18th Avenue


underneath is Emily Wimer and I's finalized senior project! We are really excited about how everthing turned out. Underneath the video, you can follow our process from start to finish.



For Studio One, Emily Wimer and I decided to team up to develop a photo realistic environment from start to finish. We reached out to a modeler, Eric Lyman, who was awesome and allowed us to use his model! Over the break, Emily and I have spent our time prepping our scene for a quarter of look development. We UV'ed all the buildings, cleaned up the geometry, and reached out to another modeler to fill in some missing building in the back and some Cobblestones. 

The concept and question is; What does an environment look like through time? We decided to turn this street into a time lapse exploration beginning with a 'new' environment, into an 'old' and decayed environment, finishing off with a beautiful street that has been overgrown with moss and vines. We wanted to end on overgrowth so that the short starts out beautiful and ends beautiful.

For the project, I am responsible for texturing and shading all aspects for every stage of decay. Emily will be doing the lighting and we are collaborating and putting our heads together for all of the other elements; such as compositing and animation.




Above is the reference photo that we will be replicating! The model is on the left and the reference image is on the right. We sent this photo to our assisting modeler, John Pagan, and he replicated as much of the building process as he could.


Next are some of the references that Emily and I have collected for how an environment would react to the changing of time and seasons.



We also did some pre-visualisation tests to get a proof of concept. Emily did a test on the lighting, while I did a test on changing and animating textures.


The last step of our preparation was reaching out to some friends to help us pull off the effects side of the story. My friend Josh, who is at ETC currently, agreed to help us achieve the overgrowth by developing a tool for us to use in Houdini. He is in the process of developing it, and we aim to have the overgrowth render ready by week 7.

Will VonJess is our other effects artist. I reached out to him as well to help bring the story to life. We created a schedule and with delivery and render dates for all of the effects he is creating. The list of effects:

New Street: Puddles, Leaves

Old Street: Snow, Destruction, rain

Overgrown Street: Vines and moss (Josh)


Before Quarter Checkpoint

The checkpoint for class 5 that I set for myself was to get all of the base textures and shaders done on the new scene. That way I have time to tweak and rework anything before I move onto converting the textures from New to Old. Below are some turntables I did for our new scene! I still need to cleanup some of the textures and add some more details in. Mainly on the second building. I am currently designing posters to go into the first and second doors of the second building. Right now I'm experimenting with the idea of making the second building a hair salon or a private detectives office.


To do all of the textures, I started using Substance painter and created multiple different materials that would work for the scene. I made 4 different versions of stucco, three bricks, two versions of concrete, four different woods, 3 different metals, and a painted metal material for the drainpipe. This way, I could generate more textures and shaders at a faster rate. Because of the amount of texturing that was needed and the short amount of time, this seemed like it would be the most efficient approach. Painting all of this by hand would have taken a lot longer than the two weeks I needed to have them done in.

I also made Diffuse, Spec, Bump and Alpha maps for the leaves that are going to be falling later in the scene for Will. Right now I am going with green and brown leaves, but I'm going to work on making some fall colored leaves as well to see what looks nicer in the shot. Ideally, it would be nice to have more green and brown leaves fall in the beginning of the effect and more red and yellow leaves fall later into the effect.


Underneath are pictures of some of Emily's lighting tests to see how the lights are reacting with the textures and shaders. In the dark lighting, the first building looks way too bumpy, so I need to play around with toning that down a bit.


New Turntables

Below are cleaned up turntables of the 'New' Textures! To improve on what I had, I scaled down the stucco, reduced the bump, added more breakup to the stucco and the wood, roughened up the metals, and pulled my spec weight to 1 to make all of the materials physically correct.


I might still tweak here and there, but these textures need to be done so that I can move on to the old textures

Underneath is a quick still of the first buildings old textures. I definitely still need to go in to refine them. I'm nervous that the stucco crumbling off might be too much so I might dial it back a bit. I'm trying to avoid using a layered shader but I might try that too and see what the difference is




Since our last update I have:

  •  Developed a 'wet' shader for the cobblestones with a specular weight at 1 and an IOR of 1.33
  •  Re-painted the hero building so that it is more into scale with how close the camera is
  • Took out the doors with animation and replaced them with the old geo
  • fixed the specularity with the plants
    • Oddly enough, I never figured out why the spec was not showing through. The leaves had a spec weight of 1 and an IOR of 1.4. I even removed the roughness map to make them really shiny and the spec channel still was not rendering. To solve this, I built a new shader, with the exact same parameters and maps, and it worked. I'm not sure what happened to the other shader; but I want to look at it in the future to see if I can see what went wrong
    • The updated plants are not in this render
  • Continued developing the 'old' textures. I am aiming to be done with them by the 17th


I have also been in contact with our sound designer, animator, and mome artists 


Door Shading

I looked into the door shader and discovered that the specular weight was at .1 which is why I was loosing so much detail in my spec. I bumped the weight up to 1, remapped my roughness a bit more. I also repainted the first door to change up the direction of the wood grain in the horizontal planks, added some darkness around the panneling, and added some more wood variation

Finalizing New textures

For Midterm, all of our shading and texturing needs to be finalized and in render. There are still some things I would like to tweak, but for now I need to move on to the old textures. I rendered out new turntables without the hdr, that way I can combine the buildings and signs together in our final breakdown video. I still have two turntables left to render out: the chalkboard and the fish sign.

Old Textures

In between building our breakdowns and working through the pipeline of effects, I started working on the 'old' textures for the next part of the sequence. For the stucco with bricks showing through; I created a procedural material in substance for the bricks and the stucco. Then I did a layered texture between the two to achieve a 'decayed' result. I also created a new old wood and decayed rust

This is the first pass, so I am hoping to get all the materials in shot and then paint where needs more attention accordingly


My list already:

  • Update the doors for the hero building so that the wood grain matches the prior renders
  • shift the color on the doors slightly so that they look more 'mismatched'
  • Add cracks
  • fix the pole on the 'mixologist' sign
  • finish the brick siding
  • start rendering turntables
  • clean up the alpha on the layered textures so that the bricks showing through look more natural


Old Turntables

Underneath are some turntables that I did to see how the textures and shaders were holding up with the light shift


Texture Transition Test

This is the first pass on our texture transition test. We still need to adjust it test different scenarios when the textures will be fully "old"


Vine Progress

Underneath I am including a screenshot of the vines and the leaves! I am also including a screenshot of the hypershade and the shading network. I'm really happy with how the leaves are behaving, but I could still definitely tweak the vines more. I feel like they are lacking bumpiness.. but I'm not sure how to best bring that into the network. I am also including my reference images underneath!

Reference for Vines

Snow Shader

underneath is a screen grab of my hypershade network and shader for the Snow!

Composite without the sound

Underneath is a composite of everything over the past 10 weeks! We are still missing the sound and the final two breakdowns. I would also like to get a crew photo to put towards the end

Jessica Love