This tutorial will teach you how to model a Willys Jeep from WWII in Modo 601. The tutorial is created for users new to modelling in Modo. It requires a basic knowledge in Viewport navigation and UI. We’ll first go through the planning stage, and then we’ll setup the blueprints and plan how we should separate the parts of the model.
This tutorial series will teach you how to model a Willys Jeep from WWII in Modo 601. The tutorial is created for users new to modelling in Modo. It requires a basic knowledge in Viewport navigation and UI. We’ll first go through the planning stage, and then we’ll setup the blueprints and plan how we should separate the parts of the model.This tutorial will have five parts, and at the end of the fourth part. We’ll have our Willys jeep modeled with the interior blocked out. In the fifth and final part we’ll proceed to detail the interior.
First thing you should do is gather a lot of reference images. The best way of finding good reference is to use Google Images. From all of your reference choose one that shows the whole object you are modeling. Based on this picture you can think about how you will model and where you might get stuck. Below you can see how I dissected our model. Each color represents a separate object we will be creating. Different colors doesn’t mean it will be separate Modo objects. It’s separating a model into the main shapes.
You can also write things on the parts of the model to remember what things you should take into consideration. For example on a window I wrote a note to remember to create separate rubber elements. For the wheels I will create only one wheel and instantiate it. I also thought about UVing this model. For the wheels I would overlap the UVs of all the wheels to save texture space. On the hood I pointed out to remember about the slight curve and geometry to support it. On the grill I also pointed out to use more geometry to support the complexity of this part.
On a frame I decided to create a simple model of the suspension. This tutorial space constrain doesn’t allow me to create a more complex suspension. The techniques shown in this tutorial will allow you to create a detailed suspension if you so desire. All these things can seem straight forward, but they are really important. Always think before you start modeling. Thanks to the huge amount of references I gathered and the simplicity of this car I didn’t have to spend much time on planning. Each time you start a new model it’s always a good idea to spend some time on planning though. How you will go about it and how much time you choose to spend on it is your choice. I could also plan out the interior, but it has too many elements. I will show you how to create a few of them so you could fill the interior on your own.
Next thing you should prepare are the blueprints. When you are modeling anything like car a it’s easy to find blueprints (I found this one using Google Images). Below you can see how I prepared the blueprints. The Brighter one is the original one and the darker is my own version from which I cut out my projections. Most often than not, blueprints found on the internet won’t line up perfectly. It won’t be a problem though since we don’t need 1mm precision. Always be prepared to change something based on your own judgement. I won’t be detailing how I created the blueprints, but you can learn all about it here : Blueprints tutorial..
The First thing we should do in Modo is set up our blueprints. In Modo there is a specific object type for that. To create it we choose ‘Add item’ (above object list) in the top right corner and we choose ‘Backdrop Item’.
When you have the backdrop item selected, below the object list. You can see the properties of the selected object. For the backdrop item we have two tabs: ‘Transform’ and ‘Backdrop’. Transform is the tab common for most of the objects. It holds information about position, scale and rotation. Functions specific for the backdrop item can be found under ‘Backdrop’. The Two options that we need now are ‘Image’ and ‘Projection Type’.
First thing we will do is load our image. To do this press ‘none’ next to ‘Image’ and it will open a menu to choose an image. To load the image choose ‘Add Clip’ > ‘load image’ and choose front projection.
As soon as you choose the image, Modo scales the backdrop item to match the image proportions. Now we will move our backdrop item so it doesn’t intersect with our model. Make sure the backdrop item is selected on the item list, and press ‘W’ to activate the ‘Move’ tool. Now lets move it along the Z-axis. The ‘Move’ tool will be active as long as you don’t drop it. In Modo every tool needs to be dropped if you don’t want to use it anymore. You can do it by pressing ‘Q’.
Just like before create three more backdrop items. For each choose a different projection and the image corresponding to the projection. Don’t try to rotate a backdrop item. If you apply a side blueprint, just choose the ‘Left’ or ‘Right’ projection type (for me it was Left). Move each backdrop item along an axis perpendicular to the plane of our backdrop. Below you can see how it should look.
In the object list remember to Re-name backdrop items accordingly. Select the ‘Mesh’ object on the object list. This object will contain our mesh. Later we will create more of these ‘Mesh’ objects, but for now we will only need this one.
