First, credit where credit where credit’s due. It was the work of Colorsponge that gave me the idea to embark on this project. One of his majestic car renders featured the LA River as background, using an HDRI and photo plates. This made me think about how cool it would be to have a full 3D environment of the river to play with and to wander around.
So here we are, a roughly 500-meter stretch of the LA River in all its sun-baked concrete glory, including four iconic bridges. The model is not entirely geographically accurate: I squeezed the 4th Street Bridge where it doesn’t belong because it’s so cool and I had to have it. Also, the entire surroundings: the mountains, the buildings, the pylons, the trees, the freight trains, etc. are half drawn from observation and half out of my imagination. But as long as you keep your camera down in the river and don’t start flying above the bridges, it looks pretty photoreal.
I’m particularly proud of the concrete riverbed. I’ve thrown everything I had at it–handmade scanned surfaces, blended materials, stochastic tiling, decals…–to make it look sharp and detailed in closeups and convincing from further away, with no hint of tiling.
So if that kind of stuff is your thing, if you’ve got these images tattooed on your brain from watching too much Grease, Chinatown, Driver or Terminator 2, and if you also happen to work in 3ds Max 2019+ and V-Ray, you can get it from my @Turbosquid page.
Make sure you read the product note before buying.
3 thoughts on “Los Angeles River 3D”
My backyard! you knocked out of the park, it feels accurate and to scale. I used to pass by it every day to get to my job in downtown LA. I know this hot it looks now, but it was a hotbed for street art in 2005. Some of the art was so huge, the size of a city block.
This is amazing work!
Superb work! Any chance we can have a texturing tutorial one day? I’d love see what’s your method for texturing these assets.