Charles Street Jail - Modeling progress

Originally published at: https://www.ronenbekerman.com/?p=135202

I’ve started to identify specific repeating elements throughout exterior and interior as I begin blocking out the building. Starting with the exterior façade; roof and interior will soon follow. I intend to bring them into the engine for assessment once the building itself is set.

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The current progress shows roughly 40-50% of the exterior façade blocked out this weekend with wire color depicting instanced meshes. I hope most, if not all, of the exterior can be blocked by next week before any work on the interior. Nothing fancy with these, pretty basic modeling process. The stone details are just guides for now as I utilize reference photos to achieve some level of accuracy.


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Another night of update. West wing (visitor’s entrance) and general roof structure are now blocked out along with adjustments to previously modeled façade elements. Some holes to be filled out in the upcoming updates, e.g. fenestrations, eaves, etc.

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Nice modeling, lots of detail in the stonework. Interested to see how this approach informs your texturing workflow.

An modeling update showing progress on the adjacent buildings outside of the compound, laying out utility facilities on site, and working through the fenestrations. I started with the west wing since most details are concentrated here with metal bars and main entrance; but, the plan is to work around through the building facades on the other wings tomorrow.

A few things that need attention include by not limited to:

  • Slope of the site
  • Deciding the amount of detail on the utility structures (I know I probably won’t have time to add all the necessary details)

One of the challenges I knew I had to deal with from the start was working with limited references. Site information, in particular, was lacking despite my effort collecting from public domain; therefore, some estimates and eyeballing had to be made in order for me to keep pushing forward.

Here is a quick camera match I mocked up during the process. The intention wasn’t to produce the most accurate photo match but to assist in figuring out the location of utility buildings around the compound (smoke stacks, sheriff’s residence, etc). You can see some minor discrepancies, but I know it’s a compromise I had to make given lack of information on hand. The focus is the building and the interior, so a 5 minutes attempt should be sufficient to get the lay of the land.

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@simplychen Looks like you’ve made really good progress already on the existing facades. That must have been quite a bit of work figuring out all those proportions! Looking forward to seeing your next steps

Good progress indeed!

The red clay on top of the black and what is pretty cool looking as is - graphically.

Keep going!

This past week was much busier at work, so wasn’t able to post a lot of updates. Images below showcase the collective progress up to this point:

  • Exterior shell and façade blockout are at 80%
  • Decided that I should start shifting my focus to the interior blockout, starting with the catwalk/staircase
  • Took the chance to import the file into UE for the first time

The site will be my focus after the interior is at least 50% completion because there is a slight grade change from one side of the building to the other. Hence, we can see the building floating off of the ground at the moment. I figured most of the camera would be on the interior, so it’s probably a good point to start fleshing out more of the interior (of the existing condition).

@Flowstorm thanks for checking out the progress, Thomas. One of the reasons why I ended up with this project is because I have just enough photos for reference to get the ball rolling.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure which type of structure to approach the challenge at the onset; but, I soon realized that in order to depict the old condition with some level of accuracy, photo references of the building play a key role. So, that become part of my brainstorm criteria; you could say the decision was a deliberate one, but I was glad that the city of Boston has a relatively well-established database for this historic building. :+1:

Certainly there are details that I will probably have to make up, but I was able to include (and in cases match) all major components that make up the building. That said, as I make progress on the interior, more details will need to be made up due to lack of plans/interior elevations. I intend to restrict to a few areas for the final scope rather than figuring out the original architecture inside out. That would allow me to flesh out details and inform me of the types of set-dressing that enhances the visuals later on.

Small update entails continuation of interior blockout - cell and catwalk railing.

Love the detail. There is so much potential for atmospheric imagery here. Keep up the great work.

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Continuing with more railing work.



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@simplychen Great work, It is very encouraging to see the modeling WIP. :muscle:

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@eliseoprado Thanks, Eliseo. There are still a ton of work to be done, but slowly chipping away at it will hopefully get me somewhere. :crossed_fingers:

That is amazing detail / progress. And I love the random insertion of Iron Man (or some such mechanised humanoid) for scale!

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haha, they are actually Unreal mannequins from in-engine, but i think i will start calling them iron man from now on :sunglasses:

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Hi @simplychen this is looking great - there’s so much detail in your model!
Are all of those elements the existing architecture or are some your new additions?
What are you planning to do with the spaces?
Good luck with the next stages :slight_smile: