Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Voxel Vehicles

John Marine | 7:37 PM | | | |
Back at it with MagciaVoxel. This time, I want to share to share some more voxel assets I've created. It was a great accomplishment when I made my first car in MagicaVoxel. I later practiced making more automobiles. I actually took two of my models to make two different automobiles. Just recently, I created my first-ever motorcycle. What you are about to see are some of my vehicle assets. I hope you enjoy this blog post here on "John's Creative Space!"

About the Label: "Vehicles"

Blog posts under this label feature various vehicles I've created as part of my collection of artwork. These vehicles can include cars, trucks, motorcycles, watercraft, aircraft, and more.

--- My Vehicle Assets: Story ---

Let me bring you up to speed in my creation of automobiles using MagicaVoxel. That is what I intend to do with this section.

On Facebook and Twitter on November 21, 2014; I shared this picture:

voxel formula race car
^ I designed this voxel formula race car from scratch.

As a car lover, it was great I finally was able to create a car in MagicaVoxel. I didn't exactly design it to any proper specifications, but I did base my designs on a number of different formula racing machines. I was very pleased making this first car because I felt I was finally able to make something as complex as a car in something like MagicaVoxel.

I know I've made habits lately of continually talking about MagicaVoxel. However, I made some cars before in Qubicle Constructor before my MagicaVoxel work. Some of the cars I created in Qubicle were rather large. I didn't make too many in Qubicle. I was still pretty pleased making that formula race car in MagicaVoxel.

Influence From Another Designer.

I didn't feel too comfortable trying to adjust all of my models to my regular scale models. So I ended up wanting to design smaller-scale items. The models I wanted to create will almost exclusively compliment my mini models. This was a point where I began mostly making smaller-scale material. I would meet one of those driving forces (so to speak) from one MagicaVoxel user who basically got me attracted to wanting to make small scale assets for my media work.

This person I came across Twitter was a fellow named Mike Judge. No- not the Mike Judge of "Beavis and Butthead" fame, but the Mike Judge who is a Seattle-based software engineer. He creates a bunch of renders with MagicaVoxel as part of his "Mini Mike's Metro Minis" package. This consists of various scenes and renders primarily meant for use in creating scenes in cities and such. If you'd like to learn more about his Mini Mike's Metro Minis collection, please visit Mike Judge's MMMM (Mini Mike's Metro Minis) GitHub page.

There were moments when I took Mike's vehicles and studied them. I thought about perspective, design, and getting a feel for making realistic material for my mini-scale characters to use. I actually even studied Mike's mini models to make my own mini characters. The combination of the Mini Mike's Metro Minis assets as well as the vehicles got me to think- "how do I make vehicles to compliment my mini characters?"

The first thing I did was take one of Mike's vehicle models and study its design. Rather than take it and edit it to make my own model, I instead used it as a base for building my own car. So I basically took a huge amount of space and put in one of Mike's vehicles while also making a completely new car from scratch. I ended up creating a luxury SUV (which you will see later in this post) with give-or-take the same dimensions as the vehicle I used to base my designs on. Because this was a mini-scale item, it meant I had to work with fewer details. My main challenge was to make as much detail as possible using such confined space. I even tried a few tricks to try to get as much detail as possible to make my vehicles not only believable, but also useful for possible media projects.

So what was the end result? Five cars I designed. Read the next section to get to know the five cars I created.

--- My Vehicle Assets: Five Voxel Cars of Mine ---

I created a luxury SUV for practice. Then, I made four other cars to expand my range of machines and even practice different designs. Check this out:

MagicaVoxel voxel cars
^ These are the five cars I've created since making my first car.

I felt so pleased making cars with MagicaVoxel. Even more so considering I can use these in possible media projects and renders. I chose to design items with realism. As a detail touch, I decided to make the side windows open so the driver and passenger(s) can be visible. Even after making these automobiles, I edited them little-by-little to make them even more appealing while also practicing my car-making skills. After designing these cars, I used some of Mike Judge's scenes to place my cars into for comparison with the other models in the area. I felt like I made some gorgeous machines that mini-scale voxel models can interact with and see. A missing detail from my cars is the gas cap. I decided to make everything one color for easy editing.

My Vehicle Models.

Let me introduce you to the cars I created. The machines will be featured from left to right based on the image I shown you of the five automobiles. They are noted by what they are. Here is my chance to show I am an amateur car salesman. :)

• Green Luxury SUV
The green SUV on the far left in my picture is an American luxury SUV. This machine was the first car besides my formula racing car that I created. It was created from scratch by taking cues from one of Mike Judge's vehicle models. Initially, it was a pastel blue SUV. I since changed it to a dark green SUV.

It is an SUV powered by a turbo V6 making about 280 horsepower. Visual cues were sort of taken from Land Rover and the Cadillac SRX. The interior has wood grain. It has only two rows of seating. The second row could be folded over for more storage space. A bit more space can be had by folding down both the second row and the front-row passenger seat. This SUV has four-wheel drive, but rear-wheel drive is also offered.

• Red Mid-Engine Sports Car
This is a peppy Italian sports car. I tried to design something smaller than my luxury SUV. What I ended up doing is create a machine that isn't as long. I wanted to give this car a unique touch design-wise. So what I did was create a scoop that would feed air into the mid-mounted engine. I got this idea from a car from "Ridge Racer Type 4." I gave this car side-scoops to feed the engine more air.

