The Ultimate Guide to Sci-Fi/Modern Building

DISCLAIMER: This guide will not teach you to use Roblox studio, only how to make the best out of it in your Sci-Fi builds.

Hello. My name is Phoenix, and I’ve been a Sci-Fi builder (exclusively in studio) for two years, and I consider myself a decent builder. Some of my builds can be found on my Roblox profile.

So you want to become a builder…
Building can be a difficult task, and it overall requires time and patience - the majority of good builds are really good because of the time spent on them. With the tricks you will learn in this guide, you should be able to master both the knowledge you need to build, and the things you need to keep in mind while building, including some tips and plugins to help you along the way.

Before getting into building
Firstly, you should understand some things about Roblox development that I didn’t know when I first started; Building alone won’t make an entire game. I see it this way - The building brings the people, the scripting keeps the people. Impressive games are sure to rack in a lot of plays/views on the forums, but if the games have no gameplay attached to them, they’re nothing more than showcases people will forget about afterwards.

That being said, skilled building is also more difficult building. Building in Studio can be easy to pick up and hard to get good at while scripting is hard to pick up, but easy to get good at. Early-on, you won’t be seeing any masterpieces and your builds won’t be much to brag about, but almost any building level will support a game regardless, so if you want to release a game early-on it can still blast off - but it will rely on the scripting more than the building if so. Either way, building is still a valuable and necessary part of any game.

Plugins. Plugins are vital to a lot of parts of building and some people rely on them more than others, but to me the only plugin I can’t live without is GapFill by Stravant.
There are a number of reasons why, but the primary one is the ability to easily create wedges and rough curves. Plugins won’t entirely be necessary, but they can still be a massive help to anyone building - beginner to pro. I don’t recommend skipping over what I have to teach.

As stated in the last paragraph, plugins can be very useful depending on what they’re for. The plugins I’ll be covering are the ones I use on a daily basis, and no plugins to do with scripting or welding - there are other guides for that.

GapFill by Stravant.

GapFill can be used in multiple ways, from filling gaps, to using it for non-intended things like making wedges. To make a wedge, grab two parts (one lower than the other) click on the side facing horizontally away from the wedges (assuming the parts are facing vertically) on both the higher and lower parts, and boom - you have a wedge. Play around with it for a bit to get a feel for its mechanics, as GapFill is the absolute best plugin ever.

Model Reflect by Stravant

Another plugin by Stravant, model reflect is extremely useful in making large (or small) symmetrical builds. Just select the parts you want to reflect, and then an ajesent surface to the angle you want it to be reflected from and you’ll be all set. Especially useful for large, complex structures.

Part Picker by XAXA

Part Picker is amazing for large-scale projects, especially if you want to quickly change the look of your entire build instantly. Using it, you can select one part and multiple properties to filter through other parts with, allowing you to fix mistakes in your build or change the colors around. If you want it to be model/folder specific, use the parent field.

Light Editor by Ozzypig

Light Editor is probably the most useful lighting plugin I’ve ever seen. Using it, it’s easy to see how your lights are being placed, used, and displayed to others. It can also be used as a replacement for the ‘face’ property, which changes based on part rotation - just click the directional arrows to change where the light direction is.

Archimedes Two by Scriptos

Archimedes is a very advanced curve creator perfect for making detailed hallways, pipes, or other things that need to be curved. Choose a direction, rotation angle, and then click ‘Render Once’ to render the part at your selected angle.

Disclaimer: I do not use F3X, nor do I like using 3rd party building tools - they just get in the way. Roblox has a lot of nice shortcuts you can use without the hassle of having to bring up a GUI every time you want to build.

The Basics


Ctrl + D
I use studio so much that this shortcut is used more than any other shortcut in my entire computer’s lifetime. Instead of using Ctrl + C and then Ctrl + V, doing it with D duplicates the selected parts/model/whatever on the spot, allowing you to move objects with precision.

