|"The BMW C1 is an enclosed scooter or 'feet forwards' motorcycle, which was manufactured by Bertone for BMW. It was intended to combine the advantages of two-wheeled motorized transportation with the strength of the automobile." - Wikipedia.|
In my non-commercial projects I try to select the subject and components that would use the maximum of my skills, and trying tasks to solve them using new methods. In particular, I was interested in industrial and automobile design, as I have no experience in these fields, hoping my work in this way could grant me new opportunities in skills development.
Considering this, the C1 proved to be interesting. I bumped into it accidentally, looking through Google Images. The style of this concept seemed fresh and unconventional. It seemed to jump out at me from 20 other images on the page, and in the next moment I was looking for its blueprints.
At the start of this project, I had no idea how this project would eventually look like. One thing was clear though: the final image had to satisfy the requirements of A4-A3 printing and render options. The motor scooter itself was meant to be the main subject, and the most detailed part of the composition, so further planning was done.
At first, my main goal was to make an authentic model, and that was when the first problems arose. The one set of blueprints I found were poorly detailed and incorrect, so I could only use them to form the approximate cargo body proportions.
The modeling sequence is rather like assembling the car body first, constantly fitting parts one by one, forming the silhouette and the main proportions and then adding the details to basic forms corresponding to the references.
My technique itself was nothing special. Simple poly modeling done in existing 3D modeling software. As usual, I began by building the form from one polygon;
I created a plane with one segment, converted it into Editable Poly, switched to the edges editing level and moved them by pressing the Shift key and 'pulling out' the remaining polygons. If I needed to join model parts, I switched to vertex editing level and connected them using Weld, Target Weld or the Collapse command.
If I needed to cut out part of the model or add more edges in places where the grid was not dense enough, I used the Cut and Slice commands at the polygon editing level, or the Connect command at the edges editing level.
If the topology of a model satisfied me, but its form and proportions didn't, I used Free Form Deformers. I tend to use Edit Poly as layers, like in Photoshop or ZBrush, so I may compare things as they are and were, or to undo it at any moment.|
With this project, Edit Poly's standard features were sufficient, but it's always useful to know that they can be extended with scripts like:
I then created some simple materials and rendered a couple of rough images of the studio.|
I wanted to make two variants of lighting, but in the studio with a dark background the difference in lighting wasn't really noticeable, and the studio with a bright background looked plain and somehow unfinished.
|On the basis of these the whole scenery was created, as planned. The last four views which made it to the final set of images were selected by taking into account the surroundings after the modeling was complete.|
At this stage I intended to use studio renders only, but I wasn't sure if this variant suited me. I had to complete some test renders to get a rough idea of the result. To achieve this, I set the test lighting with minimal settings.
It didn't make sense to restrict myself by creating a background only for one view and to leave the others in the studio.
I've always wanted to create something linked with industrial culture, and here I was given the opportunity. I'd already decided to 'dirty' the model a little.
The industrial background in this case takes the role of an aggressive environment, explaining the stains on the chassis, a certain contrast with the C1's futuristic look.
The next phase was to search for references for the environment.
I made a list of items I wanted to see in the picture and made some sketches of the scene with dummies made of primitives. At this stage I needed to set the volumes. I didn't want to make the surrounding structure too complicated and fractional. I was quite discerning with colors, materials and textures for the objects in the background.|
With the modeling work finished, all objects were scaled and placed, views were selected and the lighting was ready. So it was time for textures and materials. All models in the scene could be divided into three groups by the complexity of their unwrapping, as follows:
1. Models for which one of the standard variants of UVW mapping was enough. They have simple form or they are some undistinguished details of a more complex object and mostly screws, screw-nuts and the like, as well as objects in the depths of the scenery and poorly lit ones.
2. Models that need unwrapping on the base of standard mapping which demands correction 'by hand', but without strict accuracy. For instance, when you need texture scales of different objects to roughly correspond to each other, or when you need to place some stains somewhere without taking into consideration the seams and texture stretching because the model's form allows you to hide it easily. Most objects of the scene are in this group.
3.2 Tray. There must be some relief on the plate on the bottom of the hull. The easiest way to make this relief is by using Displace.
As the relief's pattern should be balanced along the hull, I needed to use planar mapping on the displaced part to preserve its contour and proportions, and to build up the rest of the mapping around it, avoiding texture distortion and hiding the seam which was achieved by using Pelt Mapping, Relax and handmade vertex positioning.
The materials could also be divided in two groups, as follows:
1. Standard. In most cases these are enough to achieve simple tasks. The basic principle is to achieve the goal by playing with basic material settings, using textures for the slots of Diffuse, Reflection, Glossy and so on, and corrections of these textures by using the texture's Output menu or plug-ins like Color Correct.
|3. Models which needed unwrapping to be planned or made under specific requirements. These were parts of the hull:|
3.1 Shroud. Lines of the texture needed to be parallel with seams on the hull; therefore the proportions and contour on the unwrapping were to be the same on the hull and its parts. These requirements, for instance, excluded the use of Pelt mapping.
2. Composite. These are used in specific tasks, built up on combinations of different materials or textures by using masks or Procedure maps. They have a 'branchy' hierarchy. A striking example in this work is the ground material.