Car Trim

Tail lights - Page 1



When last we left the tail light section of the car, it was little more than a 'socket'. I modeled a place for the tail light to sit within, but went no further because at the time the idea was to get the main body out of the way and worry about the endless pieces of finicky trim afterward.

Well, you can see now that we are WELL into the endless trim portion of the tutorial, so what better time to finish the tail lights?


Return to the rear portion of the body of the car. The lip that ran around the edge of the shelf we provided for the tail light was left rounded when we initially constructed it.

Select all of the polygons on the outer face of this lip.


Use the extrude function to extrude these polygons just ever so slightly so that the edge of the lip becomes very sharp.

Keep these polygons selected...


Then use the Split command to generate a new object with them. This object will be an exact copy of the polygons on the face of the lip, without any other polygons from the rest of the car. Furthermore, it will be in exactly the right place (unless you moved the axes or something!) and we will use it as a base to create the first part of the tail light object.


First, we will make the object a little more conducive to the extrude operation we are about to force it through.

In point mode, select the two inner points at the inner bottom lip corners, and just make sure they are about even in the z direction with the outer corner polygons, as evidenced in the next picture.


Here you can see the points in question moved a little, to match up with the outer corner points. This just removes any extra 'twist' in the mesh that would cause strange or uncontrollable behaviour when the polygons are extruded...


Return to the original polygon selection of the new lip object, and reverse normals so that the polygon normals face the car body. Copy and paste these polygons in the structure manager , and reverse the normals once more so the newly created polygons face outward. Use the extrude command about three times, (very small extrusions to define sharp edges) as shown. A wide strip is created that will run around the outer lip of the tail light shelf.


Here I have merely selected the top points on the outer edge of the new trim piece to move them upwards in the Y direction, thus adding a bit more "pointiness" or flare to the outer edge of this chrome piece...

Oh wait, did someone say chrome???

Of course I did.

Chrome! This trim piece is intended to be made of the same glorious chrome we've come to love and expect from the Chevy Bel-Air.

Here's a render of what those chrome tail light borders should look like by now.


So that part was easy enough, right? Now we just have to concern ourselves with a way to make the actual tail light so that it fits into the little socket we've provided.