View Full Version : new and much improved building a airplane in max for noobs

08 August 2005, 04:03 PM
In this tutorial I hope to make up for the last tutorial thread I created and do it properly. Ok take two

Right this is for fairly new users of Max who have played around but need a little help getting started properly. I have picked a simple airplane design, which will provide the basis for a clean single mesh. I hope to take the tutorial from design to finished model, with a 512X512 diffuse map. I will be using the editable poly function for most of the modelling. This is a power full tool, if I skip over or miss any important processes they should be in maxes own help files. Its designed to help noobs with how to tackle an object like this in an efficient and clear way.

08 August 2005, 04:09 PM
Ok here we go. You need to start with a good design sheet with three images of the model you want to make in a side, top and front view. You can also use a back and bottom view if necessary, but most of the time top front and side is fine.

In max, import the image as a diffuse map and assign to three planes. Add a uvw modifier to the stack and put and each view of the model on each plane. Now rotate and move the planes until you get a box like the image below.

Tip1 use bitmap fit function and choose the image you are using to keep the image s the right aspect ratio and size in comparison to each other.

Tip 2 centre the box around the centre line of maxes grid(x0y0z0) so that the centre of the fuselage is on the centre line in top view and the wings are in the centre of the side view. This helps when creating the initial mesh as they will be in right pos.

ok once you have your model box you need to start with creating the aircrafts separate parts then we will join them together. This will take longer than extruding off one object but will give you a better insight into how to create an accurate model from a design sheet. Extruding is quicker to start with but creates problem latter on. The process I’m going to use will create a good poly efficient and clean mesh.

08 August 2005, 04:10 PM
Create a box in the centre of the fuselage in the side view (any size).

Right click on “box” in the stack and convert to editable poly.

Select element in stack and delete entire mesh, I know just trust me.

Select vertex in stack, then create vertex button.

Create vertexes along the profile of the fuselage.

Select poly in stack and create a strip of polys along the fuselage.

Cut polys along centre of the fuselage or where the fuselage is widest.

Select new vertexes’s and change to top view.

Move selected vertex’s out towards edge of fuselage profile, then select each individual vertex and line them to the far edge of fuselage. That is why you create them at widest point. Use front and perspective to adjust.

Now in side view cut along the fuselage between current edges and repeat previous process until all cross sections are of reasonable detail and the correct shape.

When happy select element and give it single smoothing group.

Now add more cross sections along the model by cutting or slicing, and scale move the vertexs until you are happy with the profile.

Tip1 always bear in mind where the over objects will intersect the current one and try to add cross sections at these points.

Tip 2 when scaling have the scale options like in image two, this means they stay in place as scales from objects pivot not selections.

08 August 2005, 04:11 PM
Un-highlight edit poly in stack and add a symmetry mod, change axis to Z and flip if necessary to create other half of fuselage.

Collapse stack (right click).

Select border and click cap.

Select newly formed poly and bevel a nice end to the nose.

Then extrude to 0 length and hit view align button (in front view), then move face inside of fuse to create cowl, and delete the face.

Create the nose by editing loops of edges(select one edge and click loop button to select whole loop) and collapsing end poly to give cone.

Delete rear poly and position correctly inside cowl.

Select fuse and attach cone.

There are various ways of creating the connecting polys, I would create one poly, cap the border, then create edges in right places with create edges.

08 August 2005, 04:13 PM
Create the cockpit as a new object in the same way as the fuselage, starting in the side view.

Try to line edges up to the edges in fuselage

Now select fuse again and cut along the edge of the intersecting cockpit. Making sure to cut as cleanly as is pos so no new vertex’s or edges are created in the possess. If they are use remove vertex/edge tool to tidy up.

Delete polys on fuse tahat are inside cockpit, attach cockpit and weld the vertexes along the edges together.

Mirror object.

Finally select hole in rear of fuse and cap then cut and extrude inwards to create the exhaust thingy.

Tip you only need to model and join one half of the cockpit, then mirror.

Tip2 be careful try not to move the vertexes along the seam on the z axis as the can create extra polys when mirrored.

08 August 2005, 04:17 PM
the rest of the aircraft is built in the same way. for each part start with a new object, build it then move it into position and join it up. the tail fin and stabilizer are joined in the same way as the cockpit. the wings are joined in the way that the nose was joined to the fuse only oyu need to create another row of edges to get a good fillet between the surfaces.