It looks more powerful than it really is. This is a mid-engined sports car that packs about 240 horsepower. This car is mainly a bargain sports car with tremendous performance. It would give the owner a quality sports car. Its exotic image will make any owner of this car feel like he/she spent lots of money to own a fabulous sports car.

• Pale Blue Pickup Truck
Believe it or not, this American truck was created using my red sports car! I thought about something my mom said when I shown her my voxel model cars. She questioned if I made a car or a truck. I then thought about its design and used the red sports car as a base to make this truck. It was actually the same length as the red sports car at first. But later, I decided to stretch out its length and make it a bit higher off the ground. The biggest influence in the design of this truck are the RAM Trucks. What was confusing to me was whether to make this a light duty truck or make it a full-size truck. I didn't want to make this a quad cab truck or anything.

This pickup truck makes about 300 horsepower, and it is primarily meant to be a road performance truck. It is possible, though, to make this a proper off-road truck. Four-wheel drive is standard for this pickup truck. The truck comes with gray seats with red details.

• Neon Green Subcompact
This is a Japanese subcompact car. I used the red sports car to create something more compact than that sports car. The car I created eventually used to be a light purple color. I actually wanted this to be an electric subcompact. I eventually just made this a simple subcompact with some flashy character. I tried to find a good neon color for it using MagicaVoxel's default palette.

This is a front-wheel drive subcompact that makes about 170 horsepower. Impressive fuel economy and nimble handling are its strongest points. This is a compact coupe with no second row to speak of. The passenger seat can be folded down for some extra space.

NOTE: The rear view of the subcompact actually is supposed to have the rear muffler on the RIGHT side.

• Dark Gray/Grey Luxury SUV
As its foreign contender to the American SUV market, this luxury SUV is the flagship SUV of a heralded British company. I took my American luxury SUV and simply... well, made it bigger. I wanted to make this British SUV as much a flagship machine as possible. I tried to make this SUV to be different from the other SUV despite the fact this machine is based on that green SUV. There is much more chrome to this SUV than with the green SUV. Even the side mirrors are chrome compared to the plastic side mirrors of the green SUV. I had even intended to make this a three-row SUV, but ultimately decided to keep it a two-row SUV. The biggest inspiration for this SUV is the Infiniti QX56, which is nowadays the Infiniti QX80. While I don't have proper names for each of the vehicles, this is the only one that I've named so far. I call it the "Amistad."

Seen more as a status symbol rather than a quality automobile, this is a British SUV that delivers elegance and status unlike any other automobile. People have praised it for providing so much elegance. Many others, however, simply call this an SUV that is just big and impractical. It is an SUV powered by either a normally-aspirated V8 with 355 horsepower or a supercharged V8 making 470 horsepower. Only four-wheel drive is offered, and it is not meant to be any kind of off-roader. It is strictly a road-going machine.

Are More in the Works?

Absolutely! I am trying to create as many different voxel cars as possible.

Uses for Voxel Cars.

I may simply use them for scenes and media projects. Part of me wants to develop a game featuring these cars. That was actually one plan of mine in making these cars.

Now you have an idea on the cars I created.

--- My Vehicle Assets: My First Motorcycle ---

I always wanted to make motorcycles in addition to my cars. The trouble I had was that I didn't know how to design a motorcycle. I wanted to make a model to suit my mini models but didn't know how exactly to make a realistic one. Remember I talked about Mini Mike's Metro Minis? Well, none of the vehicles he created was a motorcycle. So I was on my own to make my own motorcycle. I did a lot of practice by taking certain visual cues from Google Images results of sport bikes. Once I confidently could design a motorcycle, I designed one along with giving my mini-scale character a unique riding stance. The end result was this:

MagicaVoxel voxel motorcycle sport bike
^ My first motorcycle made with MagicaVoxel.

I actually like sport bikes and sporty bikes more than I do scooters or cruisers. I tried to infuse as many different cues as possible to make my bike unique. I looked to the beautiful Ducati Desmosedici RR for inspiration for the headlights. I added some turn signals to the front. The yellow front suspension was added. I made this a bike with two swingarms. A lot of motorcycles have two swingarms, but some machines- such as the MV Augusta F4- have only one swingarm. This bike has two rear mufflers. One other thing I considered in designing my first motorcycle was the possibility of making this bike realistic in the ability to have a two-up riding style. For those not as educated on motorcycles, two-up is basically one rider taking the controls while another rider latches onto the main rider, thus making it possible to have two people riding one bike. I even lengthened the bike a little bit to make the two-up look realistic.

After I made this first motorcycle, I edited it and made a racing version of the bike. I may share that in a future post here on "John's Creative Space." Basically, I removed the side mirrors, the lights, replaced the tail light with a muffler design, and got rid of the main mufflers to the bike. And instead of a dark red, I painted it blue.

Testing the New Machines.

I later took my motorcycle designs and put them into Mike Judge's scenes to see how they would fit into a mini-scale scene. I took a scene for my regular-scale characters and tried to scatter the space with my motorcycle model. I was so pleased looking at it because I tried to make a scene where multiple bikes raced against each other. I tried fitting about sixteen of them in a racing setting, and it looked so cool!

--- Special Thanks... ---

I want to give special thanks to Mike Judge for inspiring me not only get into making mini-scale items, but also for being the real force behind me making the voxel vehicles presented in this blog post. If Mike Judge himself is reading this, thank you very much.

To learn more about Mike Judge and his work, visit:
Mike Judge's MMMM (Mini Mike's Metro Minis) GitHub page

That concludes this blog post.

What do you think about my designs? You're free to comment. Thank you for reading!

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