Thursday, June 06, 2024

AR Rewind #7 - Nissan Murano Convertible

Thumbnail

Rewind: This is the seventh in a series of posts where I dive into detail of the work completed for Edmunds InsideLine engagements.

Creative Brief: Scott Oldham contacted me regarding a rumor that Nissan was contemplating a convertible version of the Murano. He was interested in exploring the design possibilities for a two-door variant. After some discussions on the aesthetic and conceptual elements, we agreed to draw inspiration from the hoop and boot design of the PT Cruiser Convertible. Additionally, we were uncertain about Nissan's approach to reinforcing the vehicle's structure after removing the roof so we envisioned Nissan using the Chrysler as a benchmark.

Execution Highlights - Front

Nissan Murano
Nissan Murano Convertible
  • Donor convertible pieces for hoop and boot came from a PT Cruiser Convertible
  • 2 doors conversion
  • Custom fill in of the background and windshield area where the top was chopped

Final Thoughts: This was a really fun project that received quite a lot of laughs when posted on InsideLine's website. Ultimately, Nissan did produce the convertible in a limited series from 2012 to 2014, naming it the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.

Original Blog Link: Future Drop Top: 2011 Nissan Murano Convertible

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Automotive Renderings Updates - June 2025

Thumbnail June 2025 Updates from AR

Blog Update: It has been far too long since the last update here on AR. My FIVERR business has flourished. I have had the pleasure of assisting both individual car enthusiasts with their projects and speed/custom shops with their customers' project vehicles. This resurgence has inspired me to revitalize AR's branding. With this venture now 16 years old (officially), a refresh was long overdue. I have also developed a new logomark for the first time, and I am extremely proud of its bold simplicity and focus.

In other news, AR will be expanding its presence in various automotive circles on social media as I become more active with the brand. I will be working on new renderings and exploring generative AI to create interesting and entertaining content.

Additionally, I have all the images ready to complete my AR Rewind Before/After series, which I started during the pandemic. These brief retrospectives highlight each piece I created during my time with InsideLine at Edmunds.com, featuring solid speculation and intriguing what-if scenarios.

Rendering cars has been a passion of mine since I discovered I could do my own "chops" back in college with computers. One of my earliest projects was an Oldsmobile Aurora coupe conversion, cut out from a Road & Track magazine page.

Thank you for allowing me to share my automotive rendering passion with you. Stay tuned for more exciting updates!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

What If: The Pontiac Aztek was Redesigned

Thumbnail

Personal File: I always enjoy the crazy and creative ideas that TheSketchMonkey produces on his YouTube channel and last week was no exception. For a second time in just over a year he took a stab at fixing the design-challenged Pontiac Aztek. I went back to his first attempt and was inspired to take my own spin on the redesign. The twist with my intepretation was to not only clean up the design but approach a "what if" redesign that focused on more successful design cues from other models in line up.

Execution Highlights

Pontiac Aztek
Pontiac Aztek Redesign
  • Chevrolet Avalance wheel wells, rockers, and lower side trim replaces plastic cladding
  • Pontiac G8 sedan fender vent, door handles, side rear-view mirrors and rims
  • Pontiac Vibe headlights and kidney grilles
  • Custom brushed D-pillar, rear side glass, gas door, rear bumper, upper door lines, new fascia cut lines, lower front bumper and top air intakes
  • Moved Aztek badge to a more traditional location on the driver side front door
  • Recolored the car into something more appealing than ripe banana yellow

Final Thoughts: I think I nailed the look I was going for in the redesign. It wasn't a complete redesign of the vehicle, but simply an update to a cleaner and more polished look Pontiac was finally attempting to create before it was shuttered. If the brand ever comes back, I hope they'll take a second look at the Aztek. While earning the reputation as an ugly duckling, for those who own them they are an extremely capable vehicle.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

AR Rewind #6 - Audi R8 Targa

Thumbnail

Rewind: This is the sixth in a series of posts where I dive into detail of the work completed for Edmunds InsideLine engagements.

Creative Brief: Hot on the heels of the Audi S5 convertible Scott Oldham and I reviewed ideas for either an R8 convertible or targa coupe. We settled on a targa top due to the mechanics of a mid-engine super car. Photos of the real car were taken with the windows down in the Edmunds backlot which I then blended with bits and pieces from a Lotus Elise and a Saab 9-3 convertible.

Execution Highlights - Front

Audi R8 Coupe
Audi R8 Convertible
  • Donor convertible pieces came Lotus Elise and Saab 9-3 convertible
  • Blended in photo of the car interior with the windows down
  • Removed the roof interior from view in the front windshield

Execution Highlights - Rear

Audi R8 Coupe
Audi R8 Convertible
  • Donor convertible pieces came Lotus Elise and Saab 9-3 convertible
  • Blended in photo of the car interior with the windows down
  • Custom brushing to fill in the background

Final Thoughts: This was my favorite work for Edmunds to date. It really came together once I filled in the background elements where the coupe roof was prior. Even though Audi eventually went with a full convertible, I bet this would have nailed the look if they had gone offered a targa version.

Original Blog Link: Raise the Roof: Audi R8 Targa

Saturday, January 23, 2021

AR Rewind #5 - Audi S5 Convertible

Thumbnail

Rewind: This is the fifth in a series of posts where I dive into detail of the work completed for Edmunds InsideLine engagements.

Creative Brief: Keeping on a convertible theme, the next brief was to put together a quick rendering of what an Audi S5 convertible. We agreed to chrome out the a-frame and use a behind the scenes photo of the S5 sitting in their studio or another article.

Execution Highlights - Front

Audi S5 Coupe
Audi S5 Convertible
  • Donor convertible pieces came Audi A4 Cabriolet
  • Converted a-pillars to chrome-look
  • Custom brushed trunk/deck lid

Final Thoughts: This was another one that came together quickly within just two evenings. Changing the a-frame was good choice as that definitely made it to production as did the brightwork along the body line.

Original Blog Link: Early Look: 2009 Audi S5 Cabriolet