How do they model complicated cars with so smooth curves?

Hey everyone. Recently I started modeling more complicated cars and the following question came to my mind.

Before we talk about the question, let me describe you how my workflow is first. It is like this:

  1. Collecting blueprints and lots of reference images and making sure of that blueprints align properly in Blender.
  2. After I am done with blocking out the basic shapes, I start adding the details and at the end I bring in the subsurf modifier.

Here is my question though. Whenever I am modeling some part of the car that is super curvy, I encounter this problem where these “bumps” appear around that smooth-curvy area. If this description is not clear, let me put it this way:

Imagine a car and another car is hitting this car from the side gently, and the skeleton of the car caves in a little bit like this:


Of course the bumps I am talking about are not these huge on my model but they do bother me. To overcome this issue, before the subsurf modifier, I bring in a smooth modifier to smooth out those little bumps and it works perfectly. My question is, is this the default approach how other modelers handle these kinda problems or am I missing something? I pay extra attention to edge flow and make sure of that edges are scaled properly but even then I get those bumps here and there. As I said, I can overcome it with smooth modifier but I got curious and wanted to find out if there is any other approaches that I need to pay attention to handle these kinda problems when modeling such objects.

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Do you have an example image of one of your models with the bumps? Separate wireframe image will also help.


Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice. If smoothing and subdividing doesn’t help then the topology is wrong in the first place. This may sound silly but thing about it: what do you do in real life if your car has buckles ? De-buckle it. So move the vertices in the “other direction”, move them more apart from each other so the curvation is correct. But then everything look wrong. Then go on reading with the first sentence.

There are multiple tutorials on good topology/ how to model this… one very good source is Arrimus 3D (he also use other 3D app… just watch some of them too).


Hey! Thank you for your answer. Here is some screenshots I took:

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See? You have good equidistant edges on the lower part… but then on the rectangle like curvature of the surface… not any more… this leads to different curvature along this surface edge ->uneven bulges. You may even get better results by deleteing the pink line ( and then maybe subdivide this area and edge slide to th higher edge and a bit edit ):

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Modeling class A surfaces can be tricky, at the best of times even more so when dealing with polygonal geometry.

So my only crit, is to maintain as best you can an overall consistent uniform edge spacing because especially when placing poly strips close together, once a subdiv level is applied distortion will typically arise, particularly over a given object’s region of curvature.


I agree with sacboi. Even specific software (like Alias) requires come expertise to deal with fluid mesh and edge control. Think you are trying to control curvature and edge flow to get some nice clean result. This is more a mathematical thing. Not criticizing, but in a polygon modeler software sounds like draw a perfect circle without a compass. Good topo and subdiv helps but it’s not only that.
Another point to have an account is the way Blender deal with subsurf operations. Modo for example has 2 modes to deal with. Max has Turbosmooth and Opensubdiv. It can look different.
Don’t trust in your shaded view. Sometimes it looks good at some point but not if you render it. Try some environment with zebra stripes reflections to get better idea or a semi reflective material.