View Full Version : Modelling a Car

12 December 2001, 05:04 AM
Hi guys

I would love to model a car , but everytime i start modelling it like when its %60 complete i mess it up (like the mesh is unworkable, or it doesnt look right etc.)

What are the correct steps in modelling a car? , Which method is the best poly , subd or the nurbs?.

i tried nurbs and sub-d so far , while i am comfortable with them in organic shapes , i couldnt model the car shape. the sub-d becomes too dense , and i lose control on it. The nurbs gices me tangency problems.

Can you give me some tips and tricks.

If you can give these tips from a Maya point of view even better but not necessary.

Thanks A lot


12 December 2001, 07:34 AM
1st of, get good blueprints.

Second, try splinemodeling I know max has it, and then you can apply a surface over the spline, dunno how this is in Maya tho.

12 December 2001, 11:16 AM

I also wanted to start modelling a car, but after
5 minutes of spline modelling and starring at the
confusing blueprints I stopped and slept 4 hours
because of the headache I got :(

tip: activate 3d-snap for Vertex, it makes it much
easier :).

12 December 2001, 11:33 AM
subds arent too bad for this actually. you just have to know where to use bevels...and how to control the way the smoothing will occur so that most of the smoothing occurs only in places that you need it to and not accross the whole geometry.

12 December 2001, 01:29 PM
The sub-d in maya ask for a lot of RAM and processor power. The ones in LW are a lot more optimized. I would say that the best way to go is to use sub-d. But if you really want to use nurbs than A|W autostudio is the right tool for you. But $$$.

Take a look at this tutorial that shows how to model a car in LW using sub-d. I think you can apply most of the techniques shown there in maya.

Hope this helps.


12 December 2001, 02:36 PM
At you will find a few tutorials which will show you how to modell a car.

I am working on an Audi A4. But Im still at the beginning ;)

12 December 2001, 03:58 PM
Thanks for the info so far

All right time to give it one more shot.

Will post it for you guys to see if it looks decent :D


12 December 2001, 04:01 PM
Hey Matthias, how bout some info about setting up the screen the way you have done, I've never seen a good explanation of this.

12 December 2001, 04:23 PM
I learned it in a tutorial by Thomas Suurland.

Here it is:

12 December 2001, 06:29 PM
wouldnt patch modeling help ??

12 December 2001, 07:39 PM
As you're a Maya user I would say that Nurbs are definately your best bet as working with sub-div meshes in Maya certainly drains system resources. One thing I normally do is get a set of drawings for the car I want to make and then trace out all of the key feature lines in Illustrator for Front, Back, Side and Top and then place these inside the viewport, this gives you a well layed out 3d map of the vehicle your building. You can then draw point or cv curves to say a side profile then look from the top and pull the cv's out to meet the shape of the panel.

illustrator lines in 3d viewport (

I have a set of illustrator files for an Impreza if you want to try them email me and I will send them to you.

12 December 2001, 11:21 PM
Wow !

I really like the illustrator method. I'll be e-mailing you shortly

Thanks man


12 December 2001, 03:31 PM
I would go poly, then again thats just me.

Rob Matthews
12 December 2001, 07:26 AM
I'd go with NURB's, start with a simple lozenge shape, refine, project curves to define the shape then add details. I basically graft details onto the base shape and work it up from there. I don't like sub-ds for this kind of thing because you don't have enough control if you have to accurately reproduce a model to set tolerances. Theres some wireframe examples of the stuff I've done in the past on my website, its all PA / Studio based but most of the tools are in Maya, last tip, get as much reference as you can.

12 December 2001, 02:28 AM
My friend's wrote a tutorial for XSI, that's really nice. Follow this link !

12 December 2001, 05:49 PM
I too use Nurbs for all of my Cars,, I love Rhino3D for modeling. nice and cheap!

Hey ROB MATTHEWS thats one nice site you have there,, i really dig it. After looking at all your wire frames it seems that I'm not alone over here.. I saw allot of mesh that looked like the same method that I use. I had a great time looking through it all...

07 July 2002, 11:36 PM
Old thread but i want to start a car, too. It was hard to find a working method (max) but finally i use this:
- make a 3d spline mesh from blue prints
- remake parts with spline as quads for Surface-Tools
- Patch-Topology Step = 0-1
- Edit Mesh - Add Details/Correction

I'm still at the first steps but seems to work good sofar. Pics will follow :bounce:

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 01:26 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.