View Full Version : Engine Cutaway, Tim Cameron Design (3D)

Tim Cameron
09 September 2004, 01:45 AM (

Title: Engine Cutaway
Name: Tim Cameron Design
Country: Australia
Software: LightWave3D

Hi there, this is my first submission/post to CGtalk. I've always liked cutaway sectional diagrams and wanted to give it a shot, so I used an idea for a motorcycle engine I have been developing. I fiddled around with various transparency settings, I'm fairly happy with it, although it took a l-o-o-o-ng time to render - 9 hours. I'm keen to find out if there's any 'rules' on doing cutaways. I just tried to make it look convincing and show a few key areas but am all ears for better technique - including better and faster transparency settings. Thanks!

09 September 2004, 03:31 AM
wow I have no idea what it is, but it is the best design I've ever er.. seen? Really nice work here, what in the world could this go to? wow


09 September 2004, 03:48 AM
there was probly no need to render the thing you wanted transparent with the rest. you could just have rensdered it seperately and changed the opacity in photoshop to suit your requirements. Would have saved about 9.5 hours on your rendertime. however if you are happy with the result then the renertime doesnt matter so much.

I like the work. its a nice looking cutaway and the detail is good. it reminds me of the old skool airbrushed cutaways and car drawings of the 80's they had style! Today there is an obsetion with gi and pr rendering that is killing things a bit it makes everyones art look the same. Great job!

09 September 2004, 04:41 AM
nice one.. model looks good in detail.. i like the design..

09 September 2004, 04:42 AM
Nice rendering. You said it's a design you have been 'developing.'
Are you primarily an engineer or a digital artist?
Are you trying to design an actual working motorcycle engine? :shrug:

09 September 2004, 04:53 AM

Wow!, very nice! Apart from that I can't comment on much, to me it looks perfect. It would be nice to see it all animated and working.


09 September 2004, 07:01 AM
Looks great, but when you say..."I used an idea for a motorcycle engine I have been developing" does that mean your developing the motorcycle, or just the idea for the motorcycle? Nice image, regardless.

09 September 2004, 07:54 AM
nice!!!nice work~!

09 September 2004, 08:26 AM
This is excellent, well done. Only suggestion I have is maybe the casing could be less transparent near the back to give it a little more solidity and show the material. Like Daniel said it can easily be rendered in a seperate pass and added in PS.

Good work.

Tim Cameron
09 September 2004, 11:17 AM
Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

Embarassingly, I hadn't even thought about doing the transparency in p-shop - yikes! Sometimes you don't see the forest for the 3D trees. Would have saved a chunk of time and been more controllable too as I was using transparency maps on individual components like the radiator and that was pretty clunky.

And yes, I actually think there is a lot beauty in technical drawings, always enjoy some good 'info graphics' like in that Royksopp music video.

Regarding the whole motorcycle design thing, I am predominantly a 3D graphics guy but I also am doing some motorcycle design work - a couple of my projects are over in Newtek's gallery.


Tim C.

09 September 2004, 11:37 AM
very nice very nice, wala what a material
can u show its wires :)

09 September 2004, 11:55 AM
Im not into motors much but I must say this is the best artistic example I have ever seen. You have attacked this subject matter with taste and craftmanship.

Really greaT WORK.


09 September 2004, 05:05 PM
is it a bike V-twin?? or a single cilinder from a car motor

09 September 2004, 06:59 AM
Definitely a single cylinder horizontal bike engine, the rear/top section is an airfilter in a stylized housing.

Nice work mate, reminds me in some ways of Japanese airbrush artists Hajamie Sorayamas and Hisashi Saito cutaway work.

09 September 2004, 08:38 PM
Nice modeling Good materials
Excellent style:thumbsup:

09 September 2004, 10:26 PM
wow, very nice :thumbsup: :applause:

09 September 2004, 07:16 AM
great work

09 September 2004, 08:28 AM
amazing work... it looks good.. like other people who replied here, I can't tell what it is but it is awesome...

anyway... I just wanted to tell you... you call your work cutaway, but it's actually phantom..

cutaway is when you actually cutaway a part of a product to show what's inside...
pahntom is when you show inside of a product by controlling the opacity of outside... like what you did here

I know it dosen't matter much but just wanted to point out for ya~

keep up the good work~~~! :)

09 September 2004, 11:54 AM
Its really nice, but really there was noi need in messing around with all those transparency settings, you should have just rendered it out in seperate passes and photoshopped the rest... I do think a little less blue, even though blue is good, and maybe if you were to put an ocre coloured light beneath the model? this is a technique I use when I wanrt to get something looking 'traditional', it just warms the whole thing up, subtle but it works. have a go, but dont use transparencies.

09 September 2004, 10:51 AM
So coool ! I like this style.
How many time to render this crasy stuff ?
What part of photoshop to the final render ?
Can you post your picture before/after photoshop retouchs ?