Lets start by creating some basic shapes I marked on the reference images using different colors. To create the main body shape we will use a Cube. You can find basic primitives under the ‘Basic’ category.
After selecting Cube you can create it by dragging in viewport, or by typing values in the fields in the bottom left corner. The values I typed are values I found on Wikipedia. As I said earlier, precision isn’t important. The important part is realistic proportions. Since we can use real values we don’t have to guess though.
To create a box with those dimensions, type the values like in the image (be careful which axis is which. If your axis doesn’t match, change the values accordingly) and press the ‘Apply’ button (if you can’t see the ‘Apply’ button, search for the button with ‘>>’, which will expand your Cube properties). You can see our backdrops are way to big. Since we want the Jeep to keep those dimensions, we will have to re-size the backdrop items.
First select the backdrop items in the item list. Do it by holding Ctrl and clicking each backdrop, or by holding Shift and clicking on the first and then last backdrop. You can also do it by pressing ’5′ on the keyboard, which corresponds to ‘Item’ selection mode and clicking (with Shift pressed; Shift = add to selection) on each of the backdrops in the viewport .
If all our backdrops are selected we can now Re-size them. To activate the ‘Scale tool’ press ‘R’. If you now look around you can see that our gizmo isn’t in a center of the scene. Since we want to align backdrops to our box (which is in the center of the scene), we want to Scale from the center. In Modo everything works around Action Centers. Action centers are a really deep subject. For now just choose Origin (it means the center of the scene in this example) from the list, which you’ll find under the ‘Action Center’ button, next to ‘Items’ selection mode.
We need to see our backdrops to be able to align our Jeep backdrops to our box. For this we can use ‘Wire’ view mode. You can change it in the pie menu by pressing ‘Ctrl + 2′. To get back to our previous viewing mode, you need to choose ‘Shaded’ in the same menu.
Since you Re-size all backdrops at once you can just align the dimensions to one view, and the rest will align accordingly. Change the view to ‘Top’ (you can change views by using ‘Ctrl + space’ pie menu). Now use the teal circle in the center of the Scale tool to Re-size the backdrops until they align with our box.
We can now go to the ‘Model Quad’ tab (top row tabs) to check if everything looks good. If you need to move the box a bit to align it better, just use the Move tool. Important thing in Modo is that if nothing is selected then everything is selected. It means that if you change to vertex selection mode (1 on a keyboard) and active the Move tool, you can move the whole box. On the image vertices are selected just so you could see them better.
Now we can start editing our box to give it the body shape. Change back to the ‘Model’ tab and change to the Top view. In the ‘Edge’ category, choose the ‘Add Loop’ tool. The ‘Add Loop’ tool lets you cut a mesh along the polygon loops.
If you now hover over an edge you will see it highlights. If you click and drag over the edge, you can see it created a new loop which you can slide.
If you let go and then click on the other edge with shift pressed you will create a new edge loop. Add two loops like in the image below. Drop the tool (‘Q’), press the Right mouse button and choose ‘Rectangle’ lasso style. It will be easier to select those newly created loops to align them to the body shape.
Select the vertices which need moving with the right mouse button. By using the right mouse button, Modo will also select the occluded vertices. If you select with the middle mouse button, it will only select the front facing vertices. This rule works the other way around in ‘Shaded’ view mode.
Since we need to move those vertices symmetrically we will use the ‘Scale’ tool (‘R’). We have to change our action center to ‘Selection Center Auto Axis’. This time we will Scale along only one axis. For me it’s the red axis on the scale gizmo.
Using the techniques I used before, I added one more loop and scaled it down. As you can see my lines don’t match the blueprint. Since I gathered a lot of reference images, I can take into consideration things I can’t see on the blueprint. If you look at a Willys photos you can clearly see that the hood doesn’t follow the body shape perfectly.
Once again I added a few loops to have enough geometry to further model the body. Places where you should add loops are places where the object shape changes. Since we are only blocking out our model we still maintain control over our geometry. If you add too many loops now, you’ll only make the process harder than it needs to be later on.
Using the Right mouse button, select all these polygons and Delete them with the ‘Del’ button.
Without these polygons you have a hole in you model. This hole will later be used to create the inside of our jeep.
We can use the border vertices to create the side of the body. Since we will be using subdivision later on, we don’t need more geometry to recreate this curvature. We will tweak the positions of these vertices later on.
