Rhino car modelling : The next audi TT

Stage 1 : General configuration, setting up blueprints :

Blueprints cropping(w/ photoshop) :

First thing is to work on blueprints. If you already searched how to set your blueprints in Rhino, you found the

suurland method (which is pretttty long) or the tutorials did not mentioned how to do this.
My method is simple : Cropping the blueprints with photoshop, noting their size and placing them in Rhino by entering

planes corners coordinates.
The harder is to crop your four views : front, back, side and top with only 3 dimensions : L x l x h .
I personnaly do the following :

- cut and crop the front and back view. Check that you have the same dimensions l x h. (Use "Canvas Size" if not)
- cut the side view and set the height (which is known) to h ("Canvas Size")
- center the side view to fit the canva size.
- crop it in its length. YOu have know the missing dimension : L
- now you can cut the top view, use Canva Size with L and l, and finally center the view in the canva.

Keep these three value somewhere in mind (L, l and h)
Here is a gift for the lazy ones of you ;)
and L=652, l=298, h=219 (px)

Close photoshop and open Rhino. If your never did...what are you doing here ??!
Go to Dimensions/Properties. In the Unit Tab, use the following :

Model Units : Millimiters
Absolute tolerance : 0.01 units
Relative tolerance : 1 percent
Angle tolerance : 3

Don't change the other values.

Settings up the blueprints :

Left Click in the top view.
Go in View/Background Bitmap/Place. Search the directory where you placed your fours views and obviously select the

top one.
Then your cursor is now a cross and in the Prompt line is asked : "First Corner ?"
Enter -65.2,-29.8
Then when "Second Corner or Length ?" is asked enter 130.4 .
You have now your top view in correct position.
I divided the original value by 10 to fit the Rhino workspace better.

Now place the other view by yourself using the same method :
for the side view enter -65.2,0 then 130.4
for the back(right) and front(left) views enter -21.9,0 then 43.8 .
note that you obtain the view you want by right clicking the name of the view, then
select "Set View" and choose the good one.

Note that you can hide/Show the bitmaps by using View/Background Bitmap/Hide or Show command.

Rhino Tip : rightclicking both validate or repeat the last command used.

Other important Tip : you can directly enter the name of the command you want to use in the prompt line. Sometimes

it's faster than searching the command button. In the tutorial I'll always give you the name of the command to use, in

this way : _Command. but actually you don't need to enter the "_".

Save your work by doing File/Incremental Save. This way you could get back in previous files if necessary.

So here is what you should have now in your workspace :

Stage 2 : Basic shapes :

Let's go modelling now !

in the front view (double clicking on the name of the view toggle fullscreen), trace a curve by using the _InterpCrv

function (right click on the curve button, then second icon)

in the view click three times to define the curve points. Actually a nurbs curve has more controls points than those

you defined by clicking. It depends on his degree (as in mathematics :)). By default the degree is 3 (see the prompt).

When tracing a curve by clicking 2 times, we obtain 3 "edges" and 4 controls points, etc...

When are going to move this points to get the right shape. Click on the icon representing a curve with points on it :

You just see now points that are on the curve. When using the icon that is just right of the one used before, you

obtain points that are not on the curve.
Depending on what you want to do, choose the best one.

Move the points in the side view :

then in the top view :

You surely noticed that curves are always drawn is the world plane. Later is this tutorial we'll use the Snap to draw

curves anywhere in space.

Now we build the symmetrical curve by doing the following :
right click on the icon representing a moving square, then click on this icon

or just enter _Mirror
when asked for first point, enter "0" (the origin) then by pressing the Shift key,
you'll constraint your mouse moves in the perpendicular planes containing the origin point. in the top view for

example, click anywhere in the plane to build the symmetrical curve.

Ok now we are going to build few others curve, using the snap option.
click on the Osnap button in the bottom tab. A small popup (Rhino 2.0) or a additionnal tab (Rhino 3.0) appears.

you have quotes to define where to snap, one quote to on/off toggle the snap, and the "Project" quote to snap but

trace your curve in World Planes (very usefull believe me :))

ok toggle the "End" on and trace 2 curves (_InterpCrv) joining the ends of the first build curves.

Edit the points as before but in a symmetric way. (remember the Shift key influence)
Use a non uniform scale (_Scale1D) to move the points away from the center points.

