SMCars goes topless : Hennessey Venom GT convertible

My entry will be a topless version of the Hennessey Venom GT. The original car is already a crazy mix (Lotus Elise front end and chassis, Corvette ZR1 engine and some incredible skills to adapt the engine to chassis) so I’ll try to get even crazier to achieve something even more cool.

I needed some time to decide if I should do a simple targa version, like a Toyota Supra (i.e. with minimum roof removal) or a more open version like a Porsche Carrera GT. The simple targa would have been more easy, as the Lotus Elise is already one. But I hope I will be able to achieve a better design, at least let’s say more elaborated. Well, something like nice engine cover (like Carrera GT or Bug’ Veyron) with amazing air intake (like Zonda Five Roadster)

So before drawing my concept, I will focus on getting a spline cage right. No blueprints for this one : I asked Hennessey a couple of weeks ago, no answer but they were kind enough to add my e-mail address to their mailing list šŸ˜‰

LP640 Roadster : serious update

There are some seriously good 3D modelers around there, doing an excellent job everytime they put their fingers on a new car. So I felt the urge to focus more on the quality of my models. I’ve been away from modeling several months, so it was a good opportunity to resume working on the LP640 Roadster : I performed serious rework on it, starting with a much better spline cage, more accurate with cleaner and smoother lines.

I started then to fully remodel the hood, front bumper, front fenders. Then time has come for sides : doors, side skirts, rear fenders, top air intakes. I just keeped the previous rear end, as it was already good enough in my opinion, and the engine cover.

Continue reading new official contest : SMCars goes topless !

Le Mans 24 hours are behind us, so it’s official : summer is here !!! And here, everyone who says summer, thinks “what kind of contest SMCars has thought about ?”.

Here’s the 2010 official contest for this summer : SMCars goes topless !!!

The idea is really simple : model and render a roof-less car. Any roofless car can apply : convertible (no matter soft or hard top), targa, spider, roadster, etc. You can even make your own from an existing model, or design an all-original concept.

Head right now to the SMCars Goes Topless thread to discover the full set of rules and starting thinking about your entry now !

Tutorial : realistic grass with Yafaray

This tutorial will teach how to model a realistic grass with Blender and to render it with Yafaray. It’s based upon several tutorial (including and so I won’t claim I discover it by myself. It’s just a handy mix to achieve a good result with very few effort.


Grass is only a small part of the above picture, but having it realistic add a lot of credibility to the whole picture. I started to work on grass for my current project, a C5 DTM CoupĆ© concept for the contest “Real World Racer”. I wanted to add a good scene, something I didn’t do for the previous project, the Marcos 1800 GT. And what more intuitive than a race track for a race car ?

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Yafaray shaders database

When I woke up last Sunday morning, I noticed the BlenderNation entry about a LuxRender shaders database.

I don’t use LuxRender but Yafaray. This renderer is the successor of the well-known Yafray, and it’s a full rewrite to achieve great speed and nice functionnalities.

I thought : “It’s a shame a famous renderer like Yafaray doesn’t have a shaders database on its own”. So I started to create one from scratch this morning.

As of now it’s already the 2nd version online : check it out now :

This is a really fresh project, so don’t expect to see it full of great shaders at this stage. Current goal is to enhance the site to achieve something suitable for daily use. Features are, as of writting :

  • Free accounts opened right now
  • Download a standardized scene to achieve consistent previews
  • Upload your shader easily
  • Browse the existing categories
  • Create your own categories
  • Use the built-in search engine

New SMCars contest : Real World Racer

The SMC community is helding another great official contest : Real World Racer. As they states :

Ever dreamed of driving a race-car? I know I have… How about designing your own? If that’s a big 10-4 for you too, than SMC has got an engine-oil-soaked treat for you…

this particular Contest is asking you to do the following; Pick a car, or design your own, and tailor it towards a certain motorsport. That is it. We want this Contest kept simple to allow your imaginations to run wild and naked throughout SMC. We don’t want them too wild and naked though, so the only limits are technology to the present day, so no light-speed hovering space jet-ski racers, mkay? Other than that, go for gold!!

Some examples of what we’re looking for? A Lamborghini Countach modified to compete is the Paris-Dakar Rally, a Fiat 500 stripped and suped to race in the SuperGT leagues, a Honda Civic made to break the land-speed record… Getting the idea??

The goal is clear, and the contenders brought some crazy projects :

  • Volkswagen Passat Wagon with Pike’s Peak style
  • Holden Commodore intended for Dakar
  • Mitsubishi Lancer for street racing
  • Zagato Perana as a FIA GT
  • Toyota Hilux as a drift machine

And for the first time for SMC, there is not only medails to win, but your choice a single die-cast model from Die-Cast Model Cars to the value of $100 !

To learn more about it : To see all the entries : To engage :

PS : Of course I’m in…

Tutorial : setting up Yaf(a)Ray shaders

I started to use Yaf(a)Ray for my current project. The successor of YafRay has came up with many new features, and the new shader system wasn’t the less interesting.

As I stated it as an objective for the project, I wanted to create all my shaders on my own. Here’re the current settings I’m using and how they look like.

Murcielago render #00005

Of course they can’t be considered as definitive shaders. But they can be of interest for your own work and experiments, so here they are.


Clay may look useless, as Yaf(a)Ray offers an option to render a scene in clay, no matter what shaders have been defined (or not)

But how can you render a whole model in clay except the windows ? You can’t with the builtin feature of Yaf(a)Ray. Here comes the need for a clay shader. The main advantage of the settings below is that they are the very same settings used internally by Yaf(a)Ray. So a whole model rendered clay by Yaf(a)Ray and a model using only this shader will look the same.

Yaf(a)Ray clay Murcielago clay #00050

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