Thursday, 19 May 2016

Automotive Design: PT 1. Modelling.

In my latest project I've decided to model a car from scratch, inside 3DS Max. 
In the initial stages I studied a lot of reference images of cars to make sure I got my design right. To create a realistic sports car design the car needed to follow certain patterns and an overall design language so all elements could exist cohesively. (If the rear looked a completely different design from the front of the car I would fail to create a sense of realism in the model). 
The two images below show my drawing designs I used as image planes inside of Max. Normally I would tidy these images up, make sure all edges are perfectly aligned and use a block black brush to make the lines stand out; but since this was my personal project and I was still undecided on certain parts of the car, I used this these images as a mere guide to figure it out in Max. 

Fig.1 Aerial Orthographic 

Fig.2 Front Orhtographic

The next step was to start blocking in the shapes and model the car. I started with the side panels and worked outwards. I also made the tyres inside a separate file and imported them in. This helped to keep the viewport clean. 
The general rule of thumb here is to create utilise a non destructive workflow, using an edit poly modifier for your Low Res, a turbosmooth to round the mesh and a symmetry modifier down the middle to speed the process. (A lot like a the modelling process for a character). 

Fig.3 Car Model Mirrored

Fig.4 Car Model (Half)

Fig.5 Car Model Rear

To finish up modelling I posed the car, with a light set up and cameras, ready for the texturing and rendering processes to follow... By rendering I was also able to pick out certain parts of geometry and improve my mesh, by adding division lines in the panelling for example or sharpening edges so I could meet that design language I had spent a long time thinking about at the drawing stage. 

Fig.6 Camera/ Light SetUp

Fig.7 Modelling Improvements

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