HueDrive Motorsports Design: Sprint 1

HueDrive is a website on which motorsports design clients can create a custom car wrap with a 2D template, see it in a 3D raceway environment as though it’s been applied to a real car, and either save it for printing or order it. The service will be unique among websites that allow users to select and customize racing designs, in that it will give them the ability to thoroughly review their design before ordering and add custom touches as they see fit, switching between the flat template and 3D render as needed.

Why this specific combination of ideas? I aim to close a significant gap in the motorsports design world. If a certain race team wishes to see a fully realized preview of their newest paint scheme — a visual element that everyone from the sponsor to the team owner to even the driver may have a hand in — they generally need to be in the upper echelon of the sport. Firms such as RPM 3D provide stunningly photorealistic previews of cars, but work almost exclusively with big-name teams that have significant cash to shell out for such a thing. On the other hand, most design services that are marketed to smaller, more grassroots race teams allow the client to make their own design choices directly on their website, but have almost no way for said client to see how they all come together in the final livery. Nitro Designs, for example, lets the user upload custom logos and numbers in addition to selecting a body color and wrap type. However, this is all done via text boxes and basic dropdown menus, with nothing visual at all to let one see what the real car will look like before hitting Add To Cart. HueDrive’s ability to ensure customer satisfaction, by blending customization and preview services, will make it the most expansive and user-friendly service of its kind.

For this week, I designed HueDrive’s first base scheme, a simple stripe pattern that angled up near the car’s rear fender, and fitted it to a car model from well-known graphics company 3D Autosports. I also put together a prototype home page for the site using Brackets. I had previously developed a rough idea in Adobe Photoshop of the visual style I intended for the site, but as someone that does not have quite as much web design experience as my peers in this class, I ended up having to take some liberties — for instance, I had created a piece of concept art using a specific font in a “Bold Condensed” style, only to find when actually coding that the language did not support that weight. It’s become apparent that I’ll have to learn to balance my lofty visual ambitions with the reality of what can be done, so to speak, under the hood of a web page.