Knowing when to quit?

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  05 May 2013
Knowing when to quit?

Hey guys, need to get some insight on this from fellow artists because I'm sure I'm not the only one who's struggled with it.

A couple days ago, I got the bright idea to create a production quality motorcycle model as a personal project. Seemed realistic enough, how hard can it be?

Well, I'm not a vehicle expert by any means, in fact, I've never attempted a vehicle before, but I just figured it would be a good learning experience.

Then I spent more hours than I care to remember staring at the reference and swearing.

So I bailed on it. But then the next day it came back to haunt me 'try that bike again'.

Same results, failed attempts at modeling, more swearing.

Next day, 'I'll try the bike again, I won't do anything else until I get it'.

Frustration ensues.

So now I'm sat here in tears wondering how I'm ever going to do art again.

Well not really, but it feels like I'm always going to have inadequacy and incompetence looming over me because I can't model that damned motorcycle.

So yeah, anyone else get this? How the hell do you deal with it?
  05 May 2013
How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

I find it helps me to take a very complicated project and break it down into smaller parts. Don't worry about building a motorcycle. Start on a tire or even just the hub of the tire. Start with a part that looks easy and build out from there.
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  05 May 2013
I've restarted models before, but it's always a learning experience because you learn a better way of getting to where you want to be
The Z-Axis
  05 May 2013
Or study this:

Even if you are not using maya - the principles should apply everywhere.
  05 May 2013
It's the engine! So. Many. Parts.

The bike I was planning to model is a Harley 883. The two things kicking my ass are the complexity of the engine, and the numerous parts that are scattered about the frame but difficult to make out. Would be much easier to figure out if I had one in the garage but alas I do not.
  05 May 2013
You probably need to be a lot more specific about the troubles you are having if you are looking for assistance. What exactly does "failed attempts at modeling" mean? You don't know how to create an image plane? You don't know where to find the tools in your program? You don't understand the basics of geometry or deformations? Maybe you should start with specific parts and post your questions to the appropriate modeling sub-forum.

  05 May 2013
Sorry I should've been more specific.

This isn't really a technical issue. From a modeling perspective I think I'm capable. It's just the undertaking of such a mammoth, complex project.

I was trying to replicate the original as close as possible as an exercise and having never done anything of a similar scope, it's intimidating.
  05 May 2013
Fortunately you don't need to build the engine all in one go. Often, a good approach to complicated models is to break it down into the same (or similar) component parts that manufacturers assemble their vehicles. Between schematic views of your specific vehicle and other, non-specific reference, you should be able to see the forms of the component parts.

All motorcycle engines are made from pretty similar components. Standard parts are machined in similar ways, fasteners are similar, etc. I just typed in "motorcycle engine exploded view" in GIS and got dozens of views of detailed parts. You may even be able to find that specific model's engine. Just start with your layout planes, get the basic volumes, and start in at the core. Also, it's useful to remember that you are not building an engineering model. If something is an inch off here or there, or a different number of screws on a cover plate are used, do you really think that will diminish the quality of the overall model?

  05 May 2013
I'm not a modeler, but also had the same aspirations to complete something similiar. A vehicle. I got overwhelmed by it and gave up. That was 6yrs ago. If I would've just taken it slowly, part by part in smaller managable chunks. I would've had a nicely modeled vehicle by now. Even it if would've taken me years, atleast it would be done now instead of having nothing.

I think the other problem is we know what a good model is supposed to look like and we don't want to spend the time making a crappy model, so we don't risk it. But if instead we make a crappy bike, we've atleast got something. we learned something. And your next bike will be less crappy. hehe. I'm telling myself this cause i need to hear it. just gotta do it.

God Bless you

  05 May 2013
Sounds like you lack confidence, but not the skill to do the job.

Make a start(no matter how small) and take it into a WIP thread. A mechanic will build their "Chopper" in their garage and let their buddies come round to see how their work is coming along. So why not "open up shop" for us?

You may not have the confidence right now, but you can share your passion with others who also enjoy what you like. Even if you finish the project and it turns out crap - at least you gave it a shot and others are there to give due respect for you having the balls to finish the job.

Seriously, aim to post regular updates(one every night, perhaps?), no matter how small, and keep the ball rolling. Perhaps at the end of each week - say every Sunday - you could do a milestone render with ray-tracing etc. That gives you the opportunity to pause for a moment and see how far you have come since starting. You give it the time - perhaps 30 minutes a day - and the work will get done.

If you do decide to "open up shop" for us, leave a link to it from here, okay?
  05 May 2013
Agreed! I'd love to follow a w.i.p. thread on a bike build.
  05 May 2013
Motorcycles are harder to do than cars, and Harleys are harder than many bikes because of all the visible mechanical parts.
Why not try a racing type motorcycle first? Or a Goldwing? They are mostly plastic panels and conceal most of the engine. It would give you a bit of experience before tackling a Harley.
I like to learn.
  05 May 2013
Hey man,

I hate to be a negative nancy, but if your not having fun working on your personal project, then just give it a rest or move on to something else. There's no reason you should be miserable working on something that should be fun.

I've been working on a model myself for around 4 year on and off. Its got almost 30K parts and millions of polygons. I like working on it, and its a great way to relax after work and school. Really complex models really jive with the way I think. I'm not the sort of person who needs to render something every few minutes and get instant satisfaction. I can hammer away at something for months or years on end.

There's nothing wrong with making simple, well executed and creative pieces. In fact, I'm trying to move in that direction myself. You don't have to spend hundreds of hours on a model to make a nice image.

  05 May 2013
Give it a rest and go make a bicycle first.
Problem solved.
"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
My ArtStation
  05 May 2013
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