Architecture studies?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by sevin, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. sevin

    aa sevin

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    I know that at least one member of our community takes formal architecture classes (Ido), and I've realized over the years I really like the way cool buildings look and that interest has been brought to the surface in TF2 because I love the way a lot of the buildings and structures are created. But I can't take formal architecture classes, as many other mappers can't, so what do the rest of you guys do for reference? Scour the corners of the internet or your city? Books? Valve maps? I really want to learn some stuff about architecture so I can apply that to mapping and also just to know since I'm interested. Can you guys recommend some books or websites etc. for me I could check out for info?
  2. Muddy

    Server Staff Muddy Muddy

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    I once considered studying architecture. Somehow I wound up doing music production instead...

    Anyway, you've probably already seen it but this is a great thread for this sort of thing. Personally I get most of my ideas from my favourite TF2 maps (mostly the custom ones, in fact), and the map I'm working on right now is also somewhat influenced by Bioshock Infinite.

    You could also take a look at the works of J. C. Leyendecker and Dean Cornwell, two artists whose work greatly influenced the art style of TF2. (Though it was mostly the character designs they influenced, but it's still interesting to look at.)
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  3. killohurtz

    aa killohurtz Distinction in Applied Carving

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    Not exactly architecture, but I really like this place. I also find the Borderlands series to be a great source of inspiration, especially for detailing.
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  4. Yacan1

    aa Yacan1 D I G I T A L I N F L U E N C E R

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    Personally I've been interested in architecture since I was young and my parents signed me up for a saturday morning architecture class at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and it was super awesome and inspirational. I did it for about 7 years and it gave me a pretty good basis for architecture. After wanting to go to college for it I took a few drafting and CAD related courses in high school. Then I didn't get accepted anywhere since I'm a big dumb idiot. I have like 30 architecture books now and a lot of drawing related things.

    I recommend anyone interested in video game art in general to pick up a book called Video Game Art by Chris Solarski. Really fantastic read.
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  5. Snowbat

    Snowbat L4: Comfortable Member

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    I get most of my buildings from simply looking at pics of real building and recreating them. Wether it's generic buildings, mediƫval buildings or mayan structures like for my current map, it usually works well :)
    Architecture classes would be good if you really want to build your own, more complex building.
  6. Idolon

    aa Idolon the worst admin

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    Just for clarification, I'm technically not an architecture student yet; because of how the school works, I'm technically in Pre-Architecture, and I've not taken any classes that are different from anyone else in my school's design program. i.e. I've only taken classes on drawing, art history, and I'm currently in a "design representation" class (basically model building).

    That being said, I've found a few good ways for finding inspiration, which applies to architecture and all other artistic fields. For example, tumblr! Tumblr is a great way to get a drip-feed of artistic things. Some blogs try to post stuff that fulfill some sort of specific aesthetic. Some blogs are devoted to a particular style of architecture. Some blogs are very general, and post anything related to a broad subject (architecture).

    Flickr is also pretty good. People can create pools of photos (called groups) where anyone can submit their photos that meet some sort of criteria. Flickr is also good for just flooding your eyes with random things.

    Save everything you find! Whether that means keeping a list of links to stuff you like, or actually downloading the content to your computer, just keep a record of stuff that you find interesting. And keep it organized, too! I split my reference photos into categories like nature, interiors, abstract, etc. You can even categorize your stuff by what you find interesting in it, like shapes, color schemes, patterns, etc.

    Sometimes art can be found in really strange places too. For example, album covers. If you wanted, you could use a website that randomly picks music (i dont know of any), and look at the album covers. You could do the same with book covers, movie posters, etc.

    One last recommendation: if you want to know more about what kind of art you find interesting, start trying to make some of your own! It doesn't have to be anything particularly interesting or complex. Just take a look at something you find interesting, try to discern how it was made, and see if you can replicate it!

    Also, getting an education in something is a great way to learn more about it (duh!) If you want to learn more about art, take an art class! Sometimes that isn't possible, but you should take the option if it's available to you.

    Now, onto the fun bit. Here's a giant dump of websites that I use for inspiration. Note that not all of this stuff is directly "hey look at this cool art! be inspired!!" but inspiration can be found in a lot of things.

    Flickr - I love grain elevators
    Visualizing Architecture - a website about architectural renderings
    Wikipedia - Paul Rudolph
    Projected Image Creator - makes an image out of triangles via an algorithm
    Photos of old mining stuff - I used this a lot for my detail entry
    Fulton Center Subway Hub
    Machinery and computers of some kind
    Timothy J. Reynolds - flat, low poly renders
    Jeremy Mann - occasionally nsfw in the "Figures" section
    Geometry Daily
    Debris Maker
    Donovan Valdes
    The Daily Task - occasionally nsfw
    Level Design Inspiration Machine
    Imaginary Infrastructures
    YHCNYP - glitch art
    Videogame Art Styles
    Architecture of Doom
    Fuck Yeah Brutalism
    Single Malt Mana
    Paul Robertson
    Tiny PMS Match
    Emmy Cicierega
    Liz Climo
    Frenums - personal blog of an artist, so there's a lot of not-art stuff
    Motion Addicts
    Content Aware Typography
    KC Green
    Made In Hexels
    A dead blog that took the name "Architecture" on tumblr

    And just because I can, I threw together a collection of album covers I think are cool.
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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  7. sevin

    aa sevin

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  8. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    Looking over this one made me realize just how few buildings in TF2 actually look like any of this stuff, despite being of the right period. Might be something worth looking into for any mappers wanting to do something unique.
  9. ibex

    aa ibex

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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015