First things first: I had to find a car suitable for this project. Based on the opinions of experts, a good looking car does not necessarily make a good image. So with this in mind, I discarded all the typical sports cars out there and just went for a simple, but still impressive, car. The Scirocco was the car I chose, because I liked it a lot.
Most of the modeling was just poly modeling, with some NURBS here and there. I followed the blueprints just to get the overall shape and proportions right; after that it was all just reference images and freestyle modeling with some of my own artistic twist. However, all the changes done to the car were minimal as I wanted to preserve the original look of the car (Fig.04 – 05).
For a rendering engine I used the trusty V-Ray v2.0. All the materials were created with a V-Ray mtl as a base and then just building from there, testing different options and solutions until I was pleased with the result.
Before I jumped into the full texturing phase, I wanted to see how the lighting setup that I had in mind was going to affect the materials, especially the car paint, glass, etc. So for this purpose I created a small studio setup with a "speed shape” for the car, where I could quickly change the setup, adjust the materials and see the result (Fig.06).
This is a very useful trick, especially where time is important and you don't want to spend days just guessing and adjusting, and re-rendering a full image with all the assets. It also gave me some ideas about what kind of material I would like to use. Inside the Material Editor I created my own separate library just for this project, as this way I was able to just drag-and-drop the materials when needed.
The materials included carbon fiber, car paint, different sets of plastic and metal, rubber, leather, glass and a mixture of concrete and metal. Here are some of the materials used in scene (Fig.07 – 13):