Building Long Preston station

This page shows the process used to create the station building at Long Preston.


I won't be going into the exact details of how to do all this in Gmax, that would be a very long process. This is to demonstrate the steps we take to get the accuracy into our buildings for the project and the decisions taken along the way during construction. It is not a 'master class' by any means, and I'm sure many Gmax users will find things that could be done better.

Our first step is to gather our reference material. For Long Preston we had the following photographs.
From looking at the photographs we can establish which textures we are likely to need and create a texture bitmap for the model. Below are the final images used for the building. The main image has the textures for the building and there is a separate 'stone' image for the 'basement'. And a 'slate' texture for the roof. These are separate because they can be tiled across a larger area and if on the main texture would take up too much space or I'd have to make a lot more polys in the basement and roof.
    
So, having done that, it is into Gmax and start building.
Looking at the photographs we can see that the main part of the building is divided into about 9 sections long and there are two distinct colours in the planking used to clad the building. So we'll start with a box 9 sections long, two high and one deep. We'll also add another box that is 3 sections long for the basement underneath. The light blue box in the picture is to give us a guide to the scale and is set to about the height I guessed the gentlemen in the first picture above to be.
Next, the sections are moved about to give a rough layout of the individual polys we'll be playing with. At this stage I have also extruded one of the centre polys inwards to form the central inset area and reflected this in the basement box also. At the same time I've added some triangular sections for the gables at each end of the building.
Next step is to give this section a roof. In the picture below it is already textured with the slates image

In the picture below I've taken just one of the large end sections and inserted some planes to form the vertical pieces of wood used in the building construction. The planes have all been mapped on the texture and the centre section opened up for the window. This will now form the basis of the main section of the building as we can clone these and replace our roughed-out pieces.

Here it is with the window built into it. The window can be re-used for the single and double ones by removing the centre sections as required.
The next picture shows how I've copied the sections above onto the other parts of the building, replacing the original polys used. I've also mapped the gables and the basement section. I've not bothered with the ends or the inset section as they are still just there as guides.
The next picture shows the rear of the building. Note the slightly smaller two section window and the different mapping on the gables compared to the front ones. You may also notice a gap in the closest gable section, these polys are not required as they are hidden by the chimney.
And here is the chimney placed in situ.
Having replaced the roof section (it was hidden previously), the barge boards and planking under the eaves are added.
With these latest additions completed and textured they are copied to the other four eaves. The next picture shows the main section almost complete. Note the small single window added to the nearest end.
Now to turn our attention to the first 'extension' to the building. The picture below shows it under construction with the main part completed and some texture mapping applied. Note that due to the framing this is actuallly a quite complex object to create.
And below it has the texture mapping completed. The roof, barge boards, and a chimney have also been added to complete this section. The basement will also be extended under this new section.
Next, attention is turned to the inset section at the centre of the main building. The picture below shows the sections added to replace the guide polys and textured to represent the doors and planking on the walls. I've added the support frames and the post, offset as in the pictures. Also a filler piece under the eaves of the main roof section.
Moving now to the other end of the building, we can use the parts of the extension at the other end to create the additions at this end. The picture below shows this under construction with the main structure almost complete.
Adding the roof sections, eaves, and barge boards and after extending the basement section we're almost finished.
The chimney needs to go on the back of this section. Adjustments need to be made to align the framing of the building with the edges of the chimney.
Final job is to add the canopies above the main windows and we're almost done.
Create a config file and export from Gmax and after importing with CMP here it is in Trainz.
I have to say that it took a lot longer to build than it did for you to read this.