I look at a ton of stuff out there…this track bike jumped out at me immediately. I have a thing for board track racing. So, I gotta a hold of Craig, and he let me know how he crafted this exceptional 3D model of a 1915 Indian Board Track Bike. (My favorite part: Craig creating a back story that gives the bike some soul). I really hope that someday he creates a few more of these bikes.
So this model was our first project in my last class at San Jose State. We were asked to do research on 1910-1920’s board track racing and re-create one of the bikes from that era. What came out of it was a new found love for board track racing bikes and their riders. The insane stories and crazy pictures that we came across were so amazing. It hooked us all in. The first concepts I created was a straight up 1915 Indian board track racing bike with a V-twin motor. I was happy with modeling it out right but the instructors wanted to see us push it more. The idea was that anyone could model from some pictures but not everyone can inject a story and artistry into it.
So I went back to the drawing board and started some quick iterations to explore interesting silhouettes. I came to a silhouette close to what the final version is now. I also found that I was subliminally drawing inspiration from work that Daniel Simon had created. I then needed to figure out how the rider would steer the bike. I developed a pulley system that can run from the front to the riders feet. I then asked well why would he need to drive with his feet? I then thought of the story of a guy who was a rum runner at the time. He would ride his Indian in and out of the streets while avoiding the police. At one point he took a nasty spill and destroyed his bike and lost his left arm. Instead of being defeated he salvaged the parts from the wreck and created a new frame and driving mechanism. He now wears a brace around his chest that can hook into the left side and uses his right arm to grip and throttle.
The model was created in a program called Maya, it was textured in Mudbox and Photoshop and rendered in Mental Ray. I tried to stay true to the original design and engineering but I’m sure any board track racing enthusiast could spot some potential problems.
– craig kitzmann