Join Darrin Lile for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing a background image, part of Modeling a Motorcycle in Blender.
- [Voiceover] If we're going for realism on this project, it's important that we bring in reference images to help us as we're working in Blender. To do that, let's open up the Properties panel with the N key and let's scroll down to the background images area right here and twirl that down and click Add image. This opens up another panel here. And here we can choose what viewport we're going to bring the image into. So if I click here, I can choose front, back, left, right.
Let's begin with the right view and we'll bring in our first image. So I'll click Open and I'll browse to my reference images folder here. And I've got some images that we can use. Let's begin with this motorcycle right side and bring that in. Now we can't see it here yet, and that's because we're not looking at it through the right viewport. We've got the perspective here. So I'll press the 3 key on the numpad and then the 5 key to bring us into orthographic view.
We can only see the reference images from the orthographic views. Alright, we've got our cube in the way. Let's get rid of these things in the scene here, the point light, the camera, the cube. I'm just going to hit the A key to select everything and then press the X key and delete. We'll create a new camera when we're ready to render the scene out. So to bring the motorcycle up to sit on the grid, we can just click and drag on this Y axis here in the Background Images panel and bring that up just a bit.
I've got 3.9 here, so that looks pretty good. Let's bring this opacity down some so it isn't quite so bright in our scene. Maybe I'll just plug in 0.25, and there we go. Alright, so now we have a reference image in the right view. Let's do the same thing for the left so we can see the other side of the motorcycle. I'll click on Add images again. I'll twirl this up, and now we can choose what viewport we want on this one.
Let's choose the left and then click Open. And let's go find that left image. Right here, let's bring this one in. So now, to spin around to the other side, instead of pressing the 3 key, let's press Control + 3 and that'll spin us around to the other side. Let's bring the image up so it sits on the grid. We had it at 3.9. Let's try that. That looks pretty good.
And I'll take the opacity down to 0.25, and there we go. Now we have other images that we can use as we go, but for those, I usually put them in a window over here in this panel instead of bringing more images in through the background images. So here, let me show you what I mean. I usually create a new window with this little tab right here, bring it down, and then switch this to a UV image editor right here.
And then I can bring in whatever image I want there for reference as I model. So maybe I could bring in a front view here which is like a three-quarter view. Let me bring that in. And so, I can kind of have this here, so I can zoom in and see what I need to see. And also, I've got the background images here. And I can switch from one side with the 3 key to the other side with Control + 3. So now that we have the reference images in, in the next video, we'll begin creating the frame of the motorcycle.
Darrin begins by creating the frame of the motorcycle using curves. He then builds up the motorcycle piece by piece, creating the exhaust pipes, fenders, handlebars, engine components, and brakes. These lessons capitalize on the Path tool and modifiers like Solidify and Booleans. Finally, Darrin uses Blender's Cycles render engine to create the materials and lighting for the scene, and UV maps the textures to key pieces of the bike. In the end, you will have a greater understanding of Blender's modeling tools and production processes so that you can create vehicles and other hard-surface projects of your own.
- Creating the frame
- Converting a path to polygons
- Modeling the gas tank, tires, fenders, exhaust, and other parts
- Building the engine
- Modeling the seats, wheels, and lights
- Lighting the scene
- Adding materials and texturing
- Rendering the motorcycle