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Julhelm

Tutorial: Modelling an F-101 Voodoo

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The intent with this tutorial is to try and teach discipline and technique. I chose the F-101 as the subject because it's a plane many like and it's also a fairly straight-forward design that doesn't pose a lot of complexity, assuming one goes about the job in the right way.

 

First of all, we need to set up max with reference material, which I've kindly provided below:

 

f101_top.jpg

f101_front.jpg

f101_side.jpg

 

Next, we begin by creating a single plane in the 'top' viewport using the button on the right hand side as visible in this pic. Remember what the menus look like because we'll come back to this one:

 

1.jpg

 

To have any use of the plane, we need to put the picture we want on it, and to do that we'll open the materials tab by pressing 'm'. Selecting a material amounts to simply clicking either of the spheres at the top, and to add an image click on the empty square button next to the 'diffuse' color window. In the menu that appears, select 'bitmap' and then the file 'f101_top.jpg'.

 

Fairly straight forward, huh? Now add the other two pics to materials of their own until your materials tab looks like this:

 

2.jpg

 

Apply the material to the plane using the apply button and click on the checkered box to be able to see the map in the viewport. At any time you may switch any viewport between display modes by rightclicking on where it says 'top', 'left' and so on. Personally I find 'smooth+highlights' with 'edged faces' the most intuitive to work with.

 

Next we have to scale the plane because the picture is out of proportion. Select the plane and use the scale command at the top for this. Since we already know that the F-101's span is 12 meters, height 5.5 meters and it's lenght is 20.5 meters, this shouldn't be too difficult:

 

3.jpg

 

Now rightclick on the plane and convert it into 'editable poly'. On the right menu, go into the 'modify' tab (we'll be using this a lot) and open up the editable poly until you can see and select 'element'. Select that and then click on the plane so that it turns red. Press shift and use the move command to make a copy of the plane. Make another copy and place these somewhere by themselves.

 

Apply each material to each plane and place these using move, rotate and scale until they're all in proportion and pics are visible in the 'left' and 'back' viewports respectively:

 

4.jpg

 

Now we're ready to move onto modelling.

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Modelling the Fuselage.

 

The first thing we'll do is go create a plane on this panel and roughly the same shape of it, convert it to editable poly, and use the front view to pull the bottom verts out a bit making it angled roughly like the real panel. Apply a grey material with an opacity of 80 or something so it becomes slightly transparent:

 

1-1.jpg

 

Next thing, select the bottom edge and using shift+move extrude this downwards once, following the contour of the fuselage cross section:

 

2-1.jpg

 

Now that you get the hang of it, extrude down one more time to where the engines are located, and then extrude the forward edges of all three planes forwards following the contour of the side profile, ignoring the canopy, until you reach the radome:

 

3-1.jpg

 

Manipulate the vertices so that they match the contour from all sides:

 

4-1.jpg

 

Now extrude the rear fuselage using the same technique, though this time we'll be following the distinctive split between upper and lower rear fuselage. You should weld together those last verts to create a couple of trifaces:

 

5.jpg

 

That done, now select the two faces that lie where the canopy should be and delete those. This is because the canopy is almost always a separate shape from the fuselage and needs to be created separately. Now is also a good time to save and then instance mirror our shape:

 

6.jpg

 

Use quickslice or cut to create a few more edges in order to roughly form a hole the shape of the canopy:

 

7.jpg

 

Now split the top nose face into two, flatten it out at the top and extrude the centermost edge, making sure the two first faces are shaped like the flat windshield into a shape roughly that of the canopy's contour. Add another edgeloop to smoothen out the curve at the top:

 

8.jpg

 

Now extrude a set of new faces upwards from the bottom of the hole, adding another edgeloop matching the split on the windshield. The idea here is to match every edge so that we have only quads and not many trifaces - all for reasons to be revealed later:

 

9.jpg

 

Now fill in the gaps with polys, trying to get nice quads by adding edgeloops as needed:

 

10.jpg

 

Now you'll likely think this looks like ass, so assign smoothing group 1 to the fuselage, 2 to the canopy and 3 to the windshield, turn off edged faces and see how it'll look ingame :)

 

Next we'll create the slab sides of the fuselage by again extruding edges. As always manipulate the vertices by hand to match the imagined contour. I say imagined because it is important to be able to visualize countours. Obviously having access to a plastic model helps here:

 

Oh, and just for good measure we'll extrude a couple times more to take care of that pesky curve and finishing the 'circle' of the front fuselage:

 

11.jpg

 

Oh look, that's almost starting to resemble an aircraft. And it's only 270 tris!

