Join Darrin Lile for an in-depth discussion in this video Modeling the gas tank, part of Blender: Model a Motorcycle.
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- [Voiceover] To work on the gas tank, let's go back to our right view and I'll hit the 5-Key to go back to the Orthographic view. And what we need to do, is bring in or create geometry that matches this general shape. And even though it's fairly smooth, I think we should probably begin with a cube. So let's come over here to the Create tab, and click on Cube and I'll press the G-Key and move this up into place.
I'll hit the Z-Key so we can see it in Wireframe. And now what I'll do is just tab into Edit mode and press Control + Tab and choose Vertex mode. And now to select both points from the right view, I'm gonna use the Border Select tools. So let me go back to the right with the 3-Key and if I press the B-Key and Border Select, I then select both points, front and back.
So now I'll just hit the G-Key and move these around, and what I want is just the general shape of this object. Doesn't have to be perfect at this point in time, just the general, overall shape. And the B-Key to Border Select this one and move it up as well. Something like that. So now we have that general shape, what I also want to do is put an edge right down the center of this.
So I'll press Control + R, hover over an edge here, and then just hit the Enter key two times. And that ensures that it drops down right in the center. If I would have used the mouse to click and confirm that, I might have moved the edge one way or the other. So now I want to scale this in the X. I'll tab back into Object mode and then I'll press S and X and scale that down a bit. So it's about the right width. Something like that. And now I want to be able to model this with it mirrored.
So whatever I do on one side of the object, the other side will be mirrored automatically. So what I can do is go back into Face mode, and I'll hit the Z-Key to go to Wireframe and I'll use that Border Select tool again and select all of those faces, hit X to delete, and choose Faces. And there we go. So now we've got one half of that object. Now I want to apply a mirror modifier the way we did before.
I'll just click Add Modifier, Mirror. And that's now mirroring in the X-axis. So, then if I tab back into Edit mode and maybe choose one of these points, you can see that if I move it around it mirrors to the other side. Let's go back to that side view again and I'll hit the Z-Key and now we need to insert some edge loops so that we can begin pulling it out to match the shape of the reference image.
So maybe I'll insert an edge loop here. And now I can take that Border Select tool and grab that and move it up like that. So we're getting closer now to the general shape that we need. So maybe I'll insert an edge loop this way and once again Border Select that point and move it out like that. And so I can begin just little by little inserting the edge loops I need to create the shape.
So here, maybe we'll put one here, and move that up just a bit. And maybe one in here. And we could move this up as well. Maybe even we could insert an edge down here and that would give us the ability to grab this edge or this point, say, and move this one down a bit to get that curve there. So let me tumble around now and let's take a look at it from the top view here.
And I think what we need to do is bring this in some. Now I do have an overhead view, but I don't think it will work well as a background image. Just because the perspective on it is quite different than the other images. But, we can go ahead and bring it in over here. I'll click Image and Open Image, and I have a motorcycle top view here. So here we go. So now we can kind of get a sense of how wide this particular object needs to be.
I'll hit the 7-Key to go to the top view and I'll hit the Z-Key to go to Wireframe again. So now I can go through the same process, hitting the B-Key and drag-selecting the points and begin moving them in and around to get the proper shape. So it looks like this area really widens out quite a bit as it comes forward.
This area as well. So we're getting the basic general shape now. What we can do now is add a subdivision surface modifier to it and see how it's going to look, see how it's going to round that out. Alright so let me twirl this up and add a subdivision surface modifier. And I'll increase the views to two. And over here under the Tools tab, I'll also tab back into Object mode and I'll click the Smooth Shading button here.
So now we can begin to select these points and begin working to kind of pull these out and get this rounded feel to the sides of the tank. Something like this. So we can just begin pulling on this cage now to get the shape that we're after. So that's looking pretty good. Let me also bring in that other reference image that we just had here. I'll switch this to a UV/Image Editor, click Open, and in the Reference Images I'll click on this button right here so I can see all of our thumbnails and maybe this is the one I'd like to take a look at.
Here we go. Now we can take a look at the gas tank here. So I think we're getting pretty close to the correct shape. It looks like there's more we could do maybe down in here, pulling these out a bit. But generally speaking, we're getting the right shape, I think. So in the next video, what let's do is let's begin working on the tires of the motorcycle, and then after the tires, we'll then work on the fenders.
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