In the third chapter of Michael Ciesielski’s colossal Willys Jeep tutorial series, you’ll learn some great techniques for building the jeep’s complex high poly tire treads and rims. You’ll also start tackling some of the high-res body work, starting with the windshield and rubber gaskets, which you’ll then attach to the body.
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.
Lets start modeling the wheel by creating a plane with the ‘Cube’ tool in the Side view (create it in the wheel ‘Mesh’ object.) Align the plane as shown in the image (width of 2 tire spikes and 1 indent.) You can create the plane with 3 segments or cut it with the ‘Loop Slice’ tool. With this geometry we will create one segment of the tire. Later we will copy it to create the whole tire.
Change the view to Perspective and using the ‘Extend’ tool create new polygons. Drag it to half of the width of our wheel blockout (doesn’t need to be perfect.) It won’t be a problem to scale the wheel later.
Add edge loops in the middle of the outer polygon loops.
Delete the side polygons of our segment. Also add 2 loops. The two loops should be placed where the indents ends (as shown.)
Create the indent with the ‘Bevel’ tool. Use the Blue handle to move it in. You can also scale it a bit with the Red handle.
We need to bevel our indent to make it more like in the reference. So Select the edge shown in the image and bevel it with the ‘Bevel’ tool.
Below you can see how it looks after beveling. We need to improve the edge flow though. Select the polygons shown in the image and using the ‘Slice’ tool, add edges to those polygons.
With these new edges you can easily cut the polygons with ‘Edge Slice’. In the image below you can check how your edges should look.
Divide the middle poly loop with an edge and use it to refine the indent shape. Check in the reference to see how far should you move this top edge in.
To create the rest of the tire we will use the ‘Bend’ tool. To properly create a round shape we will need enough geometry. Below you can see where I added edges. The first image shows the placement of the vertical edges. The Second shows the horizontal. In the places where the horizontal edges go across the indent you will need to tweak the curvature of the indent.
To duplicate our segment we will use the ‘Array’ tool. For this we will need the width of our element. So select all the polygons and in the Top Menu, next to ‘Edit’, find the ‘View’ menu and check the ‘Dimensions Tool’. It will show you the dimensions of your selection. The Width of my segment is 40.8976mm.
In the ‘Duplicate’ category, find the ‘Array’ tool and activate it. In the image you can see what settings I used. For the ‘Count’ I used value of 64. A value of 64 is something I found out by checking what works. If your dimensions more or less match mine, 64 should work for you. In the ‘Offset’ menu paste your Width dimension into the proper axis. The Rest of the axis values don’t matter since we’re only copying along one axis.
The shape of the tire isn’t rectangular. We can create a curve in our tire using falloff. Choose ‘Cylinder’ falloff and drag it with the Right mouse button as shown in the following image. Using the ‘Move’ tool add curve to our tire. In the falloffs properties you can change the ‘Shape Preset’ (left bottom corner of the image.) I used ‘Ease-In’.
Do the same for the top of our tire. As you can see I don’t have any geometry selected, but in the previous step I had all of my polygons selected. Since in Modo nothing selected = everything selected, it doesn’t matter. After adding curvature to the tire we should tweak our indent a bit. You can do this in the same view using the ‘Move’ tool.
Lets select all of the segments (you can weld the vertices between the segments using the ‘Merge’ tool with a low value, or with the ‘Mesh Cleanup’ tool under the ‘Mesh Edit’ category) and then activate the ‘Bend’ tool which you can find under the ‘Deform’ category. Activate snapping with ‘Geometry’ to align the ‘Bend’ gizmo to the top corners of our mesh. Just activate the tool in the Side view and drag the ‘+’ signs to the verts. You can see how the ‘Bend’ gizmo should be aligned in the image below. For an ‘Angle’ value use -360.
Duplicate one side of our tire with the ‘Mirror’ tool. You can snap the mirror to the vertex on the open edge of our already created side. Just turn on snapping with the ‘Geometry’ setting.
When you duplicate geometry with the ‘Mirror’ tool it will weld the vertices if it can. Since we want to rotate one side of the tire, double click the edge in the middle and use ‘Split’ from the commands under the ‘Edge’ category. It will split the two halves of our tire.
Select one side of our tire and activate the ‘Rotate’ tool (be sure your ‘Action Center’ is set to ‘Selection Center Auto Axis’.).In the following image you can see I used 2.8 degrees in the X axis. To find this value I clicked the spinners next to the rotation value until i was happy with the result.
Once again use the ‘Merge’ tool to merge all those vertices we previously split. Remember to use as low of a value as you can. Select all of the vertices and slowly drag in the viewport with the ‘Merge’ tool activated. When the vertices you want to merge deselect, they are welded. Turn on ‘Subdivision’ to check if everything is Ok.
