Rubber Track

Skyler_Fehnel 101 Mar 27, 2011 at 09:00


As a personal project to see how using a modeling engine in the real world would feel, i used Blender game engine [] in order to accieve the model o the rubber track as seen in the photo.

To create the initial shape of the track, i used some of blenders extruding tools to create half of the track, then using a modifier i was able to add the other half onto the model. after some cleaning up and joining the two halvs, i had the basic shape of the track. but i still had to add the tread pattern and the track guide nubbs on the inside of the track.

For the pattern i created two seperate models, the first was the larger, rectangular pad; and the other was the small pad connecting bar. after creating eachindividual element, i copied the pad and placed then around the perimiter of the track; after that i selected the pads i just added, and copied them again in order to accieve the symmetry for both sides. For each of the pads, because they are big enough to have the curve of the track effect their shape, i had to combine them with a lattice modifer in order to accieve the slight curve that would make them look like the were made of the same material as the track.

Then finally i was able to add in the pad connecter bars alternating between each pad, this is actually the part of the track that the sprockets will grab onto. allowing the mahine to move forward without slipping.

then at last came the part that left me dumbfounded. how to add in the nubbs to the inside of the track, without making the track look fake due to inconsistancy in the angles that the nubbs have when they are coming off the inside rubber. this is because a track is usually made of rubber, and as a modeler, it can be difficult to accieve a sence of tension and compression of materials and compensate for them. So after several hors of experimenting with modifiers, i found that the best way of getting this result was to do the same process as used with the pads… Copy and Paste, then modify.

after the model was finished, i added in the forground of concrete, added some lights and a camera then rendered the picture. What came out of the renderer ws great, but not good enough to be considered perfect. Utelizinf Freeware known as GIMP, i added in the background blur to eliminate repetitive textures and give a sence of emptieness, after that i added in the text in order to comlete the peice.

Viola! you have a finished photo worthy of a buisness card!

5 Replies

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rouncer 104 Mar 27, 2011 at 11:10

nice render.

fireside 141 Mar 27, 2011 at 16:34

Nice job. I use Blender also, but I don’t have quite the patience. I manage to get some low poly models out for my games and that’s about it.

Reedbeta 167 Mar 27, 2011 at 18:44

It looks cool, but IMHO the material on the track is too dark. I can hardly see any of the modeling details you explained at length in your post! ;) Also, instead of blurring the background in 2D with GIMP, did you think of adding some DOF blur to the scene via the 3D renderer? That can look nicer.

geon 101 Mar 28, 2011 at 14:47

What Reed said.

Also, the “concrete” is reflective, like a highly polished marble floor.

TheNut 179 Mar 29, 2011 at 02:52

Advert needs more buzzwords like “Unparalleled Performance”, “World Leader”, and my personal fav “Satisfaction Guaranteed” :)

If you’re interested in doing some pro work with Blender, check out the tutorials by Andrew Price. In particular, you will learn how to use composition nodes to do effects such as depth of field in Blender without the need for Gimp.

Also, the “concrete” is reflective, like a highly polished marble floor.

Concrete can be polished, so his effect isn’t bogus. Would have been better if the texture was tiled properly though.