“Well it'd be stupid not to try right?” this is pretty much what went through my mind when I read Tom's Brief for the BMW internship. I immediately started drawing up a 'master' plan to secure the place. I initially intended to do both options and produce and vehicle and place it in a scene I had created. The vehicle would be a BMW X6-M, chosen purely because I thought it an interesting design, a sort of mix between a 4x4 and a saloon car. The scene I had in mind was a quarry, full of mud and dust. Mud and dust that I intended to spray all over the car.
So with a great deal of excitement and anticipation I began modeling the X-6. I started very low poly around the front wheel arch, there were maybe 6-8 sides to the arch at the start. I then built the front wing, with most of my concern on keeping good clean flow lines. I built the rest of the car using this method, following the lines of the car in a smooth and effective manner. Once this was complete I deiced to try and up the poly count and improve the over all silhouette.
I used the turbo-smooth modifier to achieve this. Usually I wouldn't use turbo smooth but since this model was only being used for production and final renders, not games I felt justified . Initially turbo-smooth caused many problems and seemed very messy. After some reading online I refined the mesh by chamfering edges to achieve the hard lines and smooth curves I required. However the chamfering required a lot of forward planning and fine tuning to make sure is was left with clean topology. Once I had gotten to grips with this method the car really began to take shape and I started work on an interior. I didn't want to spend too much time making the interior super detailed, as the main focus would be the outside.
After I'd got the interior out of the way I began fine tuning the outside.
I had a lot of trouble with the shapes in and around the rear bumper. It has a lot of hard edges and changes in direction, which when chamfering and smoothing can get a bit confusing. After sorting that the front bumper was less of a challenge, and with that done most of the challenging shapes where complete.
I did quite a few test renders just to see how it was looking. These highlighted a few areas that needed work, the door handles for example were not smoothing in the right shape.
I want through this process quite a few times until I was happy with how the car was looking.
I had quite a bit of trouble balancing the brightness and contrast. It was either coming out too dark and undefined or too bright and washed out.
For the final renders I tried to place the camera in positions that replicated advertising images used by car firms. I think the low angel shots were particularly effective at making the car look aggressive and imposing.
I wrapped up my 5 best renders in a PDF and sent an email with all my fingers crossed.