Here you can clearly see the hole which we made by deleting all those polygons. Change the view mode to ‘Shaded’. Notice I turned off the grid using ‘Ctrl + 1′ pie menu (‘Toggle Grid Workplane’).
Select the loops shown in the image. You can do it fast by selecting an edge from one of the loops. Select the edge from the second loop and double Left-click. Modo will select the loops for both selected edges.
Now we will create a bevel on the hood. From this geometry we will later create the hood as a separate object from the body. Under the ‘Mesh Edit’ category you’ll find the ‘Bevel’ tool. In Modo most of the tools don’t activate automatically. To activate the Bevel tool you need to click in the viewport.
When you click in the viewport, the ‘Bevel’ tool gizmo will appear. You can click on the gizmo and left mouse drag or just drag holding the left mouse button in the viewport. As you can see in the image, I used a value of 1 for the ‘Round Level’. It will add more geometry to our bevel and make it smoother.
Now we will create the mudguard above the wheel. Once again pick the Cube tool. This time drag it into the ‘Top’ viewport. By using the ‘+’ sign at the edges of the box, you can change its dimensions in the viewport. Roughly align it with the mudguard like in the image below.
When you create a Cube in the viewport, you need to add a third dimension to it by dragging, ‘+’ in another view (you can use the Cube tool to create planes if you don’t add a 3rd dimension.) Change the view to Left and drag the ‘+’ to add volume to the box. Align the vertices of the mudguard to the blueprint. If you need to move one side, select the vertices you want to move (remember to use the Right mouse button in wire view) and use the ‘Move’ tool.
Since we don’t need the whole body we can hide it. Choose ‘Polygon’ (’3′) selection mode and double click on body. Press ‘H’ to hide selected polygons.
Remember that you can hide geometry in every selection mode, and you can Unhide it by pressing ‘U’. You can also hide meshes in the object list by clicking on the eye icon. This will hide the whole object though, so we won’t be using it right now.
As you can see below, I moved the top right corner of the box slightly to the right, to align it to the bluerpint. We will now continue to extrude polygons to create the rest of the mudguard. Select the polygon you want to extrude (just like in the pic).
To extrude our polygon we will use the ‘Bevel’ tool, under ‘Polygon’ category. You must activate the tool by clicking in the viewport. Extrude the polygon by dragging on blue gizmo.
The next thing I did was align the mudguard geometry to the blueprint. I used ‘Vertex’ selection mode and the ‘Move’ tool. As you can see my mudguard doesn’t look like in the blueprint. I prefer to make it look like in the reference, which differs from blueprint (the mudguard consist of two parts in my reference pics).
Change the view to Top and align the right side to blueprint. It won’t be perfect at this point and will need tweaks later, but remember it’s still the block-out phase.
To Unhide body geometry press ‘U’. Change the view to Perspective to check if everything looks OK. Remember you can toggle wire-frame on top of the shaded view with the pie menu under ‘Ctrl + 1′.
Lets create the next part of mudguard. Like on the paintover, I make it as a separate object. Once again create a Cube by dragging in the viewport.
In the Left view, drag the ‘+’ gizmo to add volume to the box. And align the new geometry to the blueprint using the ‘Move’ tool.
Next you want to align the left side by selecting specific vertices and moving them. Remember to leave a little space between the elements to show they are separate objects. In CG its sometimes good to make gaps, or edge bevels a little bit bigger. It makes reading the detail easier from distance.
In the Perspective view, align the vertices to the side of the body. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but remember to look at your reference. You shouldn’t have to guess how it should look.
Using the menu above the object list create a new ‘Mesh’ object. You can treat those objects like containers which can hold different meshes. This one will contain the wheel mesh.
Choose the ‘Cylinder’ tool (you will find it in the same place as the ‘Cube’ tool). This time drag it in the viewport with ‘Ctrl’ held down. When you create the cylinder try to match it’s center to the center of the wheel on the blueprint. Remember you can always move it later if you think it needs tweaking.
If you now change the view to Perspective you will notice that our cylinder has a really dense mesh. You can change number of sides and segments in the left bottom corner. I set mine to 24 sides and 1 segment.
Lets hide the rest of the geometry to align our cylinder to the wheel. You can use the pie menu by pressing ‘Ctrl + 6′. To hide other ‘Mesh’ objects, choose ‘Invisible’.
