Complete quality sci-fi vehicle-design. You're welcome. ; )

Random image showing the current progress:

Originally started here:

Hello fellow Blenderartists and welcome to my first thread on this site. I’ve chosen the “work in progress section” (Codename WIP) because here we shall pursue the incredible journey of my newest project together. To actually show what this is based on instead of boring you to death uhm… the next thread, I present you these drawings of a vehicle-design, which will be the focus in this project.

As you can see, we are going for a slightly “exotic” but not completely impossible concept. If this is going well we might modify the concept temporarily at some point to aim for a Steampunk version (which should work well according to my twisted imagination) in order to own the uhm… contribute to this Steampunk competition. The imagery I’m going for is some variance of realism as long as the result looks professional, cool and 100% jaw dropping. I call that plausiblism. ; ) I know, this sounds very ambitious and maybe naive from someone who has jet no such work to show. But trust me guys, I have a plan… and most importantly… I have you. ; ) I not only want to show the development, but also intend to make this a creative collaboration… kind of. Therefore as you can see, I’ve set quite loose boundaries from where you can of course shape the project together with me.

I hope you don’t hate this so far or had to suffer because of my wonky writing. If you’re alright though, be sure to catch the train of awesomeness because the next stop (very soon) will be some pure wireframe-vehicle-nudity. : )
So… yeah… uhm… prepare for that I guess. See-ya.

Sketches look good

hey welcome to blender artists. what a hilarious introduction! i am looking forward to the wireframe-nudity :wink:

@NID Graphics
Nice and relieving to see the foundation already approved. : ) Drawing is not my strong point but it definitely worked for the modelling.

Thank you very much. I try to be at least a little bit entertaining, so that’s nice to hear. The next part will come up some time tomorrow, depending on how long it takes the moderation to examine my stories. ; )

Ok guys, as I already promised, here is the continuation where the design is transferred to Blender as a mesh. Well, now we are in Blender territory. ; ) Luckily, this is still a part where I sort of know what I’m doing. Finding key forms, matching important poly-strips, playing the “all-quads-game”, supporting edges with further edge-loops and subdivide the result smooth. I can not wait for just maybe seeing the openSubdiv creasing in 2.75 as it is one of the main reasons for the implementation. As of jet, I did not use the sculpting workflow, but that might change on future occasions.
The Result of this brain-torture is visible in the following image.

As you can see, I went for a shaded backdrop with an X-ray wire-frame on top because (it looks nice^^) I modeled a lot of unnecessary stuff inside the turbine, which you might never be able to see otherwise. ; ) Sometimes It’s not good to know a lot about the things you making. ; ) I hope you guys are OK with the way I handled the picture. Also as you maybe noticed, I did not model the tightest details, but I think this can be fixed with some normal-maps later on. You can also expect me to add smaller elements as we go. The next part will be a beauty-pass of the same mesh, so we can do a proof of concept and see if the thing is any good. I’ve planned a typical dark and shiny high-tech design-presentation feel for that, so be sure to check out the “Blenderartists’s Next Top Model” beauty-shot on the next update.
Thank you for checking this out and see-ya. : )

Now that the textures somehow take forever to bake…
Welcome back to this magical place of cgs (computer generated sorcery). Today I scheduled a proof of concept and a more serious talk about the future of this thread. You might think that this update is not so much about progress and you are probably right. Today we look at the design in a quick and early slick presentation render, deciding if it’s worth continuing. But this is also useful for selling this project to a potential blenderartists viewer at the early beginning phase. ; )
Right after we have blocked out the desired shapes we apply basic shading, pronouncing key shapes with a suitable light-setup to see if we can get them to work as intended.
With the image ready in front of you, take a deep breath and try to get a new first impression. This is the moment you realize, that your design is actually a total…
It’s amazing! It has to be amazing right?! You would never waste so much time that could’ve been spent on way more important things. Right? It’s a fact then. Your result is awesome, even if you didn’t realize it yet. Great!
So here’s what I came up with.

“Hey! I know a mat-cap when I see one, son!”
Calm down please and let me explain. It’s true, I didn’t touch cycles yet in order to prevent burning my fingers. I just took some viewport-renders of a few mat-caps, color-graded and stitched them together in GIMP to achieve some material definition. The “shadows” are made with the new and sweet screen-space AO. It’s really handy to render these in 4K in just a few seconds. This workflow turned out to be very fast and pretty (for conceptualizing).

The further process is now bringing this ride to life by making some sexy worn and torn materials.
(So far, they are pretty damn amazing…) ; )

Now for the serious part:
When I started this thread I knew I wanted to do something completely different and new, so I went for the humerus Blog-ish format with structure, explanations, workflow descriptions, many updates and so on. That’s eventually quite tedious and exhausting to produce, so the continuation of this depends on the interest this kind of thing receives.
I might as well continue this project with just the occasional image, not sharing each and every step and leaving this as a fun experiment for the past. I’ll decide on that in the near future.

