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Chapter 1: Modelling the Chassis - Basics
Hello and welcome to the first part of this seven-part car modelling tutorial series. In this part, we will cover using the blueprints and reference images, and modelling the basic body work.
Blueprints are very essential when modelling a car, as they will make the process easier and will ensure that the overall proportions of the model are correct (please visit www.the-blueprints.com for blueprints). I've had a few experiences where I had to model a car without blueprints, and although I enjoyed the artistic process of simply looking at the references and modelling it accordingly, and trying to camera match the image to check that it was correct overall, it's so much faster and more accurate to start with blueprints, but they're not always that easy to find (you can always make your own, though). Here are a few paths that I take, personally, when looking for blueprints. First of all I check the forums at www.smcars.net and see if the blueprint I am looking for is there. If not, I go to the manufacturer's website and check it carefully, as sometimes the blueprints are in the brochure which you can download, or order a hard copy if you have enough time. I also try to use Google's search engine to look for them, but sometimes they're simply impossible to find. Fortunately, we can find lots of blueprints for this Bugatti. It's very easy to find images for the Veyron as it's a popular car!
1. Now for setting the blueprints inside 3ds Max, there are many ways to do it, but here is how I've been doing it for a while now.
First of all, create a plane and have its length and width the same as in the blueprint image. You can check the blueprint dimensions in any windows folder details, or in the Photoshop image size function. Open the material editor and have the blueprint in the diffuse slot and make sure that self illumination is on (Fig01).
2. By the way, don't forget to make sure that you can display textures at their highest resolutions inside 3ds Max's real-time view port.
Go to Customize > Preferences and choose Viewports > Configure Driver and check that it's on the highest resolution, as can be seen in Fig02.
3. Now we have one plane containing all views of the blueprints. Instead of splitting them in Photoshop, I find it quicker to do it inside the 3D application that I am using. Simply convert the plane to editable poly and cut it using quick slice, cut or connect edges (Fig03).