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rodger_r

Early Sunday Morning Building

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The modeling for the upper floor is complete. It was tougher than expected to deduce the third dimension of things based on their shadows so I ended up just making educated guesses. (My thanks to Mark Largent for his link to a building in New York on Google Street View. That was really helpful.) And there's no way I can reconcile the angle of the sign extending from the left of window #3 and the length of its shadow. Hopper more or less got the perspective of every component correct except for that sign. But hey, I'm no artist. I'm sure he had a good reason at the time.

second_floor_compare.jpg

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Looks like a very nice facade so far rodger------And yes that sign seems fine for me vis a vis the painting and what you may want to acheive.

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Impressive work as always, Rodger!

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How do you go about making buildings in A:M?

The short, flip answer is ... like anything else, spline by spline; build a box with holes in it, then you fill those holes with windows and doors, see attached semi-wire frame.

 

However I assume you're referring to the texturing details. The bricks are a material using the indispensable plug-in BitMapPlus, see attached colour render. I have a basic material that sets down 8" bricks and the location of their mortar joints controls the position of all corners, doors and windows. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well I was able to match Hopper's composition with my brick work. The window sills and headers simply stick through the brick patches but their edges are also aligned with the brick joints.

 

The detailing on the front surfaces of the corbels (those arched supports that seem to hold up the overhang along the roof line) are normal decals generated from models built for that purpose. There is little in the original painting to support those exact details but the Street View images from Largento showed that they can get very ornate. So I felt it was justifiable. The rest is just build/copy/paste modeling.

building_construction.jpg

warehouse_front_door.jpg

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The modeling for the upper floor is complete. It was tougher than expected to deduce the third dimension of things based on their shadows so I ended up just making educated guesses. (My thanks to Mark Largent for his link to a building in New York on Google Street View. That was really helpful.) And there's no way I can reconcile the angle of the sign extending from the left of window #3 and the length of its shadow. Hopper more or less got the perspective of every component correct except for that sign. But hey, I'm no artist. I'm sure he had a good reason at the time.

 

Glad to help out, Rodger. It was fun trying to track it down.

 

It's possible he exaggerated the shadow or painted that part at a different day. Only being able to see the edge, maybe the sign stuck out further. I think what you've got looks great.

 

Have you given any thought to how you're going to reconcile the fact that Hopper purposely used shapes instead of type for the painted names on the storefronts?

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First floor "roof" and decorative columns complete.

 

It's possible he exaggerated the shadow or painted that part at a different day.

I agree Mark. He's taken some liberties likely due to his light source not being fixed in space. (Why didn't he just paint faster? ;)) Notice the location of where my sign's shadow ends on the wall and compare it to the same location in the painting. There is a darkened line that almost matches but it appears he then extended the shadow beyond that point. And since I'm nitpicking, look at the fire hydrant's shadow which tends to point toward the second (!?) curb and yet the barber pole's shadow is essentially parallel to the building.

 

...how you're going to reconcile the fact that Hopper purposely used shapes instead of type for the painted names on the storefronts?

I'll treat the signs are like every other detail that isn't in the painting; make stuff up. I'll probably try to match the words as best as I can but since I don't have to defend my choices to any expert from the "Art" world, I have lot's of freedom. And I'm very suspicious that almost every window sign is three lines long; first line is short word/long word; second line is short word centered; third line is long word/short word. Sure, that's believable.

 

I like the sound of "LARGENTO'S BARBER EMPORIUM".

Hopper_building_WIP_02.jpg

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I'm going to say he just wasn't renaissance-picky about perspective.

 

He wanted to suggest some perspective but perhaps he had a bit of the cubist in him and wanted to reduce things to their most recognizable form.

 

Those supports that jut out on the top roof would all have to be very carefully drafted to be perspective correct and i don't get the sense that he was into that thing.

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I like the sound of "LARGENTO'S BARBER EMPORIUM".

 

Say, that does have a nice ring to it... :-)

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Construction on the first floor continues and after spending a few hours moving the walls and windows of the dry goods store around to try to match the shadows, I've decided to treat the picture more as inspiration than rotoscope. There's just too many missing details and discrepancies (like two large sheets of window glass forming a 90 deg. corner with no visible framing at the joint). I also had to erect a dark backdrop (whose edge is visible in the left most window) behind the camera so there is almost nothing being reflected by the windows to obscure the details.

Hopper_building_compare_01.jpg

construction_06.jpg

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Construction on the first floor continues and after spending a few hours moving the walls and windows of the dry goods store around to try to match the shadows, I've decided to treat the picture more as inspiration than rotoscope. There's just too many missing details and discrepancies (like two large sheets of window glass forming a 90 deg. corner with no visible framing at the joint). I also had to erect a dark backdrop (whose edge is visible in the left most window) behind the camera so there is almost nothing being reflected by the windows to obscure the details.

