Creating a 1960 Corvette, with Ehsan Darvishi

Since 2005 Hum3D has been creating assets for the fields of cinema, video games and visualization at a fairly prolific rate. And yet their focus has never been on the sheer quantity of the assets they provide, but rather on the quality of each asset, and on working with exceptionally talented artists. To further promote this emphasis on quality, Hum3D regularly launches community challenges; their Space Rover Challenge, in which artists are challenged to create vehicles capable of exploring alien worlds, is currently underway, until June 3 2020.

Prior to this, in late 2019, Hum3D ran its sixth annual Car Render competition, in which artists were challenged to create a car and its surrounding environment from scratch. This contest has gained a reputation for excellence, and this sixth instalment was no exception. The contest’s 2019 winner was Ehsan Darvishi, based in Isfahan, Iran. Ehsan presented a slice of Americana, modeling a 1960 Chevrolet Corvette. It won the contest overall, as well as the ‘Best Architectural Environment’ award from the team at Pulze, and Substance by Adobe’s own ‘Best Render Made Using Substance’ award.

Ehsan was kind enough to give a pictorial breakdown of how he created his Corvette.

Creating the Corvette: a Breakdown in Pictures

I chose to create the Corvette image for the Hum3D competition because, for me, American cars have always been a manifestation of art and power, especially the old models. The combination of color, design, dimensions and sizes and so on really scream out, “I’m an American car.” And I think that for me, like for many people, it’s fascinating to look back at older times – and especially at this unique car and the memories associated with it.

First, let’s talk about modeling. Scroll down if you want to get straight into the texturing of the piece.

I started the modeling in 3ds Max, with the hood. I create a simple plane as an editable poly, and edited from there.

Then I created more parts, and added some details.

By this point, almost all the base body parts had been created.

I added the headlights, front bumper and some other parts, while constantly checking reference images to make sure my model stayed close to the real-life Corvette.

I added some side details. I imported a photo of the flag into 3ds Max and recreated that, using the photo as a reference.

The handle was created by using a simple box and then, as before, using 3ds Max’s editable poly modifier.

I created the mirrors, windshield and frame, and placed them in the right positions. For the seats, I created a simple box and edited it into the correct shape, then added details.

The body, and almost all of the other parts are finished at this stage.

Next come the wheels. For the tires, I created a plane and added details like the tire tread pattern. After that, I bent it to make a circle shape. When the model was finished, I used Substance Painter for texturing (see below).

The environment was the next step. To start with, I created a simple shape for the building and the street front, and adjusted the main camera. Then I placed the car.

Finally, with all the models are placed in the correct position, they’re ready for lighting and rendering.

Texturing in Substance Painter: Car Body, and Tires

For the car, I wanted to add a little detail to it and I didn’t have enough time to unwrap the model. So I just exported the car model into Substance Painter and its automatic unwrapping tool saved me some time. Then I was able to add details like the white part of the car body, and make it all a little dirty.

For the tires, first I imported the unwrapped tire model into Substance Painter, and adjusted the color and roughness by using some filter and fill layer as a base color layer.

After this, I added a layer to represent the white ring, and used a mask to have more control over that.

I created another layer for the red ring, and again used a mask for more control.

Lastly, to add some detail, I added some dirt and dust.

Diner Doors

I modeled the diner doors, a single asset, and all its parts.

Next, I needed to unwrap it.

I imported the door model into Substance Painter, and added two materials for wooden parts and the metal/gold parts. This created a texture set for each previously allocated material.

I used wood materials from the list of ready-made materials in Substance; I changed some of the parameters and colors.

For the golden flamingos, I used the Gold Pure material and changed the color a little bit. I added more details like roughness variations by using the MatFinish Rough filter.

I also decided that the handles and the window frames inside the door would be gold colored. For this, I first created a layer and adjusted the color, roughness and metallic. I added more details such as roughness variation and scratches simply by adding two layers. These layers were easily created with masks and grunges available in the software.

For the entrance, I created a black layer and added some irregularity to its color using roughness. I finally finished the ‘pull’ sign by entering the mask I had previously created in Photoshop. This part was controlled by the mask I created in the corresponding layer.

Looks good. Creating custom modes and textures in Substance was very easy, fast and enjoyable.

The Clock

I imported the clock into Substance Painter and started to texture it. To start with, I used the dark metal material for the clock hands and the text below those. That seemed fine.

The next part was the body of the clock. I started by creating a layer as a base color, and I adjusted the color, roughness and metallic.

To make it more realistic, I started by adding a little noise to it…

… But, ultimately, I added more noise for a better look.

The Completed Image

The Hum3D Space Rover Challenge

Don’t forget that Hum3D’s Space Rover Challenge is currently underway! For this challenge you should create a vehicle that could be used to explore alien worlds. The contest runs until June 3. In addition, if you texture your entry using Substance, you’ll be considered for the ‘Best Render Using Substance’ award, and have a change to win an Oculus Rift S VR headset!

Meet Ehsan

I’m Ehsan Darvishi. Hi, and thanks for the interview! I’m 32, and I became interested in the 3D industry when I was 15 – video games, sci-fi movies and VFX all made me eager to get into 3D. I began using the Substance toolset about 4 years ago; when I started using that I found it was really amazing – it was like magic! Before the Substance toolset, texturing took a long time and wasn’t very flexible.

I think I’ve always had a particular focus and precision to modeling. Early on I realized, and experience has shown me this is true, that a good reference model is extremely important. Because a good reference affects everything – texture, reflections, lighting, and so on. And so I think the factors that make me more accurate in modeling are an appreciation of the importance of the reference, as well as factors such as patience and experience.