Peace-out. Have a brilliant day. : )

fun thread… and, good translation of the drawing into model… keep going, and have fun

Nice to hear, thank you. Some fun is definitely involved. ; )
You sparked my motivation to write the post for tomorrow. : ) There will be some sweet ray-traces…
I fear the concept is not really appealing to many people, even if it looks like a dangerously fun ride to me.
That makes me special, I guess. XD

A nice read, and a great model :slight_smile: Keep it up!

Thank you. Feedback and motivation is always appreciated. : )

Creativity.exe missing: [Intro]
Finally we are pursuing the key to realism, textures and materials.

But first Story-time! ; )
In the beginning I wanted to use an external program like “Quixel something” or Substance something" to create all the texture-maps, because I simply thought I could never do this “by hand”.
So I started trying demos, figuring out the programs, using lazy presets and “smart-materials” (strangely acting quite dumb most of the time).
Everything looked nice and textured so I just had to export and it was done. Yes and no. Yes, you’re done with the texture, because now you are stuck with it or you start a new one. No, now you have to tweak all the maps forever until it looks “close enough” in cycles, basically because these programs are not designed with blender in mind. My personal conclusion was that I myself couldn’t find a justification to buy these rather expensive tools as a blender user. They are really good at what they do for sure, but I had to say no. Troublesome export, felt like cheating and not “my work”, difficult to change once exported, very annoying to get to look right in cycles, the learning curve aaand the list goes on…
I tried to see if I did something wrong, so I went to the Tubes and watched an introduction-video on substance painter for cycles only to see that the guy simply didn’t care about these things.
Only one option left for me then ; D, because texturing is probably the most important part of creating believable cg-sorcery.
Once I was back in Blender, I realized that the node editor actually does very much of the same thing as the external texturing programs, with the difference being that there are no presets and there are nodes instead of layers (which is very nice).

Long story short… I went to use a magic tool only to come back and see that there is no magic (who would have thought…). ; )

Translating the things to the node editor resulted in a huge node-tree. OK it’s ridiculously huge. ; D

I think this surpassed 150 nodes (Not planning to verify that XD), but I seems to work kind of… OK. You can judge the results yourself. The massive amount of nodes is simply because of the procedural texturing. It seems to render best, if I mix shader-properties, instead of mixing the shaders directly. Fewer shader-nodes seem to be more efficient and I learned that there is a limit for zooming out in the node editor. ; ) I have a decent AMD/ATI card but of course still have to use my CPU (not the worst in the world…), which gives me at least a usable viewport-render. I present you this, using 50 delicious samples. ; )

The procedurals are controlled by masks, curvature, height-map and AO. Now i have no limited texture resolution and all the freedom to change the material in every layer individually (even all the wear and tear) easily whenever I please (note varying colors of the frame). : ) Should I need more speed later on, I can bake the Texture-cake… ; ) I found two issues to fix before moving on. Since the model just screamed: “Steampunk!” at my face lately, I decided to go for this direction. (Honestly, it was already the feeling I went for while drawing…) Because modeling affects texturing quite a bit and the baking takes very long, I will now detail the mesh to a further extend before reviving the rest of the model.
Do you think my result is viable and what’s your take on texturing out- or inside Blender?
Share your thoughts and have a nice day. : )

I liked it too :slight_smile:

Good luck steadyhand!

Nice spaghetti you have there.;D

Thanks TwoDeer.

Funny Terrance8D, at least you liked that.
I will consider leaving this vehicle-stuff and starting a thread on beautiful node-trees. ; )

That would be a fun adventure.:stuck_out_tongue:

Ok pulling the emergency break. Joking is nice but I’d appreciate some thoughts and criticism about the actual topic here…

To be honest, I’m not much of a “scifi geek” or anything like that, so all I can say is it looks cool.:slight_smile: Don’t know much about the functionality.

It looks really nice, the shape is very bold, almost a pixarish cartoon-realism. I think it could be used very powerfully to tell a story in an action shot.

P.S. For $%^&* sake clean up your node tree XD

Me neither and its also more of a current and old tech fiction (It may become more steampunk-ish). Don’t need to be a geek to see if something looks good. ; ) Thanks.

Thank you, I agree, it would be boring if it wasn’t exaggerated. And I’m all for action in the final scene. ; ) I mean this thing is basically like riding a turbine…^^
P.S. The node-tree is pretty much how I like It. The only thing I would add (not going to completely because I’m lazy : P) is framing and labeling.

I didn’t explain the functionality jet, and it’s not that easy to see from the model. This is a hover-turbine lifted by two small jets an the bottom. Very absurd but as much fun. I’m sure It will be self explanatory in the final image.
I didn’t do much, just fixed the two things on the textures and here is a render with 250samples (took 30min on the cpu : /).
As I said, I’m going for realism(-ish). And for the people who want something funny, I’ll add a version from funky-town. ; )

Thoughts and criticism on the Materials would be much appreciated.
Thank you for checking this out and see you again hopefully.

Not sure what is up with the second image, but the first one is great!!