View Full Version : Car looks great until I hit smooth... what am I doing wrong?

09-03-2007, 04:10 AM
Hi - my first ever model was some glasses and a table that I did from a tutorial so for my second I thought I would do a Lamborgini Galardo. This was going fine until I hit the smooth button and then suddenly it looks Horid. I have attached the file (LW9) and would love some advice from any one who is good at this stuff. Look forward to hearing from you.


09-03-2007, 04:28 AM
With something as complex as a car you need to plan it carefully. Your poly flow is never going to give smooth lines due to 4 point polys attaching to mutli point polys. Have a search for some of the car threads started by Lewis who is one of the great exponents of car modelling. Check the wire views that he posts and look at how he uses 4 point polys and how they transform to flow round areas of detail. You can't just model detail and stick it on

09-03-2007, 06:04 AM
Thanks but I have looked at a number o model and some seem to four sided and some less. Here is one I took from the the forum - lots of 4?

09-03-2007, 06:14 AM
Exactly. That's what you need. 4 point polys where possible. Have a look at the areas I've hi-lighted on your pic. If these are all 4 point polys then they are not attached to each other and if they are attached to each other then they have a >4 points. Look at the last picture you attached and how the polys all flow into each other with no abrupt lines finishing at the edge of a poly.

09-03-2007, 10:26 AM
Hi !

First thing what you need to decide is what for is this model going to be ? Low poly resolution, Game LOD, WEB resolution, Broadcast or Print resolution and then determine are you going to use SubDs (subpatches or CCs in LW) or not (stick with polygons and smoothing).

Next thing is to use Quads only whenever possible (sometime triangles are OK and needed but not too often). After that you should avoid N-Gons on all parts beside totally FLAT parts (without any curvature and only in CCs mode since SubPatches won't support anything above 4 point polygons).

Your model have many cuts and N-Gons in door areas and you should WELD points to make them Quads/triangles if you are going to make Game model then yuo can use triangles since most game engines use triangles only anyway.

Also if you want to make low poly/Game model (not Subpatches) try to set smoothing angle around 30-60 instead 89.5 default and then see how it looks :).

Let me know if you have more questions.

09-03-2007, 08:02 PM
Is this a downloaded model? I ask because the model looks very strangely constructed - as in, constructed in a program other than LW. The N-gons and the strange linear polygons running up the side, the wheel arches and how they connect to the rest of the body ..
If it's downloaded, I'd suggest finding a higher poly model, or one with a better poly flow. If its yours, then still download a similar model with a better poly flow to guide you.

09-03-2007, 09:17 PM
Thanks All


If you are talking about the Gallardo (blue) that is mine. The red one came from within the forum. Tonight I will put a bit more detail on this forum. I understand what everyone is saying but there are a few areas that are causing me a problem that seem inconsistant with the comments.

Lewis - thank you. As I said I will put a bit more on line tonight but I think I will start again anyway. I am making the model just to learn as soon I want to model an original. I have made cars before (real ones) but I want to make somthing different and I want to model it first - once it is done I will park it somehwere on my hard drive and then start to model the car we will build.

A question on modeling cars - I spent a lot of time doing the wheel arches which are clearly not the best way to do them. However if I have simple blended them into the car without cutting and welding them in the conection would be much different. However I do not like the idea of doing it that way.

Also - if I want to cut a door (so I can move it in Layout) I will end up with five point polys - is that just the it sould not be done

09-03-2007, 10:33 PM
Looking at those first pictures you could also have some non-planar polys. Open up the polygon statistics window and see. (w in poly select mode)

09-04-2007, 03:24 AM
csoars - You can make wheel arches look smooth (even on a low poly) with half of those cuts/polygons you have now. Send that model and I'll reshape it for you to see how i would do it.

09-04-2007, 04:21 AM
Lewis - attached is the file (zip) of the Gallardo. I really appreciate your offer and your assistance.

I note that when I look at the model in my message (the red one) the lines of the polys are curved but mine are straight.

Surealist - yes you are right - I have heaps of them. I will play a bit more now and see how I go.

Cheers Colin

09-04-2007, 04:51 AM
Hi again !

Ok check it now !

I fixed REAR part but it's onyl 5 minutes fixing/reshaping so don't think that's best it can be but it's pretty good to see what needs to be done :).


09-04-2007, 05:24 AM
Lewis - I am very impressed. Looks great but I also notice the whole car is smother and looks better - I can see what you have done around the wheel but what else did you do to get the rest to look so much better?


09-04-2007, 05:33 AM
I adjusted smoothing angle at surface as I told you to try in early replyes, I set 25 if i remember correctly :). Also don't model in double side surfaces since you had many polygons fliped so I had to flip them back. Luckily there is "Align polygons" commands who does that automatically :).

