View Full Version : Spitfire with Topology issues

09 September 2005, 08:55 AM
Well it has been a bit scary to get together a post of a spitfire, as I know how protective people are of their air craft and don't like seeing them butchered by new kids like myself. But it is time to get some help and some contributions.

I've gone back to the drawing board with my modelling and tried to get some good topology happening. That is all well and good until it came to adding the necessary detail I'd need to put in a canopy. So I've thought long and hard and made cuts where I can get rid of tris and make them quads.

Now all was going well until I came to this little smoothing crease issue. I decided to make the canopy struts in a separate smoothing group, on someone's advice, now though, when I smooth, I get an unusual crease in one spot and I can't get rid of it. Could someone please suggest how I could prevent it happening and what it is that is causing it? I hope the pics explain it better.


09 September 2005, 09:13 PM
Hi, I got your e-mail.

I can't really tell what is going on there, but I do have the feeling you're trying to put too much detail in the base mesh. Personally, I like keeping the base mesh simple, then cutting out all detail once the mesh has been collapse. An example of this approach is the P-51D Mustang cockpit I did. Here is the low-poly wireframe. Windows were cut out after collapsing, ensuring a smooth shape, if not the most elegant solution.

Others find it easier to out all detail in the low poly mesh. Personally I find it too much hassle, but have a look here anyhow. I hope it helps.

Also of interest maybe?

09 September 2005, 03:02 AM
Hey Skyraider, thanks for your prompt reply.

Those pics you attached and the link to the other forum is really very helpful. For some reason though, I can't seem to solve my problem. Yes, I think I may be putting too much detail in my base mesh but I can't figure out what you have done with your cockpit on the P51-d. I see you have drawn the cockpit on in low poly, I figure it is another object, if I was to smooth something like this, it would no longer match up with the fueselage. Like the canopy would smooth into a sort of cylinder and not stay flat across the bottom.

Which package are you modelling in?

Also, you seem to use a lot of triangles, I heard these were a no no, how do you get away with it?

ALSO..... OMG!

Two questions in one relating to this image

Is that a spitfire mk IX? Can I please get a look at how you did the canopy? Ie, from a better angle?

And how did you render the polys and wireframe together?! Did you clone one and apply a wireframe material?

09 September 2005, 07:26 PM
Also, you seem to use a lot of triangles, I heard these were a no no, how do you get away with it?
I actually use very few triangles, but sometimes they're a necessary evil.
Also, if you look closer, you'll notice some tris are actually quads :)

The airplane in the image is the Commonwealth CA-15. And Australian fighter aircraft of 1945. Besides the Rolls Royce Griffon it has absolutely nothing in common with Spitfires :)
The canopy area on this one is really weird, so I wouldn't recommend looking at it, actually!

And I'm using MAX, by the way.

09 September 2005, 11:45 PM
It is great to see that some obscure Australian aircraft are being modelled around the world, that makes this aussie smile. And yep, I have noted that a lot of your tri looking polys are actually quads, very cunning of you. Although from what I've read, a quad is only a quad if it has 4 right angles, well, pretty much. :P Stupid perfectionists.

I should have noted the second air intake, the fact that wing don't really merge into the body and the shorter canopy of signs it wasn't a spitfire but I'm only new to this plane recognising caper.

Also, what IS that material you render your wireframe with? When your wires are black and polys the default material? I've been dying to know how to do that for a while now.


09 September 2005, 07:37 AM
The easiest way to render such wireframes in MAX, is to duplicate your model and add a Push modifier to it. Increase the value a tiny bit, then apply an all-black material to it with the "wireframe" checkbox checked.

As for quads... after meshsmooth the triangular quads are normal quads again :)

09 September 2005, 12:26 PM
Alright well I've added SOME details and I need this bad boy to be pulled apart with crits and comments before I collapse the mesh and add the finer details.

I'm going to have ONE more go at getting the canopy on, haven't got the new approach worked out as yet, will think about it.

Then I can't way to try and unwrap this bad boy and draw some textures on it! :D

09 September 2005, 12:30 PM
and now for some SMOOTHER ones

09 September 2005, 12:49 PM
One of the most obvious problems is the trailing edge of the wing. In real life it's really thin, one millimeter or something. You need to add another row or two of edges to sharpen it up.

09 September 2005, 02:30 PM
Ok well I had an epiphany, sure, I knew how to use smoothing groups and how to separate by them but I wasn't using smoothing groups properly. When I figured out how to use them better, well things became for more controllable and easy. So I have made quite a few changed to my model. Changed the topology quite a lot, added some more details etc etc. hopefully not that much more to go before welding, smoothing and collapsing.

Tried to add guns etc to the front edge of the wing but it just ruined the shape.

Skyraider - I have thinned the trailing edge of the wing and the tail, using my new found proper use of smoothing groups! Does this model LOOK right? Something makes it feel not like a spitfire, any clues?

I'm not sure whether to add the landing gear now or after collapse, either way, does anyone have some good under wing reference shots?


09 September 2005, 10:11 PM
Personally I don't use smoothing groups for top-bottom wing. Just closely check the pics I posted on MilMesh. I simply have three rows of very closely spaced edges at the trailing edge, forcing it to be sharp.

Spitfire bottom:

It indeed doesn't quite convince yet as a Spit. I think it's too wobbly and has a bit of a cartoony kind of feel to it because of that.

09 September 2005, 08:27 AM
Sorry Skyraider....

I've had a flat out weekend and just started a new job and haven't done any more on the model. Your model has blown me away though.

How did you do the displacement on the trailing edge of the tail?

How did you paint those realistic oil stains?

Did you put the guns and bump on the front edge of the wing after you collapsed the model?

I've realised I pinched my wing joint to the fuselage too much, to go with my ref images but it doesn't look right compared to photos, also the nose is going to be filled out a lot more too.

09 September 2005, 08:30 AM
Just to be sure, that's an airshow photo ;)
You asked for reference, didn't you? :D

09 September 2005, 08:56 AM
Here I was thinking you were being cheeky and posting up the greatest model of all time, I was drooling, thought the sky was too uniformed to be a photo, thought that gave it away. But instead, you just happen to be a great photographer too!

I have made some adjustments to the spit, widened and flatted the top of the nose, cut some more polys in to fill out the bulge under the nose, blended the wing to the body better. Just haven't had time for renders at this stage. Might get some done tonight, have to see how time and tiredness are going.

09 September 2005, 12:23 PM
Are you sure thats a spitfire, and not like a Hurrican? I thought spitfire's had Rounded wing ends and hurrican square, making the hurrican hard to ID against some the BF109s or one of the German fighters? Or is it later spitfires had squared off wings?

09 September 2005, 09:36 PM
Most Spits had the famous eliptical wing, but some variants had "clipped" wings, allowing higher speed and roll rates at low altitude. Some other Spit models had enlarged wingtips for high altitude fights, but unfortunately none of these fly today (as far as I'm aware).

Hurricanes always had rounded wingtips and look totally different altogether. The wing was straight though, which perhaps made it look a bit like a 109 in the heat of air combat.

Just compare... Hurricane leading, Spitfire behind it:

NSF, glad you like the photo. Many more here:


CGTalk Moderation
09 September 2005, 09:36 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.