 

12.jpg

 

More to follow...

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Guest capun

For non-commercial uses and if you are a student or teacher you can get an educational version about $500.

 

You can get a demo but it's only good for 30 days and you cannot re-install it.

 

Juls, good tutorial :)

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Just to drive home the point of what you can accomplish using the modelling techniques this tutorial will cover:

 

mei_hsia_render2.jpg

 

Expect to see another part of Voodoo creation tomorrow.

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Just to drive home the point of what you can accomplish using the modelling techniques this tutorial will cover:

 

mei_hsia_render2.jpg

 

Expect to see another part of Voodoo creation tomorrow.

 

mmmm purple belly shirt.oh the model is good too. :biggrin:

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To create the engines, we'll create a cylinder and place this back at where the nozzles start, making it the same size as the nozzle diameter:

 

13.jpg

 

Make it editable poly, then extrude this out a couple of times using the drawing as reference, stopping at the start of the diagonal line that marks the wing/intake joint.

 

16.jpg

 

Delete all the faces that will be "on the inside", then select the fuselage and attach the engine to it. Now fill out the gaps and line up any loops if you have to:

 

18.jpg

 

Now select the edge in front of the engines, and extrude this out a couple of times using the intake cross-section for reference:

 

19.jpg

 

Keep extruding, then target weld to the bottom of the "slab" face:

 

20.jpg

 

Fill in the gaps, ignoring the resulting triface:

 

21.jpg

 

Instead, cut an edge into the slab face and then target weld the loose vertex to it:

 

22.jpg

 

Select these faces and delete them:

 

23.jpg

 

Replace them with this, following the wing joint:

 

24.jpg

 

Create faces on the bottom as well:

 

25.jpg

 

Now we'll move to the rear. The F-101 has another of those pesky compound-curved nozzle splitters like the F-4 and F-1. To start it, select the relevant edges of the cylindrical face and extrude:

 

26.jpg

 

Continue extruding using the upper curve for reference (the entire compound curve depends on that one, not the bottom):

 

27.jpg

 

Cut new edges to allow shaping of the bottom curve:

 

28.jpg

 

And shape it by pulling up the vertices from the bottom and also moving them in towards the centerline to match the overhead contour of the fuselage:

 

29.jpg

 

Now create a couple polys here to fill in this gap:

 

31.jpg

 

Pull the bottom vertices in towards the centerline like this:

 

32.jpg

 

We need to adjust the meshflow as the fuselage looks "off" now, and to do this we select and delete these polys and the two in front of those:

 

33.jpg

 

Create new polys:

 

34.jpg

 

Cut an edge:

 

35.jpg

 

Then use target weld and remove excess edges to make it look like this:

 

36.jpg

 

Now extrude the bottom edges from the engines in towards the centerline to fill in the missing bottom of the fuselage, and also create trifaces at the rear to complete the joint between the engines and the splitter:

 

38.jpg

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Creating the nozzles is as simple as pie. Select the round face and extrude/scale a couple of times:

 

39.jpg

 

And a couple of times more:

 

40.jpg

 

Now to create the nosecone, create a cylinder of 12 sides and 5 stacks, and position this where the radome begins:

 

41.jpg

 

Scale the sections down to resemble the drawing. You'll need to do this from both the top and side viewports since the radome isn't 100% cylindrical.

 

42.jpg

 

When that's done, target weld it's vertices to the fuselage, and create a set of new edges here and here to get rid of trifaces that will otherwise mess with smoothing:

 

43.jpg

 

Lo and behold, we now have something that actually resembles an F-101!

 

44.jpg

 

More to come...

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Ok, so we had the fuselage pretty much done in the last part. Now it's time to give it wings, and also to correct some inaccuracies from the last step which will be apparent when doing the wings.

