MQ-9 Reaper UAV

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Old 08 August 2013   #1
MQ-9 Reaper UAV

I have always enjoyed lurking around the WIP section and seeing that amazing stuff that others are doing so I finally decided to upload my first WIP. For this project I decided to make a MQ-9 Reaper by General Atomics. My goal is to finish the textured asset before the start of October. My current game plan is as follows:
1.) Smooth Lumps out
2.) Model Wing Tips
3.) Model Geo behind glass parts
4.) Unwrap
5.) Texture (Mari + Photoshop)

C & C welcomed and appreciated

Thanks for looking!
Old 08 August 2013   #2
Looks fine to me. The only thing I would change is the accuracy of your "shut-lines" - the gaps between panels. They seem a little wobbly, though depending on how you created them, it can sometimes be difficult to maintain continuity of curvature between different surfaces.
Old 08 August 2013   #3
Thanks for the feedback - you are right that the shut lines need some work done to them, after I looked at them again I can see the wobbles and some of the panels are almost indented into the fuselage instead of resting flat with it
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Old 08 August 2013   #4
Yea, those gaps in the panels stood out to me when I first looked at it. Could you post a few wireframes?
Old 09 September 2013   #5
Thanks for the interest in my project! Here are some wires - I made the model to be subdivided once at render time with minimal texture distortion. However I seem to have gotten carried away in some areas and the topology has gotten incredibly dense. The hardpoints and the missiles are mainly what I am talking about, I think in the future it might be better to model these at resolution and not divide at render time and use normal angles instead.

I have fixed the shut line in some of the panels (not sure if it is evident in these renders) but have left a little bit of wobbliness/imperfections in them so that I wouldnt have perfectly straight lines which I think makes models look CG. I will try to get some renders up in the near future to show the new shut lines.


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Old 09 September 2013   #6
Hey man,

Could you also post a few wireframes with the smoothing off? (sorry to be picky )

It looks like the edge loops between your panels don't line up, and that might be causing the gaps to look uneven.

You've also got some pinching or squishing on your main body mesh when the shape narrows off. It really helps just to terminate a few of the edge loops, rather than squeeze them all together. You can see that your main body is mostly squares, while the area under the cockpit dome and engine is long rectangles.

Have you played around with using creased edges?

Old 09 September 2013   #7
Wow very nicely detailed Predator! It looks like everything is there
There's just some pinching at some places around panels in the curved surfaces.
Let me/us know how the unwrapping and painting goes in Mari!
How much time did you spend on this bird so far?

Old 09 September 2013   #8
Thanks for your continued interested, I'm currently reworking the panels to get them to line up a little bit nicer, once that's complete I'll upload some unsmoothed wires. I've been working through your input of terminating some edge loops rather than running them all the way through and have resolved a lot of the pinching.

Thanks for stopping by and the kind words. You are right that there is some pinching going on - I'm currently working on resolving that and redoing the panels and their connections. The model is actually pretty much unwrapped, the only things left to unwrap are the landing gear and the front sensor. I have already started texturing the hardpoints and missiles and have blocked in the shaders (updates to follow soon). So far I have a little bit over a month into this bird and am hoping to finish it at the beginning of October.

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Old 09 September 2013   #9
I have finished unwrapping, I decided to make 6x8k maps (the wings right now are mirrored so it will actually turn out to 8 maps in total) I have removed a lot of the pinching and reworked a lot of panels, but am still not happy with the bottom of the nose where it connects to the fuselage and sensor, I might just completely remake this piece.

I have started texturing and shading, shader needs a little bit more reflectivity and maybe a little bit more gloss (note: this is just diffuse + quick spec, there is only a procedural in the bump)

Click on Images for Higher Res

Thanks for looking!
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Old 09 September 2013   #10
Now that I'm looking at my rendered wireframes it looks really wobbly - but it looked nice and smooth in mayas viewport =(
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Old 09 September 2013   #11
what soft do you use for unwrapping??
Old 09 September 2013   #12
Quality stuff. keep it up!
My WIP Thread:
Next Gen Lara Croft 3D Model Fanart
Old 09 September 2013   #13
I actually only use Maya's unwrapping tools. I know a couple of other tools but find that no matter I try I always end up doing a lot of manual work to get the UV's how I want.

Thanks for kind words!

3D Portfolio
Old 09 September 2013   #14
Wow that Hellfire rocket pod looks pretty damn good!!!
Old 09 September 2013   #15
Thanks, I'm glad you like it! I'm hoping to finish the hardpoints and missiles in the next couple of days and then move onto the wings.
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