ATE SuperHind Mk.III / Mil Mi-24


imho better workflow would be, blocking out the helicopter first and detail it gradually, that way you can also work on more parts at once, if you get tired of the rotor, you can move to the guns, or cockpit, or will be also able pay more attention to visible parts of the bird. or you can recognize that this part is already detailed enough and move to something else, etc, that way it the work will feel more fresh and less tiresome imho.


Sad to hear you lost your motivation on this one and I can see why. Pgajlewicz wrote already kind of what I wanted to say. Your model is so high in detail that overall progress is very slow and therefor there’s not “much to look at”. I had those kinda problems as well on my models like the White House as well as the Mi-24. That’s why I am cutting off details if they are too tiny and not visible. I know already what kinda close-ups I am going to render. Long lens (400mm +) shots of the front of the Mi-24 for example, that’s why I put a lot of detail in that region. I cut off details inside the rear landing gear bay because I will barely see the inside. And if in one case there’s a lack of details, those can be still added later.
“far more successful people out there than i’ll ever be.” - That is simply not true. You have a head, two arms and legs just like everyone else. I bet my horse on that you can get a start in a vfx company in 6 months if you do it right. You want to “over-insure” yourself in terms of modeling quality etc. With the parts you modeled you demonstrated already the following: Dedication - One of the very most important features someone can have, attention to detail - you can make sure that stuff like set extension fit to the real set and hard surface models are believable and have their correct scale, clean models - the edgeflow looks good on that part and there’s nothing to laugh about (something I never do anyway).
So you have already the attributes that would make me hire you if I would own a company.
The only thing that is missing is the oh-cool-wow-effect. As clean and technical perfect your models are, work a bit on the presentation. I know technically it is unnecessary to make wip renders look nice but on personal projects that is fine! Because it’s made for fun and good looking stuff is fun to look at. Also you can indicate to a certain extent that you have a taste for color palettes, lighting etc. Your wip renders are perfect for an engineering office.
So keep what you have, tone down the amount of details, plow through the rotor head in 2-3 days. If some parts have a groove and bolt less, who cares? It’s all about the overall VISUAL impact of the final result! The engineers who developed that rotor head will never ever see your images anyway and even if… so what :slight_smile: Try to think “good enough, move on to the next part”. That’s what you have to do in production anyway.
Also work on your website. Take one week, find a nice template (for free - thousands available - good stuff - easy to maintain), fill it with your content. The excavator for example can be rendered in a much nicer way. The model is great but the renders can be improved. Watch some basic vray videos on youtube about lighting and shading. I bet my horse again that with one week of learning and rendering, you can have 5 much nicer looking renders of it on your website.
Also in general, take a small vacation from the Mi-24. That will free up your mind of this gigantic task. I do that on a regular basis. I was tired of the chopper so one day I just made a radar dish or whatever. Even my White House was a vacation project. So pick a few smaller things you can knock out completely in 3-4 days. The fun will come back because you see results. Btw you can put those up on TurboSquid and earn some money on the side instead of letting them collect dust on the hard drive.
And last but not least: I don’t know if you do this already but going to the gym really does free up your mind!
I’m happy to help you out with tips where I can, seriously.



I’ve been keeping an eye on this thread. Shame you’re loosing motivation - I think many of us can relate to this.

Regarding motivation - I find it’s good to have a couple of things on the go at once. Whether that’s another personal project or some learning. If you’re learning another skill that helps you reach your goal, one that you enjoy, then it might give you a better feeling that you’re moving forward whilst still taking a break from a personal project.

And as Andre says, the gym can be good. I just ruined myself with shaun T’s T25 workout lol!


Andre, THANK YOU!! I know this was meant for someone else, but I too was blessed by the insight and the advice. Great morsels of wisdom.

@Telemachus ~ I too would add that, please don’t give up. I worked in the defense industry for over 10 years, and there was always a need for detail, but we always had to find a way to make the deliverable. Above all, I had to make sure I had fun with every military model I created. Stay the course, you will be the happier for it. We are cheering you on :slight_smile:


I wasn’t expecting anyone to bump this dusty old thread. Thanks for your encouragement. I have been secretly working on it again in recent weeks and hope to have something to show in the new year. I’ll reply properly to everyone then. Not posting in this thread has allowed me to get my thoughts sorted out somewhat, allowing me to enjoy modelling again. I’ve been recycling a lot of parts to get it done faster and missing out stuff that won’t be seen. When this model is complete it’ll be absorbed into a larger project i’ve wanted to get going for years. For now though, it’s one step at a time, aiming for slower but more substantial updates.

