|CGNetworks Feature :: Reader Project |
The Making of BUICK WILDCAT 1966
Luis Calero AKA chewaka, 29 November 2004
Edited by Lisa Thurston
CG Choice Award winner, Luis Calero describes how he created a lightly scuffed vintage Buick to demonstrate one of the Total Texture CDs published by 3D Total. Complete with light rust spots and somewhat lackluster paintwork the 1966 Wildcat is positioned seamlessly into the street outside Calero's office.
The idea to make this scene came about when 3DTotal asked me to do a tutorial which would focus on 3D vehicles and CD #8 of their total textures collection. I had two weeks to do it, so while the package from 3D Total was on its way from England , I started to think what car I'd like to model.
Right from the beginning I knew I didn't want to make any vehicle from today, because there are many of these recreated in CG already, and most of them are very well made, so why would I want to try with another one? I decided then that it would be a vintage one from the 1960s, and I would integrate it into a real environment. The first car that came to my mind was a Ford Mustang, but I couldn't find any scale model to use as a reference. So I decided to try a Build Wildcat instead. Luckily I found a scale model of this one and the blueprints that came with it were set to be a great help modeling the car.
Since I was to make a model based on a real car, I didn't do any sketches of the scene. I just had in mind I that I wanted to park the car in an unrecognizable area, so it could look like any street in any city. But due to the lack of time, I placed it near to the office where I work and so maybe it looks too much like a Spanish city.
I scanned the blueprints of the scale model, and mapped them into planes to use them as a reference, while I was modeling. From my point of view that's the quickest and safest way to model any kind of shapes. So I wouldn't model a car without having a scale model, because it's much harder.
Once I had mapped the reference scans into the planes I started modeling the body. I modeled in 3ds mas just using polygons, extruding edges, and welding vertices, etc.
For me it's the quickest and easiest way, and it's the technique that works best for me. So I extruded and shaped the mesh following the reference planes until I reached the desired form of the bodywork and applied the Meshsmooth modifier on it. Then I had to change the weight of the vertices to get sharper edges. I played also a bit with the smoothing groups to get a better shape around some areas.
The rest of the objects, like the front and rear bumper, were modeled in the same manner, following the reference planes, and the wheels and seats with primitives.