Car Modeling Using Nurbs Part 1

1: Intro

(Please read): Before you begin the tutorial you should know that the tutorial will only work perfectly if you model the same car. This will save you a lot of frustration as you progress through each section. In order for you to better grasp the tutorial, I highly recommend that you do model the same car. This will better prepare you for when you start working on your own models and/or other blueprints. In case you decide to work on a different blueprint this tutorial will help you with the fundamentals. In addition, you will learn a fast, clean and production friendly way to model a car.

Note: Please keep in mind that every model has different challenges, so be ready to think outside the box and have fun. Please read all the explanations next to the pictures. DO NOT assume just by looking at the picture. There are many details that need to be explained and cannot be shown in images alone

This is a full tutorial of how to build a car. In the first tutorial you will learn to create the body of a car. The second and third tutorial will concentrate on adding detail. During the fourth and fifth tutorials we will go over how to build the interior, tires and rims. At the beginning of the tutorial I will assumed that you don't know where the tools are, but as we progress it will get more direct and hands on

2: Placing Pictures Reference

Many people like to use cameras for the projection on images. I personally like to map them in the planes of the same dimension of the picture. That way if I want I can see some part in a wire frame, a smooth or an X ray. To see it X ray on the selection. I use this script

Copy and paste in your Script editor and then save on as shelf button

string $sel[];
int $temp[];
int $value;
$sel = `ls -sl -dag -ap -typ surfaceShape`;
for ($obj in $sel)}
$temp = `displaySurface -q -xRay $obj`;
displaySurface -xRay 0 $obj;
displaySurface -xRay 1 $obj:

3: Layout The Curves

Click to image above to download blueprints

To start laying out the curves just follow the cars contour draw as many curves you can see some you will actually use and others will help you as a guideline. The curves can be built as solid curves or different segments. It doesn't really matter because later curves can be rebuilt to attach or detach. *** Please spend some time making these curves as accurate as you can. This will be the foundation of your model

4: Detached and Rebuild Curves

With the left curve selected, right click on the curve and select curve point and click where the X is (or there is a meeting point between the two curves.) Go to Edit Curves - Detach Curve, repeat this 3 more times

5: Boundary

Select the 4 curves that can make a plane and go to Surfaces - Boundary Repeat two more times for the two missing parts

6: Cleaning Time

As soon you are done with all the patches, you might find out that the two surfaces don't blend perfectly this problem can easily be fixed by selecting 3 CV's and scaling them on one axis. I use the Z axis

7: Attach Surfaces

The next thing to do is to make all your patches into one; you can do this by selecting two patches got to Edit Nurbs - Attach Surfaces. Repeat one more time and delete all the extra geometry

8: More Patches

Repeat step 4 to 6, you can Detach surfaces at anytime by Edit Nurbs - Detach Surfaces

9: Problem Area

As you get more advanced into your model you will find some problem areas but that will not stop you from finishing your model. All you have to do is find a solution and in this case, that is not that hard. You have to use your knowledge of how patches work and make your fixes

10: Change Curve Direction

Start with deleting the geometry and the curve that is making the triangle. And create a new curve going to the front of the car this way you will be making a square *** Remember to use snap on Curve at the beginning and at the end of making your curve

11: Cut and Rebuild

Now that you have changed the direction of your patch you can detach your body surface to match your new patch

12: Detach Surfaces

To detach a surface just right click on the surface select isoparm. Once you have selected the isoparm you want to use to detach the surfaces go to Edit Nurbs - Detach surfaces

13: Attach Surface Options

There are 7 variations to use with this tool and every variation will give us a different result. For this case we are going to use this settings, (Don't forget to check Keep history if you want to keep your old geometry).

14: Attaching First Two Surfaces

is important to delete history after every time we attach two surfaces together that way we know we don't have any extra information in our geometry

15: Attach Second Group of Surfaces

In this case if we look at picture 12 we can see we have 4 patches to work with so we start by attaching the two on top to the two on the bottom and finally attaching top and bottom together

16: Attach Both Groups of Surfaces

Fig. 13_pt1

Fig. 13_pt1

Finally we want to attach the front and back group together

17: Problem Area

Fig. 14_pt1

Fig. 14_pt1

sometimes we are going to face problems in areas because there are too many Isoparms too close. In this case creating a pinch damaging the surface

18: Delete Hull

We can easily fix this problem just by selecting the row of CV's or the desired hull and just deleting them

19: Select Hull

Now to add the desired look to our shape. We can grab the hull that it was to form when we attach the two surfaces together and move it slightly to the side this would give us the look we need

20: Results

In this Image we can actually see the result after attaching the four surfaces and moving the hull

21: Duplicate Surface Curve

For our next Boundary surface we need to use the patch we just created this way we are guarantying the perfect initial position for our patch. We do this by selecting the last isoparm in our surface then we will go to Edit Curves - Duplicate Surface Curves. Now we have a curve with the same amount of CV's and perfect position

22: Curve Point

Now that we have this curve the first thing we can see is that it is too long. We can fix this by selecting the curve we just created right click select Curve Point and place it right before it bends. Now that we have our curve point where we need it go Edit Curves - Detach Curves. This will automatically cut our curve into two curves based on the location of our Curve Point

23: Curve Point

We are going to repeat the same thing we just did on 22 but this time we want to just cut the tip of our curve on the top and the bottom

