For this project, my goal was to explore some modeling and look development. The idea came after my son gifted me a Hot Wheels “Kool Kombi”. I took inspiration from it but added my own ideas to the mix.
This was a great opportunity to spend some time in Blender, a software that never ceases to amaze me.
The modeling process is straightforward, beginning with simple primitives like boxes and cylinders. For symmetrical objects, I prefer to model the left side in low resolution, using a mirror modifier to duplicate and merge the right side. This approach naturally accelerates the process and always ensures perfect symmetry. Additionally, I maintain a subdivision surface modifier, usually set to 2 subdivision levels.
I seep to maintain clean edge loops as much as possible, predominantly using 4-sided polygons with some occasional ngons. Due to the reflective nature of the materials, very smooth surfaces were required. Even the slightest misalignment of vertices could distort reflections.
I wanted to meld a few elements to the aesthetics of this project:
-Hot Rod mods
-Extravagant color schemes
-and of course, a custom “Flames” paint.
The vintage look was achieved through the use of ’60s and ’70s color schemes. In reality, any non-saturated color pairs well with beige, which is a staple in vintage color schemes.
For the Hot Rod mods, I went with big drag wheels and tires, and aggressive exhausts.
The PBR shaders truly shine when HDRIs are used as light sources. The ratio of diffuse to reflection always appears correct, and the model sits well in any environment. Additionally, chrome and brushed metal materials greatly benefit from the HDRIs, adding realism to the images. All HDRIs used in this project were sourced from https://polyhaven.com.
The cartoony look arises from the forms and proportions. Much like babies, who possess short arms and legs and a large head proportional to their bodies, appearing “cute” as a result, cars with a shorter distance between axles, coupled with rounded, tall, and bold shapes, evoke a similar effect.
The windshield wiper serves as a good example of this principle. Realistic proportions, where shapes are elongated and thin, wouldn’t work well. I opted for shorter and bolder shapes instead. This approach helped ensure the balance and consistency of the model.
The color scheme rendering phase proved to be highly addictive. As a result, I present what is likely the largest hot rod kombi gallery on the planet!