Kroma's vehicle flow studies

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Kroma! polycounter lvl 4
I've wanted to make cars and vehicles for a while now so when I was researching workflows, I found an article by Matthias Develtere in Vertex 3 where he mentions briefly how he started.


Here's my first study, a Volkswagen Golf Mk5. I read somewhere before that marking out the shapes with splines first can help to visualise them in 3d as blueprints are sometimes difficult to read. I'm not sure whether to model out the whole body as one piece first and then cut out the panels or just work on each piece separately. I opted to work on a piece at a time but match the edges between pieces to maintain edge flow.

This came out at 2530 tris for the body. I tried to keep a strip of edges around the main shapes like the lights and wheel arches (forgot a bit more around the arches). I think I could have continued more loops along the door to flow around the rear light area and I'm not sure I needed to cut in the rounded shape in the windscreen as that's inside the car.

Feel free to leave any feedback or tips, I'd very much appreciate it. :)










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  • Kroma!
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    Kroma! polycounter lvl 4
    Next is a BMW 6 series (E63). This one came in at 2264 tris probably because I left out the windows and lights. It had stronger lines so I used smoothing groups to give the effect of the sharp edges. I also used some 5 sided polys that should work for sub-d without causing smoothing issues.



  • Kroma!
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    Kroma! polycounter lvl 4
    Range Rover Evoque at 2812 tris. It's a bit over because I chose this car for the hard lines and trying to match them meant going higher density. I also had worse blueprints than the previous models so splines and reference were used heavily. The separate parts are also marked with splines of different colours for easier identification in orthographic views.


  • Kroma!
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    Kroma! polycounter lvl 4
    Mitsubishi Evo VIII at 2686 tris. I seem to go a bit too high poly and end up having to remove some geometry afterwards. The issue is trying to keep enough geo to support the details but not so much that the mesh becomes difficult to work with.


  • Kroma!
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    Kroma! polycounter lvl 4
    Ferrari F430, 2752 tris. This one was quite difficult to keep enough density to support curves whilst still flowing the edges cleanly. I think I'll try a sub-d car next, don't want to stay on these too long.







  • Justo
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    Justo polycounter lvl 3
    Pretty sick stuff Kroma, liking the clean look of these meshes :) Will you be smoothing any of these in the future?
  • igi
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    igi polycounter lvl 9
    Good stuff here. Are you modeling these by extending the polygon edges and aligning vertices to guide splines one by one?
  • Martijn
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    Martijn vertex
    these cars look damn great  :o , how do u start modelling tho? do u make em by just looking at pictures or do you use blueprints of thee vehicles?

  • Nguyễn Phú Trọng
  • ZombieDawgs
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    ZombieDawgs polycounter lvl 5
    How did you find transitioning from your quick studies to a sub'd? Did you find everything was relatively in place quite quickly? This way of working looks excellent thanks for sharing it :)
  • Felixenfeu
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    Felixenfeu polycounter lvl 6
    Well, I never saw anybody make car studies that way. That's pretty amazing I think
  • JonahH_M
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    JonahH_M polycounter lvl 2
    Awesome work, favorited!
  • Prabh
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    Prabh vertex
    Good Study 
    keep it up 
    I just want to know that so you made sperate chunks of car with nurves/curves
    and after you did polygon modeling to combine and maintain flow ??
  • Poinball
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    Poinball polycounter lvl 3
    Really cool technique ! Spline are the best :)
  • Kroma!
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    Kroma! polycounter lvl 4
    How did you find transitioning from your quick studies to a sub'd? Did you find everything was relatively in place quite quickly? This way of working looks excellent thanks for sharing it :)
    @ZombieDawgs Thanks dude. The biggest change for me was the fact that the sub-d mesh will be smaller than the cage, and so won't line up with the spline guides. Therefore I had to get used to moving the points outside of where they would be on the quick studies and using "Show end result" to line up the sub-d mesh. Aside from that, it's trying to get the shading to look good without adding too much geometry. Some of the places like along the doors the edges need to be in a certain place to match the reference shading but it doesn't line up with the geo you've got coming off the arches. The quick studies can get away with low detail but the sub-d is obviously a different beast.

    The studies really helped to define the early shapes using the principle of following the major flowing lines first and filling in the gaps. Without them I think I would have been moving around points a lot more and not letting the sub-d do more work. If you want a "crash course" you could try and do one quick study and one sub-d for the same car and compare how the geo turned out. Thanks for the questions :)
    Prabh said:
    Good Study 
    keep it up 
    I just want to know that so you made sperate chunks of car with nurves/curves
    and after you did polygon modeling to combine and maintain flow ??
    @Prabh Thanks. To clarify, I set up the blueprints, add the splines only as guides and then begin poly modelling, no nurbs. The poly model is made as one piece for the bodywork first, but keeping edges flowing along where the panels will split for later. Once the panels are split, I try not to change the geometry along the split as that may mess up the shading across the pieces. Hope that makes it a bit clearer.

    @Felixenfeu @JonahH_M @Poinball Thanks a lot. I appreciate your comments.

    I do intend to pick this back up and finish off the Audi so I'm not done yet. Thanks to everyone who's looking and thanks especially for the front page, I really didn't expect it! :smiley:
  • Martijn
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    Martijn vertex
    Thanks alot for the explanation!! @Kroma!

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