First of all I had to find some Lotus Elise blueprints... but although I search hard all the web I didn't find them. I only found the Lotus Elise mk2 blueprints and I studied them carefully and found they are somehow similar in shape as the lotus Elise 1. So my idea was tot make a primary mesh of the car after this blueprints and them modify the mesh after the images of Lotus Elise 1 (I downloaded I think 30-40 of images of Elise 1 in all positions)
Of course the blueprints were white with black lines. So I had to modify them in photoshop by replacing the white with a light blue (I didn't want the blueprints to interfere with the object (white when selected).
After that I created 2 boxes as the same ratio as the blueprints and placed the bitmap on them. Then I started to create lines in the Right view corresponding to the shape of the car. Then I moved the vertices in the Front view and Perspective corresponding to the blueprints. I didn't try to make the lines bezier or smooth, I only worked with corners (not like in my first car tutorial) because my goal is to create a low poly mesh and then edit it with mesh edit and mesh smooth.
Notice what configuration I made for the headlight:
I didn't wanted the spline network to be very complicated but only to have the major lines of the car. The rest well done with edit mesh. Make sure you have splines to that are making surfaces of 3 or 4 splines. We do that, because will use the Surface modifier that will create a patch where it finds 3 or 4 splines intersecting each other. So, I applied a surface modifier with 0 steps and then a Edit mesh modifier: Click here
Now you can forget about splines and surface, from now on I only used edit mesh. I created some faces like in image (selecting the outer edges and extruding them inside):
I also created 2 additional faces (with 3 sides) after I extruded the edges.(E.g.. in the picture above the last face from the right is created, the left one isn't created yet)
The same way I worked with the others outer edges of the car:
This is how I made the air wing (hmm sorry I don't know how to call it :)
You probably notice that I already started to work with a true picture of the Elise 1 and trying to correct the differences between the mesh I made after the blueprints and the images of the Elise 1.
Next I created a mirror reference copy of the object.
I selected the faces from the headlights and I scaled them.
With the four faces selected I extruded them inside (-5) and then outside (+2):
Next I selected the edge near the headlights and chamfer them (the faces will result will be the smaller headlight):
I extrude the faces inside, twice :
Next, I deleted the reference I made earlier (after tweaking the mesh and when I was sure the proportions were correct). Then I created a mirror copy (not reference) and I attached the new object to the older one (in edit mesh). Then I selected the central edges and I welded them:
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