The last 2 weeks Iíve been working on a fictional cavalry tank as both a portfolio piece and an exercise to get a better understanding of bakes for production values. I was going for a look influenced by Keith Thompsonís work on Iron Grip
Incoming large amounts of text on how I designed it. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the images.
I went through the design process by first putting down some final features to get me started: the squashed half-spherical shape of the turret, inspired by the T-62, as well as the floating suspension arms. The overall look I was going for was streamlined with few details, but functional looking. I didnít have any concept art, so I did a blockout of the tank in Maya, changing shapes quickly so I can get a rough silhouette from all angles..
That got me pretty far for the front of the tank, but I still had no idea for the back, nor how to connect the floating arms to the body. I thought of dropping the floating arms in favor of more traditional suspension several times, but that wouldnít have seem like Iím just cheating myself.
I looked up more references (I should have done that properly in the beginning) and looked at early WW2 and Inter-war light tanks. The shape of the back sorta evolved from the French Hotchkiss H35 tank, but felt empty. The curve on the back gave a more cohesive feel and to the front, as well as giving me a way to connect the arms to the hull.
After I was happy with the silhouette, I started the high poly. Since I didnít have a proper concept at the beginning, it slowed me down immensely: I had no idea of what type of details to add to the hull, nor if the mechanics I had in place in the block out worked (they didnít). I had to make some overall changes to make it look sorta functional. The suspension was the most thought out in the blockout phase, but still needed a lot of changes to be functional.
The main things I learnt through this piece so far and they're all beginner mistakes I never adressed:
-Gather your refs at the beginning
-Do a concept piece and think out all the large pieces then
-Human placeholders work wonders for better understanding both the inside and the outside of a vehicle.
I've started on the low poly, more to come soon
Any feedback or comments are welcome.