TL;DR: If you're interested in making your own guitar or are just curious of how I made mine; This is the article for you!
The first 3D assignment was to make a realistic instrument using Maya and Vray.
I looked around at different instruments online. I decided to make a Fender Stratocaster. Here’s how I did it.
The first thing before I even started modeling was to find a bunch of reference images. That was another reason for choosing the Stratocaster. Because it is a famous model it was easy finding reference images, from all different angles.
When I had found enough reference images I brought some of them into Maya as image planes. That way I can use them as stencils to get the shape of the guitar right.
After I imported them I scaled them correctly and according to real world scale.
When all was set up correctly it was just a matter of starting to block out the basic shapes of the guitar. Then I added more geometry to be able to shape it to look like a guitar and not just cubes.
When the basic shape was done I started working on the details. The good thing about this instrument was that it had a lot of similar features so I could reuse a lot of things.
For example the screws, saddles and knobs. And of course the tuning pegs on the head, as seen in the picture below.
Once I was all done with the model, it was time to start shading and texturing it.
At first I just made basic materials to distinguish the final look of the different parts. After that I just started tweaking values.
For the neck and the knobs on the pick guard I had to do some UV-mapping. The shapes were pretty basic though and only needed details on specific parts so I didn’t spend too much time on this process. For the rest of the model it was just basic shaders that didn’t need any UV-mapping.
I had my reference image next to my model while rendering for comparison. This helped a lot when trying to figure out a good lighting setup and to get the reflections right.
I used a Vray dome light with a studio HDRi for some basic lighting. Then I placed two directional lights to get additional reflections and lighting.
I tried a few different angles and compositions before getting to a final composite I was happy with.
The final composition in Photoshop.
I looked at a few different pack shots to get some inspiration. I ended up with this simple design with a gradient background and some text. The amplifier is a picture I found and thought it would fit. I rendered out a few different passes from Vray but I ended up not using them and just adjusted the beauty pass instead.
Here’s how the final image turned out.
If you have any criticism, feedback or just questions, please write to me on Twitter!