Ok when satisfied with your curves, you can build your first surface !
Choose the _NetWorkSrf command (enter it or get the icon by right clicking then left clicking on :


Select the four curves we have and validate (right click). Don't consider the pop up opening, we'll work on it later,

so just validate again and there you have your first surface.

In the side view build now the body line with 4 or 5 clicks; with the Snap on you snapped the rear corner. Move the

points in the top view

Do the same thing with the bottom line.

We build now a 2rails surface (_Sweep2). Or here

The prompt line asks for "rails".
Click the two new curves. It asks then for "crosssections".
Click the first curve you built. A pop up ask you to choose between the curve and the Edge. Choose Edge. Remember

that a surface edge can always be used a a construction curve, and is sometimes different from the curve that has been

used to build it.

You have your 2rails surface now :

In the side view, trace a curve (don't snap) that will limit the side surface :

We are going to split te surface with the curve. You noticed that the curve is in the world plane. By working in this

view the surface will be split anyway.

Select the surface, and enter _Split or click on this

in the prompt you are asked to select the cutting objects. Click on the curve you built before and validate.
The surface is now split into 2 parts.
Don't delete the small part in front. Hide it (click on the wheel button of your mouse, then left click on Hide).

Do the symmetrical surface.

Now we build the front bumper base surface by doing the same thing we did for the rear. Trace 2 _InterpCrv with the

Snap on (End) and then move their control points.

A new _NetworkSrf. this time be sure (when pop up asks) that all the edges are on "Position"

ok then trace a new _InterCrv in the top view, with the Snap (Near) on.
This curve has not enough points to be well defined.
So enter _Rebuild and then select the curve. When pop up comes out, you have many parameters you can change. Let the

degree on 3, but rise the control points number to 6 for example. Valdidate.
You see now that your curves has more points. Move them to have a nice shape.
Advice : when moving controls points turn the Snap off...

Build a _NetworkSrf by using the four limiting curves/edges. Even if the fornt and rear curves are longer, the NetWork

Constructor will limit them by himself. Very practical ! Again let all the edge on "Position" in the pop up.

This last pics was done in the "OpenGl mode", which is obtain by clicking the Opengl icon in the "mouse wheel button

pop up".

Build the symmetrical surface.
Stage 3 : Basics shape (part 2) :

Now let's move on the roof shapes.

in the top view, trace the curve that fit the bottom of the windows

Trim the last built surface with this curve (_Split) and then Hide.

Then in the left or right view, draw the curve that fit the curvature of the windows
To help you, you can use the snap in Project mode.

Build a 1Rail surface (_Sweep1). As a rail use the last curve you build and as unique crosssection the edge of the

last surface you split.
You got now something ugly like this :

Don't worry. We are up to split it. In the side view, trace a curve that fit the upper limit of the TT windows.

then split :

Do the symmetric and then trace the curve limiting the roof :

Let's build now the top of the rear : this part will be usefull to build the roof afterwards. Do the following to get

perfect shapes.

draw a curve like this (use the snap) :

by editing points, try to fit the curvature of the top edge of the rear surface (the first surface we build).
Create then a _NetworkSrf using the 3 edges (be sure to choose edges) and the curve. Use the "Tangency" on the two

edges that are on the side, and "Position" on the curve and on the rear edge.

Now in the top view trace the curve that you want to use to limit the roof.

Then split the surface with this curve

I hope you understood that this method is really good. You could have build the curve, then build a Network.
But it would not have been obvious you have tangecy on the sides.
Remember that building surface and trim then is always better that trying to build final surfaces directly...

then to make the roof, draw to additional curves like these ones :

Then use a _NetworkSrf with all the limiting curves and with the one is the middle too.

We need two surfaces to build the roof archs.
If you try to build a NetworkSrf directly you'll understand that the bottom curve is not usable this way.

use the _DupEdge command

when asked, click on the upper edge of the window surface.

then on the bottom one :

You now have 2 curves where you had just edges.
Split the bottom curve with the upper one (do the same procedure than when splitting surfaces)

Now hide/show surfaces like in the picture below

You can now build the networksrf. Specify tangecy wherever it's possible.

