View Full Version : SMC 13: World War I / II Aircraft

07 July 2009, 11:20 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to SMC 13: World War I / II Aircraft.

The objective here is to create any world war era aircraft you wish, BUT, it must be a prop plane. (I know there were just a couple non-prop planes, but I think by forcing you to choose a prop plane it makes it a little more challenging to have to model... afterall, the purpose is to get better!)

Now, since getting the basic design and layout of most WWI and WWII planes are relatively simple and shouldn't take that long, I considered making the time limit to around 90 minutes. However, I want to see more attempts at detail (I, myself, have a terrible habit of leaving out details). Model exhaust ports, if you have the time, add interiors, rivets, just try to make it detailed. Instead of the 90 minutes I'm going to make it 120 minutes again.

So, 120 minutes, details, WWI OR WWII plane, as many entries as you want to do, and 1 wireframe and 1 shaded view. Include a render if you want, but try to at least get us a wire and shaded view to help us all give crits and comments.

For the guys who know a little about modeling, try to leave at least one comment when you see something that could use some work. Words of encouragment are great, but you can't get better unless you know what you did wrong and understand how to fix it. So if you see some messed up geometry or something that don't look right, please comment on their entry. Beginners, don't get intimidated. Leave comments too, even ask for help if you don't understand something!

Anyway, as always, challenge yourself, have fun, and let the SMC 13 begin.

07 July 2009, 01:29 PM
Are we allowed to use blueprints as reference planes?

07 July 2009, 02:26 PM
Yeah, I always use a blueprint or sketch if I need it. I try to never model something without it.

07 July 2009, 04:41 AM
I was on vacation and had a couple hours to kill. As i had mentioned, I've never modeled and airplane, so this is my draft run. 80 mins, I used the Gee Bee as my reference. I'm gonna try to do a German Fokker, i have tomorrow off. Thanks for looking.

07 July 2009, 09:52 PM
some pointers, watch the 5 sided poly's they can get nasty, try to keep them to 4 if you can.

the wings could use some more edges to help define the shape, but it's looking pretty good. A pretty good start. I'd like to see the Fokker.

07 July 2009, 04:15 AM
i need help with those 5 point stars. My background is in nurbs modeling, so poly and its rules are still new to me. :wip: I went over time with cutting out the windows, and i had trouble trying to get maya to mirror without smushing verts :surprised any who, here i am at 140mins :cry:

07 July 2009, 09:58 PM
How would i separate the cockpit from the fuselage, i tried detach, but that only separates all the selected faces from each other.

07 July 2009, 07:40 AM
In maya you could try selecting your faces of the cockpit and "duplicate faces" then delete the original faces.

07 July 2009, 07:04 PM
I use mesh->extract to separate parts of objects in maya.

07 July 2009, 07:18 PM
thanks guys!

07 July 2009, 07:27 PM
no problem.

As far as my plane goes, I guess I'm slacking. Past few days I had Maya open I was working on a few vehicle projects (2009 Camaro, and a Ferrari 330 P4) and just kind of wasn't even thinking about the plane. So I hope I can find the time and get a submission before the next challenge.

07 July 2009, 07:39 PM
I do my Maya work at my job, since I don't have access to it anywhere else. Unfortunately, I've both been out of work and out of being able to do non-work/tutorials as they relate to Maya because our Maya Licensing Server is down. I don't know when they will get it up; they don't know when they'll get it up. When they do, I'll be doing this challenge ASAP. Even then, I don't know if Maya will be back up by Friday.

07 July 2009, 08:03 PM
nice work josh, I'm not experienced enough to find anything wrong with the fokker, and it is a great improvement over the bee gee, those 5-6 sided poly's had to go.

I'll be doing and posting mine up on my next day off, keep up the entries ^^.

07 July 2009, 08:58 PM
David, get the PLE version, you'll have the annoying watermark, but its no biggie. At least you will be able to participate.
Thanks Mike! :bounce:

07 July 2009, 06:56 PM
Whew. Been out of town the past few days. I didn't miss a whole heck of a lot so that's good. Back to work tonight then hopefully get my entry in... finally.

07 July 2009, 01:23 PM
hi guys.
i will be starting my studies in game design soon so i thought practicing speed modeling can't be wrong.
here are my 2 cents, the british spitfire XIV.
i left out some details like the engines exhaustion pipes on the front and small parts like the antenna and stuff to save polygons.
i wanted to keep it somewhat low poly and tried to put attention to the correct shape of the fussilage.
crits are very welcome!
any idea on how to smooth this model if i wanted to use it in a game engine?
best thing would be to play with soft/hard normales right?



07 July 2009, 06:09 PM
Nice job, Frederik.
You're correct about the smooth shading, adjust the angels of the normals to smooth the hard edges, although, you will still have the silhouette of hard edges.

07 July 2009, 08:31 PM
soo this is my first time in this speed modeling forum.. i been using maya for about 6months now... i dont know how to continue the model T_T i got stuck here but anyway i was at 110 minutes so this is it... would love crits, i hate nurbs modeling its very hard for me still -_- i need to formulate its logic.
*edit* i forgot this is a warhawk :P.

07 July 2009, 08:52 PM
hi thanks for your reply man :)
i first started of using XSI (but switched to maya now since this will be taught at school),
in XSI you simply press the + key to smooth out the model and - to make it less smooth again, in C4D there is a hyper nurbs that works in a similar fashion, is tehre an equivalen tin maya? or is the only way to smooth the model the "smooth operation"? i find this one a bit less dynamic than other software packages because you cant easily swithc back to the low res model after youve made some changes.
i also find converting to sub-d surfaces a bit of a detour. is this just how maya approaches smoothing or did i miss something?

waldoerik: i like your model! modeling in surfaces is quite tricky if one is only used to polygons isnt it? what you could do is to now convert your surfaces to polygons and simply move points around/extrude, do whatever you like, i mostly use surfaces as an inbetween step to arrive at complex polymodels with ease.
but of course people who understand surfaces (i wouldnt consider myself as one of them yet :D) can do good stuff with surfaces only!

anyway, love this thread and i will hopefully participate in thenext challenge :) thanks for putting this up!

