CG for HiFi

That’s been a long I didn’t publish here. Far from automobile CG, far from CG also. But I didn’t lost interest, I just started to do some DIY HiFi. And when trying to figure out how to build a cabinet, what can be more helpy than … CG ?

Here’s a quick CG project of mine, started to plan the design and build of a DIY subwoofer :

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Todo list

Going through my personal archive, I rediscovered a 4-years-old list of cars I thought of for modeling. Old selection, but still a solid selection I think :

Aston Martin DBS
Ferrari F430 Spider
Porsche Carrera GT
Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster
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Modeling without blueprints, from pictures

Modeling an object is the art of recreating it into a digital, 3D space. No matter how accurate you want your model, no matter how fast you’ll be working, it will always all about these famous 3D.

Some objects are simple, so simple you can create them from scratch by just studying it and taking measurements. Take a look around, you’ll see plenty of this kind of objects. But also many difficult objects, with elaborated shapes. Put your ruler back into your schoolbag, it won’t be of use this time.  The main known solution to model a difficult object is blueprints : they aren’t blue anymore like architect drawings 50 years ago, we’re talking of orthogonal views of a picture : front, rear, side, and top views, usually. Using them, you can locate in our 3d space any specific point of the object.

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But for some objects, there is just no blueprint. What have we left ? Pictures. It’s easy to have pictures of the object you want to model. You can take them yourself with your digital camera, or you can grab tons of it on the www. Some people can use them to create a model only by eye, but it requires some serious attention because of perspective. Perspective make closer things bigger, so the proportions can’t be trusted without correcting perspective.

Here comes in the approach I wanted to introduce : using a dedicated software to get rid of perspective. Continue reading

Modeling a car with Blender, a high-end, detailed tutorial

Ever wanted to know how to achieve a good 3D model of a car ? No matter you are amateur or pro, this tutorial aims to teach the workflow and every move you need to know to achieve a good car. It’s based on Blender, to allow everyone do it without requiring access to high-priced or warez software. But it can apply to virtually any 3D package.

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I based this work on my latest project, a coupe-convertible Citroën C5. If you’re allergic to this brand, or to cars in general, don’t worry : this material applies to any manufactured project : no matter it’s big or small, no matter it’s cheap or high-end.

The tutorial is a on-going series of posts. It starts from the very beginning of modeling and covers every aspect : hard surface modeling with a focus on high-end quality and accuracy, best meshing practices to create a nice polyflow, tips to soluce most common issues. More than just the body, it will deals with all other parts creation : tires, rims, wheel details, windows, grilles, chrome and rubber trim, with also a fully detailed interior.

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It already exists in two different languages, english and french. It’s also an interactive process : you can follow the progress of the tutorial as I write it, and you can comment, critic or ask for any complement you want. Please head to the following forums :

Both forums requires sign-up to post comments or questions, but it’s free and worth the time it will take you. If you want to contribute with translations in other languages, let me know in a comment.

Stay tuned for more, and meet you there for your feedback !

Yafaray Shaders Database : updated

I decided to get back to work with my online, collaborative, shaders database for the free and excellent renderer Yafaray.

Why ? Because I’m still using Yafaray only, because it’s great and efficient and also because I didn’t found any other initiative like mine. So I guess it’s the best one so far :)

Of course such a database will always sucks unless it’s full of great shaders, so I uploaded some from my latest project, the mighty Hennessey Venom GT cab’ concept. I also fixed some bugs and I’m now looking for new features.

The link didn’t changed : http://yafaray.thomasbaron.net. Spread the word, browse the site and feel free to report any critic or feature request you may have as a comment below. Thanks !

Hennessey Venom GT cab’ : more progress

The scheduled deadline for SMCars “Topless” contest is September, the 15th. Maybe the site team will postpone it to get more achieved entries. It would be a shame to have so many great project being dropped just because their authors didn’t manage to get enough time.

Anyway, I worked as much as possible and even if my project isn’t done yet, I have some significant updates worth to share with my fellow readers. Here are the latest renders of the most insane cab’ I’ve imagined :

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Feel free to post your thought about the model in a comment !

Hennessey Venom GT : first test render

This project is for a limited-timeframe contest. So I wanted not to lose time with many clay renders : clay renders are useful to search for bumps and to show the project on forums, but they take time and are not the only way to seek bumps & pinches. So at first I just posted screen captures, directly from Blender.

But I didn’t refrain the urge to do a test render, to see how the car will look. It’s a simple test : only a white plane above the car to light it, scratch-made shaders. The white areas are still clay-rendered because of the lack of shaders for those parts.

Model progress is different on the two pictures, the second is the latest : it shows headlights and details in air intake (radiators, grilles, bumper)

What do you think ?