View Full Version : Tank WIP - hard surface

08 August 2010, 05:16 AM
Sorry...another tank.

So basically I recently just graduated, but realized I was far from prepared to do the job so I've been taking the past few months to self study. Found some great info out there and did some practicing and now this project is my first attempt at putting the things I've learned all together.

Clay render...

Texturing WIP...

Some of my first thoughts are...I might have overdone it with the grunge. Found some great texturing info out there and may have gotten a bit too enthusiastic. Going for a worn out tank...but probably overshot that.

Having some difficulties getting the lighting down without being too render heavy. I feel like the recent test renders have a bit of fake CG feel in them...Also ignore the bright spots on the bottom where the wheels go...lights are too close. And also sorry for the quality on some...I got a lot I still need to do so I shot some of the renders out really quick.

Still need to add rust and bump/spec maps and finish the rest of course.

Although I admit I'm a bit intimidated by this forum...I can understand its potential value and I definitely need to do what it takes to get better. Thought I'd give this forum a try. Even though it looks slow compared to the other wip ones...their definitely seems to be far less fluff in here. So hopefully I can get some useful advice.

Please be as harsh as necessary. I'd very deeply appreciate it.

08 August 2010, 12:31 AM
Fixed the lighting today so that I could at least so what's going on so hopefully this will be better for critique too.

Image attached as well.

Working on finishing the rest of the textures for the body.

08 August 2010, 03:17 PM
Looking good Evan.
I guess you will be using one shader for a lot of the basic structure. You could adjust stuff later. Your own comment on the grunge is a good one. You dont want to loose the structure of the model.

Keep it up man!

09 September 2010, 08:56 PM
Thanks for the reply. Yeah going in I wasn't to sure how I was going to tackle the shaders and sure enough that's one of the main things that slowed me down for a bit.

Thought I'd give another update...and give a little more detail of what I'm going through to see if I can some help. I think in general I've done my research and come up with some solutions...but I'm sure there are plenty (probably better) solutions that I've overlooked.

This is the only test render I had saved...been running into a couple of issues.

So I've tried a number of blend materials techniques and my computer seems to not like any of them producing problems ranging from mental ray memory limit and periodical temporary freezes in maya. I've notice they tend to happen when I first open the scene and when I make changes to shaders so I wonder if its something to with maya loading or updating the textures and materials. The texture files themselves are rather large. I've tried converting files to .maps (which I've ended up switching to permanently) and reducing resolution to see if maybe it was the multiple 8k textures (planning on some mild closeups) that was doing it. Seemed to help just a bit but problems were still there.

In the end, I decided to drop shader blending and opted for single shaders per texture. I figured tanks are generally pretty bland to begin with and that I could get achieve adequate results relying on bump and spec to break up the materials (steel to paint to grunge to rust).

So now I'm facing issues with render time. I'm planning this for my demo reel and crunching the numbers in my head I would rather like to avoid waiting longer than necessary for this to shoot out. At the moment just these last simple test renders at 640*480 took 20-30 minutes to shoot out. The first images I posted here only took 2-6 minutes so I still need to go back and figure out where they shot up. I'm assuming when I started rendering the whole body together. So I figure I'd probably save some time splitting up the render into parts with usebackground shader. Though I still need to go back and check if it's really the whole tank body at once the reason for the long render time.

I've also been thinking about rendering out high res stills for my reel and then use a clay render and wireframe for camera moves. But then I remember reading a comment somewhere on how stills should be avoided on reels.

I'm also thinking that my woes with material blending and render time could obviously be a hardware issue. I'm running this on a quad core q8200 with 4 gigs ram on windows 7 64 bit and geforce 9600GT. Jobless at the moment so I figure got to make do with I have on that front.

At the moment I'm working on texturing the tracks. Planning on one map for a single track and using the rotate and offset in the placement nodes to vary it in the other tracks.

So as always any thoughts and critique would be greatly appreciated. Always looking for ways to improve myself.

Will try to squeeze out some more test renders some time.


09 September 2010, 01:22 AM

Finished track textures faster than I thought. Could be getting the hang of it.

Probably going to bring out the light tannish dirt on the track more as you can't even see it at the moment.

higher res with the rivets done.

09 September 2010, 01:59 AM
That's a very nice looking model! You can try to get more feedback by posting your work on mil-art and militarymeshes. =)

09 September 2010, 02:50 PM
I still think at this stage you should use more lighting and ao. I like the modeling but the model in the beginning doesn't fit the excessive grunge unless it's supposed to be rusted and in very poor condition.

