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3DRealistic G1 Optimus Prime

BlobVanDamBlobVanDam0 Posts: 0Member
edited March 2013 in Work in Progress #1
Hi everyone. This is my first post here, so I figured I'd get right into it and show one of my current projects that I've just started. Hopefully I post this right!

The plan is to build a detailed and realistic G1 Optimus Prime, with a transformation sequence inspired by, but much more detailed than the original G1 toy/cartoon. The eventual goal is to turn this into a photorealistic video showing the transformation, but for now I'll just be focusing on the model itself.

First I'm building the truck model, then I'll split that into pieces and reassemble them into the Optimus Prime robot and work from there. The truck I'm modeling for "vehicle mode" is the Peterbilt 352.

Here is my quick "proof of concept" sketch I drew in about an hour before starting. Not a finalized representative image by any means, but a good idea of the general look and style I'm going for. Everything is open at this stage though.

optimus_prime_sketch_03.jpg

I've attached a couple of quick and dirty renders of my progress on the truck so far. Not much to look at yet, but I figured I better show something, right? :D
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  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801854 Posts: 9,999Member
    Welcome to the site. :)

    Nice work so far. I like the concept sketch, it looks good. The truck looks good so far also. I'm looking forward to seeing how you accomplish making him transform realistically. :)
  • Lord OvermindLord Overmind0 Posts: 5Member
    If the transformation is gonna resemble a Bayformers movie, that might be Awesome.
  • BlobVanDamBlobVanDam0 Posts: 0Member
    If the transformation is gonna resemble a Bayformers movie, that might be Awesome.

    That's the goal. I'm aiming for Bayformers style of transforming, with everything splitting up into their smallest individual components and shifting around a lot more, rather than the simpler large chunks rotating around like the old toys, although in reality it will probably end up somewhere inbetween the two.
    Much like the new movies, there may be a bit of fudging behind the scenes to make it work if necessary. If possible it would be nice to make it 100% plausible, but I don't want to be set on it to the point where it's going to compromise it simply looking cool.
  • BlobVanDamBlobVanDam0 Posts: 0Member
    Making slow but steady progress. I got the door handle mostly done, and spent the better part of a day getting the front wrap-around window correct (cutting the rounded corners onto the rounded edge of the body was not fun, and took about 3 or 4 tries).
    I've got the most crucial details of the cab done, so things should move along faster now, hopefully.
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  • DCBDCB171 Posts: 0Member
    How did you end up going about wrapping the rounded corners? Projecting a spline onto the surface to use as a starting point would be my first thought, but I'd be interested to know what you came up with.
  • BlobVanDamBlobVanDam0 Posts: 0Member
    DCB wrote: »
    How did you end up going about the rounded edges? Projecting a spline onto the surface to use as a starting point would be my first thought, but I'd be interested to know what you came up with.

    That's what I did with the inner corners, because it's nice and flat there. For the outer ones, I figured that projecting a flat circle onto the rounded edge would distort as the curve got steeper. I actually ended up taking the circle, and applying a bend modifier to match the curve of the body, and positioning/rotating it in place on the surface, then cutting from there. A bit low tech, but it gave a good result.
  • n4orcern4orcer0 Posts: 0Member
    Good progress so far, G1 Optimus Prime was always my favorite so looking forward to seeing more updates! :)
  • FreakFreak1078 Posts: 4,355Member
    Looks like your off to a great start.
    Can't wait to see this finished.
  • TrekMDTrekMD191 Posts: 635Member
    Very nice idea. The sketch looks pretty good.
  • BlobVanDamBlobVanDam0 Posts: 0Member
    Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been busy finishing off a music video, then I had some computer troubles. Work on this should hopefully pick up again now.

