Car Geometry tools

Hi Blender Artists!

I’m in the process of learning car modeling. So far I have built three or four cars. However, I am highly discouraged by the time it is taking and I feel there must be a simpler method or a tool that I am missing. Moving a single vertex at a time is sort of difficult, especially when it isn’t necessarily going to stay there when I smooth the vehicle.

Essentially my question is shown in the the attached jpeg. You can see in the top right viewport that the car doesn’t look smooth in places. If there is a thread of a technique someone could refer me to I would be very grateful for it.

I’ve read many tutorials, both Blender and general 3D app related. I just think there is a tool I need to learn, but I just don’t know the name of it :wink:

Thanks in advance,


coltHoodStart.blend (172 KB)

Have a read up on the vertex snapping tool. Be careful to turn it off when you’re done (even in object mode) becauseit will snap to anything it can see in the 3D view including lights, cameras and emptys.When this happens it can really make a mess of things. (SHIFT+TAB = hotkey). You’d be surprised how much you can get done before you notice that you inadvertently snapped something and got it way outta-whack some 20 or 30 steps back:

Also try smoothing selected vertices with the Smooth button, located in Mesh Tools under the Editing Tab (F9). And in some cases you could also try this:

select vertices that need to be smoothed, press (S) and then in the case of the side of the car, (Y) to scale on the y-axis.

This smooths by reducing the distance between the vertices on the axis that you specify.

subsurf? that way you dont have to be using the smooth tool every 2 seconds

Cool, thanks for the good ideas. I learned something completely new with the vertex snapping tool. I have been studying and practicing this since reading your response! Smoothing verts individually works wonders as well!

I’m glad that you all had the time to respond so quickly, cheers to that!



I may be ready to word the question correctly: I find viewing the model in front/side/top views very necessary. However, a single vert is hard to position correctly using this method since it is always locked to x, y, and z.

What I need is for this vertex to move relative to the faces that it touches. IE, when shifting this vert is it possible to maintain the “curve” of the geometry around it? The closest method I can find to doing this is to orient my view relative to the normals of the faces touching the vert, but this is still a bit inaccurate.



To pull a vertex along it’s normal axis use hot key ALT+TAB and select normal from the popup and the 3D (translate manipulator) axis will realign accordingly. To snap the translate manipulator to the currently selected face, edge, or vert use hotkey Comma ( , ). The period key will snap the manipulator back to the object’s center. You can also G key + XX, YY, or ZZ to pull it along it’s normal axis either via mouse gesture or the keyboard arrows which allow for much finer adjustments (depends on how close in you zoom to the selection).

I had actually meant to refer you to the Retopo tool yesterday in order to snap groups of vertices to any object in the 3D view. Retopo regards any opengl object as fair game when snapping verts and, unlike the snap tool, all verts will actually snap to the surface of another object whereas snap tool moves all verts equal distance. Just be sure that you have solid view enabled when using retopo. Correct use of this tool can save you unbelievable ammounts of modeling time, moreso than any other tool in Blender. It can also get you in more trouble than any other. See:

Oh my… that must be it, and it has been pretty much in front of me the whole time! I do believe I am ready to graduate from amature school. This is fantastic!

Thanks a million, Rambo!