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.