Monday, August 24, 2015

Blender 3D VW Bus Project Part 7

The post I have today brings some nice additions to the VW bus project.  After eight hours of modeling I've been able to complete the front and rear bumpers, refinements to the convertible sun roof, rear tail lights, rear license plate, and minor tweaks here and there along the way to improve various alignment of previously modeled parts. 

I was happy that I took the time to collect all of the reference photos for this project.  I had to double check several photos to get the trim figured out for the front and rear bumpers along with the piece of trim shown in this photo that is below the rear passenger doors.  I also refined the rear view mirrors a bit to get the stem for the mirror to be a bit more correct. 
   I also removed the indentation for the wiper blades that I had previously modeled just below the windshields.  The wiper blades will be next on my to do list in the coming week or so.  This will be a fairly easy task to create them as once I get one modeled I will just duplicate another one and place it in the model.  I had to figure out also how the wiper blades are placed on the bus if the front windows are open.  What is done I found out is to have the wiper blades cross one another like you would fold your arms. A simple thing to model so it will be an easy task to complete.

The rear of the bus was interesting as well to model and find the photos I needed for the parts you see in the image above.  I managed to track down the correct font for the Volkswagen name plate that is on the rear door of the bus along with a photo of the "T" handle to open it.  
  The tail lights were simple enough to model as they are just an elongated circle with a chrome piece surrounding the light.  The lights also have a small rubber gasket that goes between them and the body of the rear of the bus.  The rear bumper is similar to the front but without the center bumper over-rider tube so that the rear engine cover can be opened up. I originally had it modeled with this center tube in place and thought it was kind of strange that it would be this way and again with my reference photos I was able to correct this before I completed the model. 

The front chrome and black trim on the bumper is very similar to the chrome and black trim that is on the body.  It is only a little different in shape and size.  I was going to add a front license plate but I think I will leave the model the way it is as I like the nice clean look of the bus without the plate covering up a good portion of the front end. 

In this upper shot of the bus you can see plainly that the interior needs to be put into the model.  So it will be added as planned in the coming weeks.  For now the exterior is nearly complete with what I've shown you today. 
   I was really happy to get the top vinyl folded cover for the sun roof tweaked a bit more.  It looks a more realistic now with the folds in the top coming together a bit more believably.  So I am constantly looking the model over again and again as I work on it at all kinds of different angles.  This helps me get a more detailed model in the end as I pick it apart and refine it when I see something I don't particularly like.  
  With the additions I've mentioned here the hours have stacked up pretty well with all the work I've added to the bus.  Eight more hours to be exact.  So the total now for the model has come up to 49.5 hours total.  I will be pretty accurate in saying that the completed model will be close to 100 hours time to complete. Another interesting fact of my bus is that at this point there are 179 individual parts in the model. This does not include parts that are mirrored in the model.  Lots of parts to be sure but every little piece adds to the detail in the model.  I'm again pleased with my efforts so far.  I hope you agree and enjoy the images.  More posts on this project will be in the works. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Blender 3D VW Bus Project Part 6

Today's progress on the VW bus project has taken a good portion of the day to complete.  New headlights, signal lights, mirrors, and door handles have now been added to the model. The headlights and signal lights took the most amount of time to get this detail correctly modeled.  I'm still fussing with the lighting as you can see from these few images just to get some more ideas for the final renders that I want.

The headlights took several tries in order to get the right look that I was going for.  I was happy to have collected all of the reference photos so this helped out quite a bit in getting it all worked out.

I am quite happy with the detail of the signal lights and even the housings for the headlights.  The chrome rings around these lights show up nice and bright to finish off the front of the bus perfectly. I also had to add chrome rings around the inner mounted headlights to get the right look to match the real thing. 

I am looking forward to adding the bumpers to the bus which will give the bus a bit more bright work to the model.  The mirrors and door handles add a bit more detail and were not terribly difficult create. The plus side with most of the modeling of the vehicle when it came to these parts was the fact that these parts could be mirrored on the model.  So if I made one side the other side of the vehicle would match perfectly.  This is how the lights on the vehicle were also set up. 

  With all of the detail on the outside of the bus it would be pointless to not finish the model off and do the inside as well.  This was exactly what I did when I created the VW bug Blender model.  It made it much more realistic in the finished images so it's something on my to do list for this model as well.  An additional 6.5 hours have been added to the model build time now which brings the total up to 41.5 hours.   I'll post the next installment as soon as possible.  Enjoy the updated images.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Blender 3D VW Bus Project Part 5

Today's installment of the Blender 3D VW Bus project has taken me a bit longer to create.  As usual with trying something new it takes a while to figure out just exactly what you need to do in Blender to get the end result that you planned on in the first place. This has been the case today.  I have accomplished some smaller tasks on the model over the past day or so with modifications once again to the body of the bus to refine it as I tweak it here and there to make it as flawless as possible. (If that is even possible.)  But the big task that I wanted to accomplish was the installation of the vinyl sun top roof.  To make a closed roof seemed easy enough but to have a view of the roof being open was another matter all together. 