09 September 2004, 06:13 AM
very impressive texture dude. i like the material very much :bounce:

09 September 2004, 07:29 AM
It"s simply amazing. Very good detailed and... "clear" model of engine. 9 hours of render... poor PC poor PC :).. or poor CPU ?:)

09 September 2004, 08:27 AM
Looks pimp tim!
try using the z-buffer as a transparency mask for comping maybe i dunno

09 September 2004, 11:10 AM
Very nice ... I like your rendering:buttrock:

09 September 2004, 12:03 PM
awesome man..lot of work in there

09 September 2004, 01:30 PM
wooooow...huge work many years?....just kidding......very impressive

09 September 2004, 07:57 PM
This is such a change from the norm,and very refreshing to veiw.
Please give more info about the engine,is it done in L W 7.5 or what.
Eleven out of ten for this

09 September 2004, 09:41 PM
This is a beautiful design. I would love to be able to see the whole motorcycle.

Nice work...

09 September 2004, 01:56 AM
Thou it looks very impressive, but i reckon the tranparency effects blurs the details out. A cut-out view would not look better aesthically, but would be more functionally. It would be more detail and easy to see....

09 September 2004, 02:19 AM
I would tend to agree with the comments regarding the casing being rendered separately and composited with a different opacity level over the top of the inner workings. As a Graphic Design piece it works well and does the job nicely.

09 September 2004, 03:10 AM

09 September 2004, 05:59 AM
Wow!!! I think it was definitely worth the 9 hours of render time. I wish I could do materials like that. How would one light an object like this one???

09 September 2004, 09:01 AM
Hi, i like much in general, i like much the fins extensions:thumbsup:

09 September 2004, 12:03 AM
applause :bounce: :love: the fade in top left is slightly awkward pictorially speaking..
..perhaps a slightly different shape :: at present it echoes the frame(picture edge), maybe invert the shape,.,ie let it echo some other element of the pic.,,..,

but hey, this is tip top work
your sense of color and proportion is keen.

09 September 2004, 02:57 PM
First off very nice work. I agree with Daniel as to the seperate parts being rendered opaque and then made transparent in PS.

First off I used to be one of those airbrush artists. Those cutaways or "phantom views" as we used to call them were not actually rendered on one piece of artboard but rather on the dull side of acetate and in reverse. This allowed the thickness of the acetate (coupled with the shiny side) to add additional depth and the illusion of a gloss coat (that you didn't need to spray on). In addition, because airbrushing has no undo, if you made a mistake that was uncorrectable on one of the layers you didn't need to start the entire painting over.

After all was done these layers were registered and photographed under a camera stand that had a vacum which pressed the layers tightly together for the final photo.

One of the things your image lacks is the opaque area around forward edges (which adds depth) and vinettes (fades) to transparent. You could easily achieve this in PhotoShop by taking the opaque engine cover layer, and with the pen tool draw the area you want to be transparent and make that selected area soft with the feather tool. While this area is active (marching ants) use the numeric key pad to partially key that softened selection and what you will have is a layer that is transparent in that designated area but fades to opaque around the edges.

This technique can be used on multiple layers and helps seperate what is in front of what. It was commonly used to show and engine inside the body of a car. The body being the most forward part would fade away to reveal the engine under the hood and the above technique would clearly put the car body over the engine.

Again, very nice job. Oh, One other thing. For subtlety you can use a layer (rendered seperatly) as a matte. Make that matte active and use the airbrush tool on a new layer to just spot spray a very subtle highlight or edge on an area that needs to be pulled forward (again use the kaypad or the layers slider to adjust the opacity). That little hot spot will pull one layer over another without covering something below it that needs to be seen.

Hope this helps.

09 September 2004, 07:31 PM
That is phenominal!

Tor Potter
09 September 2004, 05:33 PM
I dont recognize it, but it sure looks awesome.

09 September 2004, 05:50 PM
beautifully done.

i'm a technical illustrator myself by training (although a designer by trade), and i appreciate how you've simplified the materials, especially the metal reflections for clarity.

i can't comment on the accuracy of the piece but i think the radiator(?) could have been faded out a bit more, as well as some of the outer structure near your center of interest. i'm assuming the piston area is what you want to showcase so perhaps the model could have been tipped a little more toward us so that we can see down farther into the piston area.

also if you were to do an actual cutaway rather than a phantom you would make sure you use a jagged edge with usually red highlighting where material has been cut so the viewer doesn't think it has been manufactured that way.

all in all terrific work. ever think of doing an exploded view?

09 September 2004, 04:56 PM
Love to see the whole bike!

09 September 2004, 01:15 PM
good work.... well shaded.... :thumbsup:

09 September 2004, 04:49 PM
Nice to see some more tech Illustration around here :thumbsup:

As has been said before - You would probably be better off dealing with the transparency by rendering out the inside and outside seperately and then playing with them in Pshop
This will give you a lot more control and flexability.
Plus it's a lot of fun :)

in any case
The image looks great
nice work

10 October 2004, 03:10 AM
very nice materials setup. Looks very clean and professional. this image shows you have a great attention to details.

11 November 2004, 07:40 AM
cool! :cool: :eek:

11 November 2004, 06:44 PM
very nice. i love it. and also thanks to the posterwho told about photoshop and opasity

12 December 2004, 06:39 AM
great job. when can is see a plane engine?

04 April 2005, 02:34 AM
I like this engine ~

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