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I hope this question is relevant to this site :)

I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what software would be easiest to use (or most commonly used) to create tire images. A simple google search of tires gives you great images of tires, however they all seem to be models of the real thing. Really tire photography can never get that clean.

I would like to be able to make a base tire and be able to switch out the tread design, sidewall, and possibly the rim in a somewhat quick manner.

I've looked into using blender, rhino, and google sketch-up, but just wondering if anyone has had experience in this sort of thing.

I would prefer it if the software was free or at least had a trial period where I could test it out. Links to tutorials would be a huge plus.

Thank you!

  • So basically your looking for a CAD software for tires? Could you expand on what features it needs to have? – Tom Apr 15 '16 at 17:10
  • Ideally I would like a software that a could create different sized bases (rings) and from their add and remove the different elements that make that tire unique (tread, sidewall etc.). Possibly laying out the tread flat in Adobe illustrator and importing it would be nice. – Benneb10 Apr 15 '16 at 17:14
  • I need them to look photo realistic at a large size and I'll be doing 500+ different tires. – Benneb10 Apr 15 '16 at 17:15
  • Are you looking to do this for product design or for 3D rendering. Because those two different things require different software. – Aiden Grossman Apr 15 '16 at 23:44
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I would say go for Blender.

There are some great tutorials on how to model a tyre in blender, (as a quick Google will show), but they almost all are about how to do it manually. By all means look at them for tips, I recommend this and this, but if you have 500+ tyres to model photo-realistically then you need to generalise, (or you will be years).

The good news is that Blender has a python scripting language so I would recommend, after installing blender of course, working your way through one or more of the scripting tutorials such as Solar System by Kristin Riebe as well as a couple of the manual tyre creation tutorials.

You should then be able, with a bit of work, to generalise the tyre creation process to a set of parameters that you can load from say a csv file, to reproduce your set of tyres.

You may wish to split out your tyre set into those with a square cross section and those with a rounded cross section. I would recommend coming up with generators for the various tread patterns rather than textures, there are relatively few patterns and while the rendering times will be a lot slower than with textures the results will be a lot better as they will respond to changes in lighting correctly. Tutorials on how to use the Array modifier such as this will be a big help here.

You will also find lots of useful tips on forums such as Blender Artists Python Support.

I also found that there is a Blender Tyre Tread Pattern Addon maintained by Lawrence D'Oliveiro that may well give you a very good starting point.

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I love Blender too, but I will add that in modo we have a rather powerful procedural modeling toolset that a bunch of folks have been using not only for tyres but for rims as well... with great success.

https://vimeo.com/241009895
Especially these two:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NgW6LrNDxg
https://vimeo.com/192172916

This of course means you can create prototypes and re-apply with minor variations and so on.

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