Thanks to everyone. I’ll be back.


Glad to hear your working on this again! I can totally relate to some of the trials and tribulations of working on a crazy detailed model. Sometimes it helps to take some time off.

Do you have any experience with Solidworks? If your the type that likes to model every nut and bolt, you might enjoy it. :shrug:I know at least here in the US, its a far more commericaly viable skill set than poly modeling.

Anyways, I cant wait to see some more renders of your progress!



I think maybe you have the wrong focus.

Those mechanical parts, that you spend so much time creating, while hard & required obvious talent, to model in a 3D commercial package, are fairly standard work in a good CAD package. Its just faster to model in CAD & convert to surface data for rendering (since 3D package have very basic rendering options).

If you are interested in the mechanical stuff, I think your better chance is to learn CAD & maybe you can land a job at JaguarLandRover Engineering centre at Coventry or something similar which isn’t too far from Birmingham.

I do not thin most game or 3D animation company are looking so much into someone that can do very detailed mechanical parts. I think they will be more interested if you can model say a complete chopper, or truck, that will be of more practical use in game or animation environment. I think so anyway.

I am not a 3D artist, I only do this for fun. I do use CAD in my work, & in fact worked at Land rover before.


Any news, thoughts, ideas, progress… on this one?



It's a good idea.  I had actually blocked out the fuselage some years ago quite precisely, I just have never shown it.  Around here, even your best work starts to look like crap :).  It'll be used as a base from from which to cut panels etc.
Thanks for the kind and supportive words and the offer of help :).  I may have to take you up on that offer at some point as every bit of progress is breaking new ground for me.  I have cut down a lot on the details as i'm sure you'll notice.  That was hard to do, as strange as that sounds.  I've also adjusted my materials and HDR map to present the model in a better way.  As for going to the gym, well... I got myself a stationary bike which is pretty good.  Perhaps I should've bought a punching bag instead :P. 
I've been considering switching to something shorter and faster to complete for a while.  I'll still work on the helicopter but will use a more basic project for a distraction perhaps.  Also about the other skill; i've been sporadically trying to re-learn coding, but without an objective so far.  I'm thinking about setting a goal of writing an app.  It could potentially be more lucrative than my 3D work that is not going to get me anywhere in a realistic time-frame.
Thanks for the support.  Practicality is one of the things it's hard for an amateur not inside the industry to fully appreciate.  You get this idea that you can do things at your leisure but of course, as I am realising, you still need to stick to a plan of some sort.  
Thanks.  I have experience of CAD packages.  Technically yes they are designed for creating models like this, but having used them before I felt "trapped" by certain limitations they had.  Once I had figured out Sub-D modelling, I left them behind.  Sub-D modelling can be very frustrating, however, and some of the forms I made for this latest update were real head-scratchers.  Assembled together it's hard to appreciate some of those shapes.
CAD software might well be more practical for this.  Games companies may not need this level of detail, but this will hopefully end up as a flagship piece.  I don't expect to be modelling everything regularly at such high-resolution.

So after a few months of unpredictable delays and a sprained wrist later, I am finally working on this again.  I realised after the advice I received that I should tone down the detail, so if there are any bits missing, my apologies.  I've decided to continue only with the ATE version of this helicopter to avoid making even more work for myself.  That's why this rotor-head looks a bit different from what you may have already seen.  I've also fitted it with the latest composite rotor blades that have an "infinite" service life and never need replacement.  As a result, certain cables from the old Mi-24 are superfluous and no longer needed.  

I've also tried tweaking the render to make it easier to see the parts and make for a slightly more attractive rendering.  There's a different environment HDRI and a gradient background (like a soap powder advert lol).  I've used the same shades of paint and areas of naked metal that a repair and maintenance firm of aircraft uses that I found while trawling the net, so it's more realistic.  Apologies for the glitches in one or two meshes; this was an unexpected flaw due to software issues i'll get fixed in due time; I just didn't want to waste an hour's render time so am uploading it regardless. EDIT:  It was an issue with the renderer re-calculating the normals incorrectly - not a mesh problem.  I'll add an "old-style" render for contrast.

Old style.


New style.




Well if that is what you call toning down, I suspect you won’t have any complains man. Good going and happy to see you working on it again!


