Upping the game


I’m really trying to get into more complex modeling, but I’m having a hard time finding resources that will let me do this.

Essentially, I want to start being able to model vehicles and I’ve found a couple youtube videos, but nothing that really nails down the process of creating these smooth/complex surfaces using a set of 2D drawings.

Any tips are greatly appreciated.



I looked around for some car tutorials, and any I could find predate the solid tools. I’ll try to post an example of how you can do a car with solid tools, in a few minutes. I mean, it will take longer than that to post something, but making the car should only take a few minutes.


Ok, that took a little bit of time. I rushed the tracing stage, and this particular car isn’t ideal, in that it’s a different shape from the front to the back, so I only traced the back. That aside, the steps are to import a picture as an Image, trace over the different profiles, tip up the filled areas you made, make each one a group, go into each group and pull it through to the other side of the others, then select all the groups and click on the Solid Tools Intersect button.

Hopefully it would quickly give you the rough shape for you to improve.

By the way, if you happened to have a DXF file as a starting point, it would be much faster and more accurate.


Thanks @denisroy I do have Soap-Skin-Bubble, I’ve found it works great for modeling the hull of a boat. I think it could be a decent tool for a vehicles body shape, but then when you get to the details with the other parts (ie grill, headlights, doors), I’m trying to figure out how I can “carve” those out of the main body.

@colin thanks for the quick reply. I think the format you’re showing is really a first step. I can intersect solids all day long, that’s an easy one. What I mean is: what methods can be used after that to create the details. Take your example: like you said “[the front and back shape are different]”, right, so how can I modify what you did to have an accurate front and back shape? how do I make it a fluid molding.

I think it comes down to a couple things that are going to yield the solution I’m looking for:

  1. Hardware: I think I need to finally bite the bullet and get the 3D Connection Spacemouse. Its not much, I just seem to always have other things on my list
  2. Thinking: I need to change my thinking about modeling in sketchup. In AutoCAD, my thought was about “solid objects”, which really helped me think about the processes I was going to use to get my results. SU is more about “surfaces”, I need to change how I approach the object I’m trying to model.
  3. Videos: I need to watch more videos. I need to sit down and watch these loooooong videos (like the one @denisroy referenced) and see what they’re doing.

Thanks guys, I appreciate the ideas. I’ll keep working on it and see if I can get to the level I’m trying to achieve in SU.


I don’t know the best answer to the problem, but I did look at that car again, and the change in profile isn’t over the full length of the car, it would be possible to do one pass for the front half and another pass for the back half.

If you look around you’ll find that some people have modeled animals in SketchUp, using a subdivision like technique.


I’m surprised no one mentions Artisan here’s a review



Curviloft , Extrusion tools and a basic understanding of the underlying geometry will take you a long way.