View Full Version : How would you model this jet ? ( Q on bridging crossections )

05 May 2008, 12:27 PM
I'm attempting to model this jet :;init:.jpg

I had attempted to use the 'create polygon' tool to draw out the outline of the cross sections, but since the cross sections all had a different number of points, it did not work when I tried to bridge them.
I then tried creating a cross section and then copying it. By moving the points around to the next cross section shape, I had the same amount of points and was able to bridge the two sections .... sort of - I found that now some of the points overlap when I try to bridge them.
So that is not working either.
How would you folks go about modelling this plane?

I know that I should start with with a simpler design ( such as Sabre or early Mig ) but the same problem would arise.

Thanks for any advice.

05 May 2008, 04:52 PM

I would completely skip the idea of modeling the frame based on those cross sections. Here's the thing: I've found that as a rule of thumb, the smaller an aircraft is, the tougher it is to model. (I do aviation stuff primarily and, much to my chagrin, it's all with smaller aircraft.) You can get away with roughing out the fuselage of a larger jet using cross sections, but when you use them on smaller designs--especially those with lots of form changes throughout, as you have with this jet--you find you need more than just those cross sections to "hold up" the shape. (If XSI had decent NURBs tools, this might be a different story.)

I would approach this from a polygonal box-modeling/sub-d perspective. I think you'll have better luck that way, because a., the poly modeling tools in XSI are great and b., you'll be able to keep your mesh simpler for as long as possible.

See this tutorial:

This is the basic approach I would take with it, though you'd need to be adding lots more edges than this guy is doing in places where you need nice "manufactured" cut lines.

Also, keep in mind that much of the detail you see in this image could be accomplished via maps. (That said, part of the "trick" to modeling smaller aircraft is that you typically get "closer" to them in renders, which can require you to be more generous with your modeling efforts.)

Good luck!

05 May 2008, 07:19 PM
I agree with SFDD (, try using dispalcement maps, or even normal maps first. If you're talented with Zbrush, you might be able to get away with quite a bit using that on your basic model. good UV layout then is going to be key...

I can't use nurbs for the life of me (except outside Rhino and Moi) but you might want to also try a patching aproach to this project.

That being said you might want to also look into Moi ( as well.

05 May 2008, 11:02 PM
Thanks !

I'll use the cutaways as a guide then.

Mocaw : thanks for the link. That software looks really interesting.

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