24: Add Points Tool

What we want to do now based on the direction of your curve, we need to extend the curve and make the first CV snap at the first CV of the curve we created in 21. We can do this by selecting the curve we just cut the tips from and go to Edit Curves - Add Points Tools as you can see a new CV just appear. Now if you press the letter V in your keyboard that will activate the snap on point tool and you can snap this new CV to the first CV of curve 21

25: Add Point Tool/Reverse Curve Direction

Before you do the next step we need to reverse our curve direction go to Edit Curve - Reverse Curve Direction this will change the curve direction so you can add a point at the other end of the curve. Repeat the process of 24 with the bottom part of the curve, Repeat the cut point add Point process with the horizontal curve if it is needed.
The reason than we need our curves touching each other is because that is the only way the Square tool will work

26: Rebuild Curve/Square

In the same order select your curves go to Edit Curves - Rebuild Curve - Options, Change the parameter range to 0 to # Spans and in Number of Spans change to 10. Now that we have the same amount of CV's in all 3 curves with the same orders selected go to Surfaces - Square, you can also use Boundary.*** The order in which you select the curves is important because that will determined the direction or pinch of your surface

' '

27: Snap to Vertex

If for some reason you are getting a gap between the two surfaces this can be fixed by selecting the surface on the left and go to Display - NURBS Components - CV's, this way we can see the CV's of the surface without having to select it. Now select the other surface select the CV's and with Snap to point ON or by pressing V Snap the other surfaces CV

28: Tangency Between Surfaces

Now that we have this curve the first thing we can see is that it is too long. We can fix this by selecting the curve we just created right click select Curve Point and place it right before it bends. Now that we have our curve point where we need it go Edit Curves - Detach Curves. This will automatically cut our curve into two curves based on the location of our Curve Point

29: Result

After we have done the Cutting, snapping, rebuilding, Boundary and Tangency this the result we get. *** What we just did from 21 to 28, Is the process we are going to use to build a lot of our surfaces

30: Move CV's

all the CV's on the surface and then deselect the last 2 rows from the left and bottom side of our surface. And move them through to the inside the car

31: History Good

Now if we feel we need to do a little clean up on our surfaces to create the desired shape we can move between the CV's on the Surface and the CV's on the original creation Curve. *** We like history!, I usually work with history on until I am fully satisfied with the results. In this case even though we have an offset in our surface we can still control it with our original curve

32: Results

Finally we are at this point. Looking good but still a lot of a head

33: Duplicate Surface Curve

Now by combining what we have learned on step 21 to 26 we proceed to start
making our curves for the door. We start by duplicating the isoparm

34: Cut Curve

We have already used the Detach Curves tools to cut our curve. Another way to cut curves is by using the Cut Curves tool located under Edit Curves just by selecting the two curves that are intersecting and go to Edit Curves - Cut Curves. Don't panic if you do it and It doesn't work in order for this tool to work the curves have to intersect. Unless you did Snap on Curve as you were building your curves there must be an offset between the two curves

35: Rebuild Curve/Control

Now lets rebuild our Curves to 10, 4, and 2 just like it is shown in the picture. Now that we have only 4 CV's on our side curves we can make our Modification to control the shape

36: Rebuild Curve

Now lets rebuild to match our original topology and lets create a boundary surface for our top and bottom curves

37: Cleaning Time

I noticed there was a little offset from our reference picture so I rebuilt my surface to 4 CV's horizontally to make the modifications *** The less CV's you have the more surface flow control we have

38: Rebuild Surface

After you finish the modification rebuild to 10x10 so it can match the rest of the patches

39: Attach Surfaces

I attach the surface with the options of Attach Method Connect and Multiple knots to Keep *** Please feel free to try different combinations of this settings and you will see the different results you can get

40: Results

We are half way there not too bad so far and we got the basics out the way

41: Adding Curve

I noticed that I did not draw this curve at the beginning but it is really important if we want to keep the form of the shape. So using Snap on curve or by pressing the key C on the keyboard draw an EP_Curve from one side to the other

42: Adding More Curves

Since we need our surfaces to flow correctly and there is a little break here - just divide it into one more set of curves to patch

43: Boundary

Now we create 3 sets of Boundary Surfaces

44: Progress

Base on what we have learned so far - use the same repetitive concept to make more surfaces around the body. These are simple 4 sides boundary's without any detach or attach

45: Boundary

In this case, based on the complexity of the area - I had to divide this part into eight patches to get desired result

47: Attach Surfaces

Proceed to attach the surfaces in the way the picture is showing. Attach the surfaces with the options of Attach Method Connect and Multiple knots to keep. *** You can also get some nice results by turning on the Insert Knot option and changing the parameters

48: Boundary

These are getting the same treatment from step 26, don't forget to select the curves in the same order

49: Move Hull

To finish up this part lets move the third hull from bottom up to get the correct shape

50: Boundary

Two more boundaries for this part of the bumper

51: Detach Surface

Now detach the top part and rebuild all four patches

52: Final Step

Take the two top patches and attach them to the two bottom patches. Finally take the top and bottom and attached then into one, I got a bad result out of that attachment so I go right ahead and rebuilt my surface

WOW we did it! Now we have the outside of our car all we need to do now is work on the details

Preview Picture From Part 2

Preview Picture From Part 2

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