I set myself the task of modelling a car over time for the main purpose of familiarising myself with the polygon modelling method often used for these applications, and particularly almost the exclusive method for modelling characters to be animated. I anticipated the task would take longer than any other project I have attempted before due to the complexity and relative irregularity of the mesh compared to projects I have undertaken before – which were built mostly from splines, subdivided primitive objects or generators. An advantage of polygon modelling in comparison to these is the ability to make completely freeform choices in where points, and subsequently, polygons are placed – meaning its a useful tool for organic objects such as car panels in this case, or perhaps characters, and additionally for creating an object from reference – such as the blueprints I used to begin this task:
I set up the blueprints in a way that allowed me to plot points against each plane in different views, then switch to the next view to adjust the points against the blueprint, and the next, and repeated this process for all points plotted along the contours on the image until they have lined up for each part of the car. After having done this I bridged the points in order to create polygons which are linked together in order to create a mesh. I used a symmetry object to ensure both sides were identical, and subdivided the mesh in order to interpolate and thus increase the amount of polygons to create a smoother surface.
Useful applications for modelling in this way might include advertising and marketing, design, usage in games/animations and movies, as well as technical or scientific applications such as crash testing or automotive engineering due to the possibility of real world physics being involved as well as mechanical rigging of the structure allowing the model to respond in a realistic way to other forces that might be introduced, in order to test scenarios.
I have not yet finished this project, in favour of completing a different, quicker project for presentation on this blog however I plan to continue it as a long term project, allowing me to make revisions as my knowledge of the software (again, CINEMA 4D) increases