Beginning 3D Modelling with UModeler: Explainer 6 of 7

Make me a Canyonero!

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Create a simple car model based on the Simpsons Canyonero

Overview

Name of explainer: Create a simple car model based on the Simpsons Canyonero

Creative theme: Beginning 3D Modelling using UModeler

Software used (for this explainer): Unity Hub. Unity LTS. uModeler.

User level: BEGINNER

This is explainer 6 of 7 in this series

This series includes:

  1. Install the Unity Hub and Unity LTS
  2. Create a Unity project and install the Umodeler asset
  3. Create a UModeler object and explore the UModeler interface
  4. Navigate the scene and scale, rotate and move 3D objects
  5. Adjust faces, edges and vertices to make unique 3d shapes
  6. Create a simple car model based on the Simpsons Canyonero
  7. Apply materials and textures to the Canyonero and export the model

The Software

This series of explainers uses the Unity platform and the ‘Umodeler’ Unity asset .

UNITY is a real-time development platform. It’s a versatile development platform used for creating 2d, 3d and VR games, as their showreel demonstrates:

You’ll recognise these best-selling games, all developed in Unity. Expand to view:

Cuphead

Beat Saber

Arizona Sunshine

With a full 3D feature set, Unity can also be used to create animated films and cinematic sequences:

Short Movie: ADAM

Animated film: SONDER

To introduce 3d modelling we’re using the Unity 3d modelling asset UModeler:

Umodeler is a PAID asset, which retails at around £120 / $120.  Note that as of summer 2023 there is no longer a ‘free’ version available (uModeler lite offered a free ‘taster’ version with a limited feature set.  You will still find reference to it online but it is no longer available on the Unity asset store).  Once you’ve learnt the basics you may like to graduate to uModeler X, the new professional-level modelling tool for Unity:

The 3D car model created in this series

To demonstrate basic UModeler modelling tools we’ll create a simple car based on the Canyonero as made famous in the Simpsons!  Notice it’s made from a small number of polygons, has a ‘cut out’ interior and a nice shiny coat of paint!:

If the 3d model below does not display correctly in your browser, you can view it on Sketchfab

Here’s how our Canyonero looks at the end of the initial explainers:

…and here’s how it looks after additional tweaking and accessorising:

The pre-requisities

This is a BEGINNER explainer series, but you’ll need to have a basic knowledge of using Windows, downloading and installing software to follow along. Unity is a complex application and is not recommended for new computer users. For introductory Unity courses and videos, have a look at their own learning platform, Unity Learn

Why would I do this?

Now you’re confident navigating a scene, adding basic shapes and manipulating faces, edges and vertices, the virtual world is your oyster! 

We’ll use uModeler boxes and cylinders as a starting point for creating our Canyonero.  Modelling a simple, stylised vehicle is a good first project for putting our existing skills to the test and introducing some of uModeler’s more powerful tools!

Once we’ve blocked out the main car model it’s up to you to accessorise it and tweak it as much as you like!

Let’s do it!

Click the play icon to watch this explainer video. Subtitles are available – Click the settings cog at the bottom right for options. You can watch this video full-screen by clicking the full-screen icon at the bottom right.

The main steps in this video:

  1. Begin with a new Unity scene using the “Basic URP” option.
  2. Create the lower section of the car’s chassis using a box.
  3. Add a second box on top for the cabin, adjusting its dimensions.
  4. Modify the car’s shape by adjusting edges to add slants to the windshield, back of the cabin, and front.
  5. Create wheels using cylinders and duplicate them for a total of five wheels.
  6. Use the boolean subtract tool to create wheel arches.
  7. Position the wheels in their respective places, including the spare wheel.
  8. Use the ‘line’ tool and ‘push-pull’ tool to create windows and a basic wing mirror.
  9. Create raised areas for the front and rear bumpers.
  10. Save changes to the current scene.
  11. Optionally, add new objects for the roof bars and headlamps.

Good to know

Here’s a reminder of the additional tools and options used to block out the Canyonero…

WORLD GRID / SNAPPING

uModeler’s general settings can be found by clicking the RED COG.  In the ‘Snap’ section, select ‘World Grid’ and select a ‘move snap size’.  In this explainer we used a snap size of 0.5m for drawing the chassis and wheels, then a snap size of 0.25m to use the line tool to ‘draw’ the windows:

LINE TOOL

We used the line tool to draw out a window shape, before using the push/pull tool to literally ‘push out’ the windows.  Try the rest of the drawing tools to help speed up the modelling process!

PUSH/PULL TOOL

BOOLEAN SUBTRACT TOOL

To ‘cut out’ the wheel arches, we selected the cylinder and the chassis together then used the ‘boolean subtract tool’ to ‘remove ‘subtract’ the cylinder, resulting in perfect wheel arch cut-aways!

DON’T FORGET UMODELER’S OWN HELP RESOURCES!

uModeler is a popular tool with good community support.  Find links to their formal documentation and community support by going to Window, uModeler, Support…

Where to next?

In the final explainer of this series we’ll add materials and textures to the car, including a fun license plate!

Remember, this is part of a series of explainers – Join us again for the other explainers in the series 🙂

Notes and updates

There are no notes or advisories at this time. This video explainer was last updated in October 2023. This page was last updated in October 2023.

Disclaimer:

We are not responsible for the content of any external webpages or software downloaded from third party sites. Any links are included in good faith at the time of writing. All explainer content is compiled in good faith using processes and methods used by the Team. Modern software offers users many ways to accomplish a single task, and for reasons of clarity we choose not to refer to multiple options except where deemed helpful to do so. All computer users must run up to date virus / security software at all times to minimise the risk of data loss.


This is number 6 of 7 explainer videos in this series. Make sure you join us for the others!