Here is how the roof looks closed now that I have it modeled.  It took me a couple of tries to get it the way I wanted and in the end learned a couple of new things along the way.  The ribs in the roof were a simple matter of dividing the roof into sections that matched the blueprint drawings that I started with to create the model in Blender.  

Once I was happy with the look of the top I had to figure out how to open the roof up and have it look the way it does on a real VW bus.  

Here's the reference photo that I needed to show me how the roof should look once it has been opened up. The problem I had with the Blender model was to figure out how to duplicate the roof that was laying flat and then convert it to show what it looked like opened up and folded similar to what you see here.  I took the computer modeled roof and divided it several times at the locations for the ribs  and started moving things around.  These became a jumbled mess of vertices in a big hurry to the point that I didn't know what to choose next to move that would give me the shape I was trying to make.  With a little research online at the Blender 3D  site I found my answer.  
  What I wanted to do was be able to select a single row of vertices in the roof and then make each row an individual group.  With three separate ribs having a group to each segment and eight additional groups for the spaces between each rib I was better able to control the shape of the roof as I adjusted it to get the desired shape I was looking for.  

Here is the final result from my efforts today on the project.  I like the way the roof is opened up now as it is much more believable than when I started on it.  The process of creating vertex groups was something new that I've never used before but will be another handy tool that I will surely use in Blender projects down the line. For detailed  information on how this process is done  here is the link to the Blender site that explains everything in much more detail. 

With the roof opened or closed it is another great detail that will add that much more realism to my Blender model.  The hours are adding up with this segment of the project.  Total now has come up to 35 hours at this point. 

 A lot of the time was spent today just trying to figure out how to do something new which in itself is always a good thing and turned out to be a worth the effort once again.  Enjoy today's images and have a good one on your latest Blender project as well. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Blender 3D VW Bus Project Part 4

This installment of the Blender 3D VW Bus project brings the addition of the windows for the vehicle.  With Blender's Cycles render engine the glass sky reflections in the images really shines (no pun intended).  

Taking another four hours to complete this portion of the model it has transformed the vehicle further with the installation of the glass and framing. Since the VW bus has so many windows that are exactly alike it has sped up this process a bit in creating all of the windows and the hardware that goes along with them.  I first started with the black rubber seals that go around the outer perimeter.  I then duplicated the first one and made adjustments as needed for each window opening.  Then came the chrome outer frame for the windows and finally the glass. 

A lot of detail can still be put into the windows as there are no hardware that is normally added to a functional window such as hinges and window locks.  This is obvious on the front opening windshields.  There is a small set of arms that support the tilted windshields when they are open.  I will have to do some more research as to what these arms look like to get it the way I want.  Also the first three windows just to the rear of the driver's door have windows that open as well.  I'll have to look at this and see if I want this to be shown in the model.  Why go through the effort only to find that it is not something that I think will look good in the first place. 

Lots of trim is still missing on the outside of the body at this point. I have to work on the cover for the sun roof, front headlights, bumpers, door handles, hinges and the list goes on from there. Again with the side door on the passenger side I have not decided if I want these doors to be open or stay closed at this point.  I have it modeled so that this option is an easy matter or just rotating the doors open or closed. I will have to look in to this as well.  

Then I'm not even looking at the final lighting and what the rest of the image will look like that does not even relate to the vehicle itself. I know for sure that I want to do something more than have a white flat floor that the bus is parked on.  Just not enough detail for sure. Usually with any model with this much detail in it I will spend hours just working on the lighting to get it the way I want.  I could have the vehicle parked out side with the lighting similar to what you see here or have it on display in a dealership showroom.  Some ideas to think about anyway.  A total of 29 hours is the count now for this project.  Time well spent. Enjoy the fruits of my efforts with this latest installment.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Blender 3D VW Bus Project Part 3

There is an expression that has been around for decades.  That being "Clothes make the man".  In the case of my Blender 3D VW Bus it's more like "Wheels make the van".  So is the case with the third installment with my creation of this great looking vehicle. 

I was able to copy the wheels and tires from my Blender 3D VW Bug project and bring them into this model.  This saved me a good amount of time trying to recreate something that I already had completed.  The wheels and tires really set off the vehicle already and I'm not even close to completing this project. 

Along with the wheels and tires I've added the rear louvers for engine compartment at the rear quarter panels.  This was one of the easier tasks to do as it was simply a matter of making one louvered shape and then duplicating it for the set.  Then the entire set was mirrored over to the passenger side of the body to complete the task.  Turned out very well for a little bit of effort. 

The black and chrome trim that runs around the complete body took a little figuring out to do.  This being because of the dis-similar sides of the body.  With the additional passenger doors on the passenger side of the body the trim needed to be made up in several section to allow for the door seams that the body has. Once I found a good shape for the chrome trim it was just a matter of duplicating it over and over for each section of the body.  Only the trim on the front and rear corners of the vehicle were mirrored to get it to match on both sides of the body.  Not a difficult task but like any car model it is time consuming.  What you see here has now come up to 23 hours of work..... or again I should say "play". 

 The lighting in the second picture works out very well for the project and most likely will be used in the final renders for this project.  Lots to do yet before I get there but I am making progress and liking what I've been able to create so far.  I hope you agree with that thought.  Enjoy the images.  More to come soon.