Making Of 'Mustang Shelby 67'

Introduction

Hi, my name is Marco Aurélio Magalhaes da Silva and I was born in the state of São Paulo, in Brazil. I am 25 years old, I'm married to Cristina Perrotti Peixoto da Silva, and I have a degree as a mechanic technician that I achieved in Senai, Brazil, where I've had most of my experience with technical drawing. With my experience in the industry I decided to get more into CGI by enrolling on 3D courses where I learned the tools of the trade and, mostly, modeling concepts.

I would like to dedicate this work to the CGI School, Melies, in São Paulo, where I had the opportunity to study and develop this model. I also would like to thank João Luiz Boldrini, Rodrigo Pauliki, Matheus Braz Polito, Ronaldo Brito and Rafael Ribeiro, who all helped me in some way in my journey - teaching, motivating and working with me.

Modeling

This Mustang Shelby 67 is a high-poly model with only one subdivision in the mesh (Fig.01).

Fig. 01_shelbey_car_parts_mesh

Fig. 01_shelbey_car_parts_mesh

Modeling With Blueprints

To model this car I employed a popular technique used by modelers to achieve precision, which is poly-by-poly modeling. To me, this is the best technique to create complex inorganic models such as this one. I used a reference image often referred to as a "blueprint" which can be applied to the viewport or in grids within the 3D software. I'll give an example now of how to apply an image to the viewport using 3ds Max 2009:

  • Select the Viewport in which you want to insert the reference image, in this case I chose the Left viewport. Then, on the top menu, select Views > Viewport Background > Viewport Background (Fig.02)
  • Fig. 02_working_in_3dsmax

    Fig. 02_working_in_3dsmax

  • A window will open where you can choose the image that will be added to the Viewport. Click Files (Fig.03)
  • Fig. 03_preparing_scene

    Fig. 03_preparing_scene

  • A new window will open where you can browse for the desired image - once selected, click Open (Fig.04)
  • Fig. 04_setting_blue_prints_refrences

    Fig. 04_setting_blue_prints_refrences

  • After choosing your image you'll be taken back to the Viewport Background window. Here, you'll have to change a few options to make things easier. In Aspect Ratio, change to Match Bitmap and enable Lock Zoom/Pan. Close this window by clicking on OK (Fig.05)
  • Fig. 05_setting_blue_prints_refrences

    Fig. 05_setting_blue_prints_refrences

  • The image will show up in the viewport and we can zoom in without getting the image static on the viewport so that it now goes along with the zoom and pan. Notice that the image must match the selected viewport (Fig.06)
  • Fig. 06_shelbey_car_template_refrence

    Fig. 06_shelbey_car_template_refrence

  • Right now the image is in the viewport, you should repeat the process for the remaining viewports (Fig.07)
  • Fig. 07_refrences_front_side_orthographic

    Fig. 07_refrences_front_side_orthographic

    Another way to add the images to the viewport is to create four grids in their respective axis. This was the technique I used for this model (Fig.08).

    Fig. 08_front_side_top_refrences

    Fig. 08_front_side_top_refrences

    Here is an example of a blueprint used for the modeling of my Mustang Shelby. For realistic inorganic modeling it's imperative to use one of these. Blueprints can be acquired for free at www.the-blueprints.com (Fig.09).

    Fig. 09_blueprints_shelby

    Fig. 09_blueprints_shelby

    Fig. 09a

    Fig. 09a

    Modeling Poly by Poly

    I'll now illustrate a demonstration in 15 steps of how to use the poly-by-poly modeling method. I used a blueprint with four orthogonal views with good image resolution: Top, Front, Left or Right, and Back. Without blueprints it is much harder to achieve satisfactory results (Fig.10).

    Fig. 10

    Fig. 10

    Materials & Textures

    In this project, I used textures that I found on the internet through a Google search. They were free to use and were not taken from stock image sites. I created most of the final textures in Photoshop CS2. I use this older version of the software because it's enough for my needs, and the process is the same for newer versions. The main textures have a resolution of 3000 by 3000 pixels, which gave sharper detail. The bump textures were used to create the feeling of depth in some details of the model. The textures used can be seen in Fig.11.

