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 Pawas 3D Studio Max Tutorials



By Michael C aka Mcmach1
Website: http://www.mcmach1.com/
Contact: mcmach1@ hotmail.com

Time spent modelling car body so far: 4 days
Skills you will learn: Manipulating Quad and Tri Patches

Vehicle Background:

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 arches.

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 engine!

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 certain points.

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.

We proceed......

1. 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 Thomas Suurland's website and find a Z3 in his blueprints section.Save the file.

I am using bmw-z3-roadster-18.gif

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 like this:

you also have to edit the patch in the top and front viewports to look like this:

(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. Nothing complex. (left viewport)

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 Geometry rollout).

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.

(top 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)

Still in left viewport, I just rotated 90 degrees, and moved to the left on the X axis only for a bit of tweaking.

Select all the your patches and mirror them if you need a look ahead at how the front is shaping up.

The material is:


Colour is R:103/G:74/B:246

Specular Level: 40

Glossiness: 10

Reflection amount 15 and Lake REM.jpg in the reflection slot

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 following patches.

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:

Stretch across to meet its er.....parents!


Subdivide the top edge with propagate ticked

You 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 go!

Hold ctrl whilst you select the 2 patches, detach and call them 'door'

Save your file.


I am going to subdivide the shown edge with propagate ticked.


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 mirror.

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.

here's 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" ;-)

Yeah you 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.

after you 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 direction,

making the windscreen strut, or the piece that the windscreen is anchored to on a car.

After 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)

This is 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??

Ta da! Took the roof off again!

You may want to weld your headlight patch to bonnet and bumper, give it a different material id.

I always weld all pieces together then detach them later so they have a close fit.

Do not weld this area leave loose, you need that cut line there.


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!

Temporary wheels, permanent side window and temporary spoiler at the back.

The 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 be created.

File: bmwfront.zip (20kb Max) Enjoy!

I hope most of this has been helpful for you.

Drop me some feedback mcmach1@hotmail.com

Other tutorial done by me Modelling an Audi TT


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