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Hot Rods Project Hearse

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CWR63, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. CWR63
    Joined: Aug 11, 2012
    Posts: 11

    CWR63
    Member
    from So Cal

    This is going to sound strange, even for the HAMB: I need help building a virtual hot rod.

    I'm working on a videogame for some folks who aren't very familiar with old American iron - it's sorta on the QT, so I'm trying not to use keywords that would draw a search to this thread - this franchise has many fans. I get to choose which cars to work on (concepts and 3D modeling) and I latch onto a favorite, which resembles a 1928-31 Ford window Delivery used as a hearse, a fendered rod. I'll submit a concept, but there's no guarantee that another artist's submission won't be chosen instead, or maybe only part of my concept will be mashed together with others.

    I've been reading about hot rods and customs for near 40 years so I'm familiar with most of the historic trends, at a remove - an armchair rodder, so to speak. I realized that although I've turned wrenches and hammered metal on '60s cars, I've never even ridden in (much less driven or worked on) anything older than 1964.

    So I'm watching this video tutorial on making a 3D model of a T-Bucket for a videogame, and the guy doing it says "make a hose from the radiator to the engine" and I'm thinking to myself "you're just gonna stick it in the engine block? Where's the water pump, the radiator fan?" oh, I am so smug - I'm no 3d artist poseur; I have *practical knowledge*.

    I cobble together a rough 3D 'sketch' of my idea, using parts of various models I've collected over the decades, a little back and forth with my art director ("Make the rear tires wider, wide as you can" I'm thinking 'Pro-street tubs on this era rod have been out of favor for decades, but you're the boss') this is what I submitted:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I had to distort the hell out of those frame rails in the back to fit them over the tires; if I fit them over the axle they'd be only a few inches apart.

    So I'm reading Rod & Custom recently and they're on the chassis/suspension part of a project build...and I realize that I've given this car above both a solid AND an independent front suspension/axle. I also have no idea how the headlights should be supported, and it's both a high-boy & at channeled height at the same time.

    This car needs to be able to operate and shed parts realistically - I don't want the tires poking through the body when you go over a bump or turn the wheel; the player should be able to remove the fenders, side louver panels or hood when customizing the car in-game.

    Since my limited practical knowledge doesn't extend earlier than 1940 or so, I'm asking for advice.

    Solid front axle, or IFS? X brace chassis? Banjo diff or Halibrand quick change? High-boy or channeled? Leafs or coilovers? Most of all, I don't want to mix stuff up from different styles or eras due to my lack of knowledge.

    The only thing not up for a vote; I really want it to be Ford flathead style engine - with a hood that long, it'll probably a fictional straight 16 or something. Hopefully I can talk my A.D. out of those tubbed rears.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Well its' different - I'll say that ...

    First impression - I didn't like it

    Second look - I liked it

    Your design is different, in my opinion this different is good .... ;)




    JIm
     
  3. This is real off topic but,,,,

    I don't know anything about video games and I would think most video kids don't know anything about traditional hot rods.

    I for one would hate to see the image being built here because it wouldn't be warmly received but for a video game why not. HRP
     
  4. Von Richthofen
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 246

    Von Richthofen
    Member

    Yeah i think thats cool but im into hearse,s any way
    and my grandkids are really into video games
     

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  5. SouthUrn
    Joined: Apr 15, 2011
    Posts: 4,610

    SouthUrn
    BANNED
    from US

    Really solid concept. Only change to suggest is lengthening wheelbase to have proper second side door without a dogleg, as found on commercial cars.
     
  6. chunk40
    Joined: Oct 8, 2011
    Posts: 179

    chunk40
    Member

    I think it is sexy
     
  7. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 1,065

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    I think it's pretty cool. Lose the IFS though.
     
  8. CWR63
    Joined: Aug 11, 2012
    Posts: 11

    CWR63
    Member
    from So Cal

    Since I'm doing this more from personal interest than for profit, I want to do this correctly - and I haven't seen this era of hot rods done correctly in a major videogame; closest I've seen is a phantom T-bucket in Motorstorm: Apocalypse for the PS3...it wasn't that close at all. I'll be 50 in a few months so I guess I was one of the first generation of video kids.