    Fig. 11

    Fig. 11

    Shaders & Settings

    For the shaders I used a VRay Material with some adjusted parameters, as shown in Fig.12 and as follows:

    Fig. 12

    Fig. 12

    Car Shader

    • Diffuse
      Diffuse: R: 0, G: 0, B: 0
    • Reflection
      Reflect: R: 50, G: 50, B: 50 | Falloff: Black and White
      Highlight glossiness: 1.0
      Refl. glossiness: 0.98
      Subdivs: 12
    • Refraction
      Refract: R: 0, G: 0, B: 0
      Glossiness: 1.0
      Subdivs: 8
      IOR: 1.6

      BDRF
      BRDF: Phong
    • Glass Shader
      Diffuse
      Diffuse: R: 0, G: 0, B: 0
    • Reflection
    • Reflect: R: 255, G: 255, B: 255
      Highlight glossiness: 1.0
      Refl. glossiness: 1.0
      Subdivs: 12
      Fresnel reflections: Enabled
      Fresnel IOR: 2.0
    • Refraction
      Refraction: R: 220, G: 200, B: 200
      Glossiness: 1.0
      Subdivs: 12
      Use interpolation: Enabled
      IOR: 1.0
    • BRDF
    • BRDF: Phong
    • Options
    • Reflect on back side: Enabled
    • Chrome Shader
    • Diffuse
    • Diffuse: R: 0, G: 0, B: 0
    • Reflection
      Reflection: R: 171, G: 171, B: 171
      Highlight glossiness: 0.98
      Refl. glossiness: 0.96
      Subdivs: 12
    • Refraction
      Refraction: R: 0, G: 0, B: 0
      Glossiness: 1.0
      Subdivs: 8
      IOR: 1.6
    • BRDF
      BRDF: Phong

    Lighting

    This scene is fairly complex in terms of lighting. There are 11 VRay lights, all with Multiply values of less than 20 units. Only four of the VRay lights were projected directly onto the car, while the other seven were turned to face other directions to create blurred reflections and diffuse shadows. This is a very important technique when working with this type of lighting, so that the lights won't be overexposed. I also used four vertical white planes and an extra plane just slightly above them to create the reflection on the body of the car, just as if it were in a photo studio. I used one third of a smoothed sphere to create the impression of an infinite background, with 100% white color (Fig.13).

    Fig. 13

    Fig. 13

    Even before rendering with custom shaders, it's important to setup and render test just the lighting of the scene, without applying any kind of shaders. This speeds up your work process and is more efficient because the yield is much lighter, and in this case the only concern is whether the lighting works as what you intended or not (Fig.14 - 15).

    Fig. 14

    Fig. 14

    Fig. 15

    Fig. 15

    Rendering with VRay

    Using V-Ray to render, I used settings that made an interesting combination. These parameters are not set rules but more of a study and personal preference of my own. If you want to try it out for yourself, I suggest you start off with the following parameters and then tweak them to your liking (Fig.16).

    Fig. 16

    Fig. 16

    After adjusting the V-Ray parameters, I achieved the result shown in Fig.17 - 21.  These all have a resolution of 3072 by 1728 pixels. For these five images I didn't use any extra render passes, such as Shadow, Ambient Occlusion, Specular, etc.

    Fig. 17

    Fig. 17

    Fig. 18

    Fig. 18

    Fig. 19

    Fig. 19

    Fig. 20

    Fig. 20

    Fig. 21

    Fig. 21

    Composition

    I decided to take the Mustang out of the studio and get him on the road - after all, that's where such a beauty should be! First of all, I rendered the image with the same settings as before - which did not work too well, as you can see (Fig.22). So I created an Ambient Occlusion pass (AO) to reinforce the corners and the spaces between elements (Fig.23). I took these two images into Photoshop, and with some adjustments of the brightness, contrast, layer blending mode and so on, I finally got a pleasing result (Fig.24).

    Fig. 22

    Fig 22

    Fig. 23

    Fig 23

    Fig. 24

    Fig 24

    Fig. 01

    Fig 01

    Fig. 02

    Fig 02

    Conclusion

    I hope that with this simple "making of" I have been able to answer some questions about this type of render. It's up to each individual artist to figure out how to tweak the V-Ray settings to their liking - it is a powerful tool that is completely in the hands of willing and talented artists to get the best use out of it.

    I would like to thank 3DCreative magazine for this opportunity to discuss a little about my work and experience with 3D. Please feel free to send any questions and/or comments to by email, or through my blog. Thanks for reading!