Grand Theft Quantum

Welcome to sunny, digital, San Francisco!
One way, or another ♪ ♫ ♬
High over San Francisco, social distancing
Temporary Transbay Terminal, SF
Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane!
Digital Howard Street, SF
Taking a selfie, or photo reference?
Digital Embarcadero, SF
Traffic is light on Howard street.
Digital San Francisco — Oakland Bay Bridge
Simple road mesh. Show me the wires!
Modular sidewalk sections
Building block mesh
Google maps & photo Reference of location
UE4 Editor view
He couldn’t see the forest for the trees, or is that bokeh?
The Trello Digital City Page
Example asset feedback images for outsourcing
Digital Downtown SF
My city in Anima
  • Creating a real-time, dynamic traffic system with thousands of ai cars with physics that obeyed traffic laws and had drivers in the seats.
  • Placing thousands of road decals by hand.
Vehicular centipede
Hope you're not in a hurry!
Edit the street sign’s text to say anything or edit the speed limit.
Spline Decal placer
Decals galore
A great day for a jog by the water
I left my digital heart in San Francisco
Meta-Selfie in Rincon Park
  • The oldest aquarium fish in the world lives in San Francisco. She likes belly rubs. Okay, while that is true I was just checking to see if you’re ready for some juicy lessons learned.
  • If you use Megascans, SpeedTree, or any assets you don’t fully own distribution rights to, all those assets will have to be removed from the project if it is to be used in the UE Marketplace. Rendering stills and videos of your work with those assets are fine but make sure you create your own assets if you’d like to avoid any licensing conflicts. Consult Epic for more information.
  • If you are working on projects in your free time while employed make sure you talk to a few good employment lawyers who are well versed in the employment laws of your State. From my experience, some companies don’t care if you work on stuff in your free time, some companies actually encourage moonlighting, and others will claim they own every idea, project, asset, you ever create even in your free time, as long as you are employed by them. Make sure you know which type of employer you’re working with and talk with legal experts if you have any questions. I am not a lawyer and none of this is legal advice. I’m simply an artist who likes making art in my free time.
  • Buy a power backup in case of power surges and outages. Losing work is no fun!
  • Back up your Unreal project often. Near the end of this project, I accidentally moved and saved over 100 building positions that were in a shared level. I couldn’t undo it, because I saved then quit, but luckily I had saved a manual backup of the level and only lost about 10 mins of work.
  • Sweat all the details. The micro details make up the bigger picture.
  • Make sure to remove branding in textures and props from the beginning. it helps to make up a bunch of cleared fictional brand names early so you're not spending a whole evening removing them from hundreds of textures and meshes.
  • Do a serious optimization pass. Try to do this as you import textures and meshes into Unreal. It’s no fun doing this all at the end.
  • Pay attention to lighting, light is the single most important element of displaying realism, if you need proof just close your eyes.
  • Know the value of your work and your time.
  • Artists generally don’t make whole city scenes by themselves (unless they’re looking for a tough challenge) because it’s extremely hard and it takes a long time. It takes an even longer time to do it well. it’s usually a team effort.
  • If your goal is to build large-scale realistic cities doing it all by hand is not the most efficient way forward(I knew this before starting). I’d recommend working with the best Houdini procedural artists out there. Specifically technical artists who have a solid artistic eye and really care about matching realism as closely as possible. They will also be able to quickly build tools to help unlock an art team’s full potential allowing them to pump all the detail directly into the scene.
  • Now I know what’s taking GTA VI so long to be finished, I can’t wait!
  • Always add birds and airplanes in the sky for scale and motion. Airplanes also help suggest it’s a lively city with people coming and going. It’s subtle but only a few games do this including Super Mario Sunshine.
  • A global pandemic can be the perfect opportunity to get a lot of work done on your passion project and not feel guilty about turning down that invite to a concert, club, or dinner party your friends keep inviting you to. The last two years have been tough for people around the globe, having a long project to work on can keep your mind on more positive, creative things.
  • Take breaks! The last thing you want to do is burn yourself out.
  • Keep an Instagram page for your art. You can find more in-progress screens and videos there.
  • Lastly and perhaps one of the most important lessons is to have fun with it! Give your brain a chance to fall in love with learning and the process of failing forward till you get really good at what you’re trying to do. It’s an integral part of the process and will make you a better artist. Don’t give up, you can do it, you can do anything you put your mind to especially if you are willing to persevere!




Artist, Designer, & Entrepreneur.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Treyarch Shows Off New Zombies

CoverCompared collaborates with Arcade Network

Beyond Ones and Zeroes: Mega Man X (Mega Man X)

Prototype 4: Space Station Amadeus

Quick Look — Annika and Giraffe

PlayStation 5: By The Numbers

Nintendo Is Getting Weird Again

ARCADIA: A metaverse for STAXX holders

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Tav Shande

Tav Shande

Artist, Designer, & Entrepreneur.

More from Medium

“Can Privacy Exist In the Metaverse?”

Force Insights| The “Endgame” For Ethereum expansion

the meta-meta verse

Echocore: Challenging Ideas About Reality