MI-24 - A Russian Aviation Icon

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Old 10 October 2011   #46
@Artbot: Ha I thought my mesh is not dense at all With the 16bit 8k x 8k texture on it I still have 150fps in the viewport. Graphics card is a Quadro FX 4800.

Working on the fuselage... such a weird thing to get the head into...

Old 11 November 2011   #47
This is a really beautiful piece of work, Andre! I'm really looking forward to see the further development on this one.
And your high-poly detail modeling is insane! I can't imagine the nitpicking at certain areas on the fuselage. A real time consumer :P


- Eirik
Old 11 November 2011   #48
@Skaumann: Thanks! Yeah the amount of detail slows everything down a bit. Especially the fuselage is a hell of a thing. Nothing is symmetrical and it's made out of so many parts... straing at reference pictures alone takes so much time already. Before I move on with details, I really have to make sure the basic shape is right. Would be a bummer if I notice something after detailing.

Still working on the basic shape of the fuselage, especially the cockpit area is fun - not.

Old 11 November 2011   #49
Quote: Would be a bummer if I notice something after detailing.
Who cares? Make it an ACantarel version then.

Updates, aber zackig, bitteschön.
Old 11 November 2011   #50
Wow...this is so inspiring! I'm working on a huey for the FXWars challenge and I'm totally inspired to keep it up and also am trying to resist the temptation to be as crazy as your details . I'm so glad I found this WIP!
Personal: www.japetusproductions.com
Work:Straightface Studios

Old 11 November 2011   #51
@scrimski: Huh yeah well the base sahpe of the fuselage still needs to be sort of correct, otherwise nothing is going to fit :-P

@japetus: Thnaks for the kind words I'm glad my work inspires you!

So worked on the first version of the basic fuselage shape. Still staring at reference photos from all sort of angles and trying to match the shape. The real fuselage is totally a-symmetrical, is bended and twisted which mine is not right now (when you look at a front view photo of a Mi-24, you can see it). I'm not sure if it is worth all the effort to bring in that slight twist etc as that would mean I can't just mirror everything. Big effort for no visual benefit... thinking about it.

So here's the very first rough version of the fuselage. For the first time it feels I;m working on a helicopter! :-P

Click on the image for full res

Click on image for full res

So once I'm happy with the basic shape, I can start getting out ll the little dents, pinches, make curves more even etc.

Old 11 November 2011   #52
nice work andré, it's really starting to be a helicopter instead of single elements! I think this is definitely the most annoying part.. getting the basic shape of the big parts and deciding when to set it in stone and move on to the more joyful work of detailing

If you asked me that question two years ago my answer would have been different, but today i would say the benefit of really nailing the a-symmetrical shape and going through all the pain that comes with that.. as you said.. not being able to mirror things etc.. is not woth the effort. It's something you would be proud of afterwards but nobody else would notice anything in the final shots. But i'm sure you know this an it's just the inner fight with your drive of getting 100% perfection, hehe.

Even putting too much work in cleaning out every little dents and pinches might be unnecessary because they are there in reality and you will put them in again at some point anyway.

ok, enough of teaching the master himself i'm happy to see the ongoing process!
HDR Sets
Old 11 November 2011   #53
Oh man, can't believe I found this thread! I feel like I have discovered a gold mine. I am also working on a helicopter, and believe me, your work is very inspiring. I remember back in the day seeing your Pave Hawk, so I am very interested to see how this one turns out.

I have a question concerning the wireframe you posted.

I am confused, these are polys, not nurbs correct? I feel I have been in the games industry too long, and my venture back into high poly modeling is proving that I don't know everything I thought I did!

If they are polys, then how on earth do these surfaces render corretly?? ngons on flat surfaces I can understand but how have you built those holes into the surface? (example 2) Can I get a closer look at that, or some sort of explination on how you go about modelling something like that. I would really appreciate any tips when it comes to that sort of thing, as right now I seem to be spending all my time corretly modelling all my cutouts with perfect topology etc.

Also, I am assuming this you don't add any more smoothing ontop of what this wireframe (example 1) shows? I hope you get time to answer these questions, as it means a great deal to me!

All the best Andre! I know how hard it is to find time outside of work to get these things done. I might link you my thread later (once I create it... ahem) and would appreciate and critque I can get!


Last edited by tewicks : 11 November 2011 at 12:36 AM.
Old 11 November 2011   #54
I'm also doing a helicopter right now and your work has me absolutely floored. How much time have you put into this? I thought that I was going for a pretty high level of detail but you topped me by like 200% and you seem to be doing this in your free time - I don't even know what to say. I think I'm actually more impressed by your dedication to this project than anything else - I know how much work something like this involves and you're doing it with a level of precision and profesionalism I can only dream of. Your UVs, models and textures are SUPER clean while mine look like a mess after working on them for almost two months. I guess my way of working is kind of like a HIND - put together sloppily with an "whatever works" attitude

Anyway, I have only one question: Did/will you actually model all those rivets, screws and panels? I was thinking about doing that but even now that I've normal mapped most of the minor details my smooted mesh already has a few million polys and is starting to really slow down the 24gig ram, dual-core Xeon workstation I'm using at work (working in Maya though).
Isn't there a limit to the mesh detail where the model is going to become impossible to work with for you? Are you going to draw the line somewhere or just use as many polys as it takes? Because I would have loved to do that, but ultimately had do restrain myself in order to keep the model reasonable/usable.