Just like I wrote on the reference I will use instancing to create the rest of the wheels. For now I will only create one instance of the wheel. Right-click on the wheel object and select ‘Instance’. The instance of the wheel will inherit all of the geometry changes we will make to parent object.
Now lets move the instance of the wheel. You have to move it in ‘Items’ selection mode to avoid moving the parent object. The ‘Move’ tool gizmo will be placed at the pivot position if you move in ‘Items’ selection mode.
As you can see we don’t have enough geometry to create a space for the back wheel. Align the loop closest to the wheel to the edge of the back mudguard (I pointed it on the image below with an arrow.)
Once again we will use the ‘Add Loop’ tool. Add 3 loops just like in the image.
Now select polygons with the right mouse button and Delete them.
At this point I had to align the bottom vertices to the bottom edge of the body, not the suspension.
Align the vertices as shown in the image (by using the ‘Scale’ and ‘Move’ tools.) As you can see we now have the aproximate shape of the mudguard.
To create the interior of the mudguard we will use the ‘Symmetry’ feature. You will find ‘Symmetry’ next to the ‘Action Center’ menu. Choose X symmetry.
Select the edges shown in the image below. To create new polygons from open edges we will use the ‘Extend’ tool. You can find it in the ‘Edge’ category or press the ‘Z’ button. You will see a gizmo just like in the ‘Move’ tool, but this time dragging one of the arrows will create a new polygon. If you create another new one without dropping the tool, click in the viewport with Shift pressed down and drag one of the arrows once again.
Change to a Top view and move those edges like in the following image.
Select the edges shown in the image below. This time we will use the ‘Bridge’ tool. After selecting those edges just activate the ‘Bridge’ tool. If you drag in the viewport you will create more segments in the newly created polygon. You can use 2 segments or…
… you can use ‘Add Loop’. Since we want to create this model with mostly quad polygons (which smooths better) we need to close this space with quads.
To close this gap use the ‘Drag Weld’ tool from the ‘Vertex’ category. Just drag the vertex you want to weld onto the vertex you want to weld it to. If you didn’t turn off snapping (which is turned on by default) your mouse will be snapping to other vertices.
We should weld the mudguards to the main body form. To do this we will use the ‘Loop Slice’ tool. This tool automatically selects the loop and cuts it in the middle. You only have to show Modo the direction of the loop. To do this select a few polygons just like on the image below (It would also be better to turn off symmetry for this.)
Now we can activate the ‘Loop Slice’ tool. You can find it under the ‘Mesh Edit’ category (or use ‘Alt + C’.) When you click in the viewport and drag you will create one loop which you can move. Since our model is symmetrical it would we better to change the ‘Loop Slice’ mode to ‘Symmetry’.
As you can see in the image, I set the mode to ‘Symmetry’ and used 2 for the ‘Count’ value. By doing so you create a tool which automatically selects the loop and adds 2 loops symmetrically – a perfect tool for adding support loops (which we will create later.) For now drag in the viewport until our new edges are close to the mudguard edges.
Just like before we will use the ‘Drag Weld’ tool to merge the vertices. Be sure to drag the newly created vertecies onto the mudguard vertices. Not the other way around.
As you can see I did the same thing for the back polygons. I added 2 symmetrical loops and merged the vertices with ‘Drag Weld’. An interesting thing you can notice in the image is that I used different shading on my model. You can change your shading to ‘Gooch’ under the ‘Ctrl + 2′ pie menu. This shading mode is really useful if you can’t clearly see your geometry. In ‘Gooch’ mode you will always be able to clearly read your edges.
Now we just need to close the gap between our mudguards. So select the edges shown in the image and use the ‘Bridge’ tool.
We also need to block out the front window. Once again I created a new ‘Mesh’ item via the object list. I aligned the vertices to match the window form in the Side view. Then changed to the Front view and adjusted the width.
Before we can jump into detailing our model we have to create a base for the interior. For that we will use the geometry of our body. Be sure to select the body mesh in the object list. Double click on the body geometry in ‘Polygon’ selection mode, but be sure you don’t select the front mudguards.
Just like in any text editing software you can copy and paste text, Modo can copy and paste geometry. After selecting the body geometry press ‘Ctrl + C’ to copy and ‘Ctrl + V’ to paste the same geometry. By doing so you just duplicated the geometry, but remember that you still have the original geometry selected. In this case it doesn’t really matter but it’s something worth knowing.