    Newest update is the wheels/tyres, and a bit of work on the front lights. Both the wheels and tyres were modeled from real specs to make sure they were fairly accurate.
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  • TALON_UKTALON_UK1 Posts: 0Member
    Very cool, nice work there mate. If I'm being a bit picky the tyre tread looks a little harsh though, perhaps use a subtle chamfer to soften them up a bit? Really depends on how close you intend to get to the thing I guess.
  • BlobVanDamBlobVanDam0 Posts: 0Member
    I'm not sure how close up you'll see the treads, and I guess I was a bit reluctant to add any more tris when it's already up to over 60,000 for that front wheel alone. I guess an extra chamfer isn't going to add all that much more though. Since you mentioned it, I'll look into it. :)
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801854 Posts: 9,999Member
    I'm loving the attention to detail, no matter how small, on this build. It's looking great so far. Those tires look very realistic. :)
  • BlobVanDamBlobVanDam0 Posts: 0Member
    Fresh render with chamfered tyre thread. Subtle difference, but still worth it. Tri count went from about 27k to 42k for just the tyre.
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  • FreakFreak1078 Posts: 4,355Member
    Looking really good.
  • TALON_UKTALON_UK1 Posts: 0Member
    Nice, looks much better. You'll especially notice it when you light your model and those little chamfers catch that light, just softens it up a lot, even in the distance you'll probably see a subtle difference that you won't pick up on, but will just look right. great looking work.
  • SchimpfySchimpfy171 Posts: 0Member
    I think I preferred the tires without the chamfer. Generally, the tread patterns on these tires are pretty hard so there shouldn't be a chamfer to it. Great work on the model so far. :thumb:
  • ElowanElowan0 Posts: 0Member
    Look great to me
  • Polaris 004Polaris 004199 Posts: 752Member
    I'm going to enjoy seeing this progress. Kudos so far.
  • BlobVanDamBlobVanDam0 Posts: 0Member
    TALON_UK wrote: »
    Nice, looks much better. You'll especially notice it when you light your model and those little chamfers catch that light, just softens it up a lot, even in the distance you'll probably see a subtle difference that you won't pick up on, but will just look right. great looking work.

    Yeah, I think it was the right call. Sometimes I just need the push to get off my lazy butt. :D
    Juvat wrote: »
    I think I preferred the tires without the chamfer. Generally, the tread patterns on these tires are pretty hard so there shouldn't be a chamfer to it. Great work on the model so far. :thumb:

    By the time it's textured, lit, and animated, I think it will be pretty subtle to the point of being hardly noticeable. Either way, I still have the original tyre saved without the chamfer just incase I change my mind. :)


    A few new renders attached. Progress has been a bit slow this week, but the cab section is really starting to come together.
    I've made a good start on the exhaust pipes. Still a way to go with the details of attaching it to the truck, but I still thought it turned out really well.
    I've also finished off the sleeper panels (uh the two square doory things behind the door with the little handles.) I'm thinking the back one will open up and become the opening where the hands come out for robot mode? It's in a pretty good spot for it, and I think it would look pretty cool during the transformation to have the door retract so the hands can pop out.
    At the moment I'm starting to split the body into the individual sheet metal panels ready for the transformation. A bit hard to see on the renders, but it's most visible on the back of the cab.

    A few other details done, such as the hand railing, the front blinker, the battery box (just behind the front wheel), and the cab supports.

    I am really itching to get this body completely split into panels so I can start doing some test fits for the Optimus Prime robot mode! Not too far off.
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  • FreakFreak1078 Posts: 4,355Member
    Dam this is looking great.
    Your really going for the small details.
  • BlobVanDamBlobVanDam0 Posts: 0Member
    Would have posted sooner, although I doubt these updates are going to seem as interesting to most of you until I get to the robot part! :D

    Been working on a few specific details that have taken me a while. I built the foot hole below the door, built the flap thingy on the front that typically has the Peterbilt logo on it (swapped out for the Autobot logo), and have spent about 4 days so far working on the gas tank. I had an issue with the lack of good reference images, although it's starting to come together nicely now.

    I've also got a higher res overall image to show the overall truck progress, and a quick test fit of some key pieces over an old cartoony G1 model I made last year, which I'll use as a basic template for the proportions of my new Optimus model.