Depending on the quality of your curves, you 'll get nice surfaces or not !
Secret of nurbs is here...
When you understand the method, you can do it again and again, till you get the perfect shape !

next lesson are still being translated...have fun.
thx mate.
Excuse poor quality of pics in first lessons. This has been improved in next ones.
If you see big english mistakes, tell me ;)
This way i'll do a correct html version of it.
The only thing im asking myself is how you camer up with the coordinates of the blueprints?
isnt there a match modifier or something?
you can simply import them without giving any coordinates....en then try to match them on four view....but it's a little harder i think.
I'm just giving the way i do things you know, as every one does in tutorials....So this way work well, give you prints that are well placed in the world (ie x axis on the symmetry axis of the car) ...
Stage 4 : tweaking the front part :

Let's build the hood now. We'll use a _NetworkSrf.
We first draw a Blend Crv (_Blend) between the edge right on the bottom of what's is gonna be a windshield. When asked click on the end of the first edge, then on the end of the opposite edge.
you Get that :

The _NetworkSrf is now just piece of cake !
Choose tangency on the side but only position on the edge of the bumper.

Ok now you think the angle between hood and bumper is not nice ? me too !
So let's smooth it.

use the "Split at Isocurve" commande (right click on split icon or Surface/Surface Edit Tools/Split at Isocurve)
then click on the surface like below

a line appears attached to your mouse and follow the surface. When we click, we just split the surface into to parts.
So if your line is in the same direction as mine, it's ok. If not, enter "V" or "U" to toggle the direction. U and V are the coordinates of a point on a surface, whereas X, Y and Z are the coordinates in world space. So a "U isoline" is a surface line where the coordinate u is constant.

Ok when the isoline is on the right place to begin the future "fillet" click.

Hide the little surface you create by splitting.

Do the same on the "roof" part, with the Snap On (End) to split exactly in the continuity of the near surface. Endly do the same on the opposite surface, with the snap on once again.
Then Split the bumper surface the same way, and with nearly the same amount.

Ok now we can't use a Blend surface yet.
Use the _Blend command to create the curve like below

Then, in the side view, split the side surface of the car with this curve.

Repeat the same operation on the other side.
Now we could almost build the surface but you'll notice that we
have three edges facing only one. So that a little problem.
Because we absolutely want to have the tangency with the upper edges, we are going to build three Network surfaces.

So use the _Extend command. At first prompt, just validate.
Now click on the edge between hood and near side surfaces and then move your mouse to the front. The curve extends itself to front. Click again to end the line. The length has no importance since we are gonna use them to cut the bumper surface.

Do the same on other side. And then cut the bumper with this line (in the top view)
Now just build two blend curves (_Blend) like below :

Ok now everything ready for building NetworkSrfs...
Do the two exterior ones. Specify tangency on the two long edges
Do the last one in the center and specify tangency on all edges !

There might be some faster method, like doing everything as soon as side surface is built. In all cases everythings clean now.

Now it's time to do some cutting to see where we're going.
Cut wheel archs :

and why not lights, grill etc...

Have fun.
Stage 5 : Volume Sculpture :

In this part we are going to change the hood shape, and deform the side surface to have nice lights plays on it. This second operation is not so far as editing a mesh with 3dsmax for example, but with additionnal rules.

The hood :

On the top view, draw two curve (with Snap Project on) by snapping on the reds points (next figure). Side curve is corresponding to the hood limit, whereas the inner line will be used to split the actual surface a rebuild a new one.

Be sure you snapped to the marked points because if you don't you'll have many little surfaces that are not good to work with afterwards.

Split the big surface (the one that runs from front to rear) with the inner curve. Build its symmetric. (we don't use the other curve yet, but it is usefull helping to build the first one)

Draw a line (with Snap on NO porjection) joining the two news corners you formed
Rebuild it with more Control points as below

in the left view move the side points to give a incurved shape there :

You can now rebuild a New Network surface with the 3 edges and this curve.
Ask for continuity only on the front edge.

Sides sculpting :

I'd like to give to the side some shape they don't have. They are really flat.
I could have done it with an additional cross section when building the 2 rails surface, but I want to show another method, which could be named "scultping"

Here I will deform the surface only between the wheel archs. Since its nurbs, the whole surface will be deformed a bit but I don't care.
The principe is that every isoline of the surface (we talk about that is lesson 4) is editable as a curve is, moving its control points.

Select the side surface, click on the mouse wheel, then left click on the upper right icon. Controls points appear ! Note that for surface there is only one type of points (those are not on the surface).

Ok you can move those point in every direction, deforming the surface.

- Don't move the points that are on the border. If not you'll loose the continuity with surrounding surfaces.

