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Possibly a better way to model Cars

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Possibly a better way to model Cars
on Apr 5, 2007 at 7:00:40 pm

i just joined this site about 4 mins ago, and i wanted to put this on here to see what other more experienced modellers thought about this, i have for the past year or so begun to see more and more car modelling tutorials, and breathtaking results on the internet, now dont get me wrong, i am not trying to say that a tried and tested method doesnt work, because judging by what i have seen it does, and it does very well, however looking at these tutorials and looking at cars, i can see one obvious thing that is wrong with modelling cars in either box modelling or sub-D modelling, cars are built with panels bolted to a chasis, heres where the interesting points come into play, Each Panel is a set of 4 curves, its those 4 curves that make the panel shape, the curves may bend 90 degrees, but they are still curves, using a Maya feature i have not seen referred to much thes panels would be so simple to construct into Meshes, and then "bolted" onto a frame of some sort, i guess you could even model the chasis and use this to affect the panels in the way a real chasis does, thus introducing a complete new way of modelling and animating cars in Maya, the Tool i refer to is the Boundry tool, i have seen this tool in Rhino as well, and i will check out which version handles better, but think about it, no more slowdowns when modelling complex cars, once you had a chasis in place, the panels could be as complex as you want them to be, because once you had created each panel it could be saved and deleted and brought back in for the final rendering or animation, plus no trickery would be needed to give a car its door lines or body lines, because they would be part of the construction process, just like in the real car industry, i hope you guys respond and give me your honest opinion, it just seems logical to me that if your going to model a car then why not make life easier and copy the people who make cars.
Ps i call this Boundry Curve Modelling, cool name huh

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Steve Sayer
Re: Possibly a better way to model Cars
on Apr 8, 2007 at 3:54:31 am

Hi, Michael. Thanks for joining and sharing your idea.

The Boundary Curve Tool can certainly be used in the way you describe, but there are a few limitations that might make the modelling process trickier than you are anticipating. The main limitation that I can see is that the boundary surfaces would have infinitely thin edges, which would be a problem when trying to achieve a very realistic look.

The panels that make up a real car have some thickness to them, plus rolled edges, paint, and so on, all of which creates a very distinct look to the seams between them. A boundary surface, however, has no thickness, no round edge, and so on. When rendered, the seams would look very harsh and sharp, and the car would proabably seem like it was made out of paper instead of metal. You could find ways around this, but you might find that the effort involved actually makes this technique less efficient than you had hoped.

Don't be discouraged if your idea doesn't catch on, though: it's clever and inventive and you should be proud of having come up with it. That kind of creativity and ability to imagine novel ways to use existing tools, plus hunting for the most efficient, effective workflow, are qualities that any successful artist in this industry needs to have. So keep those ideas coming!


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