Car Trim

Tail lights - Page 3




We're in the homestretch as far as the tail lights are concerned... One more example of using pre-existing geometry to continue modeling, and some revisiting of some techniques we've been using from the beginning and then we're all done.


We can start by selecting the 'strip of polygons' that was created when we made the knifecuts to the light casing. I mentioned at the time this strip would serve as the transition we needed between the top brake light and bottom light... well, here's what I was taking about...


Use the split command with those polygons and a new object is created consisting only of those polygons.

I forgot to mention before, but whenever this is done, you usually have to reorganize your model hierarchy to get the HyperNURBS and Symmetry objects to affect all children objects... using the grouping functions of course... I assume by now you've discovered what works and what doesn't in terms of HN/symmetry/object hierarchy!


Anyway, using the polygons of the new object, we'll create a chrome strip.

Reverse the normals, then copy and paste these polygons in the structure manager to duplicate them. Making sure the original selection is maintained, use the extrude command about three times to create a small strip as shown. The extrusion should move outward from the original surface of the light object.


Return to the light object and delete the polygons that were used to define the chrome strip.

Select all remaining polygons of the light object, and copy and paste them in the structure manager. Then reverse the normals of the newly created polygons, and use the extrude command to extrude the new polygons inward from the original light surface. This adds thickness to the light casing.


Finally, select all of the polygons that make up the bottom portion of the casing object and save this selection as a set... I labeled it something like 'tlbottom'.


Select the polygons that make up the top portion of the casing object, and save them as another selection set. I labeled this one as 'tlbrake'.

These selection sets will be used to restrict the materials we will apply to the separate portions of the object.


And finally, we come to the texturing! What I've done is basically use the same concept for creating a lens material as I exhibited in the headlight texturing, but with a different texture map for the bump and transparency, etc.

You can see the texture map to the right... very simplistic to create. :-) (I also backed off a little on the transparency on these materials, as I did not bother making a light object to shine through these lenses. Make one basic red brake light material, and the other one whitish. Apply each to the object, restricted to the appropriate selection sets.

As a diversion from lights for the time being (still need to do the front signal lights), you can notice from the picture above that the rear bumper bracket above is looking awfully empty. That was intended to hold the spare tire (which is encased in a housing). That's referred to as the Continental Kit... I've been to a few car shows as I have been writing this tutorial and haven't been fortunate enough to see a Bel Air with this feature, but I do know it exists! I think it looks cool, so let's take a break and model that for a while (it's pretty easy).



A quick render shows us the end result of our work on the tail lights. I think that will do, right?