[FW Craft] – CanyonCar 2020, My First 3D Car

This passion project, along with my (remote) lab duties during daytime, has been my source of joy during quarantine.

I intend to use this page in a manner similar to my previous build logs of various crafts projects, and to upload pictures regularly as I make progress.

2011 – 2018: Introduction and reference materials

Trackmania Canyon, a French game published by Ubisoft is responsible for maybe over a hundred hours delight in my teenage life. As a game released in 2011, its graphics and physics have aged gracefully, and so does the car featured in all the solo campaigns.

A mix of late 2000’s Porsche and Ford Mustang, with a hint of European contemporary styling here and there, that car (henceforth, CC) is quite an elegant V8-muscle car to roam the landscape of the Grand Canyon.

Over the years, I’ve created many a variants of it, mostly thanks to the game’s inbuilt livery designer. Exhibit 1 contains some source materials I’ve rendered in game.

Meanwhile, Exhibit 2 shows what I believe are its influences in the real world, 2006 Mustang Giugiaro Concept, 2009 Mustang, Porsche 911 Turbo, (and Peugeot 508?).

Notices and disclaimer

  • There is a currently private GitHub project for this car, and I intend to open the source when it’s done. For the time being, though, I will only make all material on this page available for viewing with all rights reserved.
  • Though I tried my best to stay original, being a mere automotive enthusiast, I am deeply influenced by the cars I see in the real life. In the sections below, I’ll use “List of angry car makers” to acknowledge and apologize to companies whose products I retrospectively realized that my car resembles.

December 2018 – march 2020: Planning

On my iPad, I established a folder to keep scribbles related to this project. In early 2019, I even turned some of the sketches into CAD drawings once. Nothing went far in this period, and Exhibit 3 shows some representative work.

I also learned about cubic splines and graphs theory’n’stuff in maths during this period, so I no longer fear 3D modelling.

April 4 – 6, 2020: Explorations IN BLENDER

This period is mainly about translating my drawing into a 3D mesh grid. After all, one hopes to retain a reference point. A few weekend evenings were dedicated to this.

USB keyboards were not regarded as essential items for sale during COVID-19 lockdown, so I was stuck with my laptops’ lack of number keys for a while. Luckily Blender has an “Industry compatible” configuration.

Also it was decided that this car was going to be an EV quite early on because I am not going to model an internal combustion engine. That part was easy to implement so discussion is omitted for now…

List of angry car makers += Tesla.

April 7 – 10, 2020: the Molten soap

People whom I’ve shown my renders in this stage all agreed that my models resembled more molten soaps than cars (which is fitting given the Arizona setting of the game), so I won’t comment too much on this stage. You can skip Exhibit 5 although it’s the most funky.

By this point, there has been a healthy (ironic) mix of triangles and quadrilaterals in the geometry, and I haven’t found the button that smoothed normal vectors.

April 11 – 15, 2020: Finding yourself

This is the period during which CC 2020 started to take on its own identity. Starting with a false invocation of the aforementioned “smooth” function.

APRIL 16 – 24, 2020: Modernizing the design

I intended the facelift to be a modern refresh of the CC for the new decade… As Exhibit 6A suggests, I might have managed to get my vertices to look like a car, but it’s still far from a 2020-model. The work for this every night has been slow, but steady.

Being a proud user of MATLAB and Simulink, I think that it might be time for me to work out the drag coefficient of this design soon…

In 2019 I’ve even story-boarded an “Ad” video that uses a Song from a certain Disney movie. I’d hoped that the video would be the first way the world knows about this car. However, given how slow I’ve been working on this, there might be too many delays for my liking.

Anyways, keep your eyes peeled at this space :).

April 25 : The last mile

APRIL 27: First release on maniapark

April 28: Last bits before entering the vault

I have a lot planned for this car… But for now, I have to get back to work.

This is a made-from-scratch livery with e+-e- Feynman diagrams. Fitting (and simultaneously otherwise) for an electric car.

One thought on “[FW Craft] – CanyonCar 2020, My First 3D Car

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