Ctrl + Z/Y
This is a given. Undoing/Redoing at will is necessary to become a good builder. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes.

Learning that you can quickly jump to any part you want was a life-saver for me. By pressing F, you can jump your camera to the selected part, meaning you can cross large builds in a matter of seconds. Sometimes I have parts in my larger builds for this specific reason to quickly traverse the build.

Ctrl+1, 2, 3, 4
Switches you to select, move, scale, and rotate tools respectively. Learn to use this a lot early-on, I’m guilty of not using them enough.

Shifting while moving
While this is a basic one, when using small models it is crucial. Try using it a lot while modifying a lot of smaller objects and see how necessary it is.

Building Tools
Firstly, while building you want to set a limiter to the least amount you move/rotate something. I almost exclusively keep my rotate on 5 degrees, and the part movement I use changes per build - stick with 0.25 or something similar for now - on large builds increase this amount by a lot. Only use 0 if you have a steady hand. This feature is amazingly useful when I forget I’m using 0 stud movement and I need to make precise actions on certain parts - just copy their size metric. This can be found in the model tab.

Windows. You’re going to want to first ensure you have the properties tab and explorer open at all times - they’re required to build in any sense. These can be found in the view tab.

Unions. Also called booleans, unioning parts is very useful later-on in your career. When making complicated shapes, you’ll be able to remove parts of the shape based on other parts colliding with it. I usually use this to make fine details.

Deciding your build
While thinking of ideas for things to build, it’s important to decide a few things about the build.

  1. Color - What do you want your build to look like? Colors shouldn’t be too vibrant, and should rely mainly on grey scaled colors or desaturated hues of other colors like green or red. There are exceptions, but don’t overdo it.
  2. Style - Do you want your build to be sleek, or industrial? This style can also effect colors and materials. A more sleek-looking build should include many more intense grey-scale colors like Dark Grey, Black, and White complimented by solid, vibrant colors. Industrial builds should cover lots of colors and lots of materials giving them a gritty, messy atmosphere.
  3. Placement - Does your sci-fi build fit well with your game idea? Don’t include random sci-fi builds in the middle of something like a simulator, they have nothing to do with the game. The perfect game uses its building to add to the gameplay and not just stand as a placeholder to fill up space.
  4. References - I don’t personally work well with references, but I know the majority of developers prefer to look at a picture online and get ideas/copy the build off of there. It’s a good way to practice and it’s easy to do - just a quick google search.

The ‘Futuristic’ Style

The Futuristic Style is one of two main styles of Sci-Fi building in my eyes. Futuristic builds generally use fewer colors and materials, but more curves and complicated shapes.

Colors - Futuristic builds should choose between grey scale colors without any hue (or perhaps very de-saturated colors) as their primary color, featured the most in the build - Black or White would be good colors to work with. This colors should make up the majority of the build that you’re making, but shouldn’t overpower other colors. Your secondary color is usually a neon in some vibrant color, making up strips and segments of your build. Neon strips should be thin unless you have different bloom settings enabled (see post-processing section). Finally, the Complimentary Color can be any range of de-saturated colors that add small detail to builds - for example small lines between plates of metal.

Materials - Stick to Smooth Plastic, Plastic, Neon, Metal, and Forcefield. Most other materials do not bode well with Sci-Fi builds. The only exceptions are rare, and are only in Futuristic builds, in which Wood materials can be used to compliment other parts of the build (Like many modern houses do today).

Shape - Curves should be very present in Futuristic builds and are the main appealing factor to them, but don’t always have to be. Using a plugin like Archimedes is basically required if you want to make a very sleek-looking build.


The ‘Industrial’ Style

The industrial style might sound easier than the futuristic style at first, but they’re both equally as hard to create. The industrial style takes a different skill-set however, as being good at curves is useful for Futuristic builds, and for Industrial builds being able to use lots of small details is better.

