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Crowd sourced detailing guides


The Crowd sourced detailing guide mega thread!

After thinking this over for a while with @CorsicaUnknown and @Quotex, I thought I’d make it. As a neat collection of guides made from and for the community!

Simply put, this thread is for posting your own helpful in-depth guides to detailing your own way. I’ll do my best to keep an up to date table of contents for all tutorials posted on here for it.

I’ll be adding extra detailing to this opening post if I think of anything else it could use (Suggestions welcome!)


Front & rear facia design basics (By Quotex)

How to be modern? - Bottom front of the car (By Aaron.W)

Quotex Syndrome Detailing Checklist (By Quotex)

Modular Headlights and how you can use them… Differently (By Corsica)


NOTE: Work-in-progress (This post will be updated)

DISCLAIMER: A lot of this is aimed at beginner automationeers, there are plenty of designs that work well and don’t have a 100% flow. The kind of design you want to use varies strongly on the body shell you pick

Proportions, Placement, Period-correctness & Fixture Flow (Mid 2000s Sporty Japanese Hatchback)
In this guide, I will go over the three Ps that are very important in designing a good, realistic looking car. For this and the next few detailing guides, I will be going through the steps of creating a Mid-2000s Economy Hatchback; I will later go through these steps for designs from other time periods as well (The 1990s and 1980s specifically, as these are the eras I am most familiar with.)

STEP 1: “The Three-Element Wonder” (Front Fascia Design Basics)

When designing a car, you’ll want to start by layout out the basic major elements for your design.
First, let’s take a look at the original Suzuki Swift that the Automation body shell is based on:

You will see that the front end Consists of 3 basic elements.

  1. The headlights, a design triangular design consisting of flowy lines with a with rounded points. A very common design at the time on angular-styled cars from Japan. (For comparison, a 2005 Honda Civic, a 2005 Nissan Tiida, however it can also be a square, as seen on the 2005 Toyota Auris)
    Also note, that for each one of these cars, the orientation of the shape is different as well.
    The swift has the flat end of the triangle on the bottom, the civic has a wedge-shaped triangle with a near 90-degree corner and the Tiida has the flat side of the triangle on top. Since the Swift has the flat side on the bottom end, I will be aiming for a similar design, but not exactly the same.

  2. The Bonnet/Hood Grille & Bumper Grille.
    Aside from the badge, there is mostly an absence of chrome, it has a mesh insert, mesh grilles are usually considered sporty and youthful. Since the center of the Bonnet/Hood is extruded on this car, a design connecting the grille to the taillights (as seen on the Tiida) is not recommended as it will end up looking strange and works better for cars with flat bonnets/hoods. A Design like the one on the Auris would work, were it not that the Hump with the Logo on it can’t be recreated in automation (well, it can, but the logo would be flat, making it less emphasized)
    The bumper grilles usually follow either a rounded or edged rectangular look to them and chrome is (almost) never present here. Note that they usually leave enough space on the bumper to fit a full European spec license plate, if not at least the top half is mountable.

  3. The side bumper vents.
    On the Swift, it is a separate element and a continuation of the angular, rectangular shape. It is not always a thing however, the Civic and Tiida instead have a Widened bumper grille and on the Auris the shape is contrasting to the center. The side bumper vents are usually also a mounting point for optional foglamps (on mid-to-high end trims) and are not always open, sometimes they’ll be blocked off by a plastic insert. They do almost always stay on the same height as the center bumper grille.

Now that we know the 3 major elements in the front fascia, It is time to do some concept designs. The image below contains a few examples of possible designs you could make using the Suzuki Swift Bodyshell, going from conservative designs to some more experimental one, the final one being something to avoid:

NOTE: Proportions not final.

I’ve dissected all the above designs to show you what is and isn’t fitting for the type of car we’re working with. The swift has a lot of line work that flows out to the A pillar, You should always try to work with the lines of the body shell, these are fixed elements that can’t be changed (or very little with the use of Morphs) and working with them and making everything flow nicely will result in a realistic and balanced design. There are of course always exceptions, and sometimes going in the opposite direction with fixtures will work, but most of the time it will look off somehow.

Once you’ve placed your Headlights, grilles and vents and are happy with the fixtures you’re using, it is time to move on to the next step. Do not worry too much about Proportions yet, we will go over that in a few steps.

STEP 2: “Balancing the sides” (Rear Fascia Design Basics)

An important rule when it comes to doing the Rear Fascia (Or the front if you started with the rear end of the car), is making it Consistent with the front end of the car. Let’s take a look at the rear end of the Suzuki Swift and find the Main design elements:

The rear end contains roughly as many as the front end.

  1. The Taillights
    Including 3rd brake light, which is mandatory in this era for all markets, and rear Foglight, which is mandatory if you want to make a car for the European market

If you look at the Japanese Domestic Market swift below, you will find that it does not have one, and that the bumper is shaped differently in comparison to the UK market version posted above.afbeelding

  1. The License Plate Surround

  2. The Trunk Handle

  3. The Exhaust



Excellent thread! It must be fixed IMO


How to be modern? - Bottom front of the car.

