After speaking with Tony a few weeks back, I showed him the thumbnails I’d done for the project and asked for any suggestions about which one to choose. Unfortunately, due to timing of other things going on at school and delays in a group crit, I only really had his opinion, my own, and a few people I’d otherwise asked. However, it seemed there was a general consensus on which one felt like a unique and odd service vehicle to choose:
I’d done quite a number of thumbnails that had a flying or hovering design to them, but this one was my favourite. It sort of reminded me of something you’d find in the world of the Jetsons; I’d come up with it while thinking “if there were flying vehicles, wouldn’t it be a real pain to have to land and recharge?” and thus a hovering power station was born. It seemed like a quirky idea, but I’m glad I went forward with it in the end.
I modelled each part of the vehicle individually to combine them once I’d completed the unwrapping and colour-coding. Much like with the robot project, I wanted to use Substance Painter again. I really prefer the detail that can be captured using Substance Painter over traditional painting on the UVs, especially when the model is something that I want to look well-worn and more industrial/practical.
The most interesting part was something I learned from Marc: how to make the charging station’s hose. He likely covered it in his own blog post about his vehicle, but the steps consisted of extruding along a path with a cylinder end cap. Mine was a lot less complicated than the one Marc did for his rope, but it was extremely interesting to learn something new in Maya that I’m sure will come in extremely useful for my future modelling endeavours!
Everything else in the model was actually quite straight-forward. The design wasn’t overly complicated, so I decided to add further detail to it with a transaction panel and the vents. I also changed the way the power nozzle say on the charging station itself, as well as the landing pad and lights. I think the end result looked a lot better than the simple drawing did. I’d originally thought of going with brighter colours all over, but I think the more muted metallics work well against the bright landing pad stripes.
I really don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I love the way the hose and nozzle turned out! The overall look of this kind of service vehicle feels well-used and abused, which is very likely as it sits floating in the sky and probably visited many, many times all day long. I can picture a row of them off a main highway in the sky, in a grungy future of flying cars and probable pollution, where whatever fuel is primarily being used costs more than we could possibly imagine.
This project was very enjoyable to do from start to finish. While I’d had my doubts I was going to come up with so many different thumbnail designs, I managed to surprise myself by digging deep in the hole of creativity. I also actually enjoyed modelling the powering platform and feel like I learned a lot of new, valuable tricks in Maya… including to make sure there are no hidden faces, vertices, edges, etc. which might take hours to try and fix before texturing can even begin! Other than that, I hope/feel it’s a job well done.