How to make a car wheel

The ultimate guide to creating a car wheel from scratch. Covers how to model and texture both the tire and the rim. Approximately 50 minutes to complete.

Length:
27 minutes
Software:
Blender 2.49
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Rate:
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.8/5 (43 votes cast)

In this tutorial you will discover:

  • Use arrays effectively
  • Save time by mirroring
  • Make an object bend to a curve
  • Quickly unwrap a complex object
This tutorial was created with Blender 2.49, however it will still work in 2.6+

Ever since 3d software was created, artists have hated the car wheel. The intricate detail combined with the circular shape make it one of the most difficult shapes to master.

The tire is so difficult that artists have invented new ways to fake it, like using a bumpmap, making it extra dark, applying motion blur and tilting the wheel. But I think we can all agree: nothing beats the real thing. And that’s exactly what this tutorial is about: creating a wheel that is not just passable, but good looking!

I have broken this tutorial into two parts. Part 1 covers modelling and texturing a tire, and Part 2 is all about the rims.

Part 2: Modelling the Rims

Finished Result

Resources:

Finished! You now have a car wheel that you can proudly show in whatever scene you choose.

If you got stuck at any point in this tutorial, drop a comment below and ask for help!

Download the finished .blend How to make a car wheel, 4.8 out of 5 based on 43 ratings

About Andrew Price

User of Blender for 9+ years. I've written tutorials for 3d World Magazine and spoken at three Blender conferences. My goal is to help artists get employed in the industry by making training accessible and easy to understand. I'm an Aussie and I live in South Korea ;)
  • Pingback: Modeling a Detailed Car Tire in Cinema 4D | LESTERBANKS

  • Christian Mürner

    Thanks a lot for this tutorial! :)

  • Sterling

    well, here is my final render. I’m not entirely happy with the rim material, but there it is.

  • Sterling

    one of my problems was that the opposite side of the wheel had the image of the wall of the tire in reverse. Anyone see this and know how to fix it? I ticked “mirror uvs” in the uv editor (after seeing the problem….and then blender crashed so I had to go back through that step anyway) but that didnt fix it. you can see what I mean in the image

    • Sterling

      wow, um I appologize that this comment went through 3 times, the first 2 I tried to delete

  • Sterling

    one of my problems was that the opposite side of the wheel had the image of the wall of the tire in reverse. Anyone see this and know how to fix it? I ticked “mirror uvs” in the uv editor (after seeing the problem….and then blender crashed so I had to go back through that step anyway) but that didnt fix it. you can see what I mean in the image

  • Sterling

    one of my problems was that the opposite side of the wheel had the image of the wall of the tire in reverse. Anyone see this and know how to fix it? I ticked “mirror uvs” in the uv editor (after seeing the problem….and then blender crashed so I had to go back through that step anyway) but that didnt fix it.

  • Justin Arsenault

    I’ve been trying to follow your tutorial on this, but I’ve been having a problem, might be because I’m running version 2.68, so I have to translate steps, but either way, I can’t seem to add an empty in the program. When I go through the menu, and go over empty, all of the choices are grayed out, I also don’t know which one of them to choose for this.

  • Wiewiór Władek

    My first complete work in Blender :)
    after seeing a lot of yours tutorials i start to work
    that’s my reasults

    Regards from Poland

    http://static.wixstatic.com/media/3b1559_f1349593983861f9895ed69ff33bb9b4.png

  • Beginner_Modeler

    Hi,

    This is a really good tutorial but your blender version and my blender version is very different and it’s hard to create the rim and tyres so can you please make another tutorial on how to make a full size rim and tyres. Thanks

  • DDD

    very CONFUSING tutorial.

    • DCWarHound

      What part was confusing?

  • S. Matery

    Something different =)
    Thanks Andrew and best regards from germany

  • T Bolt

    4 years old and still one of the best tire/wheel tuts out there. Thanks Andrew!

  • Denis Rakarić

    here it is…;-)

  • Denis Rakarić

    well, i hit a wall. after UV unwrapping i’m stuck, as the menus are completely different in v2.67 vs 2.49. i can’t figure it out how to apply bump, my tire is pitch black so no deatil is visible except white letters, and i cannot change color of the tire to be less black, so i manually changed goodyear.png to be somewhat gray-ish. now the tire surface is visible, but i don’t think it was supposed to go this way. still don’t know hot to extrude letters on tire’s surface. any tips? thx…

  • Heri Agape

    thank you Andrew… with your tuts I don’t call myself a beginner anymore

  • Orestes

    Still easy to follow after all this time. Thanks a lot Andrew.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.annuscheit Aaron Annuscheit

    Where did you get the Image for the rim from

  • Blendor

    I just tried to make it thanks cycles, and here is result! I love cycles! :D Good tutorial Andrew!

    • Blendor

      SOrry, I wanna to put here only this image.

    • John Cardozo

      Could you share material setup for displacement in Cycles?
      Thanks a lot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jakub.shapperd Filip Krawiec

    Here is my finished render. Rendered thanks cycles.