Building a car

A few other points - as @john_drivenupthewall mentioned, you create a “brief” for your car - the specifications, based on the imaginary use of the car.

Research is important (view images online - create a shortlist of your preferences) so you are not -

Using your imagination is best done through visualization - picturing it in your mind - this requires practice, just like exercising a muscle.

Hello Eric,
I am an architectural Draftsman, but I modeled a car once some time ago. I created/modeled the whole scene. Not with SketchUp but with Cinema4d. Beside a few pictures from the internet, I purchased a small scaled model. This really helped a lot!
The modeling was not easy for me and took a lot of time, but basically all what you need to do, is to model a more or less simple mesh and put a subdivision surface (like subD in Sketchup) on it. Second Pictures shows the mesh without subdivisions. I guess I used a lot more vertex than what would be needed.

Still on my todo-list for SketchUp to model a car.


nice work!

Thanks liamk887!
Does somebody know, if the SubD-Extension works “indestructible”? I mean the following workflow I had with Cinema4d:
I drafted a simple geometry, then turned on the SubdivisionSurface to see how it looks. Turned it off, changed some points/vertex or made another cut, turned on the SubdivisionSurface again…Etc…Ect…till I got the final result. Even when I closed the program and opened it the next day to continue my work, I could turn on/turn off the Subdivisions and continued working my the basic mesh.

Not that I know of, I get around that by having lots of file duplicates that I can go back to. You can do something similar with layers but the file size easily gets out of hand.

I’m pretty sure SubD retains the original “skeleton” and can toggle back and forth between it and the subdivided version. Of course, when you edit the skeleton the subdivision has to be regenerated, but that’s the objective.


Thanks for your replies, liam887 and slbaumgartner!

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When i open Sketchup Make.
Than what for template i need?
Maybe this will help with my question.

Doesn’t really matter, I usually choose meters and work at an increased scale so I don’t run into any difficulties with the details. The Dave Method

As for visually, I always find it easier to work on a white background with the sky/ground removed/same colour.

Thanks liamk887.
I gonna try it.

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I don’t know about this model, it was made by 600v.

Yes, you can toggle back to the original control mesh. (But that also means you cannot work on the subdivided mesh without loosing those changes when you toggle between control and subdivided.)

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If you are only visualising a car then mesh modelling along with subdivison works just fine. It’s different if you are designing it to actually being physically produced at a factory.

One of my oldest “on the shelf” projects I have is a car model. I haven’t gotten around to complete it because I keep getting ideas for new extensions when I work with SketchUp. (Being a toolmaker and all that…)

I’ve been working from reference photos and outline drawings from a plastic model kit:

Finding “blue prints” help - but beware they aren’t always accurate. The drawings from the plastic kit I used is actually in perspective so the roof looks smaller than what it should be in true orthographic projections. And dimensions aren’t accurate so I found the real physical dimensions detailed somewhere and used them to scale the reference drawings.

(I’m sure Christina is going to find this thread and ask me when the model will be done - it’s been sitting on my shelf for about 10 year. That’s the trouble with hobby projects, so deadlines!)

Recently I obtained Substance Painter and I have been playing with it the last week. Using WrapR to UV map the model, then importing the model into Substance Painter to generate textures to use in V-Ray:

Working with Quads (some tris are ok) simplifies UV unwrapping. I UV mapped the control mesh, then toggled on subdivision. SUbD preserves the UV mapping well from control mesh, especially when it quad based. Then I sent that to Substance Painter.


When I was young, I ended up buying a Volvo164 for hobby purposes, stripped it, started working on it, for four years, actually sometimes forgetting about it. then the guy I rented the garage from, decided that he needed it for his new home, so I had to sell all the parts for not having another location!

you could sell this part, as I think it is done, in general, lee!

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