Freightliner FL86 Cab Over Engine Truck


Modeled in MODO 902, textured in Substance Painter 2.51, and rendered in both MODO 902 and IRAY , the FL86 was another foray into vehicle modeling with a focus on overcoming the hurdles of executing proper bakes for texturing.  Though somewhat long and tedious, I believe that i have achieved a decent result considering the hurdles that needed to be overcome.  I baked both the normal and ambient occlusion maps in MODO, then baked the remaining maps in Substance Painter.  Initially I had approx. ten 2048 square texture maps that I had used as indicated by some of the earlier renders located further down the page, and later attempted to recompile the UV’s into three 4096 square maps which led to the final resulting render located first in the sequence.

The biggest challenges in terms of modeling was that there are no decent online drawings available, so I had to resort to tape-measuring an old AMT model kit that was an even older version of the Freightliner I intended to model!  In addition, I wanted to have an end model that was an homage to the original Optimus Prime truck, however, there are discrepancies between the toy and its real-world counterpart, most notably the back.

Low res model approx. 100,000 polygons rendered with HDR in MODO 902 using the three 4096 texture maps and several smaller maps for some of the isolated details that used alpha transparency like the headlights, etc. :


Comparison of the Index of Refraction attributes in MODO 902 for the roof LED; textures exported from Substance Painter:

Closeup of the headlight texture completely painted from scratch in Substance Painter and then exported and rendered out in Modo:


Inspired Cummins NTC 250 diesel engine isolated from the rest of the Freightliner.  The key was to get the general feel for the engine rather than recreate every detail (which would be a project in itself):

IRAY render of the FL86 with some of the older model bits still in place.  This was during the baking tests that used 2048 resolution maps.  Some things like the headlights, LEDs etc. were still being finalized.

Another IRAY shot with the lights turned on:

Another IRAY render from a different angle:

Low resolution model wireframe view taken from MODO viewport:

High resolution model wireframe view taken from MODO viewport:

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