Design Education

Automotive Rendering Techniques by Mikael Lugnegard

cmiVFX Launches New Automotive Rendering Techniques Video for the New cmi Direct

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Curitiba, PR, Brazil January 13th, 2010 — cmiVFX
cmiStudios launches a brand new way of delivering videos for its fast growing user base. This new series of training videos is called cmiDirect. Why “direct”? The videos are DIRECT to the point and focus on one topic at the time. This will enable artists all over the world to have access to the information they need immediately without sorting through longer feature length videos. These videos explain all the information you need in depth and direct to the topic. Bundled video packages will be available in the near future for continuing education at affordable prices. When it comes to high end CG and VFX training, there is only once choice… cmiVFX!


3D Mockup in Maya
Starting off in Maya we will quickly show a very rough car model that will be the foundation for the design. The car is done with traditional polygon techniques which are not covered in this tutorial. The car was modeled in just a few hours and is very rough, but serves the overall purpose of a sketch model.
By toggling between a standard polygon mesh and a smooth mesh preview you will get an instant preview of the final surfaces. This technique is very useful when making sketch models. Sketch models are important in the process as it allows for easy straight-on modeling and evaluation. Using a polygon modeler like Maya makes the process both faster but also more flexible then it would be with Nurbs.

Rendering in Hyper Shot
Export the entire model to an .OBJ file and then import into Hyper Shot. Learn how to apply materials, change the environment, set up the camera for a successful rendering. Hyper Shot is indeed a great application for fast renderings and this section aims to reveal how it can be used in a slightly more advanced way and efficient way.
Different camera angles are evaluated and once the camera is locked down. Multiple renderings can be created using the same exact camera. Different materials and environments are tried out and this material will later be composited together in Photoshop.

Image Assembly and Color Correction in Photoshop
The renderings are now brought into Photoshop for assembly and initial color corrections. Bits and pieces from different renderings are put together using layers and blend modes. Some initial color correction can be made to make sure that the overall palette is consistent and coherent. By using adjustment layers it is possible to work in a non-destructive manner and really tune the levels and colors.
Learn how to work with the path-tool to create sharp and accurate design element such as cut-lines, vents and body creases. Utilizing a set of brushes in combination with selections created with the path-tool a painted look is achieved. This technique allows for both precision rendering as well as for a more painterly style.

Utilizing the path-tool, details and color trims are created in a fast and creative manner. The front is given some extra attention as well as a number of other key elements. Headlamps and splitters are designed and painted in using different tools.

Final Touches
Learn to fine tune the project by continuing the work all over the rendering, adding details and sharpness, paying extra attention to textures. Utilizing a variety of techniques, learn to add sharpness, key lines and highlights to accentuate.
The final step before completion is the introduction of overlay textures that really make the project come alive. By using a variety of textures, the original colors are mixed and blended in a very artistic manner. This technique is somewhat of a signature to the artist and really takes the rendering to a whole new level.

This video is available today at the cmiVFX store.
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About the Author:
Mikael Lugnegård is a Swedish 3D-artist who has worked as a freelancer and CG-instructor for many years now. He attended Umea Institute of Design in Sweden where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design. Mikael is proficient in Model Making, Graphic Arts, Photo Editing, High End Product Rendering, Project Management and more. He is passionate about the arts and education as well as photography, downhill skiing and is a snowboarding instructor. Mikael is currently a consultant and design for Red Digital Cinema and runs his own company Lugnegård Designs in Sweden.

See Mikael’s site click here.

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  • Centennial College
    March 16, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Fabulous post! This techniques are beneficial if its taken into consideration while making automobiles.
    Automotive Schools

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