render everything with Unity Render, I wanted it to be performant, while maintaining good graphics. A whole scene uses 4mln triangles, and only around 200 -300 pass calls. Most of those pass calls go to particle systems and image effects - while a scene meshes use 70 - 100 passcalls. This assures framerates above 150 fps on modern hardware.
One of the main challenges of this project was that I've decided to shoot everything with a backlight - and as this poses a problem when filming in real life, with unity HDR lighting, it has to be color corrected with patience. This hard task was done easily with Post Processing stack and it's powerfull color correction tools shot by shot. I also had to animate slightly some Post exposure values.
I did some chnages on waterfall: I've mainly used waterfall particle system available on assetstore (Realistic Waterfall) but then added a refraction layer of mesh that has a custom shader that I've made in Amplify Shader:
Fifth Day Edit (10. January)
Today I've finished space elevator. It is made from asset Space Station - great asset that uses one high quality single material - providing a good performance. Statue in front of a building is custom made by me, and I did all modelling and texturing. I didn't spend too much time (that i don't have anymore) on it - probably an hour, but it should be enough for purposes of this project.
Also, I've added some clouds in background ( - they help to add some more depth and scale to this scene.
I've decided that I need some humans or robots in this project, so I've made a research on assetstore and found a nice looking customizable asset "Futuristic soldier pack". It is pretty expensive, but it features AAA quality and should be good for closeups. Then I've put him inside "SF_Spaceship Cockpit C2" model.
Fourth Day Edit (9. January)
Today I've played a little bit more with Timeline, and started working on music. I've decided that I will compose music for this occasion by myself. In part bcause sccoring for this short sequence is a little bit easier to do than finding some music that can fit it, and in part because I find it challenging enough. Here you can see animation sequence changes and some of freshly made music.
Third Day Edit (8. January)
Unfortunately, I wasn't doing anything for holydays, and after a New Year, I got ill and had to stay in bed. This is a first day that I'm able to do something, so I've came back to my project. This forced pause somewhat changed my plans, so I won't be able to make any custom models - and I will probably use only assets available on assetstore. But, on the otheer hand, this is what a Neon challenge is about. After some tweaking and playing with cinemachine, I've got this animation (test5).
Second Day Edit (23. november)
I have made some progress. Mostly in clearing up how this world should look. As I've said before, earth is covered with water, so that should be seen in my project (a river isn't enough). So, the main idea was to make this city look like an isle that is above the sea. I' have approached this by adding a water plane (Nord Lake water lite included in Cscape) and scaling it to cover entire city lenght andplaced it below the city. Then I've used Arid Environment Rocks asset, and placet those nice stones as a cliffs.
A next thing to do: now a channel/river that goes thru the city, needs some nice waterfall. So I will have to make a waterfall by using unity particles. I've done some progress, but I wan't to give it some better appeal later.
here you can see a concept of the main idea: I was also thinking about how this city should live: there probably isn't much people on streets, many are working on Space Elevator, and others don't go out because it's hot. Main system of ventilating city is done by using water refrigerating systems.
A step forward into making this scene:
After some work, I've decided to add another level of water to this scene. I'm still not sure if in this world is plausible to have some antigravitational flying machines as in this picture. After all, I'm keeping it like that, as this one looks like some king of a drone. But probably, I will change it into something like a Zeppelin floating device.
Also, I have an idea for this city: as this is a workers city in a world that only has to think about it's survival - I won't be adding any classical advertising ads or something that is quite a 'standard' in Science Fiction imaginery. For this city, I will be using some old Soviet era propaganda graphics - mostly targeted at working class and space exploration.
First day Edit (December 22):
I have started working on my scene. First of all i want to find a right mood, something that will inspire me for a further work.
-I have created a basic city with CScape. For now I don't want to go into customization - it is here only for testing lights and atmosphere. Cscape configures itself so that it uses some base lighting, and syncs to a light position (for daytime-nighttime simultion).
-I'm starting by adding image effects that will give me a lighting that I want.
-First effect that I'm adding is a Unity Post Processing Stack. Here I set some basic options that I will want to use: anitialiasing, Ambient Occlusion, SSR, and tonemapping. Most reflections here will be done with SSR.
-Then I'm adding a nice SSMS Gloabl Fog (free effect available on Github). https://github.com/OCASM/SSMS
This effect is really good as it aproximates distance bluring and glow that would happen when you have a fogged environment. This is needed if I want to make environment that looks hot and wet.
-Next effect that I'm adding is a Beautify, great effect that can do really nice image enhancements like sharpen and beautifull glows. This one is a must in my arsenal.
These are my first 30 minutes of work in a timelapse.
After some image effects tweaking, I've got some more variations in lighting. First setup was somewhat dull in colors, and I wanted my scene to match more closely atmosphere from a first drawing.
I have also tweaked CScape to turn on building lights before sunset, and added some nice volumetric fog on my directional light. For this I'm using HX Volumetric lights asset.
I am starting this project without clear idea how it should really look. But this is something where unity shines - it can be used easily as a sketchbook, while previewing in realtime in cinematic quality.
I will start by using a CScape, city generation asset (that I've made and is available on assetstore). It has various tools that will be helpfull for my tasks.
My main concern for this project is a performance - I'm trying to make something that will look nice, photorealistic, and be quite complex while still having good performance. As we all know, it is easy to make complex things, use gigabytes of textures, but if it doesn't run on average hardware, it isn't worth anything.
I've made a simple sketch on Surface tablet, and it should be a guide for an overall atmosphere: