Hard surface modeling - TIE fighter

Hi all! I started to model this TIE fighter just for fun and to practice hard surface modeling (got the measures from someplace, the fighter’s 7.5 m high, dude’s 180 cm). I have used earlier loop cuts to sharpen edges, but this time I’ve been using only creases and edge split modifier on this model - but I think that this way the edges look too sharp.

I’d like to know what method do you prefer to create sharp edges?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:


Generally, I think it looks pretty good. Need more views to give you more specific feedback, though.

On the question of different smooth edge methods, it depends on the ship and style you’re going for and also how you’re going to use the model. Imperial ships have really sharp edges, which fits with the rigidity and efficiency of the Empire, so you’re good there if you ask me. Just use whatever method you’re comfortable with and gives you the results you’re looking for.

When I model ships that need sharp lines, I usually don’t use the subsurf modifier at all and selectively bevel the edges of whatever pieces need it. IMO subsurf is good for more organic forms but tends to be wasteful in terms of polygons and edge loops.

Thanks for your reply! I think I’ll give it a try and remove the subsurf modifier from the wings as you suggested, let’s see how it turns out.

I will add more views later on.

I came across a new challenge :slight_smile: There’s the top part of the cabin, where the pilot climbs in. It has these cuts in it where the windows are - squared cuts in a curved surface. First I added a cube, turned it into a sphere by subsurf, removed the bottom parts then added the cuts by a Shrinkwrap modifier (as explained here: https://cgcookie.com/blender/2010/12/28/tip-hole-curved-surface-revisit/). Problem is when I add the bevel to the edges of the new holes the surface doesn’t look smooth and there are some dark spots around the corners of the cuts.

Any suggestions? How would you model these windows?

More screenshots:

I put together a turntable animation how it looks at the moment, few details are still missing: https://youtu.be/yRPAjOuq12c

Any suggestions regarding the modeling?

I think it’s looking pretty awesome so far.

I’ve been experimenting to see if I could duplicate what the problem was with the top piece but had no luck. Any chance you could post the blend file so I could take a better look?

Thanks! Today I finally managed to finish the top part by adding a boolean modifier to it and cutting it with some extra meshes. Attached the blend file.


tie_top.blend (540 KB)

And here’s a closer shot on details around the window

Nice! I’m glad you got it working.

I looked at the .blend and I think I see the problem. I still can’t exactly reproduce, but I think it’s just the topology of the sphere and the shape/angles of the cutouts working together to give you problems like folded faces in the corners and such.

I can’t wait to see it with textures =)

Thanks, texturing will be another funny story :slight_smile: As for the top part: I cheated a little. The cockpit is a basic sphere, but when I did the top part I added a cube then turned it to a sphere with subsurf mod+shift alt s in edit mode. When it was ready I applied the subsurf. The main goal is to have a bit more faces to work with because of the cutting. Theres a tutorial that gave me the idea, will try to find it.

I had some time the work on this a bit more, added a few more details. I think the modeling part is pretty much done, only need to fix a few things and optimize the mesh overall, then it’s time to start the texturing. C&C are welcome, let me know if I missed something.

Could you help me to improve the glass material? I’m using cycles. Added some thickness to the glass with solidify modifier, then applied it. There’s a HDR image giving the reflections and inside the “cockpit” there are some small lamps emitting red light. Any advice is appreciated, thanks in advance :slight_smile: