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  • #31
    Good one Cliff. This is an interesting discussion. I have always thought Corvairs would have looked better with a fake grill.
    cheers Steve

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Steve Murphy View Post
      Good one Cliff. This is an interesting discussion. I have always thought Corvairs would have looked better with a fake grill.
      cheers Steve
      VW kit cars also have this problem , you expect a hole in the front and something is "missing" and just not right

      my 1959 Fiat 600 has a Fake grill !

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      • #33
        Here is a great example. Yes it is ugly. But you know what. Beauty wasn't the objective. This guy was just trying to recycle and piece together a somewhat functional vehicle. Requirements are everything.

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        There are some beautiful vehicle designs from days gone by. There are probably a few current designs are up there too. We probably take many of them for granted as we see them all the time.

        In terms of cars it is no secret I am a big fan of the Porsche 550 Spyder. My theory is it's beauty is partly due to simplicity in features, simplicity in intent and similarity in the contours. The the contour down the the nose is similar to the contour across the nose which is similar to the contour over the wheel arches etc etc. I am also a fan of the early zed cars. I owned a 240z for 15 years and I still own a 280zx that I've had for almost 30 years.

        In terms of motorcycles I am often drawn to this BMW. But I am not a motorcycle expert. Again it is simple enough, but then they have managed to add enough features to make it pop visually. It is a standout for me.



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        • #34
          Originally posted by galderdi View Post
          Here is a great example. Yes it is ugly. But you know what. Beauty wasn't the objective. This guy was just trying to recycle and piece together a somewhat functional vehicle. Requirements are everything.

          Click image for larger version Name:	ageless design.jpg Views:	0 Size:	30.5 KB ID:	6245

          There are some beautiful vehicle designs from days gone by. There are probably a few current designs are up there too. We probably take many of them for granted as we see them all the time.

          In terms of cars it is no secret I am a big fan of the Porsche 550 Spyder. My theory is it's beauty is partly due to simplicity in features, simplicity in intent and similarity in the contours. The the contour down the the nose is similar to the contour across the nose which is similar to the contour over the wheel arches etc etc. I am also a fan of the early zed cars. I owned a 240z for 15 years and I still own a 280zx that I've had for almost 30 years.

          In terms of motorcycles I am often drawn to this BMW. But I am not a motorcycle expert. Again it is simple enough, but then they have managed to add enough features to make it pop visually. It is a standout for me.



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          These are good examples of how the intention of the creator is clarified. Anything you can do to diminish or eliminate visual noise helps the viewer appreciate what is created in the creator's desired manner

          The top example is stated as being utilitarian, which means aesthetics are not relevant. This composition is about function, not form. Form doesn't have to be undesirable, but that desirable form is not the goal of the effort.

          The BMW composition is geared towards a pleasing aesthetic. There are many areas that are atypical to normal design, like the fenders with integral stays and the large toolbox within the perimeter frame. So the designer uses pinstriping, much like I mentioned before regarding the character line around a pseudo-grill, to help define some of this detail. This helps the viewer understand more complex or atypical elements at a quick glance, especially in such a monochromatic composition.

          Imagine if the BMW had no greatly contrasting white pinstriping upon the black paint. How difficult would it be to comprehend the various shapes, curves and contours- especially in a small image where lighting, shadow and (most importantly) viewer perspecitve are static? Much of the dramatic shape of the fender stays would be lost, if not be detrimental to the overall composition. What is the color was of lesser contrast? Imagine if the pinstriping was silver, gold, red or blue? I expect you would see the overall composition as bulkier, heavier and more muscular vs the sharper sleek-thin presence created by the use of white. The goal and the color used can work together or against each other.

          Just like a physical character line, pinstriping is a strong tool in defining or suggesting actual 3D shape or form. There are also subtle ways to do either in a more effective manner. A single line (paint or physical bead/crease/etc) is seen by the human eye as an abrupt element of definition or transition. A pair of closely spaced parallel lines, especially with one being wider than the other, softens the edge of the pair of lines on the side of the narrow line. Look closely at the BMW. Pinstriping on the fenders is very definitive and stark because it is a single line. Pinstriping on the frame is parallel lines. The creator is using the method of single line pinstriping on the most dynamic parts of the composition- the highly stylized fenders & stays- to draw attention to them. The frame is not as atypical but will still benefit from some striping, so it received parallel striping.

          In stone work, drapery on religious figures is nearly always composed with a number of folds. These work like pinstriped or character lines to help suggest shape and movement to the viewer. Whenever I use a digital image for quoting or advertising, I format it with a very thin black border. It is almost imperceptible when the image is viewed alone, but is obviously different when viewed beside the same image without a border. This means your mind sees it, even when you don't "see" it. Borders, pinstripes, character lines- they're all the same. They are powerful tools to help a viewer comprehend transition. Consider using them to your advantage so your work pops more than the competition.

          Aside from strengthening qualities, Wirebeading (real or false) a panel's edge is an excellent way to add a parallel border to the edge of a panel. It also provides a round edge that adds more benefit to soften the transition when compared to a simple square flange or cut edge. more on that later...

          Whether I've mentioned in this thread or not, a pet peeve is seeing someone create a panel, fender, tank, or even entire car from scratch and making it all perfectly smooth. From my perspective as an artist, I understand what they are probably trying to do. The goal is to showcase skill and expertise by making a nice flowing curvaceous shape. To me, the result often looks naive or ignorant. Not an insult, just that the craftsman probably doesn't understand how to develop and incorporate the last 1% of detail that makes the composition complete. This is a downfall of many one-off custom car or bike designs. They are so smooth that it's difficult for the viewer to comprehend the overall work. If they only had some trim, some lines to break it into smaller pieces to understand, it would be a completely different experience to interpret. The trend to shave and smooth old cars- take off all the trim, iron out body lines and round everything off- also bugs me. People can do what they want, but it's not my thing. Too often, I think more is lost than is gained.

          Smoothing a race car for aerodynamic reasons goes back to example #1. It's utilitarian, so winning the race is all that matters. Smoothing a street car to make it better looking is easily overdone and just as dangerous to the composition as adding too much extra detail(s). I'm sure everyone here has seen customized cars with every piece of fiberglass fender flare, hood scoop, rear spoiler, front air dam and hood scoop that can be attached.... Bet you didn't go "WOW!"

          There's character in restraint.
          Last edited by cliffrod; 21-04-21, 02:09 PM.

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          • #35
            Great conversation Cliffrod.

            When you talk about over smoothing on a road car my thoughts go to the modern Holden Monaro. Its a great car but it could have been so much more if it were not "over smoothed" and some more details were included.

            Cliffrod, Do you have examples of your own automotive designs? Is there a back catalogue somewhere (either real pieces or just designs)?

            Going back to function over form. This is my last project. This was another example of function being more important than form. My requirements going in were more about weight and performance. I also needed to avoid complex shapes as I had no metal shaping skills at the time. But I still think I managed to achieve a shape that was somewhat pleasing, in my biased opinion, given those constraints. The key was making sure the longitudinal lines of the car meet at the same virtual vanishing point in front of the car.
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            • #36
              Race cars are special, almost an exception. Your car makes me think of the Lotus Super 7 concept- it's not about the way it looks. But it works well because it isn't about the looks so that look becomes a default design that implies efficiency & speed. So then it is about the way it looks. They look right because they go fast. Then, you expect a car that looks like that to go fast because they look right. Once you start adding curvaceous parts, it spoils the spartan no-frills look. I like what you've done, Greg. Isn't it electric? I bet that adds a cool twist fo spectators expecting to hear the engine but only hear the whine.(?)

              I've never designed a car and haven't really sketched many motorcycles. Re cars- to me, it's more about the engine-trans-driving experience than the superficial. I like a 289 Cobra because I like the 289 and 4 speed toploader. When the hood goes up or the pedal goes down, I want to see the real thing. When there's a different engine in there, I'm bummed. If a car is supposed to have a v8 and I hear a v6 , I'm really bummed. I also don't have the money to build a car. So I haven't designed a car. Bikes are more conducive imho to full custom bodywork. So now Im working on my Moto Guzzi V700 Corsa Record. It's inspired, not original and it fits my modest budget. And I'm not a very good graphic artist. I can draw, but not very well. Making things in 3D is a lot easier for me. I hope to shape metal someday as effectively as I shape other materials.

              I have designed the majority of the stone sculpture work I've produced for the past 18 years. All my clay & plaster models have been original work. All is produced to commission, but all is original. Sometimes I'm given full artistic license. Sometimes it must be very precise to a specific design. Sometimes its somewhere in between these parameters. Maybe I'm lazy, but if Im not getting paid to make it, there's only certain things I feel like making. There's lots of that work on my website and youtube channel plus a thread here for Johnny with some recent projects- https://ce8df029be3e-004671.vbulleti...lpture-project and a small bronze job that I based upon a metalshaped aluminum armature-https://ce8df029be3e-004671.vbulleti...284-peach-leaf

              I wish I knew vehicle model lines in AU better, but I don't. I'm a Ford guy. No matter, one of my favorite examples of design success and failure issues is the Chevrolet Corvette. To me, without exception, every time GM introduced a new body concept- 1953, 1956, 1963, 1968, 1984, etc- they did a fantastic job. I like some better than others, but the first version of each new design is the best of that version. Every subsequent model of that version is embellished, extended, corrupted, whatever. They get worse and worse until the entire design is scrapped and a new version saves the day. In many ways, this is the opposite process of the smoothing and shaving I mention above. It's still a good exercise to study corvettes because it helps you see when you should have quit. As a stone sculptor, you have to understand this without exception. You have to know how to design something, how to execute it But most importantly, you HAVE to know when to quit hitting it or you will ruin it.
              Last edited by cliffrod; 22-04-21, 02:16 AM. Reason: add links

