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Making Of 'BMW C1: Urban Trespasser'

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Date Added: 30th December 2010
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With this project, Edit Poly's standard features were surely enough, but it's always useful to remember that they can be extended with scripts like Advanced Poly ( or PolyBoost (

After the assembly was done, I took 4 views that seemed interesting and descriptive to me (Fig.07a - d). On the base of these the whole scenery was created, as planned (the last 4 views which made it to the final set of images were selected by taking into account the surroundings after the modelling stage was finished).

Fig. 07a
Fig. 07b

Fig. 07c
Fig. 07d

At this stage I intended to use studio renders only, but I wasn't sure if this variant suited me ... I had to complete some test renders to get a rough idea of the result. To achieve this, I set the test lighting with minimal settings. I selected HDRI to be well colour-balanced, because I wanted the colours on the render to remain the same as they were set in the Material Editor, without adjusting White Balance in the Camera settings - it was easier to make changes in the materials this way, and be sure they would look natural in different lighting situations (Fig.08a - d).

Fig. 08a
Fig. 08b

Fig. 08c
Fig. 08d

I then created some simple materials and rendered a couple of rough images of the studio (Fig.09a - b). I wanted to make two variants of lighting to show how the model would look during the day and night, and in this respect I was disappointed with the results. In the studio with a dark background the difference in lighting wasn't really noticeable, and the studio with a bright background looked plain and somehow unfinished. I therefore came to the decision to try the variant with surroundings - it helped me to create a complete and complex picture with elements from different areas of 3D design; I could check my skills at all phases of the process and get the maximum from the project. It didn't make sense to restrict myself by creating a background only for one view and to leave the others in the studio, as the whole 3D scene met the requirements of the model's presentation for each selected view, and could also be used in an animation for a show reel, if I wanted to do one in the future.

The subject for the background was defined at once; I've always wanted to create something linked with industrial culture, and here I was given the opportunity. At that moment I already decided to "dirty" the model a little. The industrial background in this case takes the role of an aggressive environment, explaining the stains on the hull by its existence, making some contrast with the C1's futuristic look and also allowing me to play up the black and yellow colour scheme of some dangerous mechanisms. All of this provided interaction with the model itself and its surroundings, making it organic and associated.

Fig. 09a

Fig. 09b

The next phase was to search for references for the environment (Fig.10). The work on gathering references was completed in the following stages:

1. I made a list of items I wanted to see in the picture and made some sketches of the scene with dummies made of primitives. At this stage I needed to set the volumes. I didn't want to make the surrounding structure too complicated and fractional, in order to keep the viewers' attention on the bike, so I tried to build the space mainly with large forms.

2. I looked for colours, materials and textures for the objects selected at stage 1.

Fig. 10

Texturing: Materials

With the modelling work finished, all objects were scaled and placed, views were selected and the lighting was ready. So it was time for textures and materials.

All models in the scene could be divided into three groups by the complexity of their unwrapping, as follows:
1. Models for which one of the standard variants of UVW mapping was enough. They have simple form or they are some undistinguished details of a more complex object - mostly screws, screw-nuts and the like this, as well as objects in the depths of the scenery and poorly lit ones.
2. Models that need unwrapping on the base of standard mapping which demands correction "by hand", but without strict accuracy. For instance, when you need texture scales of different objects to roughly correspond to each other, or when you need to place some stains somewhere without taking into consideration the seams and texture stretching because the model's form allows you to hide it easily. Most objects of the scene are in this group (Fig.11a - e).

Fig. 11a

Fig. 11b

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