The Idealworks IW.HUB is an autonomous robot currently transforming the logistics processes of automotive manufacturing. This project explores the development of the product's visual identity.
The BMW Group is pressing ahead with the digitalisation of its intralogistics workflows, specifically in the field of smart data analytics, smart logistics and assistance systems. From press shop to paint shop, assembly to logistics – every stage of production benefits from digitalisation and autonomous services. The latest product offering in this line of autonomous smart transport is the iw.hub
Approaching the task of creating PBR optimised CAD for this project required close integration between Blender and Substance Painter. As a designer with little experience with these software's, it was decided to keep a journal recording the relationships and workflow highlights between the two programs. In addition, sketches of the HUB were created to study the details of the product and assist with planning the poly modelling process.
Blender's inbuilt collection and render pass engine was used to ensure a set of modular renders were achieved without compromising detail. By breaking up a single render into a shadow, diffuse, ambient occlusion and glossy passes - the rendered output images could be easily post composited to match the needs of our web development team as efficiently as possible. Shown below is an example of a final render and a singular AO pass.
To maintain a constant model fidelity and future proof the design for different platforms, we used a hard-surface modelling approach to quickly build out the iw.hubs' features and organised the parts using a visibility structure - this allowed us to quickly hide internal elements when rendering to save compute power and increase rendering speeds.
Modelling, Texturing and lighting studies were simultaneously performed to allow our team to visualise the contrast and assemblage of the components during weekly meetings. These initial renders and material studies allowed us to communicate the visual direction of the final renders with the marketing and engineering team.
PBR BROKEN DOWN
Here is an example of the different types of PBR texture maps used to create a realistic surface finish. Baked instances of Roughness, Metallic, Normal Data, Albedo (base diffused colour) and, Emission maps are combined in the Cycles render engine node editor to produce the final render shown in large.