Mick Imrie – Supercar Take 2

Mick Imrie created a detailed Supercar 3D model in Cinema4D back in 1998-1999 and this has been used as the basis for many ports to other 3D modelling tools, game platforms, flight and space simulators and virtual worlds platforms since then. See http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~bat/GA/supercar-3d.html.

Mick has now begun the creation of a new Supercar model taking on board experience gained. As previously, the reference point is the puppet-scale studio model. [There also was a mid-sized model and a smaller “flight” model details of which differed from the puppet-scale model.]

Mick is positing about the new model on the EagleTransporter British SciFi web site.

Model Licence

Supercar was created by A.P. Film Studios in association with ITC (now ITC Studios). Supercar 3D Model by Mick Imrie with technical assistance from Austin Tate. Original Supercar designed by Reg Hill of A.P. Films. This is fan produced material to promote the shows of Gerry Anderson and provided for your enjoyment, and should not be used for any commercial purpose.

Mick aims to make the Supercar models available to others. Possible licences suggested by Austin are Creative Commons By Attribution Non-Commercial (or its Share-Alike variant)…


Model Improvements

The new model accounts for some of the following inputs:

  1. Availability of higher quality visual reference material published over the years and higher definition TV screen captures from the TV series. Mick has been able to use these to provide corelated reference images to better inform the modelling shapes.
  2. The main hull shape has been refined using the detailed screen captures and normalising them. This led to the shape changing in ways consistent with Phil Rae’s 1990 revision of his Supercar blueprints. Wing position, nose shape and front light pod size and position also altered. Retro jet length was shortened.[Phil Rae produced a Supercar blueprint for a centrespread in Fanderson’s SIG no. 3 in Autumn 1981 and revised it in 1983 for a set of A3 Gerry Anderson vehicle blueprints. In a personal communication to Austin Tate on 18th August 1990 he offered further revisions as an amalgamation of the three studio models (Puppet scale, Bill James’s 3ft. version and the smaller “flight” model.
  3. Improved accuracy of the wing slot on the fuselage.
  4. Improved understanding of the colour and shininess of some parts and trim on the Supercar from improved colour reference material. E.g. the puppet-scale model hull piping is pale brass rather than chrome.
  5. Improvements to the texturing of the model to allow for simpler use on other platforms.
  6. Detailed research by Mick to identify original parts and instruments used in the construction of the puppet-scale model. He is documenting this material on a new web site to help other modellers. See ‘deconGA’ (deconstructing Gerry Anderson).
  7. Improvements to the Supercar dashboard using screen grabs of the human hand scale dashboard. However, this dashboard often had replacement instruments and switches to accommodate the story lines and cannot be reconciled to a single consistent model.
  8. Design to allow for a simpler texture based dashboard, as well as a detailed 3D modelled version to support different delivery platforms.
  9. Significant reductions in polygon count for the hull, fuselage piping and other complex curved elements of the design.
  10. Use of curve based modelling (NURBs) where useful but ability to export as polygons for those platforms needing this.
  11. Canopy structure, size of holes in rear support improved and added small block on rear support to support the canopy top.
  12. Cockpit interior details for the interior sides, seats and pipework in the rear corners was made using better reference images.
  13. Compatibility with Supercar Schematics Details (PDF) where feasible.
  14. An “add-on pack” for accessories such as Clear-Vu mounted gun and fairing, magnetic grabs, nose drill attachment, canopy mounted searchlight, etc. Possibly also in including the lab blast shield, Dr. Beaker’s lab console and remote console.

Initial Plans as at 18-Feb-2021

Initial Model as at 23-Feb-2021

Model and Initial Texturing as at 1-Mar-2021

Model as at 11-Mar-2021

Model as at 24-Mar-2021

Fin Remodelling as at 27-Mar-2021

Model as at 1-Apr-2021 – No Fooling

Canopy Structure

Mick has put quite a bit of work into getting the canopy structure to better reflect the Supercar puppet-scale studio model. This includes adding the small canopy top piece support block on the rear framework, and making the holes in that part more accurate.

Dashboard Details and Instruments

Mick found that many of the instruments used appear to come from the cockpit of the Gloster Meteor NF12.

Model Complexity

The new Supercar model is designed to be less complex than the previous 1998/1999 version which had a high polygon complexity (measured in vertices and triangles). The 1998/1999 model complexity was approximately (see this blog post for initial mesh upload experiments):

Triangles: 135,000-165,000

The new 2021 model has complexity approximately:

Triangles: TBD

Supercar Colours and Fonts

Mick Imrie made these notes back in 1999/2000 for the original 3D model…

    The font used for the Cinema 4D Supercar model was a TrueType font supplied with Corel Draw called SWISS911 XCm BT (free download). This was selected primarily on the basis of the ‘S’ shape. The logo is obviously all in capitals, the ‘S’ is 118 point size and the rest of the characters are 78 point.

    On the subject of colours, Austin and I spent some time trying to get the colours as good as we could given the vagaries of colour photography. What we came up with are as follows (all given as RGB values):

         Red bodywork:           255,0,0
         Light blue:             204,255,255
         Yellow:                 255,255,0
         Off-white bodywork:     254,250,230

Piping noted as likely a light brass colour on 3-Mar-2021. Perhaps “Gold Tone” Brass such as in this example [RGB: 236,236,186].

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One Response to Mick Imrie – Supercar Take 2

  1. bat says:

    Shane Pickering wrote on 19-Apr-2021:

    A SUPERCAR Logo (Supercar Logo 2C.jpg and Supercar Logo 2C-300.psd) traced off a close-up of the studio model & normalised is in http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~bat/GA/SC-MODEL/SP/

    A SUPERCAR font can be obtained from working “Anderson Fonts” made by Steve Ferrere.
    They are free for non-commercial use and most font sites have them. e.g. “Anderson Supercar”.

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