Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dirt Jumper

Some of my best doodles come from quick sketches on random pieces of paper. An image will arrive in my head and my sketchbook will be inconveniently located slightly more than an arms reach away from me when I need it (this is why I made my enviro-friendly homemade pocket sketchbooks, but that'll be a future post. I dressed it up a little bit in Photoshop too really quick. I like it :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Warner Bros. Backgrounds

Looks familiar, don't they?

A friend recently sent me a whole bunch of these backgrounds from old Warner Bros. cartoons. It's safe to guess that they're from the Road Runner cartoons, eh? What I found most fascinating about these was that they are not only beautiful environment illustrations, even by today's standards, but without a story, characters, or animation taking place on top of them, you actually have a chance to appreciate them as stand-alone art (you can even tell where the action was staged by the negative space and framing in most of them. Its not hard to imagine the rest of the shot's animation).

Every profession has its front-and-center rock stars and unsung heroes that make it all happen behind the scenes. For every headlining movie star there is a production designer who's name you'll never hear and who's face you'll never see. Please visit to see more scenes like this. Its very inspiring and worth bookmarking on your web browser.

Thanks again.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Karmann Ghia New Paint

I recently learned how to use the paint shader in Maya and replaced that old Blinn shader from the previous post for the Karmann Ghia. Turns out it is remarkably easy to use and is built into the Mental Ray shader menu. It's no wonder why its so easy to miss out on some of these things in Maya. Just look at the user interface - the cockpit of 747's are probably more intuitive to use!

I also like how this shader makes the subtle taper along the bottom of the driver side door more detectable, too. I spent a lot of time on that part, and it was a shame when it didn't show up in the previous render. The lesson here is that crappy textures, shaders, and lighting can undermine a good model. Like sheep in wolf's clothing, I guess.

Thanks again for stopping by :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Citroen 2CV Model Work In Progress

The Karmann Ghia was a success for my first-ever attempt at modeling a car in Maya, and now I'm currently in the middle of modeling another vehicle. This time its another quirky European car from another era - a 1979 Citroen 2CV. I settled on this particular car from this particular year for three reasons: 1. I was able to find a nice high-resolution blueprint image online with all four views (front, top, rear, and side), and 2. There are plenty of reference images and videos available online, and 3. Not a whole lot of Americans are familiar with this car, so the final product will have a little more intrigue than another vehicle that we've all seen before.

I've got just a fraction of the time I had for the Ghia to complete this one, so lets hope that all the lessons learned equal a quicker turnaround time for this one. I'd like to spend a little more time on the car paint shader this time around, too, since I didn't budget my time particularly well last time.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Anatomy Sketches

Gotta know what is under the skin in order to draw the outside even better :)

Karmann Get It!

Here's the results of a recent project we had to do for a visual effects modeling class that I'm taking as an elective. It's a 1963 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia hardtop. The curvy body lines proved to be quite a challenge in the beginning, as they taper and fade as you make your way across the body panels. I had restarted a couple different times before I learned that if I traced the body lines with an EP curve, I could more accurately tell where the dips, swoops, and bulges went. Its amazing how much of a difference it makes having those guidelines there (you can see them poking through a little bit on the front drivers-side quarter panel in the work in progress screen shot).

Its my first attempt at modeling a car, so I'm pretty proud of the results :)