Late in the afternoon on Friday, Jesse put up a time-lapse video of him recreating the LEGO Cybertruck image that was posted last week on Twitter. It picked up a few views over the weekend, so we figured we would sit down with him for a moment and ask a few questions.
1. Where did the LEGO Cybertruck image come from?
[Jesse] So, the original LEGO Cybertruck image was created by LEGO in response to the Tesla Cybertruck release. They put it out on Twitter and I thought it was absolutely hilarious. The internet has made for some interesting interaction between brands that has grown in the past few years. It makes for amusing marketing battles between rival brands, like we see with BMW and Mercedes, but it also opens the door to commentary from completely unrelated markets and that usually stirs things up. In this case, you had the release of a vehicle and everyone from toy companies to restaurants were weighing in on it. I’ve always loved LEGOs. It seems like pretty much everyone who is in the design field started off with LEGOs, so it’s a product I’ve used for a handful of examples. This time, the image amused me, it looked simple enough to try to recreate it, and I just happened to have a few minutes to try it out.
2. What prompted you to create it?
[Jesse] Well, I’m always looking for something to try to practice on. This time I liked the overly-dramatic mood of the image and I liked the slight irregularities in the parts. There were only a handful of parts so it looked something I could quickly re-create. If you look at the image, you can see that the blocks are not perfectly straight, there are small gaps between the blocks, and there are a couple of nicks and marks on them. I actually wasn’t really happy with the way most of that turned out but that’s what I was looking at. Sometimes you have to try things and see what happens. Overall, it could have been dialed in quite a bit more but it was just for practice.
“it goes to show how quickly you can propose an idea with realistic visuals”-the bottom line.
3. How long did it take to create the LEGO Cybertruck?
[Jesse] Hmm, I’m not quite sure. If it was modeled and rendered square and nominal it would be quick. All of the fiddling with the imperfections is really what took up time. It was probably about 2 hours of work, all said and done.
4. What products were used?
[Jesse] Well, the modeling was done in SOLIDWORKS 2020. I did make a mistake somewhere along the way and had to run back and use “Repair All Fillets” (new in 2020) for the first time so that worked out awesome! The rendering was done with SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional. The lighting was a combination of HDR Light Studio and the physical lights in Visualize Pro. The smoke and the flare were added in Adobe Photoshop. You can add emissive appearances and bloom in Visualize but the image that LEGO posted had a very distinct anamorphic flare so I decided to stick with that and just add it in post.
5. What do you want people to take away?
[Jesse] Was there supposed to be a takeaway? [laughter] This was just for fun and practice but it goes to show how quickly you can propose an idea with realistic visuals. If you had a concept or design to propose, you could invest a few hours and come up with an image that would really sell your vision much more clearly than standing there saying, “So picture this…”. I’ve found that even a mediocre rendering creates a very strong reaction that just isn’t there without the visual. This was a simple model and concept so it was quick, but I’ve taken more complex ideas from modeling to rendering in a day.