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Originally published at: https://www.ronenbekerman.com/?p=135294

The Longfield Shopping Centre / Civic Suite was built in 1971 in Prestwich, North Manchester, UK. It’s a typical example of council (local authority) built public buildings of that era, and is a blot in the centre of a lively community that has come up around it. It has actually been rumoured for redevelopment for some time, with millions of pounds already having been spent on consultations and purchasing of local businesses-but the project never got off the ground. As it turns out, as I began looking into it for this challenge, one of the main barriers has apparently been overcome; and it looks like there will be some movement. That being said, there are some plans for the redevelopment in the public domain-but I hope to avoid all of that and make this my own.

Truth be told, this project is quite outside my comfort zone-I don’t have a background in architectural visualisation. My 3D work has been mainly in motion graphics and product mockups-but I want to take it to the next level, and the Converted Challenge seems a great opportunity.

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I’d like to see what you come up with.

It looks to have lots of potential. Would be great to activate it and bring the community together.

Look forward to seeing some concept sketches.

Good luck

@BNARob Taking the first step at something you aren’t knowledgeable is a great way to push the envelope. If you don’t mind me asking, what package do you plan to create this in? You mentioned mograph, so I am guessing C4D?

Also, not sure what category you are after; but, I think you should play to your strength. If it’s mograph that you have experience with, perhaps a short and stylized teaser could be a way to present your idea. Unlike previous challenges, this one is pretty open ended, so feel free to explore some of your options.

Glad you took this on, and I hope we get to see how things progress from here on out! :metal:

Hi. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I used to use C4D, but have recently swapped over to Blender as I’m doing less motion graphics and more product related 3D work. Not that C4D wouldn’t be suitable for this-but, for a free / open source package, Blender’s built in renderer is pretty awesome.

Your suggestion of “playing to my strengths”, and maybe creating an animation is interesting. I will definitely give it some thought-at the moment, though, I’m not even sure how I’m going to pull of a decent still image! I don’t think I’ve chosen my building very well, as there are a lot of surrounding buildings that I might have to remove entirely or rebuild and add back in. Either way, I’m not quite sure how that’s going to work.

Blender should have the capability to camera match. However, in order to do that, you’d probably need to take photos of the site in order to incorporate your design into the photo. I am not quite sure your proficiency or experience with Blender, but perhaps sticking to an image may be more suitable in this case.

That said, you could look into doing texture projection of the context buildings in question to expedite the modeling process. I would suggest focusing on the conversion itself before worrying about the context.

just my 2c

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So I’ve blocked out the main buildings at my site. What I failed to take into account when first choosing the site is that it is not just made up of one building, but three (in yellow). Plus there are two other local buildings (in blue) that will potentially “get in the way”, all adding to the challenge…

@BNARob Looks like you’ve already made a great start into 3d on that - I’ve seen lots of great artwork produced using Blender so good choice there!
I think that the other buildings around your site may help you…it’s good to have constraints and a real context…there’s nothing harder than total freedom to do what you want! Good luck and look forward to see your next stages.

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@BNARob If you feel like you need more buildings for the context (not like you are looking for more work to do) you can try looking into CadMapper for they provide you with some basic massing for buildings around the globe based on OpenStreetMap. The free version limits the extent (up to 1km square), but mostly shouldn’t be a problem with your scope, at least i hope it doesn’t.

This is about 75% of what you can get for free (you can modify the bounds to get as much out of the file if you want to massage the extent):

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@simplychen That’s interesting-I’d not come across CADMapper before. There are plugins for Blender that allow you to search online maps-I think also powered by OpenStreetMap-and then generate geometry from your target area. Of course I looked into this AFTER I’d mapped out the area and some of the surrounding buildings manually, using Google Maps / Earth. The one limitation-at least of the free version-is that all buildings come out with the same elevation; there’s no height data there I guess. Simple enough to adjust for a few buildings at least.

I think something I am going to look into maybe paying for is some aerial photography, as there’s no clear view of my site for any angle, except the back, from a car park-and even that is obstructed by trees, etc.

Thanks for the continued input.