I'm glad you like it :D


09-04-2007, 05:36 AM
Well thanks. I will now muck about and get it all right. Apreciate your imput as well as that of the other contributors.


09-04-2007, 08:46 PM
Hi Lewis

I hope you don’t mind but I would like to ask you a few questions – I promise I will leave you alone after this…

1/ When I want to modify the model I often use the “knife” tool and cut the polys – deform the model then joint the points to make new ply. However, the changes you made to my model don’t appear to have been made this way. What tools did you use to make those changes?

2/ Sometimes when I have been working on the model and I look at it in ‘smooth shaded’ I can see a fine gap between some polys despite the fact that the points on the corners are all welded. Any ideas why that might be. There was three of these gaps in my model I sent to you near the back but when it came back there were no gaps in that area. What did you do here?

And lastly is there a GOOD tutorial that you know of that covers these things – I have done a few but none seem to cover this.

Once again thank you for your efforts

Cheers Colin

09-04-2007, 11:15 PM
I down loaded you model and it is in serious need of clean up. Keep in mind the phrase "less is more" when creating a model. The less polygons you have the quicker your model will render, and the easier it is to edit. There are too many extra polygons that you can eliminate and still create the same model. I attached a quick rework of the hood. Noticed how I achieved the same shape with less polygons. If I were to convert the shape to a sub-d, I would use weights on the outer points to maintain the outer angular shapes.

I deleted the areas under the hood because it had too many erroneous edges and points. The area can easily be created now that the hood is finished.

The previous posts also brought up some good point.


09-05-2007, 03:09 AM
Hi Colin !

1. I'm too using Knife tool many times but on your model I used Edge bevel also to make some lines, also Bandsaw Pro will be tool to use regulary.

2. Your model had some doubled polygons at same place and some of them were overalping - that's why you could see some issues , i deleted them and recreated topology. But if you have single polygon and welded points there won't be any visible gaps :).

No problem just ask if you need more hel

P.S. Ther eis my old Mustang Cobra 99 tutorial on LWG but I'm doing SubDs car there and wiht Spline patching so i don't know how much it'll help you?

RTSchramm is right wen he says you caould use less polygons but it all depends on model detail you are aiming (web, game, broadcast..). As for Edge/point weights I would try to avoid them for now untill you really know what you are doing. Also geometry only is always better and more sure it'll work, especially if you would like to transfer object to game model or other programs.

09-05-2007, 09:30 PM
Thanks Rick - the model however looks to flat - I used that many polys to try and get a smooth rounded finish.

Lewis - thanks. I have played around last night on the front wheel area and it now looks pretty good like the back one although I am sure it took me a lot longer than you took.

I like to use the knife tool and the weld tool - will keep playing around and if you are willing I will occasionally post the model for comment but I do have one more question. Around hte back wheel arch you have two lines very close. I assume that is to make the corner tight. I have done the same at the front but how did you generate this second line of polys. What I did was sellect the existing, extend it then move each point so they were all placed correctly. Must be an easier wa?


09-06-2007, 02:05 AM
Hi Colin !

Just ask if you have problems I'm here :).

I'm not sure exactly what part do you mean so it'll be best to show me screen grab with focused/outlined area. There is many ways to do certian things in modeler and every one is RIGHT - that's the beauty of modeling in LW, there is no wrong way if you get what you wanted but yes there might be faster ways ;).

09-06-2007, 02:24 AM
The way I generate lines is to use the bandsaw Pro tool as it allows you to see the cut interactively.
To only affect the area I want to create a corner on, I also use the technique shown in the Kurv Chevy SSR tutorial DVD's. Have to say, if you want to get into car modelling, these are a must buy, I would be amazed if they didn't help you out enormously.
Anyhow, to said change, in poly (not subD) mode, I make a cut on the area I want to sharpen, but only on the area and not across the whole model. I then merge the point from the 5-point poly to an edge point to create a 3/4 poly in the required area.

09-06-2007, 02:44 AM
Yes colkai Gerald did great tutorial (i got it to evaluation/comment long time ago ;)) but this is not SubDs car so this way you showed on screen grabs won't work properly since corner is sharp without that small edge cuts anyway :). That's why i didn't point Colin to my FREE online Cobra tutorial since he is not doing SubDs car :). It's good to learn both modeling techinques. I'm SubDs junkie but I've done pretty good number of low poly/game cars also and they aren't that much fun like SubDs but still nice feeling when you manage to make it without smoothing errors at final model ;).

09-06-2007, 05:02 AM
Ahh, sorry, just with him saying about TAB, I'd thought that was the end effect he was after. My bad. :)