 

Before we start off though, I found out I'd made a slight error on the rear fuselage. To fix it, all that's needed is cutting a couple new edges and target welding loose verts. The correct edge structure on the splitter part looks like this, with the new edges highlighted in red:

 

fix.jpg

 

With that done, let's move on to the wings now:

 

The first thing we have to do is make sure we have something to model the wings from. What we want to do is create a profile of the wing which we'll then use to extrude the actual wing from the fuselage, and to begin with we have to select and delete the faces here, and add an edgeloop at the rear which will serve as the fulcrum for the trailing edge:

 

1.jpg

 

Now extrude those outer 3 faces from the intake backwards once, and create new polys to connect them with the fuselage while also creating a set of trifaces at the rear to facilitate the v-shape of the trailing edge:

 

2.jpg

 

We'll also rotate the leading edge "v" to line it up with the overhead drawing, and then we select the edges from the trailing edge up to the intake and extrude them out once, lining them up with the intake and welding the loose vertices:

 

3.jpg

 

Now select the entire profile and extrude it outwards along the leading edge of the wing, stopping at the start of the rounded tip:

 

4.jpg

 

Create an edgeloop at the crank:

 

5.jpg

 

Move the new verts into position at the trailing edge:

 

6.jpg

 

Cut a new edge here on both sides of the wing:

 

7.jpg

 

Cut one behind as well, making sure the trailing edge continues past the crank to connect with the fuselage. Adjust the fuselage loop for this if you have to:

 

8.jpg

 

Now use the front view and scale down the sections of wing to match the thickness of the drawing:

 

9.jpg

 

Make the tip planar:

 

10.jpg

 

Create polys to fill the gaps, and cut an edge through the middle:

 

11.jpg

 

Pull out the vertices and extrude the trailing edge faces if needed to get a nice-looking wingtip:

 

12.jpg

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Now to create the ailerons, cut an edge here; then mark the ends of it with two points (found in create -> helpers -> point) in order to get it exact from the other side as well:

 

13.jpg

 

Create an edge here for the upper surface of the flap:

 

14.jpg

 

Cut edges on the bottom here to mark out the flap:

 

15.jpg

 

Then clean up excess edges by using target weld:

 

16.jpg

 

It really isn't much harder than this to create flight surfaces. You have to be careful though and plan things out a little beforehand so that you do not end up with an excessively messy mesh, even if target weld is your friend here.

 

Now we'll move on to finishing off the intakes - Start off by selecting the polys we created before:

 

17.jpg

 

Extrude them inwards using the same technique we used on the nozzles:

 

18.jpg

 

Now, the F-101 has a splitter plate and then a round leading edge section separating the intake from the fuselage. To construct this, we need to delete some polys and then cut an edge here both top and bottom:

 

19.jpg

 

Using edge extrusion, create the leading edge between the intake and fuselage, making sure to leave a small section of edge which we'll use for extruding the plate:

 

20.jpg

 

Extrude the plate using those two edges, and then create polys to fill everything up nicely:

 

21.jpg

 

Hide everything to get a good view, and then fill up the inside of the splitter plate:

 

22.jpg

 

Create new polys here to fill up the gap between fuselage and leading edge. Suffice to say, you should create faces so that any edges follow the contours of the fuselage:

 

23.jpg

 

Next thing you know, move some verts here to make the splitter plate thinner:

 

24.jpg

 

Remodel this section to fix a small problem resulting from the leading edge:

 

25.jpg

 

And we're done:

 

26.jpg

 

More to follow...

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I have to say that it is mircaulous watching a Voodoo being created before our very eyes in this way! Much appreciation, Julhelm. It is inspiring seeing your work unfolding.

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Julhelm,

 

You might want to highlight also that one should choose reference materials carefully. Before building, find the best drawing/plan you can. There are a lot of drawings out there................... and a high percentage aren't all that good, which you might discover halfway through a model. It's a real pain having to take things apart when you come across better information.

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Julhelm,

 

You might want to highlight also that one should choose reference materials carefully. Before building, find the best drawing/plan you can. There are a lot of drawings out there................... and a high percentage aren't all that good, which you might discover halfway through a model. It's a real pain having to take things apart when you come across better information.

The best reference is a good 1/72 or 1/48 scale plastic kit. Drawings are a necessity for basic proportions but they are next to useless for reading shapes, unless of course you manage to find a fully dimensioned professional one with cross-sections and that kind of detail. Even then it's pretty much guesstimation since Max lacks any kind of dimensioning tools like those found in proper CAD software like SolidWorks.

 

Personally I like to use the gallery at http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com for reference purposes.

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Drawings are a necessity for basic proportions but they are next to useless for reading shapes...................

 

Granted. I'm assuming that any modeller would want to use a good drawing as a starting point.................. but would make use of other references/materials and not attempt to model from a drawing alone.

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