Modeling a Car Rim in 3D Studio Max

In this detailed tutorial you will learn how to create rims for a sports car by using the Bridge feature for an Editable Poly. This new feature was introduced in 3D Studio MAX version 7 and can save a modeler a lot of work. Not only will you be able to create the wheel in shown in the screenshots on the left, by using the techniques in this tutorial it will be a piece of cake to create your own original wheels. Apart from that, many of the common modeling techniques (Extrude, Bevel, Chamfer, Bridge, Soft Selection) are used in this tutorial, so it can serve as an excellent way to learn some new selection methods and basic poly-modeling skills.

This tutorial is aimed at the beginner and every step is outlined and displayed in detail. If you are absolutely new to 3D Studio Max , you may want to start with our Chess Pawn modeling tutorial first.

Note: Click on the thumbnail in each step for a larger screenshot that includes the viewports and the relevant portion of the user interface. Some thumbnails lead to more detailed instructions on how to perform certain selections and other tasks.

Step 1

Create a Cylinder on the Top viewport with the following attributes:Radius: 40
Height: 30
Height Segments: 4
Cap Segments: 2
Sides: 30

Step 2

Left-click the Snaps Toggle button on the main toolbar and then right-click it to open the Grid and Snap Setting dialog box. Click the Clear All button and then enable the Pivot option. Close the dialog box.

Enabling the Snaps option will allow you to allign the following object correctly.

Step 3

Create a Tube on the Top viewport with the following attributes. Start creating the tube from the center (pivot) of the cylinder you created in step 1.

Radius 1: 90
Radius 2: 105
Height: 80
Height Segments: 5
Cap Segments: 2
Sides: 60

Step 4

Right-click the Snaps Toggle button to disable it. Move up the cylinder on the Front or Left viewport as shown in the screenshot.

 

 

Step 5

Select the Top viewport and click the Maximize Viewport Toggle button on the bottom right of the screen.

Select the tube and rotate it -3 degrees on the Z-axis so it lines up as show in the screenshot.

Step 6

Convert the tube to an editable poly by right-clicking Tube on the Modify tab and selecting Editable Poly below Convert To:.

Select the cylinder and use the same steps to convert the it also to an Editable Poly.

Step 7

While the cylinder is still selected, click the Attach button on the Modify tab in the Edit Geometry section and click the tube to attach it.

You should now have a single Editable Poly object called Cylinder01. Click the Attach button again to disable it.

Step 8

Press the F3 key (to see the shaded model), press the F4 key (to see the edges on the shaded model), and press the J key (to get rid of the selection bracket). Click the Arc Rotate SubObject button and rotate up a bit.

Go to Edge sub-object level and select an edge on the upper inner side of the tube and click the Loop button.

Step 9

Move down the row of edges half way the top row of the polygons and scale it up as shown in the screenshot. Click the Maximize Viewport Toggle button on the bottom right of the screen again.

 

Step 10

Go to Polygon sub-object level and select the polygons as shown in the screenshots. Make sure you select them on all sides, meaning the inner side of the tube element and the outer side of the cylinder element. These will be the ends of the six spokes we will create for the rim in the next step.

Step 11

Click the small square button on the right of the Bridge button in the Edit Polygons section on the Modify tab to open the Bridge dialog box.Change the number of Segments to 7.
Change the Taper value to: -1.3(Play around a bit with the Taper and Bias setting to get an idea of how easy it is to create different spokes).

Click the OK button to close the Bridge dialog box.

Step 12

Select the Top viewport and click the Maximize Viewport Toggle button. Click the Select Object button and click the Circular Selection Region button: Click the thumbnail on the right for detailed instructions on how to select the polygons displayed in the screenshot.

 

Step 13

Click the Maximize Viewport Toggle button to show all the viewports again.

Enable the Use Soft Selection option in the Soft Selection section of the Modify tab and on the Front or Left viewport move the polygons a bit upwards.

Step 14

Disable the Use Soft Selection option. Click the Select Object button and change back to rectangular selection by clicking the Rectangular Selection Region button. Select all the top polygons. Click the thumbnail on the right for detailed instructions on how to select them.

Step 15

Click the small square button on the right of the Bevel button in the Edit Polygons section on the Modify tab to open the Bevel Polygons dialog box.Change the Height setting to 0.4
Change the Outline Amount setting to -0.4

Click OK to close the dialog box.

Step 16

Click the thumbnail again for detailed instructions on how to select the following group of polygons.

After selecting the polygons, repeat step 15 for those polygons. In other words, bevel those polygons with Height setting 0.4 and Outline Amount setting -0.4.

Step 17

Press the F3 key and press the G key. Rotate the Front viewport down a bit.Go to Edge sub-object level and select the edges as shown in the screenshot. Click the thumbnail for more information.

