In this tutorial, We will be Modeling Lotus Elise car using Blender, we will do amazing studio lighting and rendering with Blender’s Cycles render engine.
We will do little bit of compositing inside Blender’s compositor and some final effects and post processing in Photoshop. Fire up Blender and let’s get started.
Let’s see what you will be creating in this tutorial.
Go in front ortho view by hitting 1 on keyboard. You can toggle between ortho and perspective view with 5 number key. Hit N to open up property panel and check background images. Click Add image button and in blue print image of lotus elise you can find from google. Here is one nice image to use: lotus-elise-old.gif. This image is in .gif format. You can convert it to jpeg and png image by simple editing program like MS Paint. Choose axis to Front, Set X Y and size property according to the image below to centre the front view.
Add same image one more time, set it to right view and copy the settings according to image.
Add one more for the top view.
Steps to creating the image to be written here.
Hit SHIFT+A and add in a plane in front view, Open tool panel by T and check align to view. Go in edit mode by pressing TAB and set it according to image.
Select top vertices by right clicking and hit E to extrude them few times and set them according to image below.
Do the same thing above rear tire.
Extrude 2 edges from rear side like image below:
Extrude couple of time and connect it with front side. Select vertices you want to connect and hit Alt+M to merge them.
Select upper edge and extrude it according to the image.
Extrude it couple more time and select the lower part shown below. You can use circular select tool by pressing C key to select multiple vertices.
Go in front view and drag those vertices according to background image.
Set extruded edges according to blueprints from top view.
Select 6 faces around the hole we want on front part part of the body.
Extrude and scale them down. Extrude again and drag them on z axis to create a hole.
Use same technique on rear side of the car to create holes for headlights and other design.
Add extra edges and drag them according to blueprint for creating curves. To exclude parts like doors body, select vertices and hit P and choose selection to make them separate object.
After doing those steps, you will have something like image below. Go in modifier panel and add sub-surf modifier. Check optimal view. Screenshot shows distribution of edges according to curves of body.
Add mirror modifier above sub-surf modifier, choose merge and clipping. Now you have a nice body of car.
Modeling tire may take another long tutorial. So I will not be covering it here. And many people avoid modeling tires as you can find many free tires model on internet. You can use one from Blendswap.com by malcolm. It is a very nice wheel model by Malcolm and distributed under CC-BY license so we can use it without any issue. Modeling tires will use pretty much the same technique except the outer cage. Here is a view of tire I am using.
Rest of the aprts like grills and headlights can be created with basic shapes like box and planes. Add array modifier to create copies of them.
Glasses are also simple planes with slight curve on them. Always apply sub-surf modifier for smooth look.
After getting all the details together , you will have your car ready to go for material stage.
Add in a plane and extrude few times. Model it from side view and make it curved. Add sub-surf modifier. Now we have a nice backdrop plane like studio.
Add a simple plane right above the car, make it of the same size as car.
From the top panel, choose Cycles render from drop down menu.
Add a material after selecting the plane, change the surface type to Emission. Make the strength 5. We have just created a basic light with this plane.
Choose backdrop plane and add in another material, choose diffuse as surface and choose a dark sky blue color.
Change the mode from solid to rendered from the lower panel. Now your scene is ready to test out your material results.
we will be using a car paint shader created by blazraidr, he has shared this nice car paint material. You have lots of control over the look with this material. I have created a modified version of this material for our use, you can download it from here: dropbox.com
We have to merge this material into our scene by choosing append from file menu.
Locate downloaded material file, go into material folder and choose car paint material.
To create the rest of the material you may want to open node editor. Material can be created with two methods in Blender cycles.
Here is the tire material setting in both panel and node editor. Choose mix shader, select diffuse and translucent for both shader input. Choose factor value of about 0.3 to create rubber look.
We will use same technique to create material for rims, we will use mix of glossy and diffuse shader for metallic look.
Glass shader is pretty similar, Mixed with glossy shader for reflections.
Plastic for grills and other extra stuffs is also created with mix of glossy and diffuse. But we have to use low roughness value on glossy shader for plastic look.
Chrome material for headlight and other thing is very simple, it just glossy shader with white color and 0 roughness.
Material for breaks and disc inside tire is mixed with a noise texture in displacement input. You can add niose texture by hitting Shift+A and choosing texture from add menu.
Logo on rims and on bonnet of the car require logo texture of lotus. It can be found with google. Add a cylinder, go to front view, in edit mode, you can either choose smart UV project or project from view by pressing U after selecting all vertices with A. Set scale with texture opened in UV image editor.
Add camera from add menu, hit 0 key to go to camera view. And pick a nice view. You can navigate for a nice view and then hit Alt+Ctrl+0 to snap the camera to that view. Go to camera tab, choose 35 mm lens, Check limits and tile safe, It will help you keep the target car in centre.
At bottom of camera panel, you will find depth of field property, choose distance value so that + sign hits the front of the car. It will be focus point and background objects will be blurred in render to give us a nice Depth Of Field effect.
Go to World tab, hit use node button there, on surface input, choose background, and choose Environment texture in color input.
Choose this HDRI map: via Dropbox.com It is created by me to give nice studio lighting effect. You can find many studio HDRI for free on internet or you can buy them.
Go to render panel, choose resolution you want, choose output folder and format. png is what I used always.
If you have nice GPU and you want to use that for rendering, you can go to user preferences from file menu. Go to System tab and choose CUDA in computing device selection. OpenCL is not yet supported so it will work only on CUDA cards.
After selecting CUDA, in render panel, you can choose Device to GPU from CPU. Nice GPU can do faster rendering then CPU.
Under sampling, choose about 1000 passes for noise free render. 500 is enough but choose larger value, we can stop rendering by hitting Esc key anytime we think rendering is satisfying. In Light pathm choose Full Global Illumination. Check No caustic for faster rendering.
Once the rendering is done, you can open node editor again for compositing. This time, instead of choosing material, choose render layers icon from lower panel of node editor.
From add menu, choose Render Layers. Check Use nodes if its unchecked in lower panel.
Add Viewer and Composite node from output menu.
Add glare node two times from filter category in Add menu. Connect them with settings as shown in the image by left clicking and dragging nodes from outputs to inputs. Hit N to open property panel and choose Backdrop to see the result in background. You can set zoom level right below the Backdrop option.
Save both images, original render and composited image. Open them in Photoshop. Keep composited layer above the original render and choose lower opacity of above layer if you want to reduce glare effect.
Add a curve adjustment layer from layer menu, make slight changes in midtones and shadows.
Add a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer, increase saturation a bit for nice look.
Finally, merge all the layers and go to filter menu, choose Lens Correction there. Go to custom tab in lens correction window, and choose vignette amount of 30-45 for nice focus on the car. And now you have the nice final image.
This is the final result. I hope you enjoyed reading this tutorial.
As difficult as it looks I’m very sure if you follow this tutorial you will find a lot of help using your skills to produce your own creation! Ones again Thank you for using our tutorial, we will be very happy to answer any questions that you may have, You can simply leave a feedback and or a comment bellow.