Hey Guys, Since our next project is going to be pretty modeling intensive, Rob wanted me to do some modeling tutorials, and then publish what I learned here. I found some great techniques to model complex geometry.The First step is to find a good set of photos or drawings, and then set them up as image planes in the corresponding orthographic views. In this case a 69 GTO. It's impossible to model accurately without this step.
Once the image planes are set up create a basic polygon, in this case a cube, and add enough subdivisions to get the basic shape. Scale edge loops and move verticies until the cube matches up with the drawings. Do this in each of the orthographic views. Try to keep edge loops at places where there are divisions in real life, such as around the door, hood, trunk, glass, etc. At this stage we are not worried about small detail.After I created the basic shape, I went in and deleted half of my cube making it easier to work with. Then I adjusted edges and verticies to make the mesh more accurate (real life photo reference is great for this). Keep edge spacing as consistent as possible except where there are sharper edges. I also went in and deleted the glass.One at a time I went in and selected the faces of the different body panels. I then used the extract command to make each panel it's own piece of geometry. A good rule is that if it's seperate on the real object, seperate it on the mesh. This way it's much easier to add detail to individual panels, but the overall shape and edges of everything still match up.Next I went in and defined and reworked each separate panel, until it was the shape I wanted, then I started to add other details. The chrome trim was extruded from the edges of the panels and then extracted. I built the chrome bumper and grille the same way extruding the edges and using my reference drawings in the orthographic views. Finally I went in and added the GTO decals, lights, mirrors, glass, and wheels. Then I duplicated all the surfaces and combined them with the other half to make a full car.All done. I hope this helps with some modeling concepts when dealing with complex hard surfaces.