08 August 2005, 04:18 PM
once you have completed the model on one side, mirror it and voila.

08 August 2005, 04:20 PM
ok i will try and have the next section by tommorrow. it will include such delights as building the cockpit insides, unwrapping the uvws, and exporting them to photoshop.


08 August 2005, 01:07 PM
crap i didnt bring the writting part of the tuts in to work today, only the images.

sorry will have to wait till monday to post rest of tutorial.

08 August 2005, 01:12 PM
i have been tryin all night and morning to make it,i cant make the wings or cockpiti dont know why, i know its not very complicated, its just they dont come out right...

08 August 2005, 01:19 PM
ok instead of cutting down middle like fuse, adjust the vertexs around the base, (the ones on the bottom) pulling them out until they are in right position according to image and fuse.
now cut down middle and start to fill it out.

if you want smoothing to work prop, chage smootthing groups of polys around nose cone and inside cowl to give sharp edges.

08 August 2005, 01:23 PM
im sorry but i dont understand

08 August 2005, 01:39 PM
well, actually i will keep trying, seeming SHEPEIRO made a great tut i am going to try and finish it

08 August 2005, 04:25 PM
ok cockpit,

08 August 2005, 04:36 PM
ok gotta be quick, teas on the stove mmmm.

right cockpit start by detaching the canopy polys to a seperate object,

select the new border created in the fuse and cap.

cut edges across from corner (where verticle and horzontal sections shjould meet) and across where dash boad/instrumentpanel will go.

extrude hole down into fuse for space for pilot.

cut new edges in dashboard and pull vertices into nice curve.

i created the seat by creating a spline, extruding it(one half) and then converting to editable mesh. after altering dimensions i deleted the back and bottom polys(ready for join to fuse) and mirrored.

then i cut around the seat in the fuselage polys attached seat and welded vertices.
cockpit done, mesh done.

08 August 2005, 04:49 PM
ok uvw unwrapping,

create a material with a checker map in the diffuse slot, give it a tiling of 10, and assign it to mesh. make sure "show map in view" is ticked (little blue and white cube icon below material viewer)

i always start by applying any spere or cylindrical mapping that i may need. with this model the only part that needs this is the fuselage.

so select the polys that make up the fuse, and while they are still selected add a cylinder uvw mod in to thwe stack. fit this to the polys correctly. then collapse stack.

add a uvw unwrap mod in the stack and click on the select polys(just under title in stack).

right here comes tricky bit
you want the uvw mapping to stretch evenly across the mesh, select parts of the mesh that are almost entirely facing the same way. i,e the bottom of the wing, hte top of the wing, each side of the fin. and click on the big planar map button. this will assign planar mapping cords based on the aveage direction of the selected polys normals. if this gives you incorrect (ie stretched) mapping then use one of the other XYorZ options.

do this for every part of the plane until the mesh is covered in checkers like the one below

08 August 2005, 05:00 PM
right click on the big edit uvw button to open up the uvw window.

you will see how your mesh is flattened onto the map.

it should be a right mess.

first make sure select element and vertexs is selected (just under window) and select individual parts of the mesh. move them about until they are nicely spread out and you can see what you are doing.

refering to the viewport move parts of the mesh next to similar parts. i mean group the seperate parts of the fuse, seat, wings etc in seperate parts of the window. you may need to zoom out considerably.

once you have done this and can see better you need to adjust the scale of all the seperate parts until the checks look the same size in the perspective view. this means that the mesh use the same amount of texture space across the model.

you will also need to clean the model up by stitching parts back together.

tip 1 when you select a vertex/poly/edge any corresponding parts on othe rbits of mesh (i.e bits that are connected in view) will be highlighted in purple.

tip2 dont go over board with welding parts together think about what needs to be blended and what needs sharp edges.

i hope i havent skirted over bits too quickly here.
but this process takes a long time to begin with. stick with it.

08 August 2005, 03:03 PM
this is what i got now, i managed to finish the cockpit :D but the vertexs arent actually welded; for sum reason in edit poly mode it wont let me weld the vertexs i have even put the weld threshold up to 99999999, but it still wont weld

08 August 2005, 03:11 PM
yeah cool

keep on trucking

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