07 July 2009, 09:36 PM
Nice nurbs work, Waldo. I would use Katzenminze's advice and convert to polys to clean up the wing tips where you have some polar issues. Or you could add another spline near the tips and pull in the poles point a tad to help the flow. Nurbs can be tricky. :wip:

@ Katzenminze - Maya has "preview" shading while working in polygon mode, press 1 for the lowest level of resolution and 3 to get a preview of what the object looks like smoothed. I think thats what you were asking.

07 July 2009, 11:18 PM
well ty both, well i really look forward to mastering nurbs techniques right now, as for polygons i would say its not a big deal so im gonna be more like 75% nurbs right now, as far as sub-D's im getting some trouble for it 2. and yeah gonna take that advice thank you

08 August 2009, 07:41 AM
hey irafk thanks for that tip, i once discovered that shortcut but never really made use of it, so the workflowcould be like this: modeling in polygons, checking the smoothed mesh out with the 1,2,3 keys, make adjustments, check out and then once im satisfied with the preview irun a smooth operation?


08 August 2009, 06:36 PM
my advice to the NURBS modeling.... I would patch model in NURBS.

it is easier to get some of the more difficult angles and whatnot on the model. Basically you create small patches with a plane that bends around the shape you need and once you build a couple of patches in an area you can merge their seams together to create the overall peice of the body. Be sure to rebuild your surfaces. Also, the best way to build your surface patches is to use birail (in maya) for the more complex shapes and loft for the less complex shapes.

It has been a while since I've done much NURBS modeling though.

08 August 2009, 12:46 AM
I have to admit, I went over the time limit. spent like 170 minutes on this one. Had so much fun with it I was late for work, lol.

blueprints on bottom rails were unclear so I just left it sorta unfinished.

08 August 2009, 01:22 AM
im having a problem here... after i posted my aircraft i went and to see how could i improve my model, well i wanted to join the body with the back wing so i adjusted the CV's and rebuilded the surfaces to match the points and tried to join them but i got all this mess and dont know what to do... only thing that worked was lofting them but i had 3 surfaces now... i wanted only 1

08 August 2009, 03:09 AM
could you post an image of what you did? it will help me better to see what is going on.

08 August 2009, 02:16 PM
sorry but i don tknow what the solution regarding the surfaces are but just one thought:
does it make sens to merge the body to the backwings? could be but maybe they should be unattached so that they can be rotatet? depending on the structure of the plane of course.

08 August 2009, 06:08 PM
@ - Waldo:
I don't know much about Maya and nurbs modeling, I come from a Rhino3d background when it comes to nurbs, but for the most part, i would assume the commands are similar. In Rhino, you can "Split" out a hole for the wing, or elevator to join to the fuselage, from there i would suggest using a "Blend" to create the joining surface. Or perhaps a "Network Surface", it would allow for more control as it requires that you draw the splines for the surface to generate along. Sorry i cant be of more help but I've ran away from nurbs. :P

08 August 2009, 06:13 PM
well if you have two surfaces intersecting, you can use a bevel in maya ( i think thats the name, i'll double check and edit post if I need to in a minute) and it will make a beveled geometry around where they meet and make it look right.

08 August 2009, 06:15 PM
ok this is the what i want, as you can see there are 3 objects here, i just want 1 but the same as this...

and this is what it turns up when i select the isoparms ends and attach without moving

08 August 2009, 06:36 PM
try rebuilding the middle peice. then.

try selecting isoparms and joining the tail peice and the middle peice, then rebuild, then try it with the body.

see if that works, if not, we'll have to go into a different idea and I'll have to open maya before I try and name the commands lol.

08 August 2009, 06:56 PM
Hmm, looks like the bottom and top center Isos are being pulled to the inside of the rudder. Is there another edge in there thats not suppose to be? Maybe its merging to something it shouldn't. Might wanna post in the WIP, see if anyone there has insight on whats happening.

08 August 2009, 11:02 PM
doing what u asked me to digitool created screwup topology :P ill try posting at WIP

08 August 2009, 11:51 PM
Hmmph. I'll have to spend some time with Maya tonight and see what I can do for you.

08 August 2009, 01:24 AM
Here's my entry for this challenge. Took me 120 minutes. There's some parts that looks kind of strange, because of the edges used to hold the mesh after smoothing it. I have to improve a lot more this skill. Anyway, i'm happy with the result, i had never done an airplane before.
This is an Japanese airplane, if anyone wants to check it, here's the link i used for reference:


Great work everyone! I hope everyone is learning from participating in these SMC.

08 August 2009, 01:31 AM
stephen, love the detail, especially the windows and the propeller. The propeller has a nice mechanical feel to it. Although you can work on the form to make it less boxy. The japanese plane looks to be more rounded, for instance, the top of the tail, edge of wings, and landing gear. Simple tweaks should take care of it. good job!

08 August 2009, 06:41 AM
hi i think you have chosen a very cool design :)
why didnt i think about japanese planes? :D
as said before, you may want to tweak the shape (maybe also add some more edge loops to retain the shape better?)
good job :)

08 August 2009, 01:11 PM
wooot! good job! lets rock SMC 14! :buttrock:

08 August 2009, 01:29 PM
thanks guys!
Now that the model is done i can work on its shape without worrying about the time limit.
Can't wait for SMC14!

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