Colors - The colors in your Industrial build should be very vast, from grey to blues to greens to reds. Just be sure not to make them too vibrant. Your primary colors should be a set of similar greys with Metal, Smooth Plastic, Concrete, or Diamond Plate material - use these the most. Your secondary color can be a darker grey to contrast with the greys you picked as your primary colors (and once more, you should use this color the second-most). Your trinary color will almost always be vibrant neon color(s) that aren’t used very much in the build, unlike futuristic builds. This neon shouldn’t be over-used, and instead it should be spared cautiously. Finally, the complimentary color you use should be something vibrant used almost as much as your trinary.

Materials - Similar to futuristic builds, but Concrete should be used the most, followed by Diamond Plate and Metal.

Shape - You’re going to want a lot of pipes, sharp angles, pillars, and support beams. Messiness is good.


Which is better?

The best sci-fi builds combine both Futuristic and Industrial builds together, forming a unique hybrid that is hard to accomplish as a builder. I usually do industrial building due to the large amount of space for detail, however it’s mostly personal preference and about what you want your game to look like.

Making your build detailed

This is something I struggled with a lot early on.

While you’re building, look for spots that are empty and lack in content. Place a pillar, pipe, support beam, or some other piece of sci-fi equipment that can fill up empty space - it’s as simple as that. If people always have something interesting to look at, they’re more likely to think the game is good.
If you want to make something SUPER detailed, then use a plugin like Model Resize to upscale your build to help you find blank spots more easily, and then downscale it once you’re done. This is how I made my Sci-Fi hallway showcase. Just fill the space up with random bars and pipes - no matter how random, it will usually make the build look a lot more full.

Textures/Decals can also benefit in making your build look detailed, but using textures is something I don’t usually do - you need to be pretty skilled at art to do that. If you can do it however, you can prevent a lot of lag by making smaller, less noticeable details pictures instead of parts. A good set of decals and textures can also make your game feel extremely realistic.


Lighting effects can enhance your building with one click of a button.

Bloom - I usually keep a bloom part removing most of the glare from Neon as it usually just hurts eyes.

Color Correction - I don’t specifically recommend doing anything with Color Correction, but Color Correction can be useful for doing things like desaturating builds or adding contrast to them.

Sun Rays - Self-explanatory. Don’t make the rays super intense though as at a point they get extremely annoying and/or pixelated.

Atmosphere - Keep your atmosphere subtle. Intense atmospheres are good for a more horror-oriented feel, so don’t set the Haze to 10 unless you don’t need a skybox.

Skybox - Darker skyboxes can change the color of your atmosphere, and can contrast too much with your builds. Try to use darker skyboxes in the night, and brighter ones in the day.

Let me know if you have any suggestions for further editions to this guide further on in the replies to this topic.

Happy Building!


Thank you so much, this is really detailed and very helpful.


In another insight, I thought about textures. Perhaps materials aren’t the only details you can enrich surfaces with. Textures should not be sofisticated and should be very simple and “purposed” for anything. Certain decals can make it look better without having to spend unnecessary parts on top of it.


I am a Sci-Fi builder as well, which are hard to find these days, however, my builds greatly differ from yours, as they are mainly dark Sci-Fi (as seen here). Many of these tips you have listed are true, however, there are a few of them that I disagree with.

Statements I agree with

Definitely. It’s the neon lights that give the build that “Sci-Fi” look.

Again, definitely. When it comes to the Sci-Fi look, you always want to implement lots of neon lights into the build. But never to many, as it will cause the build to look unauthentic, losing the Sci-Fi look.

Things I disagree with

Not necessarily, pipes are usually only implemented into a build when trying to achieve the industrial Sci-Fi look.

I don’t agree with this statement. Concrete is mainly used in Cyberpunk, not Sci-Fi. And while Cyberpunk is a subcategory of Sci-Fi, it is still different.