 

 

Rodger

Thats a very fine looking model you are building there. Are you going to replicate some of the textured surfaces Hopper used. His brushwork was very 'loose' as I recall

regards

simon

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From my standpoint "loose" is a nice way to say imprecise (see top section of attached image). At any rate I've decided to make the lower (green/yellow) facades covered in heavily aged painted stucco...somewhere between the two lower examples. I only have a vague idea of how I'm going to build such a texture.

stucco_compare.jpg

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I can see why...that's pretty impressive. But it depends on having enough photographs of the real world texture to cover over 30 ft. of a facade that never existed. I prefer a combination of procedurals and decals. I made a first stab with some Darktrees.

stucco_test.jpg

construction_09.jpg

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Working out the details on the facade of the bar. Since Hopper decided to "punt" when it came to the wall to the right of the entrance, I decided to add the antithesis of fine art...commercial art. An unambiguous, detailed example of craftsmanship...a beer ad. It makes sense to me, since if there had been an ad painted on that wall I suspect it would have been the last thing Hopper would include.

poster_test.jpg

construction_10.jpg

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Working out the details on the facade of the bar. Since Hopper decided to "punt" when it came to the wall to the right of the entrance, I decided to add the antithesis of fine art...commercial art. An unambiguous, detailed example of craftsmanship...a beer ad. It makes sense to me, since if there had been an ad painted on that wall I suspect it would have been the last thing Hopper would include.

 

Roger

I can't recall the title of the painting but there is at least one were he does include ad's and signage in his paintings. The one in particular I'm recalling, is of a chemists shop that includes signage for Ex-Lax chocolate. Not the usual inclusion in an 'art' painting !

regards

simon

 

PS

Hopper was a student of Robert Henri and the group that responded to his ideas and work were known as the Ashcan school. They took similar subjects as Hopper ( urban life ) but were more reportage than he. Might they give you some of the references you are interested in ?

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An ad for alcohol would be an interesting choice because... when Hopper painted the image (1930) prohibition was still in effect (1920 to 1933).

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Still detailing the bar. I've decided the hanging sign needs to be illuminated by neon. I have this vague and distant memory of a forum discussion about using a spline as a continuous light source. Am I hallucinating or is this a real feature worth searching for?

 

...were known as the Ashcan school.

Thanks for the tip Simon. It took me on some interesting image searches.

 

...when Hopper painted the image...prohibition was still in effect...

I hadn't thought of that Rodney. Fortunately my back lot is set in 1953.

construction_15.jpg

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Nice model.

 

I don't know of way to make a spline a light source. I've made neon signs by

 

1. Use the font wizard to make the signage.

2. make it the neon color you want using Surface,

3. boost the ambient intensity to near 100%

4. turn glow on, adjust as appropriate

 

You can animate all the surface attributes to get flicker and turn the sign on and off. Glow does not transmit light so you will have to add a colored light if you want it to illuminate other models.

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Nice work, you did a boolean for the bricks? Wouldn't a displacement map work better?

Bricks are usually not so perfectly placed, I would think a displacement map would give you greater flexibility to make them varied some.

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Yes, the overall neatness of the bricks is starting to stand out unfortunately. Nice work so far though!

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boolean for the bricks? Wouldn't a displacement map work better? Bricks are usually not so perfectly placed
the overall neatness of the bricks is starting to stand out

I prefer to use a BitMapPlus material because it seamlessly fills in large walls with small maps and has built in variations in brick colour that aren't yet in use on this bump material only model. As you can see from the attached image of the front door of a different building that with the right colour variation and "dirt" decals you can distract (IMHO) from the overall neatness of procedural bricks.

 

Use the font wizard to make the signage.

I prefer my neon tubes to be a bit more accurate than what I can get from a font. See second attached image.

 

Glow does not transmit light so you will have to add a colored light if you want it to illuminate other models.

The big trick is putting an array of bulb type lights in front of the neon tubes to simulate their output without the tubes casting shadows on the sign's surface. Off the top of my head I'd say I'd have to make the tubes themselves a separate model that gets assembled to the building as an Action Object. Then during night time shots you could turn off their shadows.

construction_16.jpg

warehouse_front_door.jpg

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Dry Goods Store sign is in place as is its decorative canvas window treatment. Backed off on the depth of the mortar between bricks.

construction_18.jpg

construction_19.jpg

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Looking VERY good Rodger! :)

 

(I keep thinking Hopper's painting could have used my home town's square as a reference... it's that close in style to the buildings there.)

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this is looking great! I really like the care taken with the signage!

