Before entering the 3D world

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  03 March 2013
Before entering the 3D world

Hello everyone,

I'd like to learn modeling cars in some 3D graphics program (haven't decided yet which one but it's not that important) and for some time I've been checking this site any some others for information that would help me to make my first steps. As I read and watched some tutorials I decided to go for spline modeling. I just found it more natural for me than the other techniques (box and poly modeling) which are much more abstract.

In my searches I also found that some people use 2D graphics programs (like Adobe Freehand) for creating an accurate spline cage of body of the car (or at least some parts of it). It seems to be very useful when modeling cars that lack good quality blueprints. And also I think it's a good method of learning the very basic elements of modeling in general.

So I'm just being curious how is your opinion on this approach? I noticed that spline modeling is not very popular in general but still I hope some of you are using it today with good results. Also I'd appreciate it very much if someone could recommend me a free alternative to Freehand.

Thank you in advance,
vitamin
 
  03 March 2013
Quote: I'd like to learn modeling cars in some 3D graphics program (haven't decided yet which one but it's not that important)


If you want to model using splines, then you are better off using Alias-automotive or Rhino (2 applications that don't really feature much on CG talk). You can do it in Maya too but its not as good. Really it comes down to WHY you want to model cars and what you want to do with them when you have finished. The best modelling programs are engineering programs (that don't feature at all on CG talk). However, they are still very limited when it comes to animation/lighting etc. So perhaps the best compromise for you would be to learn Maya. The UI will send you crazy, but it is a very capable program despite its shit way of doing certain tasks.
 
  03 March 2013
Cars can be modeled by tracing background images of top, side, front, back. Tracing as in 3D space line/curve drawing, where the curves are used as guides for attaching 4-sided polygons to.

NURBS can be used instead of polygons, either by following the flow of your drawn curves or by boolean cutting shapes away from a NURBS block (subtractive boolean).

Sculpting, using a hard surface brush, will get you cars also. Depending on how well you are as a sculptor.

Search YouTube for these three ways of modeling a car.
 
  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by Sidow: Really it comes down to WHY you want to model cars and what you want to do with them when you have finished.

Thank you for information on those programs for spline modeling. Unfortunately I can use only 3ds Max 5 or Zmodeler 1.0x. It's because I want to model cars for old game that has import/export plugins available only for those two old programs. There is also second factor - money. I cannot afford buying some expensive program right now.
But I'm not concerned about choosing best program that much as I have never used any graphics editing program other than MS Paint in Windows. I think that much more important will be to learn (and understand) some technique of modeling... and learn it good. And hence this topic here.


Originally Posted by ShawnDriscoll: Cars can be modeled by tracing background images of top, side, front, back. Tracing as in 3D space line/curve drawing, where the curves are used as guides for attaching 4-sided polygons to.

NURBS can be used instead of polygons, either by following the flow of your drawn curves or by boolean cutting shapes away from a NURBS block (subtractive boolean).

Sculpting, using a hard surface brush, will get you cars also. Depending on how well you are as a sculptor.

Search YouTube for these three ways of modeling a car.

Thank you for letting me know about those techniques. As for the first one, could you tell me please if the link below shows this way of modeling maybe?
http://www.onnovanbraam.com/index.p...e_car_modeling/

Or it's rather this one here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSJvbsOKt4g

As it comes to those two other techniques you mentioned I will try to find some tutorials and will post them here for confirmation and short overview.
 
  04 April 2013
http://blenderartists.org/forum/sho...-Bsurfaces-v1-5 this is what you need... it's free and I like it very much, I also prefer spline modeling but in Max... this is evolution of that style of modeling...
 
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by vitamin0: Thank you for letting me know about those techniques. As for the first one, could you tell me please if the link below shows this way of modeling maybe?
http://www.onnovanbraam.com/index.p...e_car_modeling/

Or it's rather this one here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSJvbsOKt4g


They are both the same technique.
 
  04 April 2013
Thanks Benzin for letting me know on this tool for Blender but I would rather stick to 3ds Max 5 and first learn modeling in this program.

As for my original question, I'm curious if anyone here is using the method I described in my first post? The thing that bugs me is how creating spline cage for body of car can be made in 2D program?
 
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by vitamin0: I'm curious if anyone here is using the method I described in my first post? The thing that bugs me is how creating spline cage for body of car can be made in 2D program?


Very carefully. And then you have to figure out how to import the cage into your modeling program. So I just draw cages in my modeler, or let the computer do most of it for me.
 
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by ShawnDriscoll: Very carefully. And then you have to figure out how to import the cage into your modeling program. So I just draw cages in my modeler, or let the computer do most of it for me.

As for importing cage, from the technical point of view it should be easy as 3ds Max (and most of modelers I guess) can open *.AI files. But I don't understand how to draw cage in 2D when working on some photos with camera angle? Doesn't it make the cage to be deformed?

Could you tell me please what you mean by saying: "or let the computer do most of it for me."? That sounds interesting and intriguing at the same time.
 
  04 April 2013
Quote: The best modelling programs are engineering programs


Hmm.. I'm quite new user of 3d programs. What kind of engineering programs would you recommend for modelling architecture?
 
  04 April 2013
With respect to machinery and surfaces; The best modelling programs are engineering programs.

Modelling Architecture is the easiest thing you can do and any 3d modelling package can do it.

"3ds max DESIGN" is probably the best software for architecture in terms of scope and realism. However, in terms of speed, you can produce something really quickly with Sketchup. I think of Sketchup as more of a mockup-tool/proof of concept (certainly used to be the case) where as 3ds max will take the initial idea and make it look as though it actually exists.

3ds max Design:

+: Realistic results
+:Animation
+: works with real-world dimensions (not all modelling packages do, some just use scale )
+: the only limit is your imagination

-: Learning curve of about 6 months
-:Expensive


Sketchup:

+:Cheap
+:Fast workflow
+:Almost no learning curve at all
+:Works with real-world dimensions

-: the end result will always look like a CAD-drawing (although this is constantly improving)
-: Limited modelling capabilities (used for architecture and not much else)
-: Virtually no animation (very limited).

Last edited by Sidow : 04 April 2013 at 01:30 PM.
 
  04 April 2013
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