After selecting the edges scale them down as shown in the screenshot.

Step 18

Press the F key on your keyboard to switch back to the Front viewport. Go to Polygon sub-object level and select the polygons as shown in the screenshot.Scale the selected polygons up on the Y-axis. Click the thumbnail for more information.

Step 19

Click the small square button on the right of the Extrude button in the Edit Polygons section on the Modify tab to open the Extrude Polygons dialog box.Select the Local Normal option and change the Extrusion Height setting to -3.0

Click Apply. And then click OK to extrude the polygons inwards again.

Step 21

Select the row of edges as shown in the screenshot (select one and press the Loop button).

Move it a bit towards the inside of the rim and scale it up. This is basically the same as step 9 in which you performed this task for the other side of the model.

Step 22

Before we continue with the final part of the rim, the center with its screw holes, let’s take a look at our progress so far and see how it looks ‘smoothed’. Select the TurboSmooth modifier from the Modifier List on the Modify tab. Change the Iterations value to 2 and enable the Isoline option. As you can see, the side of the spokes are a bit too curved toward the inside, let’s change that in the next step.

Step 23

Go to Edge sub-object level and select the edges as shown in the screenshot. (Use the same selection method as you did in step 17 in which you performed this task for a row of edges one row lower than this one.)

When you selected the loop of edges on both sides of all of the spokes, scale the edges down just a bit so the side of the spokes are slight curved towards the outside.

Step 24

Go to Polygon sub-object level and select the polygons as shown in the screenshot. Enable Soft Selection and scale the selected polygons down on the X and Y axis. Click the thumbnail for more detailed information.

 

Step 25

Disable the Use Soft Selection option.Click the Select Object button on the main toolbar.

Go to Edge sub-object level and select the row of edges and chamfer them as detailed in the screenshots. Click the thumbnail for more detailed information.

Step 26

Go to Vertex sub-object level and align the vertexes as explained in the screenshots. Click the thumbnail for more detailed information.

 

Step 27

Go to Polygon sub-object level and select and bridge the polygons as shown in the screenshots. Click the thumbnail for more detailed information.

 

Step 28

Repeat the same step for the other holes. Click the thumbnail for their exact locations.

 

 

Step 29

Go to Edge sub-object level and select the rows of edges as displayed in the screenshot and move them up. Click the thumbnail for more detailed information.

 

Step 30

Go to Polygon sub-object level and select the polygons as shown in the screenshot. Enable Soft Selection and move down the polygons. Click the thumbnail for more detailed information.

 

Step 31

This last step concludes this tutorial. While in Polygon sub-object level, press CTRL-A to select all polygons. In the Polygons Properties section of the Modify tab, click the Clear All button and than the 1 button.Click TurboSmooth on the Modify tab to see the results. Assign a shiny chrome metal material to your rim and render it.For some variation, try using different Taper and Bias values when using the Bridge option to create the spokes, or start out with different segment values when creating the cylinder and tube. Using the techniques from this tutorial, you should be to create typical rim for almost any car brand. Using a reference photo of a real rim on the background will allow you to get the dimension and scale right.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that it contributed something to your 3D Studio Max modeling skills.

Check out our video tutorial on modeling a tire for your rim here or Modeling a Brake rotor here

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34 Responses to Modeling a Car Rim in 3D Studio Max

  1. Everen says:

    Hi nice tutorials , but some pictures are missing, is there anyway to add the missing pictures?

    I mean on this tutorial:
    http://www.3dvalley.com/tutorials/modeling-a-car-rim-in-3d-studio-max

    Sorry for my bad english :D

  2. Christa says:

    Hi, Thanks for letting us know. We just did a major site upgrade and it is possible some links are not working. We will try to fix this as soon as possible.

  3. sourabh says:

    very easy method just I watch, then I do it. Thanx

  4. Christa says:

    Fixed the missing images in the sub steps.

  5. Everen says:

    Yes was everyday watching about the missing images, nice thank you very much :)

  6. justme says:

    thank you very much! I love this tutorial :)

  7. Sinnerx says:

    Thank you, learned so much with this tut.

  8. Shiroa says:

    thanks a lot, great tutorial! i’m a n00b yet i managed to do it!! =D

  9. Murilo says:

    Thanks, very nice tutorial! Great techniques.
    I’ll show to my friends here in Brazil. :)

  10. DarkGM says:

    Great Tutorial !!
    i just did it – it’s very good!