    That would be veering too far from the concept, the original car's wheelbase was so long that it was like trying to steer a dragster; any longer and it would be completely undrivable (since the cars performance is actually based off it's 3d model) - this game is a remake; here is the original car:

    [​IMG]

    If you recognize this, please do me the favor of not writing the car's name - the search thing, ya know. The fellows that developed this game back in the 90s were (and mostly still are) British. Hence the stylish (for the 70s) polished brass trim, rectangular headlights and big 'n littles. Here is my direct reproduction of that, alongside my idea of a more contemporary style:

    [​IMG]

    Because I was thinking to provide at least 2 varients for player customization, I also made the Morgue Ambulance in the first post and this woody (the Deadwood) version:

    [​IMG]

    Also I have an almost pathological dislike of 4-doors. I recognize this is a personal shortcoming, but I'm set in my ways at this point.

    I'm thinking to go old-school with this, as there are cars coming up in the proposed series that it will make sense to have with modern components, but this I feel should be a retro rod; transverse leaf suspension front and back, external steering linkage, 2 Lincoln flathead V-12s welded end-to-end creating a fictional V-24, etc. Things I can't figure out from photos I've taken (I've attended my local Goodguys annual meet for the last 5 years or so) and that I can't bring myself to ask those who have created hot rods, you know, face-to-face: where do you mount headlights and taillights when your rod can be either fendered or fenderless? Not questions that have to be considered in real life, and you'd look at me like I was some sort of wingnut if I asked you that at a meet - this way, using THE H.A.M.B., I don't have to see that look.

    So I am gonna lose the IFS, EnragedHawk - thank you all for the supportive comments. I can't wait to start remodelling this into something I'd want to see actually built - now that it's been long enough since I modelled it, I can finally see it as a hot rod fan rather than a 3D artist, and there's a lot of things that look wrong to me. As soon as I can, I'll start posting updates on my frame up new virtual build of the phantom Tudor.
     
  9. CWR63
    Joined: Aug 11, 2012
    Posts: 11

    CWR63
    Member
    from So Cal

    It's hard to see in these pics, but the coffin in back actually fits above the wheel tubs. Since the back has a single side hinged door, I've been trying for the best placement of the rear fenders and taillights so they wouldn't get smashed if this were a 'real' car.
    Also don't know if the drivers are actually morticians or just playing dress-up - the casket may just be a prop.
     
  10. Let me premise this by saying that I'm not picking on you, I'm just offering my advice. I feel proud to be able to contribute to a thread where I have some knowledge.

    You didn't say outright but I guess you must be a concept artist, because the amount of work you're doing doesn't lend itself to practicality in a game environment. It is entirely unreasonable to create accurate framerails for a car that doesn't have framerails exposed.

    If I'm correct in the assumption that you're concept only, don't concern yourself with whether or not the suspension is going to be modeled correctly, which pieces will fall off, or whether the tires will bounce through the fenders. As it stands now, if a good amount of distance comes between the game camera and the car, the distance between the tires and fender as they are now are going to have rendering issues in most game engines.

    My suggestion would be to work on other details:
    -Continue the reveal represented on the doors, through the cowl and to the hood. The hard break at the front of the doors is unseemly.
    -Come up with a different solution for the 32 grille. It would moire at distance.
    -Same thing for the hood side louvers. I would suggest spacing them out more.
    -While working on the hood sides, weld your verts and fix your normals. The face that has the hood side louvers has a glaring seam.
    -Fix the normal issue at the lower front corner of the side windows.

    As far as the concept is concerned, I think it's pretty cool. The long hood and full fendered look makes me want to call it a "Duecenberg".
     
  11. CWR63
    Joined: Aug 11, 2012
    Posts: 11

    CWR63
    Member
    from So Cal

    Thank you, informed opinion/advice is what I'm after!