- The sPlit Edges are not borders ! If you move points, the surface change and the splitting curve re-project on the new surface. Just try and you'll see.

Here we are juste "snapping" the five points that are on the second row (from the bottom) and between the wheel arch, and moving them a bit to the inner side of the car. The wheel arch edges are moving a bit, but that's not a problem, since we got no surface here for now. (construction ordering is very important so)

Add the side skirts

This can be easily done by adding small curve, editing them like the red marks on the next figure, and building _Sweep2 using these curves as rail and body edges as crosssection.

next lesson concerns wheel archs. Enjoy !
Stage 6 : Wheel archs :

Use the _Offset tool (right click on the "filet curve" tool, then offset)

in the side view, pick the edge of the actual wheel arch

Actually it's important to choose the view you're working in when doing such operations. Here in the side we're doing a offset in "the view plane"
Enter 3 as the offset value and move the mouse inside the arch. You'll see a white arrow which length correspond to the value you entered. Left click to build the curve.
You get something like this :

I toggled the control points on. You note there is as many points on the native curve as on the offset curve.
If there are too many points according to you to edit it properly, rebuild it with less points.
You can then move these points to adjust the curve.
We must have something nice and regular, with a shorter distance (between curves) on the side than on the top (this is true on all views). Check that you have something nice on all views :

build the two curves that close the arch using the snap (end) option.

I choose not to edit them. If the result is not convenient to you, you can edit them.
We are now going to build the surface. Use a _NetworkSrf and choose tangency as below (btw that the only edge on which you can obviously have it !)

You can see that A and C (on my fig) curves are not tangents to the side surface. However, i'm asking for tangency on D. Taht's normal. The tangency is a harder constraint that position, and if you look nearer after you built the surface, you'll see that the surface don't follow short edges near the side surface in order to be tangent it.

Now we can simply add the too little surface by doing 2 _Sweep1, using the blue edges as rails (be careful to pick edge and not curves, since as said before, they are not the same...) and red edges as cross sections. (previous fig)

You we are now building the last short surface that finish the wheel arch, as on the actual TT.
Do an _Offset again, with a 0.8 value. Have in mind to work in the side view, as previously mentionned.

then (without editing it) build a _Loft Surface between the native edge and this offset curve. For the two little surfaces, do 2 _Sweep1 again.

Do the same thing on the rear wheel arch. We have now a nice body volume. Harder is done now.

Tip When you build 1rail surfaces (Sweep1) in this lesson, sometime the final shape is not nice.
Duplicate interior edge of your surface, delete surface, then edit the curve (you'll maybe have to rebuild it)
Finally rebuild a 2 rails (Sweep2) with this new curve as second rail.

Enjoy !
Stage 7 : Choosing final design and splitting :

This part is important but not hard. It's the most plaisant thing to do when modelling a car in Rhino.
You worked hard to build nice volumes and surfaces. You are now going to split them to create diffrent body pieces of the car. This phase is often long, but i'll be short. It's up to you to choose your design. I posted views of the design i choose. You can do the same or not...

Praticaly speaking, work in projection, ie draw curves in the view planes then project them on surface (don't split) just to appreciate how it is going. The projection tool is the following :

Be careful, as for the offset tool, to be in the right view before projecting. The projection occurs perpendicularely to the view, as for the splitting process.
ONce some curves projected, to draw new curve that use the previous ones, use the Snap Option in Projection (Project toggled on). then use the projection tool again...Delete and draw again till you're satisfied. I'm using often the _Extend tool (you already used it):

it is very pratical and has many option, for example you can extend a curve while keeping the curvature at his end.
Read the prompt line, choose and try. Remember again the quality of the curves is actually doing the quality of the final model.

So take your time and get inspired :

Once satisfied, split the surfaces. If you used the projection tool properly, you can split directly in the Perspective view, since curves are already on surface. You can do it in the other views too.
Note that, when splitting a surface, splitting objects do not need to be unique : there's no need to join curves before splitting.
Once you split all the surfaces, move each set of piece in his own layer (in the Object Properties)
You are now ready to work on each piece separetely, and without thinking of the surrounding ones.

I personnaly changed the headlights again. They were not high enough i think.
These new ones are almost the same as on the actual TT but they fit the body line better.

Enjoy !
Pro quality :D. Very clean surfaces :shock:. I think I know now why I cant get polycount low at my fiat model. Badly modeled nurbs surfaces :oops:....