Modelling a Car

Modeling a basic car body

First things first, this tutorial requires the basic knowledge of rhino and if you know more than that, well, thats good for you. ;)

When I start I always start with my template set to milimeters.

My grid snap spacing set to 0.25.

My tolerances set to (from top to down) 0.001, 0.001, 0.01.

And finally the custom render settings of (again, top to down) 20, 6, 0.025, 2, 0, 0.

Now, on to the modeling!

Setup two circles, which should be the wheels and ofcourse maintain the distance between em (wheelbase). Ok, now in the side view, draw a curve for the lower shape of the car. Now on a sidenote, since im making an exotic type of car, the lower part of the car is close to the ground but if youre making a normal type of car simply put that line higher.

Make sure you got your curves setup like mine. If you wonder how I got my curves to touch each other, well, most of the time I got osnap "near" and "end" on.

Draw a profile curve from the top curve to the bottom curve somewhat like mine and sweep2rail it.

Draw another front curve starting at the end of the lower part of the profile curve and sweep2rail that too.

Now select the front curve and split it with the 2nd top curve.

Draw 2 profile curves on both top curves and sweep2 rail em.

Now, I joined the 3 made surfaces but since my fillet from the front to side surface failed we're going to have to find a way to make it nice and smooth anyway, if it works for you you can skip this part. Explode the surface. Since we still got the profile curve, select the profile curve and rebuild it, make sure it has about 15 points, turn the points on (f10) select the lower point and drag it to make the curve longer, do this also on with the top poiint but make sure its still the shape of the original curve, just slightly longer on both sides.

Now that we have done that, select the pipe tool and for thickness on both sides select 1 (which originally would be the size of my fillet) select the front and side surface and split the pipe surface out of it, select the splitted out surfaceand delete it, now blend the edge curves, NOT blendsrf but just blend, do this on the lower part and top part.

When you got the 2 curves, select the top surface and split the upper curve out of it, now select sweep2rail, select both edge curves and use the blend curves as profile curves, in the box select tangency for a and b so the made surface flows nicely without any seems.

Now join all 4 surfaces, mirror them so you've got both sides and it should look something like this.

Select dup edge cope the edges shown in the image and join em since we need to use this as a profile curve.

Now draw 3 more profile curves somewhat like mine, select sweep2rail and select the edge curves, this is needed since were going to use the tangency to make everything again flow nice and smoothly.


Now, of the front is a bit too smooth, select the first profile curve and rebuild it with more points, mine originally had eleven so I made 20 out of it, I dont know if you see the diference but it is there.

What I now do is select all the curves, selcrv, and move them all to a different layer and turn it off, except the ones that show where the wheels are, I need to keep those, cleans up a bit. Select dupegde and copy all the edges shown in the image and join them.

Split the car and the curve in half and delete the left half of the car, now make the edges of the curve on both ends longer still folowing the edge curve of the side and top surface.

Select the curve and select the pipe tool, now if you want a normal fillet just make both eds same size but i chose to make the front of the car more round and the back have a more crisper edge. Split the pipe out of the surface, and delete the pipe and the split out surface.

Now blend the surfaces together and it should look something like this.

Now in the top view, draw a curve somewhat like mine and split it out of the body.

Draw an a-pillar curve and mirror it, then between those 2 draw a profile curve.


Now duplicate the edges of the split out part of the body and join em and now split em with the apillar curves, when i made my a-pillar curves i made sure i used near so they're touchin, now if they splitted the front and back part of the splitted curve you can now use as profile curves so you can sweep em along the a pillar curves, sweep2rail em.


I think you can figure out by the pics how i did the side windows. Now for me, the seem is intended if you want to get rid of it just cope the edge curves, make em longer, use the pipe tool and blend em like we did before.

Select the four curves, or you can duplicate the edges of the roof part and join em together so they're one curve.

Now make a small circle at the front window which you going to use to array along the curve, array it with 8 samples.

Since we're only using 4 of the 8 circles you can delete the other 4. Make these 3 curves bigger, the left and right one have to be same size and position to keep it all nice and symmetric and the back one has to be the biggest and has to stay in the center.

Now sweep1 rail using the 4 profile curves and split it out of the roof part and body part.

Delete the split out surfaces and blend the body to the top (blendsrf).

Now since we have made plenty of new curves again, select em al except the 2 tire ones and move em to the curve layer. Draw in the side view a curve to what looks nicely to you which we going to cut off the rear with, extrude the curve and split it of the rear, delete the left part.

Draw a curves from the rear lower edge to the left lower edge. Now duplicate the edge curves of the rear and join em with the curve youve just drawn. Now select the surface you split of the rear with and select split, now select the curve as cutting object and split it out of the surface. Delete the outer part and join the left over surface with the car body. A small fillet would do to make it all look nicely, 0.05 is what I used.

In the sideview draw two curves which we are going to use to split out the space for the wheels. Extrude em and cut em out of the body.

Delete the split out parts, select the edges of the wheelspaces and extrude em slightly inwards. I gave em a small fillet of 0.1 which made it look nice and smooth.

The end result should look something like this. Click here to download the final model.

Modeling of the vents

On your hood surface, draw a curve simmilar to the one I have drawn. Then copy it, make it slightly smaller and stick it out a bit.

Cut the bigger surface out of the hood, then sellect the cut surface and cut the smaller curve out.

Delete the outer part of the surface, shrink it and select insertknot, then insert enought knots so the surface will bend nicely.

Bend the surface.

Blend it. Default settings of 1 and 1 will do.

Draw a curve simmilar to mine, then split it out of the blended/bended surface and it's done.

The end result should look something like this.

Modeling of the grills

Draw a slightly bent curve in the top view. Like the cutout surface from your car.

Extrude the curve to a surface.

Select the surface and press the contour tool or type 'contour'. Make sure the angle is 45 degrees everytime, since you have to mirror it. I took 0.2 as the distance. When it makes the curves, press ctrl+g to group them.

Mirror the curves through the middle.

Align them in the top view. Doesn't have to be perfect.

Select both groups and extrude them backwards. Et voila!

Modeling rounded wheelarches

Draw 2 circles for your wheeldistance and 2 for your wheelspace.

Draw 2 circles for your wheeldistance and 2 for your wheelspace.

In the sideview, draw 2 curves which should be somewhat how the carbody is going to flow.

In the sideview, draw 2 curves which should be somewhat how the carbody is going to flow.

Move the 2 curves slightly backwards. Again in the sideview draw a curve for the basic lower shape of the body (youll split most of the surfaces with this curve). Cut off the wheelspace curves with the lower body curve.

Move the 2 curves slightly backwards. Again in the sideview draw a curve for the basic lower shape of the body (youll split most of the surfaces with this curve). Cut off the wheelspace curves with the lower body curve.

Loft curves 1 and 2. Do the same with 3 and 4.

Cut off the surfaces somewhat of where you think the blending between the 2 bodies should begin. Now blend (not blendsrf) the upper edge curve of the first part with the upper edge curve with the back part. Do the same with the lower part. Now, both curves are too turved for me so i deleted 2 midpoints of both curves to make the curves more tightened.

Select sweep 2 rail and use the 2 blend curves as profile curves.

You might want to add a ribbon, dont have to, but it looks better to me and the end result should be something like this.

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