    I've worked for both large and tiny (4 guys!) videogame developers - this is mid-sized; while I'm not limited to only one narrow function nor do I have to do every single art related job, in this case I'm more of a concept/production artist. I prefer to do my videogame concepts in 3D as I've found over the years that it cuts down on unrealistic expectations - it's so easy to come up with cool drawings that absolutely cannot be realized in 3D, so I've cut out that step. Also chemo saddled me with nerve damage that makes drawing pretty much out of the question due to coordination problems, but my decision to concept in 3D preceeded that event.

    The game involves car combat and stunts, so you see the bottom of the car pretty often (especially in replays) and cars need to be designed so that parts can be knocked off down to the bare frame - even split in half longitudinally. I'd like to be as specific as I can concerning the suspension - left to an animator unfamiliar with such setups, I might powerup the finished game to find that 2 Fox offroad racing shocks have been substituted on each corner for simplicity's sake.

    Thank you for your detail suggestions - I think I will implement them all. The '32 grill is currently an alpha channel solution that I would hope would just appear as a solid surface at distance; I've tried actual 3D grill blades in another game on a '33 and it was less than satisfactory - the edges weren't defined from lack of resolution, yet they were too close together to be defined by shading between the blades of the grill. I suspect this will involve a fair amount of reworks once the game engine's final render routines are finalized.

    Really tried to widen the axle in the front to eliminate some of the horrendous understeer in this car. Do these long wheelbase Tudors tend to plow straight when you turn the wheel in real life?
     
  12. Jersey Joe 67
    Joined: Jun 12, 2008
    Posts: 427

    Jersey Joe 67
    Member
    from J Town

    Pretty badass design,if you ask me.
    I love the first image.
     
  13. Well that is a grand undertaking.

    I would use a beam axle and not independent but only of you are trying to stay traditional with it. If I decided to go modern street rod I would run independent but if the fenders are removable I would hide the coilovers behind the grill on under the chassis with tubular A arms so that it would have an indy car feel when the fenders were removed.

    You really don't have to tub it let the tires run wild and stick out a little bit. If it were a drag car the tires would stick out.

    Now here is where I am going completely off the reservation if I were building a hearse old or late I would be building a low rider. not a high boy. Channel and chop, with the fenders raised like some of the old customizers did. Give it a crouching tiger look. But that is just me.
     
  14. I like that a lot!

    I also agree with losing the IFS and putting a straight axle under it. Cool factor increase of ten!
     
  15. CWR63
    Joined: Aug 11, 2012
    Posts: 11

    CWR63
    Member
    from So Cal

    I figuring a dropped beam axle in front with a transverse leaf spring - not sure whether the spring should be just behind the axle or nestled in the dropped section directly on top; seen it done both ways but don't know the reason behind the placement choice. If the leaf proves too odd for game animation I may well hafta go with the coilovers behind the grill (good call BTW) or just those short pistons I've seen:
    [​IMG]

    I'm gonna tinker with the concept of making it an optional variation to drop it over the rails - it would likely only be a fenderless option...

    Your inboard shocks suggestion got me to thinking, I'd seen ads for readymade tri-five chassis' that feature inboard disc brakes in the IRS - wouldn't that lead to torque twisted half-shafts? Would removing the weight of disc brakes from the wheel really affect the handling of a hefty car like a '57 Bel Air? Sounds off-topic, but I'm also making a shoebox for the game.
     
  16. skot71
    Joined: Oct 30, 2010
    Posts: 176

    skot71
    Member

    I still play the original game on an old Windows 98 laptop every once in a while. Make it handle like the small thing with the 2 round tanks on the back in the original game, and you've got a winner. Looks cool!!
     
  17. I understand this is just a concept car but just FYI a Ford wouldn't have been a car used back then as the dead was given a better send off in a more expensive last ride. Hearses from that time period were 4 doors and the rear doors were twin barn doors not a single. Most were town cars with driver exposed and had side lamps. The more expensive ones during that time also had wood carved sides. Just a couple things you might want to incorporate to be a hearse.
     

