Using 3D to Help Sketching (a mini tutorial)

April 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

I like to draw cars, but sometimes the perspective is wrong and hard to find for shapes, I can overcome this in digital sketching with a little 3D for guidelines.

This isn’t a 3D tutorial, and any 3D program will do. I use Blender, it’s open source (free).

I start by finding some real life facts for the car style I’m drawing. If you can find the exact car great, but as long as the shape is close, it doesn’t really matter too much. The 3D is just a guide, you’ll be free hand drawing most things.

I found this car:

Which is conveniently in metric (metric makes everything easier) so I don’t have to convert anything.

I used the dimensions to draw up this really rough cube shape, with proportionally placed (and sized) wheels.

Notice I’ve placed my camera at that typical corner shot, with a wider angle lens. Look through car magazines and you’ll realize this is a common angle for car photos like this: Camaro Concept

Bevel the corners and you’ll get this:

Mine is a hatchback sort of thing, it doesn’t really matter, look at the render window angle, you barely see it.

Render and load into photoshop.

I subsurfed the mesh and rendered with a colour and edge settings. Again, not a 3D tutorial, so read about Blender or ask me for more details.

Making a new layer in Photoshop, draw over the outline and add your own details. Then simply get rid of your render layer, leaving only the drawing.

I didn’t like the tall saloon car thing, so I’ve drawn a more aggressive sports car using the same wheelbase.

I’m not going to finish it, but you get the idea. Of course, you would probably add things like the grill into the 3D model for proper perspective, mine is hand drawn and wrong (which is the entire point of having the model there)

This process is especially helpful for doing rims since the circles can all be done with scale and perspective, that’s the usually the hardest part for people starting out.

Hope it helps.

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