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Expanding the Maxis Building Set: Midrise CO$$$ BATs

Started by cogeo, March 26, 2011, 12:02:06 PM

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I feel there was a misunderstanding the yellowish hue is ok. no problem with that. the real issue, is that you have a disparity in a space of few meters. the windows are fully lighted and bright and the door as so few light that you can see details. for instance, on the second building the effect is good. because you found harmony in all lightning effects, mainly because you used only the standard maxis lighting.

"- Make the door glass a nitewindow as well (leave it as is for the day render). We will have to see how this really looks like."

I would say yes to it, or increase light on door bulb(s) could also increase the harmony.


@Lowkee: This style (large dark glass vertical "stripes", separated by thin white "columns") is quite common, and I have seen many photos of such buildings, even skyscrapers. Maybe it would be more convinving if the building was taller (maybe another storey or two), but its already taller than Chalmers. As for the windows being set out, this is true, but should we necessarily make buildings like Maxis does? A photo of a building I borrowed some ideas from can be found here. And the windows do have a frame, of an almost white colour, however it's always shadowed. I considered making them a little bigger, perhaps somewhat overlaying the glass, but they would then be close to the white columns, almost certainly resulting in visual cluttering. I may try a 100% white texture there, or a yellow one (blue's "negative" colour), but I'm afraid the result will be the same again.

As for the cohorts, I think there must be a problem of the exemplars generated by PIM - the ones I copied from simcity_1.dat (and modified) worked. And I didn't want to make a cohort tree (or modify anything), just use the Maxis cohort tree for this family, ie only add more descendants ("siblings" to Chalmers, inheriting the same properties and stats).

@jmyers: Indeed, even Maxis isn't consistent in their scales. The (total) floor height in Chalmers is approx 4.3m. My impression (I'll have to check) is that the other building family I'm planning to make (Modde Inc) has even shorter floors, even shorter than its European counterpart (Galvin Techtronics), which btw employs considerably fewer sims.

The height of the lobby here is dictated by those stupid shop facade props (6m tall). And I had to find a way to make the BATs looking good with these too, eg add eaves, shelters, or something. I don't really make any lots for these, only the building BAT and the building exemplar. The BATs are made to match the Maxis ones in size, and the exemplars is included in the respective Maxis families, so that they can grow in the Maxis lots. Chalmers grows in no fewer than 11 Maxis lots, ranging from stage-2 4x3 to stage-5 2x2, in all 4 tilesets (though it is a NY building in style). No wonder why it grows all over the place, and how I decided to make these BATs.

Below is a pic of the BAT, along with some Maxis buildings. Do you think I have to tone-down the nightwindows (the previous image was too close)? The problem is that the Global Intensity doesn't work together with special intensity values applied to selected objects. The skylights have an intensity of 0.5 and setting global intensity to even 0.99, would render them unlit (another stupid BAT bug). So I would rather need to select and set all windows one by one. It would be easier to modify the nitewindow map instead.

@gn_leugim: Indeed, the yellow frames caused all the problem. Changed them to dark blue. Also intensified the internal lights by 15%, and made them somewhat bluish (but they are still essentially white) - no other changes. Here is the result:

Below is another pic (low-quality prview render), with the door glass changed to nitewindows:

What do you think?


Quote from: cogeo on July 15, 2011, 10:31:56 AM

Below is a pic of the BAT, along with some Maxis buildings. Do you think I have to tone-down the nightwindows (the previous image was too close)?

The buildings blend in nicely in both scale and night lights. Job well done, Sir.    :)

- Jim

Jim Myers  (5th member of SC4 Devotion)


Hi again,

I'm almost (?) finished with the last of the three models. Here is a pic:


I'm considering to replace the very generic door, but I can't think of a proper alternative. Any ideas please?

There's also a problem with artifacts (FSH ?) in the night view (pointed out by the arrows). I think this problem appeared some time ago (1 year?) and has affected other BATters as well. Is there some known solution (or workaround) to this.

I will be in position to give away test/review versions before the end of the upcoming week. And as neither the stats nor the exemplar and model IDs are about to change, you can safely install them and let them grow in your cities; the only changes the release version may contain is possible minor model improvements. If anybody is interested please send me a PM.

Hope you like them.


I have to say I enjoy much more now, and blends much better also with the remaining maxis buildings.

about that glitch, never saw something like that, and never had something like that. it looks something to do with lightings, maybe some odd lightning-rig anormalty.


@Cogeo I don't exactly see the reason why to the replace the door, it looks okay. Where as, the inside of the building looks empty! It looks like there only is an empty floor inside there.


I don't think we are actually seeing into the building, the windows are opaque. I could be wrong.  The noise on the windows does look like floors though. 


@gn_leugim: Thanks! The glitch must have something to do with FSH compression. It mostly occurs with ligtht-coloured textures and certain (low) light levels. I'll research it a little more.

@j-dub & Lowkee33: The nightwindows (with the exception of the entrance of the first building, which indeed has a checkerboard-style floor) are the Maxis ones (opaque). Carl, do you think that the windows in the low-quality render in the 07/15 post, look more realistic, and not so much floor-like? You have just given me an idea!


Quote from: cogeo on July 26, 2011, 11:23:34 AMCarl, do you think that the windows in the low-quality render in the 07/15 post, look more realistic, and not so much floor-like? You have just given me an idea!

I do.  The pattern has the same angle as the edge of the building.  When the pattern gets blurred, I loose the angle, and notice more noise (which is good).


Let me leave here my Tutorial on Lighting for gmax. the model in video is a residencial one, but you can get the basics. working on one for large window\ window facades now :)



Excellent tutorial Carlos!  &apls An alternative to the Maxis nitewindows and to the semi-transparent windows (with internal lighting and objects). You just need to add a few details, like the distance of the light from the window, or how to counter the effect of stonger lighting around the light's axis (due to the different angle).

And why post this in my thread and not in the Tutorials Board, so that more people can view it? You need to find a good name for it too. :)  Something emphasizing the different technique.

I don't think I will apply this in these BATs though; quite a bit of work, and can't be applied on those hexagonal windows; all my window frames here are modelled, and this alone would be a problem.


thank you :)

mostly because I don't know if I am allowed to do it lol I will then.  :thumbsup:

I'll Soon make a Part 2 of this tutorial, cuz for Offices and windows surfaces it is slighted different.   "$Deal"$

I'll give new soon :)