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Modelling a Fiat 500 using Polymodelling

By Karabo Legwaila
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Date Added: 30th December 2010
Software used:
3ds Max

Headlights

The headlights of the car are pretty straight forward and easy. Ok, create a tube object in the front viewport that fits nicely in the hole you made for the headlight in the body of the car. Make sure that radius 2 is very close to radius 1 so that the tube is very thin. Chamfer the top edges so that they will remain crisp when smoothed.

1418_tid_access_13.jpg
The next part to make will be the reflector that goes inside the tube. Create a cone object in the front viewport that fits perfectly within the tube. Set radius 2 to zero. Set it to 2 height segments and 1 cap segment. Select the middle line of edges and scale them outwards so that the cone will have a rounded shape when smoothed.

Now delete the top cap polygon and select all the polygons of the cone and flip the normals of the cone object. For the light bulb, you can use a simple sphere unless you want to create a more detailed bulb. To create the glass of the headlight, all you need is another sphere with the hemisphere setting set to 0.75 and segments set to 11. Then all you do is delete the back polys and select the vertex at the top of the sphere and pull it inwards a little to make the curve of the class less steep. All of the different parts of the headlight should look like the picture below. It is important to model the different parts of the headlight and not just use a texture map if you want it to look real. Now just position the different parts of the headlight inside the tube in the order they are in the picture as they would be in the real car. Then mirror the whole headlight to the other side of the car.

1418_tid_access_14.jpg
1418_tid_access_15.jpg
For the smaller set of front lights, the procedure is similar to how you did the headlights but this time you don't need to make a tube In the front viewport, create a sphere that fits in the smaller light slot and then convert it to a mesh and then detach one half of it. You will use the front half for the glass of the light and the back half for the reflector. Make sure you select all the polys of the back half and flip their normals. Then create a bulb and position it inside the light. This is what you should have now. Now mirror a copy to the other side of the car.

1418_tid_access_16.jpg
The next thing to create is the turn signal light that goes on the side of the car. This is also pretty simple. Create a cylinder object in your side viewport and then squash it a little to make it more of an oval than a circle. Now clone it and put the clone behind the original. Make sure that the heights of the cylinder objects are not too large, a good value would be 5. Now select the one in front and select the top face. Extrude it outward by a small value like 0.1 and then bevel it inwards a little. Now extrude it inwards a little distance and then bevel it inward again and then finally extrude it outwards to it's original level. Also delete the back polygon of the front cyliner. This is what it should look like now. Chamfer the top edges until you have something like this:

1418_tid_access_17.jpg
Delete the top and bottom polys of the clone cylinder. Now move the two cylinders so that they are on the side of the car where the turn signal light should be. You will have to adjust vertices on the cylinders so that they can sit properly on the curved surface of the car. Mirror a copy to the other side of the car. When you have done that your car should look like this with all the trim that you have done so far:

1418_tid_access_18.jpg

Rear Lights

The two polys shown left in red should approximate the shape of the back lights if you followed the tutorial precisely when building the body of the car. If they don't, then move vertices around until they do.

In the side viewport, hold down shift and drag the two polys a small distance in the positive x-direction. Make sure you are only moving in the x-direction and not y or z. You will get a dialog box asking if you want to clone to an object or and element. Select object and give the new polys a name like "Rear Light Base". Now hide all parts of the car except the two polys that you just cloned. These are going to be the base for the tail lights. The good thing about doing it this way is that the polys already follow the curve of the car so the lights will fit perfectly onto the back of the car.

1418_tid_access_19.jpg
Now flip the normals of these new polys so they are facing towards the front of the car. Select all the outer edges of the polys and shift+drag them once again in the positive x-direction in the side viewport. This will create what looks like an open box as shown below.
Then you need to cap the polygons to make a box. Select the original 2 polys that started this box and shift+drag them in the positive x-direction up to the point where you stopped the extrusions of the side of the box. When the dialog box xomes up, this time select "Clone to Element". There is a problem with these two new polys, they are facing the wrong way. You need to flip their normals. Once you have done that you will have what is shown below. Now all you have to do is weld the vertices in the green circles to close off the box.

1418_tid_access_20.jpg
Ok, this box is the base where the rear lights sit. The next step is to select the polys shown in red in the picture above and extrude them outwards by 0.1 and then bevel then inwards until you have something like this:

1418_tid_access_21.jpg
Chamfer the outer edges of the box so it maintains a nice shape when you smooth it. Now you are once again going to shift+drag the polys you beveled in the positive x-direction and this time clone them to a new object with whatever name you see fit. You are going to build the actual lights from these polys. The first problem you will run into with these polys is that there are only two of them but the rear lights are split into three parts. This is easily remedied. Move the edge at the halfway point upwards and then cut another edge into the polys to make the third poly so that your polys look like this:

1418_tid_access_22.jpg

Detach all three polys so that they are all different objects and then select their surrounding edges and extrude them backwards towards the base so that you have 3 boxes on the base. Tweak the shape and then chamfer the boxes by a very small amount.

1418_tid_access_23.jpg
Now unhide the body of the car and position the rear light in the proper position. You might have to do some vertex tweaking to make it fit perfectly. Mirror a copy to the other side of the car. This is what the rear looks like thus far.

1418_tid_access_24.jpg
Proceed to the next page for more on the Door handles!





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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 125091, pid: 0) Loitran on Thu, 14 June 2012 8:28am
small images i dont need a lot of grid like that why dont you hide line of cubis (press J)
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(ID: 81293, pid: 0) Thumpliketrump on Mon, 23 January 2012 7:30pm
FIRST ALL CAPS RAGE
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