SubD practice - Car

I thought I’d have a go with the new SubD tools in Rhino having not seriously used SubD for about 10 years or so…

I was hoping for more ‘industry standard’ SubD modelling processes and tools but managed to cobble something together. Really missing a ‘Knife’ tool though!

If I’m honest I didn’t enjoy using SubD for this exterior and think I could have done better with bezier patches and nurbs. The more detail I tried to add into the SubD surfaces the more time I spent messing around with polygon flows and trying to get little wrinkles out of the surfaces (perhaps I’d get better/faster with practice?).

Where I definitely will use SubD in the future is with soft furnishings, quilted sofas etc.

Screen grab from the Rhino viewport below, followed by a quick render with Maverick.


My experience has been that closest to the Knife tool as Blender has it is the InsertPoint, unfortunately it does so only on edges, and only reallyin blocky mode.

also Insert Edge, but yeah closest would be Insertpoint, that also works across several faces like a knife.

Nice shaping and modeling

Why didn’t you use four or five nuts instead of a big one on the wheels? I think it reduces the proficiency of the design, though it seems your purpose was to make it like the formula 1 racing cars.

Thanks Nathan, yes, I’ve been using that command. Don’t mind that it works in blocky mode but do mind that it doesn’t give you a preview of the cut. If it had a preview of the cut line from point to point then it’d be a lot easier to judge parallel lines compared with neighbouring edges.

It’s a great start but needs that knife functionality like blender or modo.

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I’ve been using that one too. Would be good to have the option between a parallel offset and a percentage offset from the original edge. But still doesn’t quite replace a knife tool!

Thanks Sciensman, this was purely an exercise in learning Rhino’s implementation of SubD so I wasn’t particularly bothered with the design. So long as it kind of looked like a car then it was good enough for me! One wheel nut was quicker than five…

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Nevertheless, your work is admirable, and it hasn’t a shortage of serious work anymore, especially since it was a practice and was among your first works with sub-D in Rhino.

Good luck :slight_smile:

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one thing that may increase you enjoyment-

don’t model the individual body panels. Model it all as one part or a conglomeration of over lapping multiple Subd parts, then do your body cuts and transitions between the cabin and the body etc after converting to Nurbs-

this allows you to have a more cohesive flow and you can get to the final forms faster. The detailing is actually easier in nurbs and you then get the best of both worlds-

that said as a learning piece, this is a very impressive 1st effort with Rhino Subd. I can’t to see your 2nd crack at it!

thanks for sharing your great work-

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Thanks Kyle, yes, I started out with one complete body SubD and then started to split it into separate panels once I was ready for detailing.

Don’t think I’d want to convert to nurbs though, the result would horrify me!

I have thought of defining an overall guide SubD shape and then keeping that to snap the detailed panel work back onto. Or maybe a bunch of bezier patches as guides… will have to try that out for my second attempt.

Part of the struggle is working out how and when to utilise SubD - Bezier Patches - Nurbs to get the best out of them and waste as little time as possible.

One thing that did work out really well was the wing mirror - that shape came together really fast and I was pleased with the shape, but there wasn’t any detail on that one.

I say quite often, use the right tool for the job… sometimes subd is appropriate, sometimes not. I actually love the “speed sculpt” style of modeling for concept development on cars, but you are 100% correct that when it came down to final surfaces I’d be using nurbs.

I really appreciate your work and your willingness to share it here, as it serves to further all of our skills. Keep it up!!

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And having Mesh/SubD/Bezier Patch/Nurbs tools all in one program gives us massive potential.

I’ve had a go at Zbrush for initial sculpting of shapes which was quite interesting but the interface and wildly different way of doing things slowed me down a lot. Blender SubD has more potential there I think. Looking through Artstation shows loads of amazing automotive models done in Blender. Will have to have a hunt around on Youtube to see if anyone is sharing their detailing processes.

there is a fabulous tutorial on making a corvette in blender. Check it out of you want to do a deep dive in the blenderverse. Master Car Creation in Blender

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Blender SubD is mesh based and has all the good tools for it.

Ah ha!

Thought this might be the way to go…

I think we should be able to replicate this in Rhino with the project command like Joaquín does here…

This could make the whole detail adding process way quicker and much, much smoother!


yes, this is a great technique

also documented here-


Great model and result, Sub D tools are amazing !

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