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  18. CWR63
    Joined: Aug 11, 2012
    Posts: 11

    CWR63
    Member
    from So Cal

    I may incorporate some of these hearse ideas, but it is a hot rod first and a hearse second; a hearse-themed rod. It has a somewhat generic appearance - it could be a '32 Lincoln, Dusenberg or Pierce Arrow from it's grill (although they didn't sell 2 door sedans, just broughams). It's not going to be specifically identified as a Ford - I have seen pictures of a Dodge Bros hearse from the early thirties...a pauper's hearse (was Dodge more prestigious than Ford then?) I had suggested to my AD that one variant have that George Barris/Tom Daniels vibe to it, but that was shot down.
     
  19. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 5,998

    daddio211
    Member

    I know I'm too late with this info, but you should really use this for reference: http://www.wescottsauto.com/WebCatalog/Tech/FrameDiagram1932.pdf

    As a video game I dig the concept, ESPECIALLY the woody. Search for deuce or '32 build threads here and you'll get a TON of chassis pics with all kinds of front suspensions to choose from.

    I'd also steer you away from twin V12 flatheads as hot rodders would scoff at such a thing. I know hot rodders aren't your target audience, but you wanted to keep it realistic. A single V12 Flathead would be cool, or Cadillac made a prototype V16 in the 30's.

    As a game player, I can see my biggest critique centering around an accurate sound. If it has a V12 flatty, it better sound exactly like it. You could fool us with the Cadillac V16 because we've never heard it, but I'm betting it'd sound like a pair of Dusenberg straight 8's.

    Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app
     
  20. CWR63
    Joined: Aug 11, 2012
    Posts: 11

    CWR63
    Member
    from So Cal

    Thank you for the Wescott auto link - there's still a lot of rope to hang myself with that catalog, if you catch my drift. Like an 8 year old daydreaming, I could end up with a turbocharged, supercharged, fuel injected tri-power setup...the peril of not knowing how things actually work in real life.

    I was thinking that in order to fill that exaggerated long hood I'd create a mythical V-24 flattie that was like 2 Lincoln V-12's stuck together; it wouldn't be identified specifically or anything, but when you see it in the game you'd think "Hey, that isn't the usual generic roots blower stuck atop a rat mill sporting finned valve covers that's normally shorthand for a hot rod engine in a game" Admit it, most people who are HAMB members could draw that engine as easily as signing their name.

    I have no control over audio, or even an idea of the capibilities of the developer's sound crew, so I can't speak to that. But does that mean a Viper V-10 sounds like a pair of Volvo I-5s? < This is why I don't write jokes (or anything) for games.
     
  21. raprap
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 768

    raprap
    Member
    from Ohio

    CWR63,

    I like what I see so far. Interesting idea. Don't want to steal your thread or thunder, but what type of software are you using to your 3D Modeling? Just curious as I am an Industrial Designer and have been using a 3D software called SolidWorks. Here's a little design I did a while back. It's pretty realistic but does take some time.
    If you need any help, please ask.
     

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  22. CWR63
    Joined: Aug 11, 2012
    Posts: 11

    CWR63
    Member
    from So Cal

    Just an old version of 3DS Max, which I pressed into service trying to do a SolidWorks job for 3D printing:

    Here's the version I'm getting from Shapeways in black shiny ceramic:
    http://www.shapeways.com/model/673060/1940-ford-solid-coupe.html

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (This is from the pre-war coupe art challenge 14 here at HAMB) making a 'watertight' model with a mesh modeller rather than a CAD/CAM took so long that I missed the sale on ceramics - had to dial back on the size severely. In the end, what I could afford was so dinky that I'm ashamed to post pics of the finished product...it's that sad. I initially wanted to do this in ceramics because the glazing process would soften the stairstepping that you get with 3D printing, but instead the glaze just obscured all the detail. :(
     

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