Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Colorado train car model

Here's the thing... I've been working with corelDRAW since version 7. I didn't realize that I could import my vector data into a 3D application (I use Lightwave) until version 11 but when I did... It changed my work completely.

Above is the first object I made in Lightwave. I had taken some photographs of a train yard in Denver around the Stapleton district area... I drew it out in corelDRAW and imported all of my vector data as version 6 Illustrator files via the EPSF loader in Lightwave. I couldn't believe that I could use my vector work as a background template guide and I could also use the actual vector data in my modeling. WHAT?! I had basic modeling skills before I ever opened a modeling package. Crazy.

After I finished the crossing post and the pole, I decided to make some tracks.

The tracks were relatively easy. I mapped texture and photo images onto my geometry from my 35 mm AGFA slide library I had built up over the years studying photography.

I made a road even and added some rocks... It lead for me to try and model a train car for my scene. I thought that a basic square box car would make a great first model attempt. I could figure out my corelDRAW to Lightwave work flow, learn how to texture, light and composite and still make a basic model that I could be proud of.

This is what I came up with about three months later. All the geometry besides the simplest basic primitives were drafted up in corelDRAW and imported into Lightwave as Illustrator version 6 data.

Here is a test night scene render.

Below is my final render... I tried to light it so it had a dusk alien abduction feel to it but I don't think I pulled it off...

Here is an animated sequence I put together a few years later for CGSociety's EON challenge. The rings on the red blinky lights are circles made in corel draw applied as a translucency map.

There is a high definition 24 frame per second flash loop of this animation here.

Check out my slice and bend technique using the corelDRAW to Lightave pipeline.

Keywords: photography from denver train yard box car lightwave train car model drafted in corel draw coreldraw extruded modeled beveled image mapped mapping photoshop train crossing street high definition resolution render alien abduction aftereffects adobe animation animated 24 fps frames per secon flash loop embeded within html blog post blogger google


Anonymous said...

Impressive...VERY Impressive. Thanks for your play-by-play of how it was all done. You certainly know your tools.
Merridy in Maine (moved here from CO)

Tim said...

Very, very, nice design. This helped a lot as reference drawings for a train I made as a CAD project. Mine isn't nearly as good as yours, but I was also supposed to dumb it down as it was to be a drawing of a toy train car.

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