1970's Polish Milk Bar #001 WIP

Making Of / 14 October 2021

It's about time I finally post something on here! 

I was looking at some articles online and I found some really cool images of milk bars in Poland during the PRL era. They usually served cheap and fast served food and were set up by the government to serve the workers of the socialist country. There were thousands of these across the country but this specific one with super extremely yellow walls caught my attention.

Started by gathering some reference mostly for the room and window layout as I will create another one for assets later down the line.

Started blocking out the first pass using proxy meshes. 

Now I am slowly going through the scene and filling it up with assets that I am gathered references for. A lot of the materials are WIP but I like to get them in quite early to get a feeling for the general phase. Created some tile materials in substance designer and a few different colour variations as well. 

Initially, I was quite cautious about the yellow in the walls, but after receiving some feedback from my colleagues I decided to go quite bold with the colours and make it own the space.

Experience Points and DiNusty Cyberpunk Challenge #006 - FINAL

General / 14 April 2020

We got to the end! I am quite happy with where I am with this piece and I didn't want to finish it too long after the deadline as I still wanted to feel like part of the challenge :P

This is the state of the environment at it's final state.

I've completed a vending machine and some pieces of rubbish to scatter around.

I've used the foliage tool to scatter rubbish around quickly and randomly. 

I've finished the little street food area however, I feel that this is the area that I would work on more if I did it again. I feel that it either needs relighting or it just needs to be less busy as something is not clicking to the extent that I would want it.

I have also created a last decal pass using some graffiti types that I have made but I did not try to go overboard with it.

Generally I feel that this project is a good condensation of all the things i have learnt in the past few years and hopefully it shows some progress from my first works to this one. I will maybe come back to fix some little bugs here and there but I feel that the shape it is now is final!

Thank you for following this blog on thsi journey!

Experience Points and DiNusty Cyberpunk Challenge #005

General / 09 April 2020

Hey all,

So I am thinking that I am reaching the last 30% of the environment with the final assets still being made. One thing that I can instantly say about this is what I am always guilty of - over scoping. It is a sad thing that a lot of people do to themselves and I am one of those people! 

There were so many assets that had to be included but I am trying to finish them all of to the same quality as each other to achieve the best possible outcome. This is the current state of the scene. I also have fixed my gamma settings on my monitor which were toying with the my perception of the scene!

I have started to finish off the little bar/shop area with some assets such as plastic stools and creates - this area still needs some roughing up making it looked lived in. Made a little teriyaki stand :D

This side of the scene including the karaoke club still needs a lot of work and I tell myself I will get to it some day :P

The enternance to the metro station is slowly starting to get a shape but it still needs several decals and such to make it seem like an actual metro station. The road is looking pretty cool tho!

One thing I did is I removed the arches from the left and exchanged it with a modular warehouse looking building. I think it grounds the scene and makes it look like a real place.


A close up of some of the small assets that I have created - including my rubbish bags created in Marvellous Designer. 

Experience Points and DiNusty Cyberpunk Challenge #004

General / 05 April 2020

I sadly did not manage to finish this piece in time so I am going to give myself time to finish it to the point where I am happy with it without rushing it. It's a shame but I had some much making this piece already I want it to be really good.

Here is the current state of the project 

The basic shapes of the metro station are in and still need quite a lot of work but I feel that it is getting there. I have blocked in a simple subway train that will run through the tracks once every few moments just to get the scene to feel alive. 

I have completed the metro gates and the entry to the station is slowly coming together.

There are several new signs made but there is still a lot to go to get that proper cyber punk feeling. 

Experience Points and DiNusty Cyberpunk Challenge #003

General / 30 March 2020

So, quite a big update today! I've made some quite dramatic changes to the scene and what it looks like.

I've felt that the scene was too linear and that too many things were going to the side of scene and the composition just wasn't interesting enough. 

I have removed the capsule hotel from the middle and moved it to the side. to capture more of the cityscape in the background and I've started experimenting with what could be in there.

I saw at this image in my moodboard and thought the idea of a subway train going through the middle was quite nice so I started experimenting.

