Lotus Elise (update #3)

This is something I’ve been working on in my spare time. I was trying to achieve photorealism, but it looks kind of cartoony. And if anyone has any suggestions on how to make the windshield and headlights that would be a big help.



Try to practice subsurf modeling a little more before finishing this car.

Can we see a wire of the mesh? your subsurfacing is a little iffy.
also, If you want to achieve photorealism (especially for cars), you’ll need to do some raytracing. Specifically, use “raytransp” for the glass and “raymir” for the body, Both in the materials section.

Photorealism is hard.

To achieve photorealism you need to model all pieces of the car exterior that are visible - and there are a lot of them. You need to split panels, doors, windows, ligths and sealing apart and asign them realistic materials.
If you want transparent windows you also need to model most of the car interior.

For now just get a load of reference images for the car and look at them to see how the car is built - look at panels (wings, doors, roof …) and see how they are put toghether. Look at windows and see how they are sealed. Look at the headlights and see how they are built - how the mirrors are shaped, what is the shape of the glass.

For photorealism you need to get the shape and the details of the car right. There is no shortcut, just hard work.

I am just a 3d beginner, but what I have been learning more and more is that especially as far as photorealism is concerned, model quality is secondary to lighting quality in creating a convincing scene.

Now please don’t take this to say that you don’t need to make the model as perfect as you possibly can- the model must be very very good to acheive a photorealistic effect. As cipix said- there is no shortcut, just hard work.

But I have also found that excellent lighting can make a bad model look good and bad lighting can make a great model look bad.

As previous posters said, get a feel for working with subsurf, then tweak your model against reference images to get the basic shape. Then, do all the long, hard, laborious work to make the model as perfect as you can.

And when all that is done, the easy part is over and the hard part is making an excellent light setup which is a requirement for photorealism.


There’s the wireframe of the car. I used raymir for the body, but since I the background is the same color as the car so you can’t tell.


Very nice model. A few problems that I see:

  • I can see the ridges on the tires that are formed when you subsurf cylinders. Maybe model the tires separately and skip subsurfing them.

  • The reflection of the tire on the cars body is too sharp in comparison with other reflections. Maybe set the image up with a different colored bckground to demonstrate the reflections of your material.

  • I wonder if some of the spec on the cars body should be harder . . .

-It looks like there is nothing to the roof of the car. Give it some thickness around the edges where it joins the windshield and doors.

Keep it up. I’m not usually a fan of car models, but I like this!


I’ve changed the background. I’ve touched up the exterior, added more detail to the interior, and redid the tires.

Theres big improvement over the first render.

What could be improved more:

  • lights should be waaay more flat.
  • add a white plane with Emit set to 1 above the car. It should improve the reflections.

make the numberbord more detailed for an more proffesional look

Okay, here is the deal.

You must:

  1. Post at least one orthagonal wireframe image.
  2. post your blueprints or your image source information.
  3. post your goals for this work, including realism and setting.
  4. post at least one render from a rearward view.

Or I will be forced to move this thread to WIP.

Before posting, as a general rule for this forum, ask yourself, “Is this the best I can possibly make this?”

To me it is obvious that your headlights are two bulbous and your subsurf mesh is not well constructed. Take some time to go back and move individual points, using a reference image, to get everything lined up perfectly. It would also help us talk about the whole image if you gave us more renders.

Not trying to offend, but I think you need to work on this.