View Full Version : Modeler's wire mesh reference material.

01-17-2012, 11:04 AM
The way this thread is intended is like the modelers tip of the day. This doesn't quite fit the "tip of the day" thread, but I thought it would be good to combine resources into a thread to reference modeling shapes which are at times challenging to model.

I find that sometimes I have difficulty figuring out how I will create a particular wire mesh and most of the time I just sort it out just by deciding on a technique and follow through to see if I like the end results. One technique may be a longer way of modeling a particular shape than another.

The best solution sometimes, is to look at other models to see how other people have created wire meshes. It doesn't have to be for the exact same model you are creating, but maybe a feature like a wing fairing for a particular warbird, or a cowl for a CAP 232. Looking at another model or at least pictures of the wire mesh of a model can help out a lot.

Here is a link to our good tax paid people of NASA and what do you get for your hard earned tax dollars spent each payday? Lot's of expensive models for FREE.


These are mostly high polygon models, but it's nice to look at them to see how the modelers went about creating the wire meshes.

There are other resources I sometimes browse like www.turbosquid.com where you can at least preview pictures of the models and often times people have screenshots of the wire meshes.

01-17-2012, 01:59 PM
My background in modeling started with high poly models. I bought dvd sets that took me through the entire process. The techniques involved were the biggest lesson. They were useful in teaching me the tools and workflow as well. I've done a search for the dvd sets I used and cannot find them anywhere online and all my dvds were lost in a move. So stating a resource for those will not be possible.

In my opinion using high poly model mesh examples for use with low poly modeling is not a viable way to learn how to better low poly model. With no poly cap the process is very different. For instance a high poly model is modeled in such a way that the poly faces are relatively equal in size. This is because a modifier is used to divide those polys and smooth the result. In low poly modeling there is no respect to size for a given poly. An area with more detail will receive a higher number of polys while areas with lower detail will have much broader poly faces. With high poly modeling if another edge loop is required it is added and it runs it's way through the entire model. In the low poly world you should add the edge loop where needed but terminate it where it's no longer helpful. High poly modeling is a very free and open way to model and the software helps to make the model better whereas low poly no such help can be given. The modeler must pay attention to the silhouette of the model from the important perspectives and concentrate his efforts in those areas. The areas in between is where the conservation takes place.

My major source of reference is youtube. There are tutorials and just "watch me" videos on the subject. There are so many different workflows and techniques used by different modelers that there is always some new little tool usage or technique to be learned.

01-19-2012, 12:47 AM
I agree that low polygon modeling is much different than high polygon modeling. There are things you can apply to both forms of modeling, but experience is your only true friend here. I would not suggest to anyone just starting out to reference high polygon models for an entire build, however if you are having difficulty with certain spots on a model such as the cockpit windows even a high polygon model used as reference helps a lot.

Most aircraft are not a problem, but a certain one I am working on has the oddest shaped windows and they are all vastly different in shape. What helped me out is looking at the high poly example and finding bordering edge lines in my fuselage which share proximity on the high poly model. I wasn't using the high poly example to form my entire model, but it relieved a little bit of frustration as I re-did the cockpit section several times because the windows were just not coming out right.

What would be nice is to use this section to reference different areas of a model such as cockpit windows, wing fairings, wheel pants, cowls, etc. It would probably work better for people to request help here or find a good way to categorize specific shaped objects. I realize most people will just reference other sources or brute force their way through a model until they see it looks right.

My problem lately is I haven't been sleeping so I seem to be running around in circles when modeling scale aircraft. It has been a while since I have created anything elaborate for Realflight and you would think I wouldn't have any trouble doing anything in similar flavor to past projects considering also the work I am doing on the side. However, to my surprise, I am amazed how different I model for the other software I am freelancing for. You wouldn't think it would matter, and I know I didn't but man I feel rusty.

01-19-2012, 01:27 AM
Well, let me be the first to ask for help here. Im just playing around here, and this is a freehand model. Im practicing wing fillets as I have terrible results in getting the leading and trailing edges to look descent. In wings, I could add single edges to faces or verts to manipulate a face to form to the curves. However, Im trying to learn Blender from start to finish and I havent been able to duplicate that process and make it work.

If I get things looking right from the top, other views are off. same with side, bottom and back. Get one looking right, then another view has an extremely sharp edge or overlapping even.

Here is a 3ds file for anyone willing to do a max/blender workup of how it should look. Again, this is just a freehand, rough model, so shading problems are all over, but my main concern is solely on where the wing meets the fuse.

01-19-2012, 01:47 AM
Does blender have a way to make the model see through? For example in max I hit alt+x and the model is see thru but not wire frame. If there is then I suggest that you never use perspective views for comparisons. Only do those checks in orthographic. The see thru mode will aid you in seeing parts like the wing faring. The weird thing is that over time you will use Orthographic views less and less. Your eye just gets trained. The method I made a tutorial for in the MTOTD found HERE (http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25989&page=8&pp=15), starting on the last post of that page, outlines a way to form the fairings and wings straight from the fuse and by using different constraint types the faring just forms without much fuss. Of course it's 3ds max so I don't know how it plays over in Blender but I'm sure it does somehow.

01-19-2012, 07:31 AM
In a nutshell, when I create a model that has wing fillets, I'll model the wing as a separate object, ignoring the part of the wing (wingroot) that starts to taper. I create the wing except for the root. Then I'll use the Connect command to place edges on the fusulage in the shape of the wing profile or chord, but larger. Clear all edges inside that area, leaving a single face on the fuselage where the wing will attach. Make sure verices on the wing match up with vertices on the fuse, same number. Bridge the two parts together to create geometry between the wing and the fuselage. Then you can add new edge loops on the new geometry to adjust the taper as needed.

Gotta go for now. Let me know if you have any questions.

01-19-2012, 08:15 AM
Lol.........wings is great like that isn't :p Unfortunately, that method isnt so easy in Blender. If you delete a single vert, edge or face, you create a hole in the model that you manually have to recreate. Secondly, I haven't found a way yet to have a face with more than 4 verts. If you add a vert to an edge on a face with 4 verts already, you also add 2 more edges.

01-19-2012, 09:33 AM
Keep looking. I know when you loopcut in Wings, it creates faces on each side of the new objects, where the loopcut is. I recently deleted a section of my model in Max, but it didn't create a face on the new side. There's a Cap command or something to do that. I bet Blender works more like Max than it does Wings.

01-22-2012, 09:03 PM
I haven't found a way yet to have a face with more than 4 verts. If you add a vert to an edge on a face with 4 verts already, you also add 2 more edges.
There be N-gons,beware of dire Topology & Shading Problems!
Blender doesnt do N-gons yet!,2.63 may be the release for that.

Further Reading here!

Re:Wing Fillets, You wont go wrong heeding Maxkops hints (http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showpost.php?p=155025& postcount=12). :)

01-22-2012, 09:06 PM
Long time no see.....errrr hear from boss! Just in time too :p