F-16 (again)


Decided to take up an old project of mine again after a few years of inactivity, an F-16C Block 52 fighter. Originally I was going to texture all the panel seams, but what’s the fun in that so now everything except screws and rivets gets geometry. Here’s where I’m at so far:

Nose blisters need to be redone and some details around them added. Glareshield and hud are very placeholder for now, looked too empty without anything in there :slight_smile:


That looks sharp. :applause: I really love the subtle skin detailing.

Did you get the radial scratch highlight effect on your canopy to render accurately? I would love to see some closeups of that. :slight_smile:


Edit: closeup:

I’m using anisotropic for the scratches, so it renders pretty nice, still have to tweak the material a bunch to look right directly so it’s comped in photoshop for now. Sourcemap created with a particle cloud of little cylinders with a hlsl shader I wrote that returns the direction of the tangent as a greyscale rotation. Screenshot from the top viewport and it’s good to go. :slight_smile:


Started work on the wings, got the leading edge flaps and their hinge cover panels done, also a LAU-129 launcher on the wingtip. Launcher is missing a ton of detail in the rail portion, but I think I’ll leave it blank since plan to have missiles covering it eventually.
Realized I need to get further along with the underside of the fuselage in order to finish the flaperons, so the next step will be the underside of the leading edge extensions.


Hey, Nice going so far. Love the modeling and details. But have you considered a much natural scratch on your canopy like this one from Battlefield :

May be this can increase the detail to a next level.


I’m not sure exactly what the effect is called, but it kind of looks like lots of small radial scratches that surround a highlight on a surface. Its pretty visible on any brushed metal, and I’m guessing its caused by tiny scratches on the surface. Its probably similar to the anisotropic effect, only the scratches all go in different directions, rather than a circle or straight lines.


I did Google “fighter canopy”, and it looks like they keep them pretty clean. I remember driving by Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson, and all the F-16’s parked by the road had their canopy’s removed.




maxster: Thanks for the like! But I’ll have to agree with AJ1 on the canopy, on every plane in active use I’ve seen it is very well polished and cleaned. Even when deployed in the field and with the rest of the plane looking like it spent a few weeks buried in a ditch. :slight_smile:
Even though the BF style looks nice, I don’t feel it to be realistic as it’s very important for the pilot to have perfect visibility for obvious reasons. When I get around to final tweaks on the materials I’ll probably limit it to very few imperfections and dirt mainly around the edges of the canopy.
AJ1: Don’t know what the effect is called either, but yeah, the scratches go in all directions, but usually they are so small as to be effectively invisible, unless they catch a strong highlight. Which they only do in a circular pattern around the ‘flat’ highlight. And rendering this for real with a bump/normal map absolutely kills rendertime due to antialiasing so I’m faking it with aniso and an additive blend. So my method does have scratches going every direction, but only ones that catch a highlight are visible.

Haven’t had very much time for modeling lately and underside is absolutely riddled with access panels and hinges so progress is a bit slow. So unfortunately no nice pictures today. =/


Yes you guys are true. :slight_smile:


Got a bit of work done on the underside of the leading edge extensions and the nose:


Looks great as always!

Are you using bump maps or geometry for your panel gaps? I would love to see some wireframes. :slight_smile:


It’s all geometry! :smiley: (except for a detailmap I put on so it would look a bit more interesting)
Wire with detail closeup, unsmoothed:

I’m adding extra supporting edges to everything so it still looks good with only one smoothing iteration.


Some progress on the wing. Flaperons are all done, top of the wing is still missing a bunch of details, but at least the most annoying parts are done. :slight_smile:
I’m varying the strength of the panel lines a bit. The seams for things that never get taken apart (like the rear outermost part of the wing) are a lot more subtle than panels that come off.


Not much to say really. This looks like a masterpiece in the making. :slight_smile:

The wireframes look great as well. Are you using some kind of hard edges or smoothing groups to better define the panel gaps?


Small update today, finished detailing the top of the wing, moving back to fuselage, but I’ll need to at least block out the tail fin first.
AJ1: Thanks, that’s what I’m going for! :slight_smile: Not doing anything special with the panel gaps, included a cross-section of a typical one in the pic. All one smoothing group and a meshsmooth on top of it. On painted over panels I skip the vertical face and go directly to the crossing diagonals for a softer look.


Nice… i will like to see this one finished.


Nice work! I’m looking forward to seeing it finished.


Thanks! I’ve come down with a nasty case of gaming lately, but managed to tear myself away and get some work done, one more section of the top of the fuselage. Caused a bit of difficulty as this area is seldom photographed up close and also subtly asymmetrical. And after looking at my references more closely I’ve realized I need to redo the base of the tail as the shape is slightly off.


Nice stuff man!! can you post a WF image of that last image?


That’s looking truly excellent!


Thanks chaps! Here’s the wire you asked for (at one meshsmooth iteration.)
There’s plenty of ngons, but as long as they don’t make everything too wonky I don’t mind.

(as with all my pics here, click it, and then again to expand)