There are a variety of factors to consider when designing motorcycles – for me, the whole process usually starts off with a question. Will it actually be built into a real object that exists in the real world, or is it going to be a design that is from the imagination and completely fictional?
In my experience with designing vehicles for both Honda (the real world), and EA (entirely fictional), my starting points are completely different. With Honda I’m given a detailed mechanical layout created by engineers that shows me where the engine resides, and gives me frame geometry points for the steering head and rear swing arm as well as the wheelbase. These factors are critical to how a bike will handle and are very important for safety reasons. For a fictional world such as in a video game, the importance is not so much how the bike will handle as how cool the design looks. Regardless of which scenario you’re designing for, both will usually require some amount of research.
My research usually consists of looking through hundreds of images that will help me with design inspiration, the mechanical details, and the accurate depictions of shapes, forms, materials and lighting. At the same time, I’m also considering the environment into which I will be placing my design, be it an outdoor setting or a photo studio, because each has its own distinct look. In this instance, I’m using an outdoor setting because I prefer to showcase this design in a more realistic environment.
This workshop will take you from a rough sketch to the refining of the completed design and will largely focus on techniques to render your line drawing into a believable product.
From issue 16.