Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Rendy's Car Skinning Life Ep 06: Reboot, Improve

I don't know what's happening with me but suddenly thoughts of skinning in TMUF got the best of me amidst my activities. While I've been sitting on couple competitions and the Fashion Week, it was a domino effect that actually led to a positive progress. Why? Here's a thing: it all actually started when I was going to make something as close as the Formula Gran Turismo in Gran Turismo 4 with whatever modern-day Formula car available on the TrackMania Carpark due to the fact that I couldn't resist after seeing tons of Gran Turismo F1500T-A skins on Gran Turismo Sport and that I don't have PS4 yet.

While I managed to create a simple skin with only one color to work on, I also decided to improve another WIP skin of mine: remember the Wayhaught MP4-12C GT3 from the previous post of the series? The skin has been improved in terms of sponsor stickers and numberplates which will also serve as the new numberplate for my skinning projects. I've been watching two seasons of Wynonna Earp and realized that maybe the car wasn't Earper enough for a skin that revolves around Wynonna Earp references, among other things. Other than that, the new numberplate and a special Aston Martin Vantage GTE project are also present.


Originally a TM2 model, Yatsu brought his Formula RaceRoom to the ever-expanding TMUF car roster. (Image: Yatsu, via TrackMania Carpark)
One of the latest offerings from February's Gran Turismo Sport update is the inclusion of the franchise's new original open wheeler in the form of Gran Turismo F1500T-A, inspired by the classic Formula 1 cars. Looking back, the series introduced open wheeler cars in Gran Turismo 3 with different versions offering different variants, with 6 cars in the NTSC version (Fxxx/x series) and 2 in the PAL version (Polyphony 00x series). Then you have Formula Gran Turismo in GT4 whose design cues took a more modern approach and appeared in later games until GT6 beside real-life Formula 1 cars.

As expected, lots of interesting liveries were made for the new GT Sport car, varying from legendary F1 liveries to a rendition of the player's car in Virtua Racing and, not to forget, those Formula cars in GT3. The problem is, I don't have a PS4, let alone a copy of GT Sport, so all I do is just watch and muse any of them. The only thing that comes close to join the formula car skinning bandwagon is actually this one: Formula RaceRoom, converted to TrackMania United Forever by Yatsu which actually is a port from the TrackMania 2 version of the same car. Until the right formula car is released on the Carpark, Formula RaceRoom opens doors to modern F1-based creations, of all others.

With that said, I opted for Formula Gran Turismo's aesthetics for the skins which actually fits with the car's overall look, but with a spin in which one of them is of course the Pirelli tires, nullifying the need for Bridgestone stickers. Another notable spin is that these skins would be semi-fictional with real-life sponsors blending in with fictional ones, and last but not least is that since this doesn't look like it belongs in the Polyphony Digital universe, another game company steps in: Genm Corporation. Who would have thought a company that houses Kuroto Dan can make decent formula cars too, maybe even better than Formula Gran Turismo? (Or maybe this is the result of bingeing Kamen Rider Ex-Aid too much)

This is what you get if you get a "God", an angel, and a Heda on board for an open wheel car.
Fictional sponsors also blend in with real-life sponsors like Pirelli and Magneti Marelli to match with the Formula Gran Turismo theme. Aside from Genm Corporation, the Castrol offshoot Castiel (which is basically a character from Supernatural) can be seen as the skin's "technical partner" while the main sponsorship spot is taken by something meant to be the in-universe equivalent of South American telecommunications company Claro: Clexa, a.k.a. the ship name for The 100's Clarke Griffin and Lexa. Last but not least the "Powered by kdh.w" might be under revision again since the reason why I slipped in a reference to the first four letters of Dutch model Kiki Willems' Instagram account is that to give the vibes of the Formula cars in Gran Turismo 3 in which the majority of the cars, if not all, has "Powered by Ikiuo" where Ikiuo is actually a reference to the Polyphony Digital programmer Seiichi Ikiuo. Since this is actually a "reference to the programmer/developer" thingy, I might go with a personal touch like "Powered by RnTheAndrian" for example which I initially refused because putting a lot of Helvetica Neue LT might not be a good idea, but I'll reconsider that for sure.

While the skin looks like a finished product, I don't think that I'm going to release it any sooner. Maybe slight adjustments would do but I consider this to be a "warming up" for revision. The skin was meant to be the "bare-bones" skin before going for the advanced stuffs like stripes and whatnot, focusing on simply sponsorship placements and coloring, as well as pretending that this car belongs to Genm Corporation. Who wants to bet I will slap Mighty Action X sponsorships in another version of the skin?


Being an Earper really helps, finishing the second season of Wynonna Earp helps more. With desires to improve this skin, it's become a Best Match.
The Wayhaught MP4-12C GT3 was made with one thing in mind: representing Wynonna Earp in racing form with appropriate references, although there are one or two references that don't belong to the SyFy series (but stands as additional sponsors to emulate motorsport). Wayhaught itself is a ship name of Waverly Earp and Sheriff Nicole Haught, and in this universe it is the equivalent of Japanese safety belt manufacturer Takata (although I can assure that Wayhaught's manufacturing fate do not suffer the same as the real-life Takata does). Hell, the skin is actually inspired by the 2006 version of Takata Dome NSX, driven by Ryo Michigami, Takashi Kogure and Katsutomo Kaneishi (which finished 8th in the 2006 SuperGT season) with a twist of incorporating Wynonna Earp's colors of red and gold, and it's McLaren MP4-12C.

