Well after a long hiatus from blender I decided to jump right back in and modeled a helicopter which I want to then use in a video. I got the basic model done and now its ready for skinning and rigging. The blades, skids, and body are different objects.

So I need to paint the helicopter and rig the rotors to spin. I know I could just keyframe the rotation of the blades, but I wanted to do it with the location of an empty. Not really sure why, other than it is a little more complicated and i want to practice using emptys.

Let me know what you think about the models or if you are interested in the blend file.

Edit: I decided to do a quick test of the blades spinning. Here it is.

Not bad modeling, but if you have ever seen a helicopter (I hope you have) you will notice that it has 3 or 4 blades, but I’ve never seen like 10 or 12.

Thanks, I know helicopters usually only have 2 or 4 blades, but I made it with 12 so it will look better while spinning. I’ll do an animation test with 4 blades and see how it looks. My thought was it would look more like motion blur with the 12 blades when it was spinning and it would be easier to render without overloading the motion blur.

After playing around with texture painting and looking at some more tuts, I decided I wanted to remodel the helicopter and make it high detail. So I spent most of the day today trying to figure out how to topo it and get good edge flow. I resisted the urge to just abuse bmesh and I am trying for good topo. I finally went with a good rough subsurface model, to provide the shape to allow me to retopo and add the frame for the doors and windows. I wish the magnetic tool would be a little smarter. is there a better way to retopo?

I still have a lot of adjusting to do to this mesh. I can see some areas that might be problematic. I’ll keep working on it as I get time.

Oh wow, that’s a lot more high-detail than my models. (most of mine are cuboids with a heavy sub surf.) Everyone seems to find Bmesh as the ultimate modeling tool, what, exactly, does it do?

Thanks Owldude. I shoulda been more clear: by saying not abusing bmesh, I meant I didn’t use it. I started with a very carefully modeled cube based helicoptor using just a 1x subsurf modifier. I then took a plane and began outlining the windows and other features using the magnetic tool to align with faces.

Ok, I did some more work on the main body last night. I added in the windscreen, sunroof, and bottom windows. I also added the main part of the tail and cleaned up the nose a little bit. The render is with a level 3 subsurf. The wire is with 0 subsurf.

This is the model of helicopter I am trying to model

I also would like to simplify the geometry as I move to the tail, but when I tried, I ended up losing the nice smooth lines of the body. I kinda resigned myself to the idea that it can’t be simplified much more. It isn’t too dense right now on the tail, but it may get worse when I add in the doors.
And from looking at this angle I realize I need to redo my exaust pipe, I made it one piece as that top area. I need to make an arch opening and then run the pipe from the engine out the back.

Edit: Just did the exhaust adjustment. looks a lot better now.

Ah, your model is looking pretty awesome.

Ok, so its been a little while and i’ve done a little here and there, but now I’m done with enough for another update. I finished modeling the doors and am maybe 70% of the way done with the rotors.

I need to finish the rotor, tail, tail rotor, add lights, spotlight, antennae. Then add rivets and bump map them, door handles, and textures.

Ok, I did some more on the main rotors and then decided to do a spin test. I think I need to make the blades spin faster to look like they are really flying. Motion blur level 4 on this.

Nice animation…Hey! 2.63 can have the Vector Blur set way up! Yay!