    M0é

  11. ghazala says:

    hello
    i m new student of max studio
    this tutorial is very very helpful for me for making car rim for more design, its understand very much clear step by step
    u r great many many thanks i need more tutorial like this for helping me to learn max studio.
    regards
    ghazala

  12. marco says:

    Bueno hola a todos DE SER UN BUEN TUTORIAL LO ES ALMENOS DOY GRASIAS POR HABER APRENDIDO EN OQISIMO TIEMPO UN ARO ALUDOS Y Q PONGAN NUEBOS TUTORIALES Q NOS HAIA BIEN PARA LOS NOVATOS

  13. Lilith says:

    awsome! thanks for sharing with this great tutorial!

  14. adrian says:

    thank you for dedicated the time to make this step by step tutorial, i’m learning 3dsmax 09 and this is a better exercise than the one in the book I brought!! even that im from Mexico and my book its in spanish! thank you!

  15. bakasama says:

    Great tutorial. Learned a lot from it, but when it came time to put details on I knew there had to be a better way and mashed your tutorial together with another one where they used about 4 symmetry mirrors to only have to model 1 part of the 10 way symmetry (http://www.the3dstudio.com/product_details.aspx?id_product=943 )

    Your wheel looks far better in the end by the way ;) I just wanted to be even lazier than normal and symmetry saved the day

  16. coa says:

    Great tutorial one of the best about car rims…Thank you very much

  17. Panama says:

    I have one problem, whenever I do the bridge part one group of the polygon selections keeps deciding to go INWARDS.. so I have 5 spokes and one end that’s trying to collapse on itself… any idea why this is happening?

  18. Mike-B says:

    Great tutorial,

    My first completed 3d model !!

    BTW, Can any-one tell me what happend to Mike Nuts and the 3d Nuts website / forum ?????

    Clad this tutorial is hosted here if the 3d Nuts site is no more, now off to the tyre tutorial.

    Thanks again.

  19. Don says:

    A really good tutorial, easy to understand & follow!

    One suggestion though:

    Between Step 25 & 26.

    Create a cylinder in the Top viewport with eight sides.
    Position the centre point over the centre node of the hole you want to create.
    Rotate the Cylinder so that two points fall over the radial line of the hub.

    Now when you start moving the nodes on your rim you automatically have guide points to reference.
    This ensures that your holes are nice & “round”.

  20. Michael says:

    Great tutorial, everything is explained very nice and there is no way to go wrong if you follow this tutorial step by step, even if you are a beginner. Thanks !!
    Just one question though, since I am a beginner too, how can I make the holes if I want to make sure that they are absolutely the same size ? The way this tutorial shows how to do it, is more like guessing its the same.. Still good at the end, but what if I want to make some holes that are exactly the same size, not even 1mm difference. How can I do that ? Thanks again for the tutorial and sorry for the long post :)

  21. Bala - [BugSzzz] says:

    Nice tutorial

    Each and every steps are given clearly.
    One humble request from me!…
    It could be better if there is also an explantion about the materials used for the rims.
    How to create that material for that rims to get the exact output while rendering.(like the above picture)

  22. ramsheed says:

    wow it’s really helpfull tutorial even u are a beginner really thanks i really expects more tutorials from u in future

  23. ramsheed elathur says:

    nice tutorial

  24. The Revelator says:

    Thank you. I am not an expert yet, but i am trying to figure 3ds max out allmost without any help. Though, I need some help from time to time, because i don’t know all the commands. Thank you for the great tutorial. This is good stuff, I have learned a lot! Keep up the good work!

  25. VitalOverdose says:

    Nice tutorial but the end result is not the same as the preview screenshots of the model shown at the top of this page. The holes at the center of the rim are missing.

  26. pls help cars in 3ds max.

  27. Kruger says:

    Hello.

    Can someone tell me where is the “Bridge” option in 3ds max 5?? I stuck i Step 11 because ther is “retriangulate” instead of “bridge”. Help :)

  28. Ananth says:

    Hi,tutorial is good, but, if there was a video tutorial for this particular rim, it would be a lot easier.

    Could you provide any link of the same.
    Thnx.:)

  29. Max says:

    Thank you very much for this great and easy tutorial! I’ve been learning half a year now and didn’t know that bridge was actually so useful and easy to use!

    @Kruger
    “..Bridge feature for an Editable Poly. This new feature was introduced in 3D Studio MAX version 7..”
    Read more attentively next time. :)

  30. Satpal Singh says:

    Hi , saw your tutorial worked on it , it was just superb. do post some more tutorials.
    Thanks.

  31. Ed says:

    Thanks for the Tutorial, just what i needed after searching YouTube vids and the like..this step by step process was very good.

    Cheers

  32. Daniel says:

    The first part of the tutorial you say create a cylinder. Then 2 steps ahead you have a tube. Great tut. Thanks.

  33. Mr Quoc Hoai says:

    Well done!! Very good very easy to understand!

  34. rishabh uniyal says:

    hello,, thanks for such a helpful tutorial…..:-)

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