Helmet Textures

A selection of helmets I have painted for my Arai GP5 helmet model. Helmets are often more challenging than vehicle liveries as many drivers have airbrushed designs of high complexity.

On the other hand sometimes even a simple design can be difficult to bring into the digital domain due to having to UV map something near spherical (the helmet model) to a 2D plane (the texture). Some UV stretching is inevitable, but can be overcome with some care and attention.

For each helmet, please click the render to view the 2D texture.

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Mike Rockenfeller’s 2008 Audi Sport helmet

A somewhat more challenging helmet with multiple airbrushed elements which cross over one another in specific ways, this required some serious layer management. All kinds of fades/gradients/shadows/highlights add to the complexity, as well as some elements crossing the upper mapping boundary. The LMP helmets have additional detailing in that a piece of velcro has been added on the top, the drivers regularly attach the radio cord to this when coming in for a driver swap to save valuable seconds.

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Frank Biela’s 2008 Audi Sport Team Joest helmet

Frank modified his helmet for his final season of LMP competition with Audi, adding matte black elements (achieved via alpha layer) and some gold touches.

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Marco Werner’s 2008 Audi Sport Team Joest helmet

Well, it’s pink.

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AJ Allmendinger’s 2006 Forsythe Racing Champ Car World Series helmet

A fairly simple and typical Red Bull helmet, which had a metallic effect alpha layer. Even so the “Red Bull checker” required some fiddling to unwrap correctly, as did the upper logos.

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Katherine Legge’s 2006 Dale Coyne Racing Champ Car World Series helmet

Some minor unwrapping required, metallic alpha, quite funky!

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Alex Zanardi’s 1998 Target Chip Ganassi Racing CART helmet

The Donut King’s helmet again required some straightforward unwrapping/curve compensation at the top. Multiple layers, as ever!

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JJ Lehto’s 1998 Hogan Racing CART helmet

This, crazily, featured airbrushed feathers as a sort of “head dress” on the top of the helmet. The borders around the white areas are also made of small feathers. Very tricky.

NB there is some empty space in the upper right part of each texture as the helmet model was originally destined to have a clear/translucent visor variant, and the driver’s face texture was due to be placed in the now empty space.