Lucky car model of the week!
I wanted to take part of Hum3D legendary car competition and I decided to make Nissan Skyline. I remember when I was a child and I played in my dad´s garage. There was an awesome poster on the wall and in that poster was the legendary Nissan Skyline -72. It was on a race track somewhere in Japan and it had small raindrops all over the car which make it to look like it was covered with diamonds. I was about 7 years old that time and it was the coolest thing I ever seen. I started to look more information about that car in the library and from that day on I knew that I wanted to work with cars when I´m older. This dream came true and I started my car mechanic studies and graduated. Knowing much more about cars now I can see that this car was so much ahead of it´s time. I´m glad that Nissan has kept some of the original designs in their latest models. The original poster is gone but I wanted to create this work to be similar of how I remember it.
Modeling a car is pretty trivial and it took about a weekend to model all the important models. I also used a lot of references to get the best possible idea of the car. My concept also involved a race track so I modeled that too. I didn´t took the topology of my models too seriously and as long as the end results looked good then I was happy.
I also wanted to add some organic models to create a nice contrast between a mechanical subjects. The reason why I modeled the whole scene excluding the sky was that then then car would fit better to it´s surrounding.
When the modeling was done I started to texture my assets. I wanted to add a lot of small details almost every model so I needed to uv unwrap them. I used Photoshop for texturing and about 60% was a hand painting and the rest 40% photo texturing.
Then I started to do some test with V-ray materials. I finally found the right material setup for the car. I used a VRayCarPaintMtl where I plugged my base albedo, specular and roughness maps. I also wanted to add small scratches so I made a looping scratch map that I mixed with the roughness map. Then I needed to add small water drops. I found out that using looping water drops normal map and blending that with the base VRayCarPaintMtl gave me a good results. However I needed to mask this effect so I painted a simple mask that masked out water drops that wouldn´t happen in real-world. Finally I blended a VRayDirt with it and that worked pretty well. I used this same idea pretty much everywhere in the scene.
The final touch was to model some actual water drops to place on top of the car. I used a simple PArray system in 3ds max to do this.
My previous projects have taught me that good results requires a lot of testing. Using offline rendering for that takes a lot of time so I used Marmoset Toolbag 2. There I could place lights and test different colors, textures and so on. Cool thing about Toolbag 2 is that it´s real-time engine that supports PBR so I got nice results fast.
When I got a solid idea about the lighting I started to create that in 3ds max. I created a dome VRayLight and used HDR environment texture there to get the IBL system up and running. I also added a sun that was a sphere VRayLight. Then it was just testing to find the right settings.
Real-time engines are very accurate these days and I really like to use them along with the offline rendering. Making slow workflows faster is a good thing because then you have more time to use with more important things in your work.
I used V-Ray for rendering in this project. Settings were pretty basic. I turned GI on, irradiance as primary, light cache as secondary engine and added some render elements to be baked during the rendering process.
My test renders showed me that I needed to tweak some subdivision settings in materials and lights to get faster render times. I used my old dual core CPU for rendering and the final render took about 10 hours in 2200×1300 resolution.
Color correction was a pretty straight-forward operation. I rendered render passes like specular, diffuse, shadows, reflections, z-depth, ObjectID, GI. I also rendered a version with headlights on and blended that in the final process. That was about it.
Big thanks to Humster3D for making this competition happen and thanks all for reading this!
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