This box car is based on a train model hand painted by Ron Thornton. This project took about a week and a half. I used reference pictures of the model box car and measurements to create it to scale. The making of the box car is broken down into modeling, texturing, lighting, and compositing.
Modeling from the trucks all the way down to each rivet, details were crucial to make this look photorealistic. I teamed up with Alex Lee for the modeling on the box car. We used some blueprint references from the train set and many high resolution reference images of the box car on the track. The great thing about the box car is that we could measure a model of a train a lot easier than a real train. The modeling took about 4 days. More measurements the better, just make sure you keep organized or it can get confusing.
The texturing was fun. For reference I used images of real trains and lot of rust pictures. I used mostly image maps for my textures. I did add some procedurals over the images to break up repeating patterns of the rust. I found another great technique to get the rust images I was looking for. I used the blend if option in the blending options of each layer of Photoshop. With this I was able to control the blending of two images very effectively. You can blend the background into the foreground and vise versa; also you can extend the control by using the blending modes supplied by Photoshop like multiply, hard light, etc. If you would like to know more about this method please feel free to e-mail me.