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Djordje Ilic did a little talk about the way he created a fantastic virtual copy of the Porshe Legend 964.
My name is Djordje Ilic. I’m coming from Novi Sad-Serbia where I graduated from ”Bogdan Suput” School of Art – traditional painting. During my education, I’ve become very interested in 3D, so I started exploring and learning a lot. Step by step I made a significant progress, so I moved to Belgrade where I have started my career. I got the chance to work in a few studios, one of them was Digital Kraft where I had the opportunity to work on some really nice character animations for Marvel, Hasbro, Kreo, Star Wars, Jurassic park, Transformers… Usually, I worked on commercials but I have always been more interested in the film industry. Currently, I’m working in Double Negative, based in London.
Like I’ve mentioned earlier, I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to work on movies but I have always strived for that industry, so the only way for knocking on big doors was to make a personal project, so that I could show my skills and creativity. If you ask me “Why Porsche?” It is something from the childhood, but the actual video is devoted to my father.
I have used a blueprint, but a very rough one, just for the general shape. I have tried to create a detailed model, but it was very hard with the inconsistent blueprint. That’s the reason why I used one more technique. I had a photo from the right angle in the background and then I tried to match it with my base model as best as possible. After that, I modeled through that camera or from the perspective but in the same time, I was following the blueprint and a few matched cameras and this technique gave me precision that I needed. I have created the interior parts separately. Today people use different techniques, for example, Autodesk Image Modeler for precise matching cameras and they use those same cameras in any 3D software to create main lines of the car, something like “3d blueprint”. A much easier technique is using CAD files like reference model for the retopology. The biggest problem with CAD files is finding one, especially for old and rare car like Porsche 964. My goal from the start was to make a model of that car, not to do retopology.
When I finished exterior, the first things that I did for the interior were the steering wheel and front seats. After that, I have started with a low poly sketch and finished the whole interior very quickly following photo references and my sense. Then, I’ve started working on details for every part individually. For that I used Zbrush. The main goal was to make a replica of the original model, with all the details, starting from rough shapes, seats and dashboard, to the smallest details of radio and air conditioning.
Shading part was really interesting, because interior parts have a lot of different materials: plastic, rubber, leather, glass, carpet, fabric… A lot of challenges for look dev artist. Most of the textures I finished in Foundry Mari, but I have also used Photoshop. For the symbols on the interior parts (dashboard, air-condition, radio, etc.) I have used Illustrator. Besides that, most of the time I used 3DS Max and bercon procedural maps for ex. For car paint material I used procedural maps.
Sharing map between shaders is very important, because it’s saving a lot of time for loading, which is very important for rendering.
The most important thing for leather, and for materials generally, is a good bump map and a nice balance between roughness and intensity of specular. Leather parts (doors, seats, door handle) have a few different types of leather. They may look the same, but they actually don’t. They have small differences in specular, roughness and bump.
I’ve been using V-Ray for quite a long time now and it is one of the main render engines in the industry, especially when it comes to commercial projects. It is very simple for using, but at the same time so powerful. I think that the key thing of any great render engine is a nice balance between render time and quality. Some of the pure brute force physically correct render engines cost a lot of time and hardware because they have no possibility of optimization. For example, average time per frame for me was around 12 minutes. I finished the whole on a single machine with dual Xeon processor and 24GB RAM and the time was very important for me. One of the main reasons why I used Vray was because I had an amazing possibility to optimize my render time, at the same time keeping the perfect quality without any flickering. I have used rectangular light (softbox) and depending on the shot I have created some custom textures (gradient-softbox texture) to recreate a look of a real set. I have done camera post effect in Nuke just because I have much better control, plus I can change everything in real-time without any render calculation.
Besides standard effects (dof,abberation,vignete) one of the greatest I made in Nuke was lens breathing, because I wanted to make my project to look more realistic.
The biggest challenge was to stick it out, cause the project took almost 4 years. One of the greatest challenges was modeling because it was very hard to find a detailed reference for every part of the car I needed, especially when it came to the interior parts.