Monday, October 1, 2007

3D modeling with CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator

Hello again,
I'd like to show another example of how easy it is to transition from 2D vector illustration to full on 3D modeling using CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator and a 3D application of your choice... I use Lightwave 9 in this example... Let's go!

Designer techniques ran a challenge a few months back for contestants to design a recreational futuristic moon vehicle. It could be flying or roving but had to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for the competition.

The challenge ran for over three months but I only saw it posted three weeks before the deadline so I had to design quick. No problem... I've got CorelDRAW!

I sketched out a bunch of designs but settled on this concept here. It's sort of based on the model T Ford because of it's basic function and purpose as an early automobile. Since aerodynamics don't play much of an issue on the moon and that this moon car would be one of the first of the new generation moon vehicles, I found the shape and design retro fitting and quite adequate.

The idea is that the capsule with the recreational travelers could be hoisted on and off the chassis with ease and little strain on the moon wandering passengers.

Okay so... Next I vectored out my moon vehicle using CorelDRAW. This is somewhat of a time consuming but very necessary part of the design process. I will show why this method of design pays off in the long run here in one second.

Here is the 2D vector illustration.

I start by blocking out generic shapes in CorelDRAW until the design aesthetics are pleasing and all of the working, moving, mechanical parts are issue free. In this case, the wheel mechanism had to travel in a motion that would leave our travelers level over the ever changing rough terrain of the moon's surface.

Here is the final wheel mechanism showing a range of motions done in CorelDRAW X3.

The ability to assign pivot points to a multiple set of grouped objects in DRAW is invaluable in working out the multiple separate joints that are needed for the design to function properly. I worked it out with generic shapes by trial and error until the design function was equal to the design proportions that I was looking for.

This is where drafting all of your work in a vector program like CorelDRAW starts to pay off, before the step of modeling. Just convert the CorelDRAW vector data to an Adobe Illustrator version 6 file and import it into your 3D application of choice... In this case, Lightwave 9.

Once the data is in the 3D program, the shapes can be extruded, beveled, textured, lit, rendered and animated... Even back out to vector (using the Swift plug-in) if desired.

Here is the CorelDRAW data extruded, lit and rendered out of Lightwave.

The tread pattern on the tire is a vector CorelDRAW graphic used as a bump map.
Here is the final moon vehicle render using mostly CorelDRAW parts and Lightwave.

Here is the final rendered wheel. It is a little distorted because I used a short camera lens for the vehicle to take up more of the rendered frame.

Needless to say that I did not place in the top three of the competition but I am still satisfied with the final concept render.

If you are an avid CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator user, your whole library of existing vector art such as logos, flames, wheel designs or whatever else you may have can be modeled and animated easily using the above technique.

You can see the winners of this challenge right here.


1 comment:

ShanesArt said...

Look at Igor holdin down the vector to 3D tip! Nice tutorial. Very informative. Your work has definately come into it's own distinctive style. Way to represent Brotha!

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