Monday, February 12, 2024

Under the Hood - Kenworth T680 Signature Edition

In December 2023, the Kenworth T680 100 Years Anniversary Edition was launched for American Truck Simulator. Seizing this moment, we engaged in a conversation with the developers responsible for the truck's design. In our latest 'Under The Hood' blog, we had the chance to chat with Daniel and Renju, key contributors to bringing this exceptional truck to life.

The special edition Kenworth T680 100 Years Anniversary Edition showcases a range of premium features including an onyx-finished grill, a luxurious interior with red accents, advanced safety features, and enhanced aerodynamics. It represents Kenworth's century-long commitment to excellence and innovation in truck design.

Daniel - 3D Graphic Designer

"The project officially began in November 2022 with a visit to the Paccar facility center in Mount Vernon, WA, where we gathered photographic evidence for textures and photoreconstruction. My main role in this project was producing the truck's exterior model and project coordination, because there were many more vehicle artists involved in the final stages of the project. Renju started working on the truck's interior in February 2023, while the exterior development began in August 2023, just four months before the planned release. Effective coordination was crucial to ensure timely completion of all components," says Daniel.

Renju - Senior Game Artist

Designing this truck was not an easy mission. It had to be in-game by the end of 2023. "Meeting the project deadline was tough, even though work on the interior started ahead, the work on the exterior were delayed due to commitments on another project. We had to split tasks and coordinate carefully to ensure a smooth finish. Despite the challenges, I'm pleased with the outcome, and hope it brought joy to our players," Daniel told us.

"Kenworth celebrated its 100th anniversary and that's why it was planned to release the T680 100 Years Anniversary Edition by the end of 2023. As I began working on the project in February 2023, I had enough time to prepare everything in advance. We were meticulous in our approach to ensure the truck looked its absolute best," says Renju. 

Adding anything new into our games is a long process that requires a lot of preparation, as Daniel explains here: "Project work always begins with thorough background research. Initially, we photographed a real vehicle to gather essential texture and photogrammetric data. Thanks to the excellent cooperation with Kenworth, we also obtained CAD files, ensuring maximum accuracy in transferring the truck to our game's 3D model. CAD data are basically 3D blueprints for vehicle manufacturing, so despite it being a full 3D model, it cannot be used in the game due to its complexity, so we needed to recreate the whole model from scratch using CADs only as a reference, keeping in mind the best possible optimization of model. When CAD data weren't available for specific parts, we used data taken from photogrammetry instead."

"The bulk of the work involves 3D modeling based on this data, which is the most time-consuming phase. Following modeling, we apply materials and textures and then perform UV mapping to ensure proper texture display. Finalization entails assembling all models and structuring them into a cohesive scene for export into the game. This phase includes creating files defining truck part parameters and their in-game economic values. Lastly, the finished model undergoes testing in collaboration with the testing department."

Of course, this whole project couldn't exist without the great collaboration with Kenworth, which the designers working on this truck praised. "The data provided by Kenworth was excellent. We received all the necessary references from them, and the entire process went smoothly," says Renju.

As was already said above, Renju focused on the interior of the truck and Daniel led the work on the exterior. What did they enjoy the most? "Working on both the dashboard and seats was a delightful experience. The final product exceeded my expectations, and I am incredibly proud of it," Renju told us.

"This truck was a very interesting diversion, as I don't get to model such large projects from start to finish as much in recent years due to my other responsibilities. And due to the impressive and modern design of the T680, I was able to enjoy the work and especially the modeling part again after many years," says Daniel.

And what do the guys behind this truck think of it?  Daniel told us: "I think the new T680 is really good. It is a beautiful example of modern aerodynamic yet sharply cut curves. The truck was a joy to model."

Renju agreed: "What a beautiful truck! I absolutely love its modern, aerodynamic design, and the interior looks amazing, especially the new digital dashboard."

Daniel also shared about the future of this truck and its upcoming configurations. "The special edition release marks the start, not the end of our efforts. It was a celebration of Kenworth's 100th anniversary. We've finished interior designs for the other selected cabs, and exterior work is progressing well. The truck will offer standard cab and chassis options, along with familiar accessories for our players. Plus, it'll be fully compatible with all our Paintjob Packs."

mr.cenda - Multimedia Specialist

A big chunk of work was also done by mr.cenda who made a beautiful trailer for this truck to present it to our #BestCommunityEver. This also required a lot of background research and effort. "It was an honor and a pleasure to participate in this great project. I was fortunate enough to meet the folks from Kenworth at the Truck World event in 2023. To understand their concept, to touch the truck itself, it was a huge benefit for the final video."

"I needed to put as much information as possible into the footage, which is like a minute long, to generate the right excitement. Every detail alone tells you the love that was put into the production. I trust that players enjoy driving this Kenworth in our virtual world."

We hope you've enjoyed a look under the hood of designing the Anniversary Edition of the Kenworth T680. Don't forget to follow us on our X/TwitterInstagramFacebook, and TikTok so you won't miss out on news about our projects.

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