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Windows treatments are done on the second floor and I finally finished the blue awning on the florist shop. Posing draped and wrinkled cloth is hard. I don't think I've ever had to re-spline a model so many times.

construction_21.jpg

construction_22.jpg

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Very nice indeed! Looks like the real thing to me. :)

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I stopped by to look at this yesterday and was struck speechless by those awnings, so didn't leave a comment. But really just gorgeous detail.

 

Another observation I meant to make a couple of weeks ago is that, looking at your brick work, I didn't realize until that moment that Hopper didn't indicate any bricky texture at all in the painting, just brush strokes. Had never even noticed that before.

 

On a related topic, this Saturday I'm going with a couple of friends to see a show of Hopper's drawings at the Whitney, if my day job doesn't intervene. We've gotten ungodly busy, so here's hoping!

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It's been sometime since my last update but I got distracted with taking a first stab at a new model after getting clearance to use someone else's design for Phillies.

At any rate, the barber pole is in place. Its "graphics" are final but need to be dirtied up with underlying textures. The glass covering the red/white/blue helix is a bit too dark and I need to install an electrical outlet and cord to power the pole.

construction_23.jpg

construction_24.jpg

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Very nice models and lighting Rodger,

 

Concerning the sign shadow, My take is that the sign is not perpendicular to the facade. In the painting, we don't get to see much of the sign faces. If you were to tilt the sign toward the center of the building, you could get the sign longer and project the given shadow.

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Image 1: Installed the mailbox insert in the alcove wall outside the door to the 2nd floor apartments; likely the last significant modeling addition for this building. From here on it's all tweaking textures ("tweaxturing"?).

Image 2: Close-up of the more or less complete mailboxes. Most of it is splinage except for the piano hinge joints which are multiple instances of a single bump map, the "vent" holes which are a combination of color, bump, specular and reflectivity decals and the similarly decaled key slots.

Image 3: More texturing especially the shingles over the 1st floor entrances.

Image 4: Close-up of the more or less complete barber pole.

 

...the sign is not perpendicular to the facade...

Genius!. I never thought of that Yves, but you're absolutely correct. (I don't think Hopper wanted to deal with such highly foreshortened lettering so he "bent" the sign). However, it's my back lot, so it stays orthogonal. ;)

construction_25.jpg

construction_26.jpg

construction_27.jpg

construction_28.jpg

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This is beautiful. I love the look of the barber pole. Something about the glass around the ribbon, I likey.

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Image 1: I found this picture on the web while looking for prototype signs. I really like look of the proper name which seems hand painted by a commercial artist from another era. To make a matching decal, I was confident I could find a font that matched the "OPTOMETRIST". But since I preferred more resolution and didn't want my sign to look this beat up, "Carl A. Class" would have to be a retouched version of this original. However, after spending an entire evening in PSPro trying to improve "Car" and not being close to satisfied with the result, I knew it was time for a re-think.

 

Image 2: My solution was to bring the name into A:M as a rotoscope and re-create the lettering with splinage. They're all flat planes so I didn't have to worry much about patch arrangement. Each letter is a separate mesh with the transitions being handled by careful placement at the overlaps. (This process convinced me the sign was hand painted because the models for the upper case C's and lower case a's and l' s are very similar but not identical.) A simple screen render gave me more than enough resolution.

 

Image 3: This is just the bare decal. The final sign texture will need some more dirt, rust and weathering.

construction_29a.jpg

construction_29b.jpg

construction_29.jpg

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Fantastic work. You go WAY further than I would ever go. I wish you would elaborate on the end purpose for this AMAZING set you are building... got a story in mind?

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My solution was to bring the name into A:M as a rotoscope and re-create the lettering with splinage.

 

I like the solution you came up with! :)

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this is like the most useful street ever! Its got a barber shop, a bar, an eye doctor.... will there be a grocery store???

Really nice work!

 

Mike Fitz

www.3dartz.com

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Textures and decals for the bar's hanging sign are more or less done.

 

...will there be a grocery store??
There's a dry goods store at the end opposite the bar, so no meat or dairy. However there will be a diner across the street.

 

... got a story in mind?
I have a vague concept of making a railroad based "music video" not unlike
although not necessarily with that background instrumental (as great as it is). But at this stage in the process, it's more about the trip, not the destination.

construction_30.jpg

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Back from vacation. I get a bit antsy not being able to get my daily A:M fix especially since the Hopper Building is almost finished.

 

All exterior details and textures are applied; 2nd story is complete; 1st floor signage is next.

construction_37.jpg

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I *would* post a comment, but really I've run out of superlatives.

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Signage for the grocers, florist and barber are complete.

construction_38.jpg

construction_39.jpg

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