This was the initial idea just with simple cubes to see how the shape would work.

Created a simple shape blockout to see what the shapes  I would like.

And here is the final product for now. There is still a long way to go with several iterations but I am please in the direction that this went. I felt this piece was missing out of the puzzle and I can easily work around this to make it a much more interesting piece.

Till the next time!

Experience Points and DiNusty Cyberpunk Challenge #002

General / 29 March 2020

Finally I have been able to come back to this piece and start working on it again! Due to the virus outbreak I've had several changes up and down in my work schedule so I have some more time to start working on this again! I probably won't make it in time to finish for the deadline but I still strive to complete this piece. 

I have managed to complete a semi decent blockout of what I would like in the scene. I imagine the scene to be quite intimate with a lot of objects scattered around. 

After that I put in some initial lighting to start getting the correct mood for this piece. 

I have started to generate a few materials for the scene and the first few of those was a trim sheet which I LOVE using as it is so versatile!

  I still have loads to finish and do as what I mostly focus on was the buildings on the right to get the proper Tokyo feeling. I must populate the scene with neon lighting and roughen it up to feel lived in rather than what it is at the moment.


The area which I am quite excited by is the little street food stand in the corner. I imagine it to be quite dirty and rough but have a little table where people can sit and play board games etc. but I first must get around to all of the other parts to get to the nice bits :P

Any feedback and suggestions are appreciated!   

Experience Points and DiNusty Cyberpunk Challenge #001

Making Of / 10 February 2020

Challenge Outline

Today is the start of the Experience Points and DiNusty Environment Challenge and I thought I will try to create something for it. I have learnt of Experience Points and DiNusty very recently but so far the content and support you can receive on the website and the Discord is amazing - I recommend that everybody joins!

The theme of the challenge is 'Cyberpunk' and we have been kindly provided with some references and concepts as a starting point. In all honesty, I have never been comfortable in creating sci-fi/cyberpunk designs so I feel this project will push some of my boundaries and comfort zones. I have a huge appreciation for Japanese architecture and culture which has always amazed me with it's simplicity and pragmatism. The scene will be completed within Unreal Engine 4. 


Whilst looking at the concepts, I have came across this piece of art by Jose Vega (ArtStation) and I instantly fell in love in the simplicity and feeling. What I liked the most about it is that it's not overly grungy and sci-fi like a lot of the other ones are but has a more future-realistic approach. I have decided to take this as a initial idea and work from it towards creating a moodboard and developing on it. 

For my moodboarding and planning i have used PureRef. It's super easy to move stuff around and organise it and the navigation is super fast and easy. I have began organising my inspirations based on the topic such as composition, lighting etc. I have looked at inspiration in video games (Mirror's Edge, Deus Ex,Cyberpunk 2077) and films such as Blade Runner, Akira and some other 80's futuristic anime's. The main takeaway from them is the architecture, technology and patterns that will allow me to create interesting models and trims. I have been greatly inspired by Liam Wong's photography for lighting and composition. Another part of this photography is the element of realism that we have to apply to these environments to make them feel lived in and weathered. I have also started working on some breakdowns in regards to modularity so that I can make this scene scaleable if needed, which is important to do early on to make sure you know what things you need to work on instead of just guessing. Next step is creating a blockout!

Blockout Phase

I have started to create a simple blockout kit in Maya using the shapes and designs I have seen in the concepts and reference images. I have decided to create a few shapes and variations to give me the most flexibility when it comes to creating interesting buildings. I have imported it all in Unreal and started to block out shapes. 

I really liked the concept of the subway exit but I wanted to make it my own - I want to incorporate the interesting designs of large buildings that we can see in Tokyo with so many lights and neons bouncing off. Having tall high-rise buildings also gives for a more interesting composition that. 


To cap the environment making sure that it does not go on forever, I found some inspiration when looking through images of Asakusabashi Station when it was in renovation. The station has a bit of the wall ripped out revealing the supporting arches and I feel that will work quite well to break up the cubic nature of the envrionment.