Unhide the cylinder we used to blockout our wheel. Scale and place it in the position of the rim. Use the tire as a reference point and not the blueprint. The difference shouldn’t be significant and now the important part is to make it work with our tire.
Select the cap of our rim. Using the ‘Bevel’ tool re-create the shape of the rim. To create new segments without dropping the tool remember you can shift click in the viewport to reactivate the tool. Just like before, use the Red handle to inset and Blue to extrude.
Select the center, circular polygon and copy and paste it. Just like before, be sure you select the pasted polygon (not the one you copied) and move it further away from the rim as shown.
Using the ‘Extend’ tool you can add volume to the cylinder. With these edges selected (see image) you can use the ‘Make Polygon’ tool to create the back polygon. You can also leave it uncapped since you won’t see it. Remember capping it requires more support edges to control smoothing.
Using the Bevel tool, inset the center polygon a few times to create the extrusion.
Using ‘Loop Slice’ you can add symmetrical support edges. As you can see in the image every plane has 2 support loops.
Lets continue detailing the rim elements. Select the polygons shown in the image and extrude them a bit with the ‘Bevel’ tool. If you don’t have enough space for the extrusions, Scale the cylinder before extruding.
Inset the cap of the cylinder and add support loops around.
Hide the element we worked on and once again copy and paste the polygon from the main rim geometry. Move it out a bit and unhide the geometry.
Align it with the element we created earlier and Extrude this polygon to add volume. Inset once and extrude once again. Looking at the reference try to match the dimensions to the element on your refs.
Below you can see how I added support edges. I didn’t cap its bottom and I also beveled the top edge.
Toggle subdivision with ‘Tab’ and check if everything works. We will later make it more interesting after adding nuts.
We will now create tubes connecting the window to the body. For this we will use ‘Background’ as the ‘Constraint Mode’. It will create new geometry on top of the other ‘Mesh’ objects. You can turn it on under the ‘F11′ menu. You can also increase how far from the background the new geometry will be created. In the image you can see I used 15mm as an ‘Offset’ value.
Change to the Side view. In the ‘Basic’ category choose the ‘Tube’ tool. In its properties set the ‘Sides’ to 12 and the ‘Segments’ to 6. Also for the ‘Radius’ use something around 15mm. Click in the viewport to create new segments on our tube. In the image you can see I used 3 points and aligned them to the blueprint. After creating the point you can still move it by dragging it around.
Select the upper part of the tube to move it away from body. To do this be sure on the ‘Action Center’ menu you don’t have any action center selected. Choose the ‘Rotate’ tool, press the Right mouse button at the bottom of your selection. It will move the rotation gizmo to the point you selected. Now Rotate it with the Blue handle to move it away from the body.
Lets round the edges of our window. So select all the edges except for the corners, as shown.
Bevel the edges with the ‘Round Level’ set to 1. It will create 5 polygon loops around our window.
Since we want to merge it to our tube we will need 6 polygon loops. We can add one edge loop in the center of the middle polygon loop.
We also need to bevel the corner edges to create enough geometry to merge it to our tube and add this plane between the tube shape and the window shape (you should be looking at the reference!).
To create this transition wider, move the vertices (like in the image), closer to the center. As you can see I have my ‘Symmetry’ turned on.
Delete the cap of our tube and the corner polygons of our window. Select half of the edges of the tube and window edges (like in the image.) Bridge those two with the ‘Bridge’ tool.
Bridge these edges on the other side.
Use ‘Make’ to create polygons in the triangle holes. Be sure to do this on both sides.
Let’s introduce one of the most interesting Modo’s feature. It’s called the ‘Work Plane’ and it’s used to create a temporary coordinate system based on the work plane which you can move, rotate, and align. The menu to manipulate the ‘Work Plane’ is placed next to the ‘Snapping’ menu.
Previously I talked about hiding the grid with the ‘Ctrl+1‘ pie menu (‘Toggle Grid Workplane’). Be sure your grid is turned on and Select edges like in the image and from the ‘Work Plane’ menu, choose ‘Align Work Plane to Selection’. Think about it as taking the window from the car and putting it on the table (table = work plane).
If you now change to the top view you can see it will be perpendicular to our work plane. Use it to Rotate vertices like in the image to fix the edge roundness.
As you can see, unfortunately for me ‘Symmetry’ stopped working properly (happens from time to time.) I deleted half of my window and will mirror it later. In the ‘Work Plane’ menu, choose ‘Reset Work Plane’ and hide it for now with the ‘Ctrl+1‘ menu. Add an edge at the bottom of the window glass. You can move it constrained to the edges it’s created on with the ‘Slide’ tool. Use it to tweak the placement of the already created edge.
Select the geometry as shown in the image, and use the ‘Slice’ tool to add the side edge of the glass.
