Newbie trying hand at car modeling

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  08 August 2013
Red face Newbie trying hand at car modeling

Heya fellas!

So, I'm a newbie on the site as well as in this industry (CG). I've come across this website a numerous times before, mostly while googling my various problems related to the softwares I'm trying to learn and at least one of them results included an archived thread of this website (which sometimes proved useful in solving my problems I was struggling with). So, all in all, I was just a 'guest' lurker before I registered. And this is my first post at the forums. So, I request all of you to bear with me since I'm in no way a pro, and I'm here just to try and learn a thing or two (like everyone else I guess )

I'm a car enthusiast (too) and this is why I started a modeling project sometime back only to discover that I terribly failed at it. I was trying to create a replica of the 2011 Mercedes SLS AMG using Autodesk Maya. Like I said, I'm no expert, and hence I was discouraged enough to drop the entire project. Yesterday, as usual, I was browsing the web and stumbled across this website once more and that was when a virtual light bulb appeared over my head outta nowhere. I took up my abandoned project and rushed to register at this website in hopes of getting some inspiration/feedback/encouragement from the experienced artists here. So, lets start. This right here, folks, is my first attempt to create (abuse) a car model (pardon the lettering '2010'; was meant to be '2011'):

Evidently, I'm not satisfied (rather embarrassed) with the results and I'm angry at myself at the same time. Why? Because when I see other artists' work threads, it feels like they post their progress on a daily basis, progressing smooth as butter without encountering any problems. I just don't get it why I am unable to imitate them. I mean, my progresses are real slow, I keep encountering stubborn obstructions and I feel jealous of other artists (newbie or otherwise) because of their faster paced progress, which successfully keeps my morale down.

Thanks for taking the time to read it. Had to be vented out.

  08 August 2013
Literally worked the entire day on the rear improving it wherever I could. Still needs ironing.

  08 August 2013
Newbie huh? great work on this so far, looking forward to see more...
  08 August 2013
Thanks, mate. Will post updates soon.
  08 August 2013
let see the wireframe so far
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  08 August 2013
Before to start with details, u should get rid of bumps since there are many on your surfaces mate. Joining the 2 half that way besides will give u a crease on the middle.
Basically what i'm saying is that before to do the nerves, fillets, chamfers and secondary shapes on the surfaces, u should be sure the main carbody is without issues, so check your polyflow , it should be uniform under every lights, without bumps and creases, u should get a continuous flow without interruptions.

Last edited by Kangal : 08 August 2013 at 11:35 PM.
  08 August 2013
Can you show some wires? That would help to detect some modeling issues that result into bumpy surfaces.
Have a look at this perfect SLS model someone else did as a reference, research and inspiration.
He also posted wire frames which will help you to iron out some dents here and there.

  08 August 2013
Thanks all for replying. I've been extremely busy for the past 2 days so there's not been much progress since the last post. However, I'll soon post a wireframe for you guys to take a glance at. And thanks for the thread, ACantarel. But that SLS AMG looks far better than what I have created. Looks like an art from an experienced modeler. I can only dream to achieve that level

I'm seeing more of his posts now. And boy, he's not just an "experienced modeler" (I take my words back). He's more than just that. Now, I'm convinced I can never achieve that level, at least in my model. I'm even more embarrassed now that I've seen his wireframe.


Wireframe as I promised.

I know this will be one of the most horrible wireframes you guys would've seen in a while, but hey! Its my first time so...apologies

Last edited by b00lean : 08 August 2013 at 05:24 AM.
  08 August 2013
Maybe an overly dense mesh but that's it, because of this I can see some bumping out so I think your next task would be to collapse some of your horizontal polys, I know there is the temptation to get in small detail (round the lights) but those left behind need to go somewhere which I think is the challenge in modelling topology. I hope this makes some sense.

Here is a paintover of an idea of possible topology

Uploaded with
  08 August 2013
Thanks a lot for taking the time to paint the corrections. I'll get on fixing the toplogy as you've suggested right away. But I didn't quite get what you mean by collapsing. Could you explain a bit, please?

EDIT: I just encountered an issue- The redirected topology you've drawn consists of an edge which now runs through the mid of the vent. I've drawn it with red in the pic below. That edge was supposed to be a supporting edge for the upper corner edge of the vent. I mean it gives a sharp edge between its grille part and its roof part.

Last edited by b00lean : 08 August 2013 at 12:06 PM.
  08 August 2013
Hi b00lean, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, 'collapsing' means to get rid of a row of edges, I think you are using Maya but in 3d studio max you can select a row of edges and select collapse to refine the level of detail which removes polygons, in the paintover you'll see the redirected polygons means a less dense mesh. I hope attachment makes this clearer.

Uploaded with

Last edited by Artdigital : 08 August 2013 at 04:03 PM.
  08 August 2013
Thank you for the explanation, Artdigital. Now I'm starting to get it. Oh, and yes I'm using Maya haha! I've shared bed with Max before but that was ages ago. I was kinda leaning towards Max's "collapsing" but felt it would be better to clarify any doubts that might transform into misunderstandings later.

From the pic, I've understood almost everything. And I agree with you about the less edges part. Originally, I had designed the basic shape of the car in low poly, but as we move up with details, it gets necessary to add more segments and amidst all the tweaking, sometimes bumps show up. That is definitely a problem. And I appreciate your feedback on it. It gets messy quickly, especially on cars like these with aggressive aesthetics. However, I'll try my best to follow your advice. More feedback is always welcome.
  08 August 2013
Hi, I'm glad the confusion was rectified. There is another solution (this approach should probably be taken for your next attempt) but to model sections separately like a real car instead of a unibody, this will; make it easier to model as you are modelling a section at a time, and is a more realistic approach to car production.

I am currently working on the batmobile from the 1989 - 92 Tim Burton Batman films (my personal favourite) and this the technique I used (I also colour the different sections individual colours so I know where I stand). Please feel free take a look but is still in the early processes

Batmobile '89

Last edited by Artdigital : 08 August 2013 at 06:48 PM.
  08 August 2013
Hey, man!

I know of the method you're talking about. And I've tried it too! But I personally felt it was holding me back as it was much slower and more painful than this one. I've seen some guys doing it that way, but to each their own. I prefer working out the basic body shape first and then advance to the details in different axes (like I'm doing right now).

And your Batmobile link redirects me to a random discussion post. Not sure if it was unintended.
  08 August 2013
OK, point taken. Try the link now...
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