First, amazing to have you back here on this one!
Second, wow the rotor mechanics look amazing!
Great to see you picked it up again and how you made those improvements in terms of rendering and presentation. Very nice to look at. And the level of detail is still insane, way more than I put in :slight_smile: It really looks fantastic and I’m happy to watch the progress on yours. Let me know if you have any questions.
Interesting how the modern rotor head differs in so many parts from the old one I am doing, very interesting to compare.



Thanks. I appreciate your support :).

You’re very kind, thanks alot André. I have become a bit stuck lately and so I will ask your (and anyone else’s) advice.

It’s been a while. I roughed out a body which I am planning to use as a base from which to create various panels. That cockpit, and the tilt, is pretty tedious to work on if you should happen to momentarily forget that it isn’t symmetrical.

It’s still simple but the basic lines are there. The problem i’m having is that i’m not sure how to proceed with making the numerous panels. I figured I would freeze this mesh then cut in edges that followed the lines of the panels, detach them, add thickness and then “neaten them up” at the edges. The thing is, I have a feeling that there may be a much more efficient way of doing this. The other thing is, even using scripts and tools, drawing edges onto a mesh in 3D is not particularly accurate. I could project it on or use a shape that intersects with the base mesh, but i’m not a fan of either of these options, though i’ll do it if there’s no other way. If anyone has any advice, i’d be glad to hear it.

I don’t normally ask for help because I like to be able to do everything myself; you may have noticed I don’t ask a lot of questions :P. In this case, i’m swallowing my pride and reaching out for assistance, because if anyone can help, it’s a forum full of CG experts. I would like to finish this project some day as I still think it could turn out quite nice, and with your help I stand a much better chance. Thanks.


Hi Telemachus:

…hmmm a tricky one to ponder, I usually duplicate a copy of the base into a separate layer then work from there eg: armoured vehicles, guns…etc, then either keyframe or manually to resize. However as you say not an optimum solution precision wise for this ultra hi-res model - anyways I’ll post an option if I find something…

By the way you’ve got some nice edgeflow happening on the main airframe - no ngons from what I can see - excellent work indeed.

Cheers :wink:


Thanks for your reply. I was really hoping for some more replies though, I could’ve done with the additional help.

I’m very anal about things like edge-flow, thanks for noticing :). I probably have a couple of triangles in there, but no major issues. It’ll all be divided up later anyway, so it’s only the form that matters here.

After pulling my hair out for a few days and messing with various scripts I found online, I worked out a workable if slow way to carve out panels and retopologise them manually into valid Sub-D meshes. I still don’t know if that’s the best way to do it; hopefully someone who has done it already will volunteer the information. In the coming weeks i’ll define all the panels I need like a dress pattern on a tailor’s dummy, break it up and retopologise each piece.


These are modelling skills I dream about at night. Are you using blueprints, or are you just throwing stuff together? Either way, it looks really good!


Lol, no, not thrown together. It would be finished a lot quicker if I did that :). I found a very rare partial blueprint for this rotor head, as well as using photos found from the Internet. I am still working on this model but am no longer posting updates here, and probably won’t for quite a while until I have a substantial update to show. Thanks for your interest :thumbsup: .


any news?..


Time to bump this thread to avoid the dreaded purgatorial forum archives. I’ll fill in a few details and the status of this project.

At the start of 2015, realising that my pursuit of 3D wasn’t bearing any fruit, I decided to do something i’d wanted to try for years, which was to get back into programming. I began with something simple, which was creating javascript games using the Phaser framework. I find it somewhat limiting though because I have ambitions of leveraging my 3D skills, so I am looking at getting into Unity or UE4. There are some great indie developers seeing success with UE4 but Unity is great for monetisation so it’s a tough call at the moment.

Despite the hiatus from 3D modelling, I am finding it increasingly difficult to ignore the call, and i’ve no doubt I will return to this in time. I’m nursing a shoulder injury for now, which happens to be on my “keyboard-shortcut” side so once that’s recovered enough i’ll scrape off the rust on this old bird and see what’s left to do.

Apologies to my subscribers for the lack of updates; sometimes life just gets in the way.


Just a bump to keep the thread alive. I’ve been back to 3D modelling for a little while but with a wholly different attitude and am making positive changes in that and other aspects of my life. Let’s see what the future holds.


Another little bump. I don’t spend much time on CGtalk anymore, in favour of other social networks and art sites.