Time spent modelling car body
so far: 4 days
Skills you will learn: Manipulating Quad and Tri
When the Z3 was introduced
back in 1996 most were shocked by the aggressive
styling of this German 2-seater. Everybody
thought then that the Z3 is a very beautiful car
to say the least.
Late 1999 brought a slight
facelift of the back end and the back wheel
I love these pieces, stand
next to one of the tiny lil things and you start
thinking you can pick it up!
The Z3 has proved to be an instant classic. The
type of car that would sell even without an
I hope you gave my other
tutorial "The making of an Audi TT" a try
because this is a step up from that and if you
pulled the TT off then you can certainly do
this. Just takes a bit longer since this is a
more complex car.
As ever, if you do run into a
problem or I have not been clear enough in a
certain area of the tutorial then feel free to
email me. The picture above shows my Z3 as it is
now, still a lot to do on it but body done.
Talking you through all the body would be a very
long task so prepare to think for yourself at
Disclaimer: This is how I made
my Z3 with my miniscule 2 months of max
experience and is by no means the only way /
right way to go about the task.
First you start off going to the
Create->Geometry->Patch Grids menu and choose
Quad Patch. Create a Quad Patch with a width of
3 and a length of 3 in the left viewport. You
should now have this in the Front viewport:
2. Head on over to
Suurland's website and find a Z3 in his
blueprints section.Save the file.
I am using
Get the blueprint into a
viewport background. There are other ways of
doing this which are more accurate but take more
time. Select a viewport (eg left would be a good
choice) press Alt+B (Viewport background screen
pops up) Under Aspect Ratio select Match Bitmap
and tick Lock Zoom/Pan look up and click the
Files button (find your blueprint) double click
and then press ok when you back in the Viewport
Background screen Right click on the viewport
label (the one saying the viewport name) and
then untick Show Grid. Use min/max toggle to
make that viewport fill the screen (take note
depending on your system if you zoom in too
close max starts asking for more memory.
3. Now from the left viewport
edit the vertices of your square patch to look
you also have to edit the patch
in the top and front viewports to look like
(you had a flat patch and you
are basically pulling it out to create the arch)
4. Mind if we move quickly
through what should be an easy bit for you.
Green is the original patch,
Green was mirrored to create red. A quad was
added to greens edge to make purple (select edge
mode and click the add quad patch button in
Pale blue/aqua was a copy of
green rotated down and modified to fit.
Then darker blue was a quad
added to pale blue/aquas edge.
viewport, looks like a saucepan ;-) note that
darker blue and purple are laying flat)
Save your file
5. Now select red and pull leftmost vert out
to look like this.
left viewport, I just rotated 90 degrees, and
moved to the left on the X axis only for a bit
Select all the your patches and mirror them
if you need a look ahead at how the front is
The material is:
Colour is R:103/G:74/B:246
Specular Level: 40
Reflection amount 15 and Lake REM.jpg in the
6. Ok note the bump on the bonnet of the
blueprint; I am bypassing that, it can be bump
mapped later in some way, if you want to patch
it then you can attack it!
Lets move a bit faster now you should be
approaching pro status by now.
I have attached and welded all the vertex
points for the pieces that used to be Green,
Red, Purple,Pale Blue/aqua and Dark Blue
Ok follow the arrows in the following picture
to show you what directions I went in.
Note: In Back viewport you are seeing a view
from the front, just got messed so dont worry
about it ;-)
Look at the Camera01 view and notice a curve
up and over near the yellow arrow.
Lol you'll love this next bit! Copy the front
for making a bit of the back!
Got to subobject>patch and select the
In Geometry rollout, tick the box next to
copy then detach these selected patches and name
something like 'backarch'.
Select it and mirror along the X axis, do no
clone so you have this:
across to meet its er.....parents!
the top edge with propagate ticked
should know what is going to happen now! Pull
those vertex points to the right and stagger
along the door line adjusting the handles as you
Hold ctrl whilst you select the 2 patches,
detach and call them 'door'
Save your file.
going to subdivide the shown edge with propagate
A quick look ahead again.
Time to do an easy but important bit. Just
make a quick patch in the place where the light
should be, adjusted in front and left views.
Then make new patches, what ever way you want to
as long as they are sectioned like in the photo
and very small, this is the rim of the arch.
Make one on the back arch by recycling the
front one! Shift and drag to copy and then
The whole bumper is going to be patched off
this piece as the pink arrows below show.
The bumper is your own to mess with as you
please, knock yourself out! Go as simple or as
elaborate as you want by adding quad patches and
using subdivide with propagate box ticked.
my rough one, im sure you can see where to
detach the whole bumper if you want to swap for
more detailed ones later, you could have a
garage full of different bumpers for you moods!!
For now mine is the aggressive "road eater" ;-)
should have spotted 2 things, the running board
under the door, it is a seperate patch stretched
out and shaped, the windscreen has been
detached, the hardtop roof is just temporary.
Go to top view, detach the windscreen,move it
over to the right then subdivide (with propagate
ticked) the edge that was joining onto
windscreen from the bonnet, you are trying to
make a small enough distance between vertex
points so you can pull out the piece that
usually holds a windscreen on a car.
have subdivided the bonnet edge a couple of
times, you see that there is now a small space
for you to add a quad going up in the pink arrow
the windscreen strut, or the piece that the
windscreen is anchored to on a car.
making that strut reduce the number of patches
on the bonnet by deleting all the vertex points
circled in pink and pulling the next row over to
replace them, (see arrows)
what you should now see, hope this bit was
clear. I circled those other vertex point show
how close they are.......this has created the
ridge on the bonnet! Dont believe me huh??
Took the roof off again!
You may want to weld your headlight patch to
bonnet and bumper, give it a different material
I always weld all pieces together then detach
them later so they have a close fit.
weld this area leave loose, you need that cut
8. Save your file. How about a rest?
Save>Reset and start some cool wheels! Huge
rims! Dont get too detailed other wise you will
have probs later when you copy 3 more wheels and
the cars panels get extruded>meshsmoothed. The
whole thing gets heavier on the processing. Its
no fun being locked out of your file!
wheels, permanent side window and temporary
spoiler at the back.
vertex in pink needs to weld onto the door but
right now there is no vertex point nearby so
subdivide the top edge of the door and one will
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