martedì 30 novembre 2010

Modeling a Cylon Raider - the wings

I have a couple of free days, so I want to start to model my last homage to Battlestar Galactica, one of my favorite TV Shows.
After the Viper MK II and the Cylon Centurion, it's the turn of the Cylon Raider.

I've found this blueprint as reference, so the first step is to crop all of the images in Photoshop. I will have four different images at the end of the process (top, left, bottom and rear) to import into Maya 2011 as image planes. It's important to use horizontal and vertical guides in Photoshop to resize correctly the images, because the references must have same dimensions.

First impressions: the original model is fantastic, I love the design and the final look, this fighter is really awesome. I don't know the authot but I'd like to pay him a compliment. It is interesting to notice that the model is composed of 4 parts: the wings (I can model one of them and then mirror it), the engines, the weapons and the central part. The fighter hasn't a linear design, but it's possible to break down it into 4 parts to ease the modeling process.

I decided to get started from the wings. I think the wings are the funniest and the most difficult part of this model. I'm using traditional methods to model the wing, nothing fancy: I get started from a box, extruded it a lot of times, added some edge rings and moved the vertices to match my reference images. I'd want to create a low poly model, because I'd like to animate a fight between the viper and the raider and obviously the raider will be destroyed.

Anyway, during the modeling process, I prefer to smooth the mesh to see if it's correct and perfectly rounded. This step helps me to notice that the bottom needs some correction.

In the meantime I decided to use the references as texture, so, in a next article, I'd like to share my method to project the images from a camera to create a new texture. First of all I will create the UV maps, then I will project the reference images from a given camera (unfortunately, it's not possible to use an orthographic one).

Best regards.