Might as well contribute…

The modern design is very complicated. However, I can help you with that. This guide will help you to make your most bottom part of the front end of your car look modern.

Let’s use this generic car as an example. This would look like something out of 2014 or 2015. That’s fine. But it is too simple when compared to modern designs. How?! Well, the very bottom of your car is flat. Nowadays, cars have all kinds of shape on their car.


Take a look at this Honda civic. Look at the bottom half of the front end of the car. It has all kinds of shape. This guide will help you try to achieve a similar effect.

Step 1: A lip like this can add a little bit of shape to this generic car. It gives a sportier feel to it. However, that’s not enough.

Step 2: Making the whole bottom grille of your car black will make your car look even sportier and more modern. If you want to make a sporty model for something like 2013-2017, go ahead, use this technique, together with the lip I mentioned. The body-coloured lip creates a contrast to the car.

Step 3: Now this is better. The fact that this particular grille sticks out already gives it extra space. Make sure the lip is in the 4th layer so that it keeps its natural state without being disturbed by any other things. It already looks even more modern. However, we take things even more extreme. We want the bottom of this grille to be black. But how?

Step 4: Boom! Use this grille or any other grille that has a similar shape to this and make sure that it is one layer above the the grille of step 3. Using these combination of grilles, you can make your car look very modern. (Also, I just realise that the steps I gave you make your car look like a Mercedes Benz, lol. If you don’t want to look like that, don’t use the grille I use. Instead, experiment making new shape of grille.)

Step 5 (optional): If you want to add even more shape to your car, use one of the lips I circled in red. The first 2 inside it extended to the front, I suggest using them for sportier models. The last 2 inside the circle is like the one in the picture. It adds a tiny little more shape to your car. You can use this for normal models. For the other lips, I suggest you don’t use that. Another thing to note is make the lips black too. If you make them body-coloured, it will screw up your appearance. Don’t try.

Last but not least, always choose a modern-style wheel that supports 2 tone painting. Make the secondary paint black, or choose any wheel, but make it a dark colour.

This technique also works on car that has one massive main grille like an Audi or this one. If you put it over the massive grille, it will also make new shapes. Just experiment with the grille. Thank you!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.


Quotex Syndrome Detailing Checklist

I have compiled a Checklist of Details you could/might want to add to your vehicle build, I made this after running into the problem of not knowing what to add, so now you can have this as a guide of things to add.

If you feel like stuff is missing on the list, feel free to send me a PM (preferably Discord since I am on there more often)


Has this ever happened to you?

“Oh man, I’ve been stuck on this design for so long and I don’t even know what detailing I should add!
I wish that someone who has started making fairly decent designs only recently would help me with this…”

Well, kind reader, do I have a turd the post for you!

Modular Headlights and How You Can Use Them… Differently

No I’m not pretending to be a design god with this.

Workshop link too

PART 1: Taillights and Giving Them More of an 80’s Look

Many cars up until the 2000’s have featured taillights with differently shaded parts inside, making them look cooler. And guess what, you can replicate some of that with Modular Headlights (MDHL from here on)!

This is a pretty common example - a B3 model Audi 80. Notice how none of the red lights and their boxes aren’t identical with each other. For replicating this, I’ve used this fixture

Take that, and I recommend you place it in a more shallow fixture, such as a grille so you can size it and layer it before putting it behind the glass. Make the MDHL piece either metal or glass textured, depending on what kind of a texture you’re looking for, and shift+drag the piece behind the main light unit.


While not a perfect example of showing the full capabilities, you can still see which parts have been lightened up and darkened down by the MDHL light. One problem with the example given is that the taillights are just one big block. Using multiple lights helps liven it up a bit but this is an older car of mine and I don’t have any newer ones with this technique.

PART 2: Can also be used in other lights

I bet you’ve never even thought of this… right? No.

MDHL fixtures also fit inside other lights, and not just the casings that are provided. Obviously.
The example above has the hexagon lights with the invisible material changed to glass above, and three simple strips below. Again, copying the things onto the lights from inside a deep fixture is recommended.

Another example, with simple MDHL strips running across the main lighting units.

PART 3: Sidevents and Vents/Grilles in General

You see these hexagons?

If you’re willing to spend time, effort and sweat and tears in order to make your Automation cars look better, those thin light strips painted plastic can really spice up your grille. I’ve done it five times! End me!

And another picture for good measure.

PART 4: You Can Fill Stuff In With These, You Know

That right there ladies and gentlemen is a normal grille with the following MDHL piece placed inside of it.

That way, it’s just easier to make shapes like this while also saving on time. That’s not preferrable to everyone but hey, what do I care.

You can also make cool vent stuff with these.

Thanks for reading through this crap guide.

Also, enjoy these two cars if you’ve decided they’re not bad :slight_smile:


Everything here is essential for making more complex designs for any era (especially the 2010s) - and well worth trying out! It seems daunting at first, but is highly rewarding once you get the hang of it.


Wow, I really never thought of the MDHL lights as lines on the car, too nice to get a new tecnhique