For now you can’t really see any change. Both geometry shells are facing the same way. To change that press ‘F’ on your keyboard (you can find the same command under the ‘Polygon’ category > ‘Flip’.) Now both shells are facing opposite ways.
Find the ‘Push’ tool under the ‘Deform’ category. The Push tool moves geometry along its normals. We can use it to Re-size our inner mesh. I used -18mm in the ‘Distance’ property. Modo has a tool which can thicken one sided geometry which would be perfect for us.
Unfortunately I stumbled across a weird bug which created some unwanted geometry with the ‘Thicken’ tool, but feel free to check out the ‘Thicken’ tool. Now you will know how to do the same thing another way if you stumbled across the same problems I did with ‘Thicken’.
Since we don’t need the front part of the inner geometry we will Delete it. The best way to select those polygons is to select the front polygons (parallel to the view on the image) and then grow the selection (‘shift + up arrow’ to grow and ‘shift + down arrow’ to shrink the selection.) I grew the selection twice to leave myself a loop of polygons to cap the hole.
After deleting those polygons double click one of the edges to select the whole loop.
To create a polygon you can go to the ‘Polygon’ category and choose the ‘Make’ command. You don’t need to change any options. Just confirm the ‘Make Polygons’ dialog. After using this tool we will get a n-gon face. Don’t worry about that. We will fix it later.
Since the ‘Push’ tool used the vertices normals, it created some distortions in our geometry. It’s a simple thing to fix though. Just select the polygons shown in the image and activate the ‘Scale’ tool. Make sure you unchecked ‘Negative Scale’ in the properties of the tool. Scale down those faces in the axis perpendicular to the selection, to flatten them. Do the same thing on the other side of our interior.
Do the same thing to the back faces. You should scale those in another axis though. Since it depends on how you setup the scene, just remember to do this in the axis perpendicular to the selection.
We need to merge the interior and exterior of our car. To do this select the open edges by double clicking and using ‘Bridge’ tool.
If you look on the reference you will see that the interior needs benches. So we will use geometry from the mudguards. Select the polygons shown in the image below and Delete them.
Select these edges and Bridge the gap.
We need to flatten our benches. To do this once again use the ‘Scale’ tool.
As you can see now our benches are placed too low. The geometry from the bottom goes through our seats. So using the ‘Move’ tool move them up. Check on the reference as to how high should they be and just eye ball them.
Now we will take care of this n-gon we created earlier. Select only the n-gon and grow selection with ‘shift + up arrow’. You can hide the rest of the geometry with ‘shift + H’.
To cut our geometry we will use the ‘Edge Slice’ tool. As you can see in the image you can find it under the ‘Mesh Edit’ category or by pressing ‘C’. To cut the face just click on the first vertex on the edge of our n-gon, and then click on the vertex at the opposing side (you can also click and drag on the edges.)
Below you can see how I divided this polygon. Vertical edges you can create with the ‘Add Loop’ or ‘Loop Slice’ tools.
Lets add the rest of the wheels by instancing the 2 wheels we already created. Select both in ‘Item’ selection mode. In the ‘Duplicate’ category you will find the ‘Mirror’ tool. If you hold down ‘Alt’, the ‘Mirror’ tool will change into ‘Instance Mirror’. This tool lets you clone objects on the opposite side of the plane. By clicking and dragging you can move this plane.
I changed the view to Top and moved my mirror to the center of the jeep (you can hide other items by pressing ‘shift + H’ when you have the wheels selected in ‘Items’ selection mode.) If your mirror doesn’t align itself to the right axis you can change that in the properties.
Lastly I blocked out frame. If you look at my blueprints at the beginning of this tutorial you will see that the original blurpint consists of frame schematics. It helped me in judging the proportions of the frame. For the frame I created a new ‘Mesh’ object, I started with a box and used the ‘Add Loop’ and ‘Bridge’ tools and then tweaked some vertices. Try to create this frame by yourself as a test after everything we have done in this tutorial.
In the image below you can see my final product for this part. I created a fifth Instance of the wheel and moved it in ‘Item’ selection mode to the back. I also cut the front face of the body just like the one in Step 81. I also moved the bottom of the front part of the body, so it doesn’t go through the frame. With all the thing we have covered in this part of the tutorial you should be able to do the same thing.
In the next part of the tutorial we will start detailing our model and get into Subdivision modelling. Thanks for reading and please stick around for the second part.
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