This is a project that was in the making for a long time. I can’t even remember how many times I started modeling a motorcycle or bicycle and then abandon it later on. I have had visions of a cafe racer in my head for years, but I just never finished the model.
Needless to say, I didn’t do many concept sketches for this one. Most of the shape was already set in my mind and part of it was dictated by the template I used. Which in this case was the Yamaha Virago. I gathered all kinds of reference from the bike that I could find and started with modeling the frame. Based on my vision I would make alterations to this frame, but I tried to keep it to a minimum.
Once I finished the main frame I started adding the design and details. Because the frame was already modeled it was easy to iterate designs and check the global aesthetic. Once I set the design I started adding more details, like stitching on the seat.
For texturing I made complex shaders and materials. Stacking geometry based shaders on top of microtextures like scratches and noise textures, so I could simulate subtle changes in the paint layer and scuffing at the edges of materials.
Looking back at this project now in 2019, there are many ways in which I could have optimized this project, especially in the texturing department. Using procedural textures is a great help, but it also places a pretty big demand on the GPU resources. With my knowledge now I could have cut the render time down to 10% of what it was then.