For this project I will be working collaboratively with a fellow Animator Michael Blackman. I will be focusing on modeling the famous red bike from the film Akira, and Mike will concentrate on texturing the bikes UV's. We will play with different rendering techniques, experimenting with creating realistic renders along with cell shaded ones. Using Maya's cell shading shaders will be a first for me so it should be quite exciting working with them. Using reference images from the film we will create a realistic model as well as detailed textures. Once this process as been completed we will look into framing the render, creating a cool looking background/camera angle and environment for it.
I have managed to find some basic blueprints of the bike, these will be helpfull to reference from. unfortunately they are quite poor quality so I might have to re- draw them.
Blueprints in Maya
I have started on the front wheel hub, starting of with a simple sphere that I have cut in half. I have also changed the lambert to a plain red.
I have managed to sketch out the basic form and shape. Its starting to resemble the reference imagery. Im now going to start adding more detail to the different sections and editing existing sections until they resemble the reference images.
Working on the glass screen.
Ok, I feel the main pieces are in place. I will now look into the more detailed sections, such as the dash board, control panel and the seat area. I have found some quite good reference images which I have posted below. These will be my main sources to follow, I have noticed from browsing numerous reference images that each reference I look at differs to each other. This is because the actual design of the bike is from an animated cartoon, where not only would each frame of the bike differ but as its just a 2d image and not an actual practical object like a car for example. Each reference I look at varies from a model toy to a life like construction of the bike. The manufacturers of each version have used a little bit of creative license. So I will use the actual image from the film as the dominant reference but I will not dismiss others. I will take the best from each and try and incorporate them into this model.
I have re-modeled the centre control panel, I wasn't happy with the original topology and it was quicker and easier to just to start again. The basic shape is there I think, I will add more detail to this section this morning, going over the overall bike, adjusting and tweaking bits here and there
I have flipped the control panel horizontally, and I have started work on the dash and handle section.
I have managed to find some detailed reference images of the mechanics under the front wheel panel. I am sketching out the basic shapes for this area, as I would like to model the mechanical side as well the exterior. I am wondering if I will push this project further and actually rig the mechanically bits and bobs. I think it would be fantastic to have a really nice detailed model and then to animate it with the pneumatics and the mechanical bits working in conjunction with the wheel. I will put my thinking cap on, I will continue to model all the pieces first and then work out how I will rig it.
I am building all the pieces separately, then once I am happy with them I will place them inside the wheel area and link them up respectively.
I have been playing with the topology of the main section of the bike. Some vertexes were bugging out when the mesh was smoothed, so I have ironed them out. I have decided to just focus on one particular reference to work on from now on, as I kept tweaking the body when referencing from different images and I wasn't really getting any where. In the image below I have ironed out the topology and added lines of definition to get crisper edges.
As you can see it still needs a lot of work. The model incorporates curves and then sudden crisp edges it will take some thought to ensure the topology is efficient and correct. Once I am 100% happy with the main chassis section I will work on the seat.
I am tweaking the back section near the seat, making it more curvy. I have also changed the shader to a blinn, so I can get a better idea of the reflections/ specularity on the model.
I have been working on the front of the bike today, I have combined the side and the front panel to make one object.
Still working on the front section, I have added the indicator light. I have made the lights shader transparent so I have modeled an inner case to sit behind the light.
Starting work on the dash / handle bar section.
I have just tweaked the head rest section in preparation for sketching out the seat in more detail.
I have played around with the seat section. Was quite tricky getting the basic bucket look. Mainly because I was hesitant tweaking my original mesh, but after comparing a lot of reference images I have managed to get the basic shape. Strangely enough the seat area is nearly completely different in each reference. The key to getting the seat to look right is getting it to look more 'organic'. A complete contrast to the inorganic shapes seen in the chassis of the bike.
I have started to add some textures to the front panel. Some of the images had to be re-created because I couldn't source them on the internet. This was done in photoshop. I am starting to think about what background I would like to comp my final render into. I am pretty sure it will be a Tokyo street scene, making use of ambient lights and possible puddle reflections. As well as mixing dark skys with bright colour.
I think I will experiment some more. Thinking and researching possible camera angles and street views. As the bike will be rendered on its own, achieving dynamism in this shot isn't going to be the key. If possible I would like to focus on atmosphere and surroundings.