Parts of the car's sponsorships take a big revision as well as the both ends of the rear wing and the new numberplate you can see on the screenshot above. The Soulcalibur reference Seongmina, acting as the electronics-oriented sponsorship, is replaced with Fandras (acting as the in-universe version of Phillips) with the three other sponsors on the side of the car taking its place, giving space to the new sponsor Constance Clootie. Both new sponsors improve the Earper aspect of the skin, as Fandras is actually a reference of the series' showrunner Emily Andras (the exact reference is actually 'Fan of Emily Andras'), and Constance Clootie is the series' Stone Cold Witch who came back to Purgatory as she attempted to raise her dead children from their skeletons. As Fandras already acts as a reference to Emily Andras, the moniker "Emily Andras Racing Project" above the Wayhaught sponsor on the sides is replaced with an additional purpose of not making showrunner references too blatant, but it's not just Fandras that gets the limelight.

NTR Doccubus, the offshoot for Japan's NTT DoCoMo involved in Super Formula throughout years, can also be seen. Doccubus originates to the relationship between doctor Lauren Lewis and the Succubus Bo in Lost Girl, a series Emily Andras was a showrunner in prior to WE. The reasoning for this sponsorship is to give a deeper meaning to the skin, in which this also acts as a tribute to Emily Andras as a showrunner of both shows. It really does make sense to have this sponsorship blend in with a couple of Wynonna Earp references, but actually I also had a plan revolving the same sponsorship also: an additional MP4-12C skin in which NTR Doccubus is actually the main sponsor with a color scheme similar to what the Docomo Team Dandelion Racing has in Super Formula.

The rear game is strong on this one...
The rear wing endplates are changed into red to give more color variety with an additional Arkbird logo supplied by Rebellion765 (available over the RHVerse boards) pasted over the endplates, and the additional pair of Bakuryu logos are added as I reverse my decision to put the Purgatory logo below the headlights. The Purgatory logo had an orange color, and compared to Bakuryu's blue color, the logo looked awkward in placement as the color blended badly after some thoughts. The rest of the stuff are still the same except that the driver names are absent too. The philosophy is that any professional race driver can race this car and that this car isn't tied to only a fixed set of drivers. Furthermore, the World Fandom Championship name does not apply anymore, making this a car that actually represents a particular TV series, in this case it's Wynonna Earp. The team name thingy still remains, only it's no longer Emily Andras Racing Project.

At the end of the day, the only thing left is the re-adjustment of the logos and some finishing touches. This is definitely a finished product for sure but I feel like I need the right time to release this to compose all the details that go beyond just the name of the skin. Other than that, one rework is a success with a reboot.


A new numberplate sample with a new branding attached!
The new numberplate is an original one after doing tons of numberplates that I was overwhelmed which numberplate actually fits me. This particular numberplate was actually prepared a long time ago with some revisions on the "sponsorships" above and below the numbers. This thing is meant to be shaped after the Super GT numberplate albeit wider in shape and using a different font (the Super GT numberplate appears to use a Helvetica-type font).

As this numberplate do not tie with a particular upcoming project, this shall be treated like something you'd see when you race in Gran Turismo Sport's Sport Mode, or as something that complements "race modified" cars of any kind for that matter. As such, I put personal touches here: first, the Team RnTheAndrian is the first and foremost decision for a rebrand from Team [R]GARAGE, but worth noting is that the [R] mark in the old name is kept as part of the long-standing philosophy, which now acts like a logo more, as well as the color scheme. The new tagline "A Garage of Things" also represents both the values of the old [R]GARAGE and the new Team RnTheAndrian, as I no longer aim to only the scope of motorsports per [R]GARAGE's old tagline "Creative Motorsport". Last but not least is the inclusion of my blog's logo and my Twitter handle below the numbers, which might not be visible much and more of a formality to reference the additional sponsors below the numbers.

The numberplate is meant to be used in multiple classes (except open wheel cars), not only GT cars or any of the race-modified production cars. The numberplate can come with two different variants of multiple-class flavors: the usual white and yellow number backgrounds a la Super GT with the sponsorships below retaining their white background, and a fully-colored background a la FIA WEC (or similar) numberplate with the sponsorships donning white logos and texts, as well as with the white numbers. The color of the numberplate's background has a purpose to categorize the class of the car whose skin(s) I make, with white and yellow backgrounds meant to categorize GT3 class and a class with a combination of GT3-Am plus GT4 and "improved production" cars respectively, although the white numberplates should've been used for GT500 cars as well, but that's by the virtue of additional considerations first. Meanwhile, red, blue, green, and yellowish orange should fit for LMP1, LMP2, GTE Pro, and GTE Am cars respectively, but even I might combine both GTE classes to make room for GT3, also as an additional consideration to come. All numberplates come with a smaller number with italicized numbers.

"Okay, wait a minute... is this TrackMania United Forever or Real Racing 3?"
As a "coming soon" project, this Aston Martin Vantage GTE settles it. I was shocked that, while looking for some skin references off of Real Racing 3, I noticed that it actually fits which jaw-dropped me (then again I didn't notice that it was actually a conversion from RR3). The thing is I have decided that this skin is going to be a spin on the RR3 original, one of my favorite liveries in the game. This particular PVP Engineering livery has been all sorts of a worthy fan fiction material in which I could imagine that PVP Engineering is a racing team more than it is a mere sponsorship, but I haven't decided on that yet since the logo also appears on Mazda 787B's sides in-game, donning a copyright-friendly livery based on Mazda's classic light blue and white livery. Other than that, the PVP Engineering Aston Martin GTE will offer a different twist with the best of fictitious sponsors available while emulating how an Aston Martin customer GTE team would look like.

I'm pretty sure we'll meet any of these skins again someday, either in its new progress or its released form. For now, these WIPs will continuously be improved until the time has come for a final release.


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