This week, we're releasing Americana, an all-new 3D asset Kit. Americana's quintessential models of the suburbs and traditional downtown areas capture the nostalgia and stories of an idyllic American town in a time between the struggles of war and before the crush of technology.
To learn more about the development of the Kit, we talked with the KitBash3D team members behind it. Read on to hear about the process for creating the models, textures, and more from the creators that brought this vision to life.
What’s the story behind Americana?
"The Americana Kit is not about a place, it's about an emotion that we've all grown up with through movies like ET, The Sandlot, Stand By Me, and Goonies. It's a world that represents childhood wonder, fantasy within normality, and hides its magic in plain sight. Hidden within these suburban houses, shopping malls, and diners, you'll find countless stories waiting to be told. " - Maxx Burman, Co-Founder of KitBash3D
What was your favorite part about working on the Americana Kit and why?
“It was so much fun diving into one of my favorite time periods and thinking about all the types of places that I grew up loving. Thinking about what makes arcades, burger joints, strip malls, theaters, and even grocery stores memorable and iconic was a blast.” - Mike Reese, Head of Kits
"Americana is my first World Kit with KitBash3D, so it is a special one for me. I especially loved the amount of teamwork involved within the Kits team during production. It was awesome meeting with the team every week and seeing the models come together and evolve over time." - Lienny Ruiz, 3D Modeler
"My favorite part was coming up with names for all the businesses—there were quite a few names inspired by 80’s and 90’s horror movies and the rest were just a spin on nostalgic brands from my childhood. I think everyone that worked on Americana drew a lot of inspiration from classic American movies and I really wanted some of the places of interest to have that special nostalgic spice to them." - Emily Amick, Graphic Designer
"My favorite part of Americana would have to be the 1980's, small-town feeling it evokes. This theme hasn't been explored much in recent times, and when it is, the reception is always positive. It was a great opportunity to tackle this subject." - Fábio Fernandes, Concept Artist
"I think it's always fun to do research to discover what kind of materials we are going to create for a new Kit, and what kind of detail and storytelling we'll build into those materials. With Americana, I watched a lot of Stranger Things to give me inspiration." - Anderson Araujo, Texture Artist
"One of my favorite aspects of this Kit was seeing the small American town come to life. For quite some time, family and friends were urging me to watch Stranger Things. At first, I just added it to the list of shows to watch down the road, but when I was assigned this Kit, it was almost like an obligation. I was in-charge of building the structures for the Kit, while another modeler, Lienny Ruiz, handled the props and set-dressing. The more I watched the show, the more I was inspired and excited to create the architecture for this Kit. Now, seeing the Kit as a whole, I can’t help but picture the Mind Flayer standing above the town!" - Joseph Sylvester, 3D Modeler
"I always love when I get the opportunity to do product shots for a Kit, like I did for Americana. Something that stood out while creating them is that you can look at the buildings from all angles and there is a unique moment to capture on all of them." - Luis Tornel, Asset Supervisor
Is there anything about the Americana Kit you'd like to highlight or shout out?
"I’d love to shout out the graphics team, they did an incredible job on all the branding and signage for this Kit that made the buildings come to life. Some of the easter eggs hidden in the Kit are also pretty cool!" - Lienny Ruiz, 3D Modeler
"I’d love to highlight the props in Americana. There’s a lot of detail in small places in this Kit that give it the duality of a heartfelt, small town rom-com and also a Spielberg surburban slasher. I’d also like to shout out everyone who worked on this one, including Lienny who made the 3D signs absolutely pop and Keaton for the amazing graphic design assist on all of the 2D signage!" - Emily Amick, Graphic Designer
"Shout out to Emily and Keaton for the fantastic work on designing all of the in-Kit graphics, from the naming and logos of the different stores to the detailed beer menu or the movie posters. Also big shout out to Lienny for a great job on modeling all 300+ props used on this Kit and the care given to placing them and thinking of how to spark story moments, making the back entrances as inviting to explore as the main facade of each building." - Luis Tornel, Asset Supervisor
"The signage in this Kit is out of control. Huge shoutout to our graphic designers who really injected Americana into the DNA of every corner of the banners, signs, and logos. Once we got all of those elements placed, I was instantly transported back to my childhood." - Mike Reese, Head of Kits
"One thing that is interesting to me is the fact that simple structures with a variety of architectural styles can evoke strong feelings of mystery, excitement, and curiosity. This earlier era was a time period that had a strong pop culture peak. Hopefully, with this Kit, we'll discover more ways to tap into that energy and create cool stories." - Fábio Fernandes, Concept Artist
"Of course the cover. Sergio Castañeda's work perfectly expresses the mood of the Kit so much that you can feel the nostalgia of that time." - Gabriela Herrera, Texture Artist
Do you have a favorite model from the Kit?
"I have a ton of favorite models from this one! Patty Queen, QuickNGo gas station, and the strip mall to name a few, but overall I think the Middle School is just absolutely amazing. From the bikes parked out front, to the mascot signs, all the way to the football field in the back - there’s just so. much. here to play around with." - Emily Amick, Graphic Designer
"The entire Kit is amazing. There are so many interesting moments around each building, but the old car body has a special place in my heart. It was a fun yet challenging model to make. I can’t wait to see what the community makes with this Kit!" - Lienny Ruiz, 3D Modeler
"More than one! Nate’s Motel is awesome with the taped rooms and the pool area, the Movie Theater’s building has a lot of character, and the gas station." - Luis Tornel, Asset Supervisor
"Look. I like burgers… a lot. They are some of my favorite foods and getting a chance to create a burger joint like Patty Queen was a dream come true. The shapes and design of the facade are so easily recognizable and seeing that big neon burger on the roof brings joy to my heart every time." - Mike Reese, Head of Kits
"The Water Tower is probably one of my favorite models. It was definitely more complex than most of the other models, but I feel like it really helps to sell that classic American town feel." - Joseph Sylvester, 3D Modeler
"One of my favorite models is the trailer because of the details of all the props that come with it. It really look like someone lives there!" - Gabriela Herrera, Texture Artist
"That's a tough question for this Kit. I have so many buildings that I love: The trailer and all the dirtiness on it, the tract houses because of how real they feel, the downtown complex, the church because of the material mix... that's just a few. I feel that I'm being unfair with a lot of other buildings—I love them all!" - Anderson Araujo, Texture Artist
Ready to try our new Americana Kit for yourself? The Kit comes ready to use in all the top 3D softwares, including Blender, Unreal Engine, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Maya, and Unity. Happy KitBashing!