    My biggest concern right now for his robot mode is the height of the windows for his chest area. As you can see in the attached pic, the actual window glass is not as tall as it is on G1 Optimus. To me it looks like it won't be tall enough to look good, and I can't think of any alternative solution I'd be happy with aside from fudging it and swapping it out mid transformation for taller windows. Fine as is? No good? Any opinions or suggestions there would be most welcome!
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  • DCBDCB171 Posts: 0Member
    If you are going to fudge it, I'd just make the windows bigger on the truck model. Bring them down to the grille. Swapping them out mid-transform would, to my mind, defeat the "realism" goal. Besides, the G1 Optimus is based on a Freightliner not a Peterbuilt anyway, no? A bit of fudging won't matter.
  • BlobVanDamBlobVanDam0 Posts: 0Member
    DCB wrote: »
    If you are going to fudge it, I'd just make the windows bigger on the truck model. Bring them down to the grille. Swapping them out mid-transform would, to my mind, defeat the "realism" goal. Besides, the G1 Optimus is based on a Freightliner not a Peterbuilt anyway, no? A bit of fudging won't matter.

    I was wondering when someone would mention the Freightliner! I did a lot of research before starting to decide what truck I would base it on, as I'd heard a few different trucks mentioned, including the Freightliner FL-86, and the Peterbilt 352. His original toy was definitely based on the Freightliner if anything, although it really wasn't that close that I felt it was a necessity over choosing which truck I felt worked better for the robot. Either one could have worked if I really wanted to, since they look fairly similar, but I felt many of the details of the Peterbilt would look a lot better in robot mode, and I preferred the look of the truck.

    I have checked, and the windows are no taller on the Freightliner though, they're just really tall on the original toy. So either way I would have hit the same problem. I would rather not fudge the truck mode, since imo part of the realism goal entails having a realistic truck mode based on an accurate to life vehicle, just as the movies did. To me that's more important than keeping the exact same parts for both modes, as long as it looks like they're the same parts to the viewer. Even the movies did a lot of fudging during the transformation. I'm not really sure how I can fudge such a huge part like the windows mid-transformation though, as they won't be moving all that much from mode to mode.
  • DoomspongeDoomsponge0 Posts: 0Member
    Maybe have the windows 'split' horizontally during the transformation, effectively double glazing folding out on itself?
  • andar_bandar_b0 Posts: 0Member
    While the comparison between your model and the higher windows of the original is obvious, from that comparison I'd say the shorter windows look fine. It'll the texturing will make a difference, but it should be cool.
  • TALON_UKTALON_UK1 Posts: 0Member
    That truck model is looking awesome, loving the level of detail you've got on there, a really beautiful model. Is a shame there is such a descrepency in height between the cab windows and those seen on the robot mode, if you don't want to fudge the height of the windows on the original truck I don't see any other real solution other than to adjust the proportions of the final robot mode to suit, but I'm not sure if that is really an exceptable option either to be honest.
  • HundredHundred178 Posts: 949Member
    Very nice. :thumb:
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801854 Posts: 9,999Member
    The truck looks great so far. Personally, I find that mode just as interesting as the robot mode. :)

    Don't try to attach logic to hand-drawn animation. Many of the Transformers changed size and proportion of parts when transforming. Parts disappeared and reappeared at will during the transformations. Heck, not all of the parts were necessarily drawn the same in either mode from one episode or scene to another. The exact shape of Optimus' cab in truck mode would change, the windows and other parts would change size and shape, sometimes during a scene. The same goes for robot mode.

    If you're going to go realistic, you might as well leave the windows how they are on the real truck, it will be more realistic than the character on the show was. It may not look "right" when compared to the G1 robot, but that technically wasn't "right" anyway. ;)
  • DCBDCB171 Posts: 0Member
    Parts disappeared and reappeared at will during the transformations.
    The most hilarious was Prime's trailer. It's one thing where you have small bits and pieces being fudged, but a 12+ metre long trailer magically appearing and disappearing?
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