Last edited by DSC8080 : 02 February 2012 at 10:15 PM.
Old 11 November 2011   #55
@MFlemming: Hey Manuel, thanks Yeah you're totally right, finding the correct basic fuselage shape requires a lot of staring at referecne photos from all sort of angles and it slows you down a lot. Regarding the a-symmetric shape, yeah maybe I mirror everything and later deform everything in one go. Should be fine then. And the dents/pinches... yeah I want at least to get rid of them, where they occur due to the way of modeling the low poly and then smoothing the gea as a lot of people can tell what is a wanted dent and what's unintended :P

@tewicks : Hey thanks for the kind words! On which helicopter are you working on right now? Anything to look at already? I'm curious, I love it when other artists work on those birds too :-) Yes all is polys and those holes are just cut into the surface. Of course you have to watch out when you do this but in cases like this one, where it just works, I leave it as it is. As this is my asset and I know what I want to do with it later, I modeled those parts just in their final resolution, no up- or down-smoothing on those parts. There's soemthing called "return of investment" and when I think the ratio between effort and benefit is too off, I just go for the quicker and easier way which was this one in this case. There is just no benefit for me spending a lot of time doing those parts smoothable when it goes way quicker that way, is by far more adaptive and it doesn't give me UV stretchings due to smoothing. And as it is a piece of hard surface that doesn't defrom at all... I know a lot of people disagree here but yeah, I want to move on and when the result is fine, I do that. In the end, no one will like or dislike a final image or a shot because some parts were modeled this or that way. Bit of pragmatism here.

@DSC8080: Cool another one working one one as well :-) Anything to see somewhere? Unfortunately I forgot to track the time, I really wanted to but I forgot :P Tricky to say... working on it for a while but there were also months I didn't work on it at all. The level of detail is also a sort of burden because this Hind has a billion of little gizmos everywhere and sometimes I wish I wouldn't be so dedicated... Regarding the level of 3d detail, yeah everything on the outer surface which is there on the real one, will be 3d on mine. The way the light reacts on real 3d geometry vs bump or normal map is just different. I'm also aiming for the details in the silouette. A bump would just be flat while 3d rivets/panel lines will be visible and break up the straight lines. The polycount is also one of the reasons I sometimes model parts in their final resolution. That way you can work more adaptive too. I have 150 fps showing the entire wing in the viewport with the 8k by 8k 16bit texture on it. so far working with the meshes is no problem at all. But I'm not going to waste polygons where they aren't needed, for example on flat surfaces, height segments on straight cylinder etc. Basically everywhere where polys wouldn't shape a form.

So blocking in the larger pieces like the little wing in the back, making sure the engine intakes above the canopy are the right size and at the correct position etc... I'm going to be so happy once everything is in place

Old 11 November 2011   #56
Small update, tail wings:

Click on image for full res

Old 11 November 2011   #57
Loving the detail there, nice one!

I'll start up a thread in the next week for my heli and link it to you. It's a AH-1Z Viper. Still trying to decide if I should give it a go with your modelling technique, or continue to use the method I am more used to. I am going to be showing the wireframes to potential employers so perhaps I should use a method that uses correct topology (no saying your way is incorrect, I understood after you explained it!). Anyway I look foward to seeing what you think of it! And keep up the good work
Old 11 November 2011   #58
@tewicks: Thanks Cool I'm very curious about your Viper! Well yeah think there are always several ways to the goal, always depending on the final purpose and I'm trying to pick the one which is the fastest and fulfills the requirements. Thankfully at this personal project the requirements are 100% clear. Let me know when there's something to look at!

Old 11 November 2011   #59
Hey Andre, awesome modelling so far and really looking forward to seeing you finish this. Just a few questions about your workflow on a project like this if you don't mind as most of my experience has been in games.

What kind of textures will the final model have, and what sizes?

And also what modelling techniques have you used for this?

My sketchbook
Old 11 November 2011   #60
@Umz: Thanks The final textures are all going to be 16bit tif files. The base for those textures are 9-bracket tone mapped textures from a shoot of the real bird. There's also a small description about it at the very first post at the beginning of this thread. The resolutions will vary a bit per part like tail rotor, wing, fuselage (which will be split up into 3-4 maps) ... I do the most high res I can do and then create multi resolution ones out of them. Right now the wing on page one has an 8K by 8K map, the tail rotor a 4k by 4k. Modeling technique is just poly modeling in 3ds max.

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