09 September 2010, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the replies.'re absolutely right. It makes sense that the model should also reflect wear and tear. haha I didn't even notice that one and it was staring at me right in the face.

Will definitely need to go back later and bang up the geometry a little bit and fix a ton of other mistakes I'm seeing.

Latest renders...I guess I'll call these "finished" for now. Need to start another project soon. Though it feels like the closer I get to finish the more I find things I want to fix.

There's more here ( will upload high res versions as soon as I figure out how I want to implement high res viewing on the site.

09 September 2010, 02:17 PM
You know you lit it up and it looks loads better- texturing looks better too, don't know if you changed it much from the darker but it looks a lot better. My only suggestion is to adjust the texture on the tank on the back (exhaust tank? Not sure what it is called), Don't get me wrong, it looks great but just something about it looks off? Do you have a reference image?

09 September 2010, 02:18 PM
Okay, I'll admit that I'm not much of a tank enthusiast so I looked at some images on the web and this one looks very good, it's grown on me! I think i a proper setting with A/O and IBL it would look very realistic!

09 September 2010, 04:18 PM
I am a fan of the lighter color. Gray is a direction that I would definitely have gone with it the first time through too, or a darker color in general. Using a lighter color is not only still believable, but it allows you to fully appreciate the differences in texture and the attention to detail you have given this piece. The rust now appears to have more variety in its depth, and the dense areas of the tank seem to pop out more. It would be nice to see this continued on the barrels of the guns that poke out. They are jet black and kind of appear to be brand new objects placed in an otherwise beaten tank. While black may work for their base color, it would be more believable if they had dirt or some sort of color to break it up. The canister on the back of the tank kind of throws me off too...did it really get that owned by rust? This level of rust makes me think that it should be developing some sort of deterioration. Right now it looks in too perfect of shape to be all over orange. Maybe add just small bits of the original form left over on the bottom or in islands where it hasn't been as effected by rust yet, to break it up. Other than that, this is a solid project- looking forward to an update. Great job!

09 September 2010, 09:30 PM
CKPinson - The latest renders I am using the AO the comes with mia_material. I'm actually using IBL too. Originally I was shooting for a simple studio light setup but while experimenting/learning about IBL I put one in and it looked a lot better and I just kept it. Though admittingly I'm probably not using AO and IBL to it's fullest. Lighting, shader and render settings are things I still haven't gotten the hang of. Haha not a tank enthusiast either...I just thought doing the tracks would be awesome fun.

Benjamin - Yeah the gun was one of the things I saw too. There's actually a bit of grunge on it, but probably too weak and the black is also probably overpowering. And looking back at reference images I'm thinking about pulling it out into its own shader and giving it a bit more reflectivity. It's currently sharing the same shader as the diamond plates and the antenna. The antenna has the same problem too.

As far as the rust in the back pieces. Part of the color saturation is the light. I added a bit of color to a few of the lights and in this case I'm positive it's saturating the color a bit. But looking back at the reference images I definitely need to dull the texture color anyways. This is where I got the look from...

The smaller gas tank thing I decided to make it the same as it was the easiest thing to do at the time (had a lot of issues with UVing) and figure it was a reasonable add. I think it's got a dusty iron look to it that I don't think I'm achieving well with shader settings. As far as the texture map...I think if I dulled it a lot and painted some dirt and grunge I think it'll be okay. I may consider just painting the whole thing from scratch as it was probably not a good idea to use rust images (too much bumpiness in them).

Again, thanks for the comments!

09 September 2010, 01:44 PM
It is a good model and the texturing is good. Ao and ibm seems weak. You using alot of rays also if your using mental ray you might turn up final gather. The texture has grown on me. Are you working on a scene.

09 September 2010, 06:42 PM
I went back to make a number of quick changes that were bugging me and I'm in the process of rendering out new stills now. I noticed some final gather artifacts so I did push up the fg settings for this round of renders. I had to leave point density at 1 cause any higher and my render time explodes. They're pretty high already.

I think after this run I'll be putting this one aside and starting a new project. Though I really do want to put this one in a scene. Maybe one day when I come up with a good idea I'll came back to it.

But for now I want to work on improving my skills especially lighting and shading.

I'll post the renders when they're finished.

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