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Thanks for the feedback. Your ‘dark Sci-Fi’ I would call a modified version of the ‘modern’ theme I talked about in my article, as I mentioned a grey scale color pallet as a base is best. I’ve made changes to clarify that a dark approach can work too.
The parts you disagree with fit under the ‘industrial’ version of Sci-Fi I explained, which could be very similar to Cyberpunk at times - but not quite. As I mentioned, these are also not strict style recommendations and you can modify/change them at will based on the build you want. These are just basic style recommendations for builders who want to grow their knowledge of how to do sci-fi builds.

I also mentioned this quote

Underneath the ‘Industrial’ Style section, so you might want to look that over to see I’ve separated my suggestions into categories.
Thanks for reading my guide!


Thank you for the tips!, they helps alot for my builds


Never heard of this. Good to know!

If I had anything to add, I’d suggest a mirror model plugin. Lots of sci-fi stuff is somewhat symmetrical, so being able to mirror a model is a lifesaver. Also, try building from the origin point, that way if you want to evenly mirror something quickly, you can just multiply one of the values in the position by -1.

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Good suggestion, it looks like I completely neglected to put in a model reflector plugin. Thanks!


Do you have any more industrial architecture tips?

Is there anything specific you need help on? Overall it really depends on what exactly you’re trying to do.

Perhaps detail and creativity.

A good rule of thumb when making designs look good is to think about the purpose of your build. For example, you want to imagine why the pipes and tubes in a hallway exist, what they do, and why are they located where they are. If you design your builds based on this philosophy, you can really take you details to the next level.
As for creativity, I suggest looking up pictures of sci-fi concept art for inspiration. I’m well aware this is something a lot of people say, but it really does help. I don’t suggest copying them or tracing the pictures though - it can teach you good design, but it won’t teach you how to make a build from scratch, which is usually what most people are expecting. Instead, take small parts of the images and incorporate them into your builds.

My personal favorite way to gauge skill or find what I need to improve on is the construction of a simple hallway. It’s a confined space that really tests how much detail you can put into every nook and cranny.

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I just started to do this recently, and it helps me massively.

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Can you elaborate on “purpose”?

Here’s an example:
You’re making a hallway with a lot of pipes and vents. While building, you’ll want to think “What role would these pipes and vents serve in the real world?” and then you can shape your build around that. If the pipes are for liquid fuel or water, then you’d place labels on the pipes and maybe change their look to match the material they’re carrying.

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Interesting tip. Any other tips?

Something that is extremely difficult for Sci-fi artists (in particular in Roblox) is doing something called “Breaking the box.” This notion refers to using angles and curves, and halting your use of simple squares or boxes for detail (cylinders can also count in this case). A good example of what you don’t want your builds to look like is Star Wars Sci-fi - lots of purposeless boxes and ‘fake details’ that really don’t add anything to the build. A good way to start breaking the box is working with prisms (triangles) rather than cubes and then transitioning into using more curves. For making sharp angles, I recommend using Gap Fill and for making curves, I recommend using Archimedes. Making smooth curves in Roblox studio is very hard of the performance of your game, so if you can, you should make curved objects in another program like blender, or at the least Union the parts of your curve and then export them as a mesh before reimporting them into the game. This will attempt to remove a lot of extra polygons, and will almost entirely remove the part stress for the curve. Don’t use too many meshes, as it will eventually cause network stress on the player.

Textures are also very important, and if you have access to a program like Substance Painter (Substance painter isn’t needed, and other programs - even - will work too), you should use this in conjunction with texture or surface appearance instances. Textures can be a great way of adding large amounts of detail to simple, flat objects without increasing memory usage by too much. When working with textures, you should also remember that lower-detailed textures should be used at a distance, and textures should not be too high detail even when up close. I recommend using high-detailed textures, but for a wide arrange of parts. Remember that you can change the position, size, and tiling of textures with the texture instance.

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