Use ‘Edge Slice’ to connect edges like in the image. Remember to do this for both sides of our window.
At this point I added 3 more loops. I will use this geometry later to align the window bottom to the hood curvature.
Before we can do that though, we will need to align our work plane. Select the polygons shown and use ‘Align Work Plane’ like before.
You can now use the ‘Move’ tool on the bottom vertices without worrying about loosing the window’s flatness. I moved those vertices slightly, just to close the gap between the window and the body.
Select the polygons shown and Inset them a bit with the ‘Bevel’ tool. Check the reference and Inset those to about the glass border’s width.
Still having those polygons select, drop the ‘Bevel’ tool and activate the ‘Bridge’ tool. It will create polygons between the selected polygons creating a hole. You could do the same thing by Deleting the polygons and Bridging the edges. This way is way faster though.
Select the polygons we Inset. Cut them with ‘Ctrl+X‘ and paste them with ‘Ctrl+V‘. By doing so you detach those from the main window geometry. Having them still selected, use ‘Shift+H‘ to hide the unselected geometry. Bridge the selected edges like in the image. But don’t bridge the middle edge (the left edges on the image) since we will mirror our geometry later.
Unhide rest of the geometry and hide the glass border. Bridge the edges selected in the image. Now we have separate geometry for the glass border and the window.
Align the work plane to the polygons of the window. We need to Scale our glass border which will be much easier with our work plane aligned like this.
Double click the border and Scale it along the axis perpendicular to the work plane.
Select the back edge loop and make the glass border thinner.
Let’s add edges to the window like in the image. We will use those not only as a support the edges, but to also create the rubber around the glass border.
Select those newly created polygons and Copy/Paste them (‘Ctrl+C‘ & ‘Ctrl+V.)
Add volume to those polygons using the ‘Thicken’ tool (check to see it didn’t add any unwanted geometry).
We need to tweak the width of our glass border by moving the polygon like in the image. This will compensate for future mirroring.
Select the glass border polygons and hide the rest of the geometry. Add support edges like in the image. Use ‘Slice Loop’ and ‘Add Loop’ to add those.
Unhide all the geometry and isolate the rubber geometry (select it and use ‘Shift+H‘). Add edges like in the image. Don’t move the support edges too close to the corner edges. We want our rubber to smooth a bit more than the glass border. Also notice similar geometry to the glass border. The geometry is similar but the edge flow is different.
Also add support edges to the main window shape. At the bottom corner, I didn’t create a full edge loop, since I don’t want additional edges messing up the bottom of the window curvature.
Add an edge to the corner to make it look more like in the reference. Constrain the ‘Add Loop’ tool, by using it on the polygon selection.
Use ‘Edge Slice’ to connect the new support edge. It’s better to create one quad polygon and one triangle, rather than an n-gon.
Using ‘Loop Slice’ add 3 loops which we will use to create an indent.
Change the view to a side one and move the vertices to create an indent.
Select the polygons shown in the image and copy/paste them. We will use those to create the small part at the top of the window.
Extrude this polygon outwards and tweak it to create a small roof above the wipers. Since we copied the polygon, we inherited additional edges. Select them and remove them with ‘Backspace’.
Hide everything except the wiper roof. Bridge the back edges like in the image. Also Delete the polygon selected in the second image. We are deleting it so we won’t duplicate it when we mirror our window geometry.
Add support edges like in the image.
Using snapping and the ‘Mirror’ tool, mirror the geometry. Be sure it snaps properly.
I also noticed I had to tweak the width of the side of the window. I selected all of the vertices which needed moving, and just used the ‘Move’ tool. That’s why it easier to match the proportions early. It’s much easier to manipulate a simpler mesh.
Refine the tube shape (connecting the window to the body) by Insetting the cap and extruding it in. Also add support edges like in the image.
You can also create the rubber just like we created tubes earlier. Just like before, activate ‘Background’ constrain. And this time use a Tube with 3 sides.
Inset the caps of the rubber. After insetting, add support edges with ‘Slice Loop’. Also notice I used too big of a value for the ‘Offset’ of the ‘Background’ constrain. I fixed it simply by moving the rubber down a bit.
Turn on subdivision with ‘Tab’ and check if everything is working fine.
Stay tuned for Part 4 coming soon!
Don’t miss more CG tutorials and guides, published daily – subscribe to Cgtuts+ by RSS.
Other Great Vehicle Tutorials:
- Building The Caterpillar 797 In 3D Studio Max
- Creating a Next-Gen Video Game Hot Rod: the Complete Workflow
- ‘Mini Semi Truck’
- Modelling the Audi R8 in 3Ds Max – Tuts+ Premium
- Modeling the Bugatti Veyron in Maya – Tuts+ Premium