View Full Version : Modeling a vehicle from photo references

12 December 2009, 11:44 AM
Currently, I am trying to model a motor bike based on a photo reference. First, I tried to draw a box, based on real world scale, using the EP curve in maya to identify the scale and proportion of the vehicle, however the photograph just does not fit into the box. Also, the measurement of the wheel does not match up with the photograph.

I believe this is probably due to the perspective in the photograph. Is there anyway to remove perspective from a photo reference?

12 December 2009, 03:29 PM
Ok. I just figured out why my wheel doesn't fit into the reference.

I thought that the wheel specification of 175/65R15 means that the diameter of the wheel is 15" long. This is wrong.

15 is only the length of the rim.

To calculate the Diameter of the Wheel, I need to calculate the height of the sidewall by multiplying the width of the side wall by the aspect ratio.

For this case is 175*.65=113.75

then multiply it by 2, and finally it add the value to the rim diameter.

so the diameter of the wheel is actually 608.5mm

12 December 2009, 03:31 PM
However, even then, there is still perspective error... becos if i place the wheels based on the length of the wheel base, the wheels are not aligned to the photo reference....

12 December 2009, 02:47 PM
I think you need to change your approach to this ambitious car project. Here are a few suggestions.

Modeling from reference is very important. Modeling with the right reference.
At the early stage you want to block out the main forms of your car. You really want to find good isometric drawings to work from.

Check this site out :

See if you can find your car in there ... suurland has TONS of reference with proper isometric drawings to work from. I'd suggest you get your reference there.

Don't throw the photo reference out, you'll still use that. Keep a folder full of photo reference as every little bit will help later on as you REFINE your model. Print off important photos and post them around your work area so that you're always looking at the forms of the car.

A good SIDE, TOP and FRONT/BACK view will help you block out the main masses of your project much faster. Then use the photo reference to tweak your model.

Don't worry about measurements, make your modeling decisions by eye. All this worrying about the rim being 113.75mm is silly. This is 3D graphics modeling, not autocad.

Hope this helps ....


12 December 2009, 02:45 AM
Currently, i am reading a book, "Maya for Games: Modeling and Texturing Techniques with Maya and Mudbox", written by Michael Ingrassia. In this book, Michael stated that at times CG Artists need to work with less than ideal references. That's why I wanted to practice modeling with a photo reference instead.

12 December 2009, 03:41 AM
That's quite true. I salute you for challenging yourself in that way.

However, consider that Mr.Ingrassia writes that in the context of an experienced modeler. That modeler handed the lousy reference has already put in hundreds if not thousands of hours in the saddle modeling hundreds of other objects. My point is that they can work more accurately from their imagination.

Afterall, no company wants to see their employee working with one hand tied behind their back. If there are isometrics of your car I'd use 'em. If not, I'd be collecting dozens and dozens of reference images and even trying to find a physical car/bike in my area to take photos of.

These are just suggestions tho. Y'know, to give you ideas to consider ... handle the project in whatever way suits you m8.


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12 December 2009, 03:41 AM
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