Making Of 'Ford Mustang Fastback '65'
I decided to work on the Ford Fastback because I love the classic look of the car, and that is what I wanted to achieve - a feeling of class and style. I had a rough idea in my mind of the final image, the colours, and a studio render with maybe some different camera angles. But it was really the process of creating the car and trying out different things that led to the final result that I am talking about today.
I hope you will like this making of, and perhaps you'll find something interesting in it for yourself.
The most important thing when doing a car model is to collect as many reference photos as possible (Fig.01). Finding the correct blueprints is very helpful and setting them up is pretty straightforward (Fig.02). Someone once asked me about good image reference sites. There are many good reference sites, but for this particular project I used photos found on the web just by searching on the different car selling sites, and searching on Google. These photos helped me a lot in my modelling and texturing, because of some great perspectives and close-up shots (Fig.03) that cannot be found on reference sites. The search for good reference photos can take a long time, but believe me it really pays off in the end.
When it came to modelling this car, I used a classic approach: polygon modelling. I started from the exterior of the car and worked through to the interior. Most of the objects and elements of the model were mesh smoothed, and I used symmetry for most of the elements of the car, with some exceptions for a few of the interior elements.
For the body of the car, I started with a plane from the side and worked my way from there (Fig.04), always checking my reference images (I think there were about 400 in total!). My approach was incremental; making a basic model (Fig.05) and then adding details. After finishing the basic body I moved on to the tyres (Fig.06), which I modelled separately (starting with a part of a cylinder for the rim, and an array of tyre segments with a bend modifier applied to them for the tyre), and then merged into the scene. Then I added the side vents and the front and rear bumpers (Fig.07). The front and rear lights followed (Fig.08), which I modelled from a box and then applied extrude, insert, connect etc. In Fig.09 you can see the rear emblem, along with the front and side emblems, which were made using a basic mesh from Max, with some features of the emblems added in ZBrush. At this point I added the underside for the main body and I also started to add details to the body and doors, and to the exterior of the car in general (Fig.10).
The interior was fun to do, and having the different reference images really helped me to understand how the interior actually looked. I approached the modelling of the interior in the same way asÂ the exterior, starting with the basic object and then adding details like nuts, gauges, rims, interior lights, vents, brakes, a radio, and so on, and adding pieces like the wheel, main console and the door's interior. Because the seats are the dominant element of the interior, I decided to detail them a little in ZBrush. Finally, I added some brakes, suspension and some general elements under the car, and then made some tweaks here and there. I was then finished with the modelling at last (Fig.11 and Fig.12).
For the lighting I used a basic setup of three V-Ray lights, two plane lights and a dome light (Fig.13). I used a circular environment because it offers good bouncing light and can be very useful for certain camera angles!
The settings that I usually use for previewing the different light conditions, reflections and textures can be seen in Fig.14 and Fig.15. I usually use an irradiance map for the primary GI, and light cache for the secondary bounces. Using low settings for the light cache, and high or medium presets for the irradiance map, usually yields a quick and decent preview. This method is good for static images, but not so good for animations because of the flickering that might appear in flat surfaces due to the way the irradiance map works.
The texturing part was interesting because I had the opportunity to use the UVLayout program to do the UVs. I like this program a lot because it is easy to use (although at first it might seem a bit weird), and has a lot of great features. I strongly recommend you try it out!
Most of the objects in the scene have normal V-Ray textures, and the different texture maps that I used were edited in Photoshop. I used plane, box and cylinder UV-mappings. The seats, were exported into ZBrush for detailing, piece by piece.
I had to export the mesh from Max as an .obj file to import it into UVLayout. I edited the UVs, exported the model to an .obj, imported it into ZBrush and, after putting in some folds, I finally exported the model back to 3ds Max with the appropriate normal maps. The texturing was not that special on the seats; I used the normal maps from ZBrush and normal mapped horses (Fig.16), which I took from a reference photo and created a normal map with CrazyBump. I was planning to use a texture map for the seats, but after some test renderings I realised that the differences between using a texture map and just using a diffuse colour were close to none. (Fig.17)
Rendering was a pretty straightforward process. The important thing to note here is that in V-Ray gamma correction is useful because of the way that V-Ray outputs images in non RGB colour. For this project I used these settings (Fig.18) for the colour correction. For most projects, however, a colour correction of 2.2 in the colour mapping rollout should do, or setting the colour correction curve like this should fix it equally as well (Fig.19).
The hard part was finding a good camera angle. After spending some time going around the scene I found some camera angles that I liked, but the ones from Fig.20 and Fig.21 are my favourites. After I found the camera angles that I wanted to render, I just pumped up some settings in V-Ray and set up the anti-aliasing and filter settings (Fig.22). And that was it!
For this image I did very little post production work, mainly because of the colour corrections that I applied in V-Ray. Post production was limited to simply blurring some areas, editing some reflections a little and also adding a signature.
To finish, I would like to say that I really loved working on this model, and hope that you have enjoyed this "Making Of". Thank you for taking the time to read it.