Modelling Photoreal Vehicles in Maya

Taught by Liam Whitehouse

Course Number:
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Original Run Date:
May 2021 
6 hours 32 minutes 
In this course, taught by Liam Whitehouse, you will learn the concepts of creating a highly detailed hard surface vehicle model from scratch. Using provided on site photography you will generate a highly detailed photogrammetry model, and learn how to retopolgise and optimise it in Autodesk Maya.

In addition, we will cover how to setup the 3D model to be rendered as a feature film asset in Pixar RenderMan for a review session and also how to prepare and export the model to Unreal Engine for realtime raytraced virtual production.

Liam is a New Zealand based Senior VFX Generalist, who has been in the 3D industry since 2003. He has worked on various projects over the past 18 years including most recently the photoreal canyon environments for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney Plus, and the hollow earth environments for Godzilla vs Kong, as well as VFX work on other upcoming high profile feature films.
Modelling Photoreal Vehicles in Maya
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1: Photography

How to photograph and capture large scale objects like aircraft or helicopters on site in order to recreate highly detailed photogrammetry models in RealityCapture.

Class 2: RealityCapture

An in-depth class using RealityCapture software to align, solve and generate a detailed 3D textured model of a large scale vehicle.

Class 3: ZBrush

How to clean up a scan mesh using the editing tools on high resolution geometry in RealityCapture and ZBrush before exporting the final scan model to Autodesk Maya.

Class 4: Maya retopology

Using the RealityCapture high poly mesh as reference geometry for the retopology process in Maya.

Class 5: Complex modelling

How to model complex mechanical hard surface geometry including the engine of the plane, small inserts, latches, wires, sharp corners, and other complex shapes.

Class 6: UVs

Creating UV maps on the finished Maya model so that there is sufficient texel density on the model and also consistent texel density between all the pieces of the plane. UV unfolding will be used as well as cutting sewing, translating ,and scaling UVs.

Class 7

Class 07 will show how to setup the model to be rendered with Renderman so that subdivision can be generated at rendertime with detailed materails for the model.

Class 8: Displacement maps

Creating displacement maps in ZBrush and exporting them to be used in RenderMan to create 3D displacement at render time from 2D displacement maps.

Class 9: Use in Unreal Engine

Setting up a Maya feature film asset to be used for virtual production in Unreal Engine 4. How to apply basic UE4 materials and how to setup raytracing in UE4.

Class 10: Turntable

Creating a traditional feature film pipeline RenderMan turntable review render. Includes the setup of the model and batch rendering for dalies.