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              • #37
                Originally posted by cliffrod View Post
                R Re cars- to me, it's more about the engine-trans-driving experience than the superficial. I like a 289 Cobra because I like the 289 and 4 speed toploader. When the hood goes up or the pedal goes down, I want to see the real thing. When there's a different engine in there, I'm bummed. If a car is supposed to have a v8 and I hear a v6 , I'm really bummed.
                You wouldn't like my projects then. Mine (other than my zeds) are all electric. I understand from a bystander point of view this removed the appeal that often comes from a great exhaust note. But from a driver perspective there isn't much that beats the sudden acceleration off the line achieved with electric drive trains. I still appreciate a good rumble but when the choice is mutually exclusive I'll take electric every time.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by galderdi View Post

                  You wouldn't like my projects then. Mine (other than my zeds) are all electric. I understand from a bystander point of view this removed the appeal that often comes from a great exhaust note. But from a driver perspective there isn't much that beats the sudden acceleration off the line achieved with electric drive trains. I still appreciate a good rumble but when the choice is mutually exclusive I'll take electric every time.
                  Not necessarily. Like and appreciate don't mean the same thing. As a chef (another means of artistic composition and creation- very temporal with many aspects of the work being very real & predictable but wholly intangible), I didn't always like everything I was hired to cook. But I had to know and appreciate it enough to cook it properly, understand what it should taste like, etc. Occasionally I would eat these things because they provided professional perspective and enhanced the things I did like even more. Sometimes I came to like things that I didn't like before. That expanded my perspective in the kitchen, so I continued to do the same thing elsewhere in the creative realm. Very cool to grow as an artist.

                  Right now, I don't understand electric powered vehicles that well, in terms of building such a drivetrain. To me, making an EV from scratch is quite a creative achievement. The way I see them is much like how Allen Millyard (motorcycles) and Pete Aardema (automotive) create new major powertrain components from some combination of existing parts and necessary new parts of their own making & design. Mind blowing stuff. They aren't doing it to take the cheap easy route. the superficial portion of their achievement is not their primary goal. Your EV pursuit probably isn't about doing it the easiest way possible, either. It also doesn't seem like its about making a needlessly complex contraption just because you want to claim how hard you worked. You're committed to the EV approach, which adds a lot of integrity to what you create. The larger composition serves to introduce new or novel individual components to the audience in a deliberate manner. That's the kind of thing that speaks to me artistically because it can expand my perspective. It can stretch my head so more smarts can fit inside.

                  So I'm very interested in what you're doing, even if it isn't what I want to own or build right now for myself. Does that make sense?
                  Last edited by cliffrod; 22-04-21, 02:25 PM. Reason: typo

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by cliffrod View Post
                    Does that make sense?
                    Yes that makes a lot of sense. You are correct on many points. Electric drive trains are way more simple than any combustion drive train. Yes like any conversion to a non standard drive train there are complications around mounts and adaptors. Packaging (Finding usable spaces in the vehicle) is immensely challenging. The more space you can find the more range and power you can achieve. But otherwise powering a vehicle by electricity is very simple and reliable as there are so few components. Even wiring wise there are many less wires to an electric power train compared to a modern combustion engine.

                    I was the first in the world to produce an electric motorkhana car (Granted it is a niche sport). I decided on that route because motorkhana, khanacross, autocross and hillclimbs are all moderately low speed forms of motorsport involving a standing start. 0-80kph is the butter zone for a DIY EV. So it made sense to take advantage of electric acceleration. I am not the first to make an electric Spyder. I am aware of at least 2 others that precede mine. However both are fibreglass kits. I am not aware of any hand made metallic Spyders with an electric drive train made in Brisbane by someone named Greg. So it may be another world first :-D (assuming I can pull it off)

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                    • #40
                      Keep being the first. I don;t see any reason you cannot do it. Somebody will always be the first. It might as well be you.

                      With the little autocross/gymkhana experience I have (as a spectator only), EV makes complete sense.

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                      • #41
                        Copy & paste from another thread, but good to have here-


                        If a shape is not complex, it is not as interesting. 2D work (like drawing on paper or cutting out a blank) is about making lines that define the result for the viewer. In part, 3D work is interpreted viewing the changing edges created by the shape as viewed from changing perspectives and with binocular vision. That's part of the challenge created by looking at a 2D representation of a 3D object, because the ability to interpret the object in the round (changing perspectives) with two eyes (binocular vision) has been greatly diminished or entirely eliminated.

                        Perfectly simple shapes are typically seen as static, less vibrant or "alive". They are quickly interpreted by the viewer as easily defined and dismissed. They aren't as intrinsic so don't compel the viewer to continue looking in order to understand the object. Object shapes that initially appear to be simple but that actually have notable & often almost indistinguishable complexity are the most interesting. Your mind cannot readily interpret and comprehend the object, so you keep looking. Then you find another reason to keep looking.... That's why an apparently spartan composition like a Porsche 550 or 356 is such a successful and appealing design. Visual noise is used in this case to convey complexity to the viewer, partially confusing them so they keep looking to better understand the composition or object

                        You can make whatever shape you would like & can make for a panel. But it will be more interesting and appealing if it is complex, not simple.

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