Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chasing Cars (I)

Today I’m introducing a topic: “Past times were better” but do not worry I will NOT discuss topical sentences like “youth is lost”, “the end is near” or “it’s over 9000!”; I will be talking about… the 60’s.

A lot of things happened in the 60’s: Among others, the construction of the Berlin Wall (1961), Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961) and Sanjuro (1962), John F. Kennedy election (1961) and assassination (1963), the creation of Spacewar! (1962) one of the first known digital computer games, the hippie movement (mid 60's), Star Trek: The Original series (1966 - 1969), the students and workers uprisings in France (1968), the man on the moon (1969), aaaaaaand the first generation of Chevrolet Camaro (1967 - 1969).


I like Muscle Cars, so I felt quite happy when the '68 Camaro was assigned to me to recreate. What I didn’t know was the headache that would be to get references about this car.
There are a lot of Camaros out there, and they’ve all been modified in every possible way, surprisingly (almost) every modification make the car look good (must be the shape) but that made the search for references, though successful, a bit difficult.

The '68 Camaro is made of 5 objects (Chassis and 4 Wheels) and it has 3,742 triangles. I used the left side rotoscope (Right view) as the main reference to draw the curves and build the car. It was made during the second week of the "Production of 3D Videogames" course.

From the references, I detected 2 main differences in the Camaro’s modifications of the main chassis: integrated and separated (and mostly chromed) bumpers. I decided to go for the separated bumpers; I personally think it is more characteristic of the everyday (non-racing oriented) Camaro and that was the look I was searching for. But since the car wasn’t thought to lose pieces or get broken in a crash, I integrated the bumper with the main object (Chassis).

I will use textures for the front and rear lights, as well as other minor details like the trunk or the rims and tires (whenever I learn how to use textures). 

Another piece of the chassis that is different in every Camaro is the hood or bonnet. There is no reason other than personal taste to have chosen this one. This specific hood gives the car personality without being too excessive in the design.

It took me a little while to figure out how to save the holes in the front spoiler… since I applied the Ockham’s razor principle to my reasoning: If you want to cross a hole, you make a bridge; and that I did, I extruded the polygons on every side of the hole and bridged them.

The wing mirror is part of the main object and is taken from an original replace part of a Camaro. 
Depending on the version and modifications of every car you can find it in that position or a little further forward. Based on different references and since I divided the side windows in 3 parts I put the wing mirror in that position for the driver not to have any obstacle in his line of sight.

In the next post – Chasing Cars (II) – I will talk about one profession that every man (and some women) have dreamt to do, at least once when they were kids... spaceship pilot? No, I covered that in last week’s post.

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