Iowa State University requires engineers to take a certain number of general education electives. I decided to take Aesthetics of Consumer Experience (AESHM 342) the spring of 2016. Hey, it was supposed to be an easy A! A few weeks into the class we were given a semester long project of designing every aspect of a restaurant. We received a huge list of sub projects that we could include in our final presentation including a menu, food samples, a website, and a 3D model and many more ideas. I decided to blow this project entirely out of proportions and create a 3D model of the entire restaurant. I fired up my copy of Unreal Engine 4.11 and got to work building what my team members had described. It’s probably fair to say that this is my first realistic modeling project and I still have a lot to learn. I’m proud of my work and I hope you enjoy it too!

Total Hours

Group Members





We designed our restaurant to be both a movie theater and a unique dining experience. Beneath The Stars contains 3 movie auditoriums, and a lobby/dining area. Our target market is young adults and families located in and around the Des Moines area. We pictured this restaurant being built near the Science Center and surrounding art gardens. Our landscaping closely matches the area with room for walking paths, art, and picnic areas to further entice guests.

Exterior Architecture

The exterior architecture of the restaurant is a modern design with a rustic twist. This was accomplished through the use of organic textures such as wood in the entryway, and reflective glass to capture the surrounding landscape. Our design features extensive use of strong lines highlighting roof elements to create a clean and modern look (Distinct Build). Incorporating the modern style into our design allowed us to design a large enough building to contain a movie theater and restaurant without excessive repeating patterns or textures.

Entry Way

The entry way was designed to be both inviting and exciting. Spotlights draw your attention to various elements of the entry way. Diagonal lines direct your eyes from the ceiling to the landscaping as your eyes naturally follow them. Eventually your eyes cross the natural horizontal center line which is where we envisioned the movie listings sign being displayed. The extensive use of spotlights creates an ambient golden glow that is both inviting and comforting.



The theater contains an array of different light types. The ceiling contains thousands of tiny led lights to give the appearance of stars. Throughout the movie the stars provide an ambient glow that allows you to make out your food and also the faces of the people sitting next to you. Each table is lit with a spotlight to light the food to create an aesthetically pleasing experience. The walkway is also lit with precise spotlights so visitors and waiters can safely move about the auditorium.


The interior architecture features many geometric shapes. Our design incorporates organic textures such as stone, wood, and brick. These textures were selected to match our outdoors theme while creating a calming and relaxing atmosphere. Further, these materials allow our ambient light to take on a soft golden glow at night and a soft clean feel during the day when our floor to ceiling windows let in natural sunlight.

Restaurant and Bar:

Our restaurant contains a dynamic waiting area featuring a bar and tables where guest can eat appetizers while they wait. This section of the restaurant also serves all of the food options for those who wish to enjoy the bar area rather than a movie. The bar is uniquely lit with a light sculpture. More ambient lighting is provided from lights above the ceiling. This area of the restaurant also contains a living tree to continue the outdoors theme.

Download The Walk Through

A Few Warning!

  • This walkthrough is very large 2Gb
  • This demo is not perfect. I actually built this in 60 hours. That was not a joke!
  • Alt-Enter toggles full screen mode
  • You can try it with an Oculus Rift, (or other VR) Unreal Engine should enter VR mode if you press Alt-Enter.
  • Finally, you need a NVidia GTX graphics card or equivalent AMD card. This application is power hungry and not optimized in any way… Okay, fine I optimized a few things. I had to run it on a laptop once, 5fps is pretty good, right?

Disclaimer: There are no warranties of any kind. Use at your own risk. If you melt your laptop graphics card trying to render a million blades of grass, it’s your own fault.

Like what you see? Check out The Maze Experiment or feel free to contact me!