We have built a number of vehicles over the years and it is always a good idea to have a rendering done of the vehicle. This will not only give you a clear direction, but it will help other understand what you are building.
For anyone looking to get sponsored, especially if you don’t have a personal relationship with the company you are pitching, a rendering is almost a necessity. The rendering is almost as important as the proposal itself.
With that being said, we went to one of the “go to” guys for renderings in the automotive industry, Robbie Bryant owner of KEG Media. KEG Media works with some of the top builders in the industry and usually produces close to 200 renderings for the SEMA Show alone. Diesel Army and a number of our sister publication routinely highlight some of their work.
While Project MCLB Heavy Hauler isn’t a SEMA Show vehicle build, we are working with partners and taking you, the reader along for the journey. So, we needed to get the ball rolling with a rendering to let everyone know what we were trying to accomplish.
“When a client contacts us about a rendering, we need the year, make, and model to start. Then we need a very detailed description of their build plans. They just need to pretend we are starting with a stock truck and they are painting a picture of their plans to us. We have done so many renderings over the years we can pretty much listen to any description and figure out what they mean,” explained Bryant.
For us, we gave them a rough idea of what the concept of the truck was, some of our partners, and a lot of creative freedom. Most companies who do renderings, prefer to design them their way. So, it is important to work with someone that renders vehicles you like. Now these guys do have the ability to design specifically for your style, but being able to give the designer creative freedom will usually result in something better than you can come up with alone (unless you are a very creative individual.)
Now, we aren’t made of money and this isn’t an unlimited budget build. So, we asked Bryant where would he put his money if it was limited.
“If I were working on a limited budget my first focus would be wheels and tires. Nothing changes the look of a build more than a nice set of wheels and tires. But don’t go with what is the best deal. Really take the time to look around and find something that really goes well with the trucks overall look or body lines. There are thousands of options, so take the time and spend your money right on this area. Next would be suspension if you plan to do a lifted truck build. Make sure you use that budget on your suspension detail. Get a good lift kit, especially if you plan to drive it a lot and put it to use. Do your research. Look what other guys are using. There’s a reason a lot of builders use the same suspension companies year in and year out,” replied Bryant.
With our truck being two wheel drive, we opted to level the truck in the rear, add air bags to ensure we can still carry the extra weight, and call the suspension good. We are focusing on the exterior with some edgy graphics. We like wraps and decals because they can be easily removed if you decide to sell the truck down the road. Not everyone will have the same taste as you and being able to change things back is pretty handy.
But that got us thinking, is it better to build a truck that you want or build something a little more main trendy? “That’s a tough one. I’m not a fan of the word trendy because it sounds negative. But doing a build that is popular is definitely going to get your build more exposure and also you will have a bigger selection of products available for the build,” commented Bryant.
After Bryant had a good idea of what we were trying to accomplish, he and his team put together their first rendering for us. This would serve as their initial interpretation of what we were trying to achieve and would serve as a base for us (KEG and Diesel Army) to work from.
In general, we were extremely pleased with their interpretation and we started working on finalizing the rendering. The color needed to be adjust to better reflect the actual color of the truck. Some colors like our tan change color based on the sun light. So, depending on where someone takes a sample from, will depend on what color they get. Bryant was able to find a much closer color to what the truck actually is. Then the next area we worked on was the side graphic. We liked the concept of a bold graphic on the side of the truck, but felt it wasn’t edgy enough.
After a few minor tweaks, we were able to come to a final rendering fairly quickly.
If you are interested in getting a vehicle rendered, we did ask Bryant a few more questions. They are below.
Diesel Army: What are the key aspects or areas that you feel set a show truck apart from a clean daily driver?
Bryant: With a lifted truck a very detailed suspension really sets a show truck apart from a daily driver. Also doing something with the paint. Too many trucks are built with factory paint these days.
With the wide variety of options available like wraps and custom paint shops I think people should focus on that area to really make their truck stand apart from the crowd.
Diesel Army: When you guys decide to start a new project, what are the first things you do?
Bryant: We usually pick whatever is the newest truck model to come out or try to pick something that isn’t done a lot in the industry. Like this year we are building 2 regular cab Ram trucks. But we put mega cab dually beds on them. One is bagged with a deep lip 24×15 with a 12″ lip for a phantom dually look and the other we sectioned the bed 21″ down the center to bring in the fenders for a step side look and lifted the truck. So when starting a project, if you want to stand out, do something that makes it unique and not the status quot.
Diesel Army: Tell us about what you do and who KEG Media is?
Bryant: Keg Media was originally Kutting Edge Graphix but it was shortened to KEG about 6 years ago. Keg Media is an automotive design company with a majority of our clients in the lifted truck industry. We design builds for some of the largest manufacturers and well known builders/shops in the industry. Besides concept renderings we also offer project management/marketing as well as printing, web design, t-shirt design, and printing and logo/graphic design. Every year we design and build multiple trucks for the SEMA Show that are featured in many manufacturers booths and later in the advertisements as well as in your favorite magazines. Keg Media also hosts Slamily Reunion, a custom car and truck show in Fort Smith, Arkansas every August and we are working on an All Lifted Truck Show for September 2015 in Branson, Missouri.