Mechanical detail - refrences?

Hey all.

I’ve been working on a semi-futuristic troop transport type aircraft recently and I’ve become stuck. I have the basic body modeled and fleshed out, but I don’t really know where to go from here. I’m mostly talking in terms of adding detail, because currently the thing looks like one huge mould.

I’ve found a tut (here) that should help, and also the ‘look at actual aircraft pics’ type refrence, but I was wondering if anyone else had some tips or suggestions.

Let me add that I’m a complete noob when it comes to mechanical stuff, so any little thing is helpful. :smiley:

That tutorial has some pretty good suggestions. Just add doodads, make sure you bevel your edges (it won’t look nearly as good unless you do), and textures are important. Most mechanical stuff looks grungy or worn at parts, so you’ll want to texture areas well.

Also, make a mechanical object in a way that it will look like it can be assembled. The problem with the model used in the tutorial that you linked is that it was a solid mass, but just added stuff on top of it. You can use a bump map to make creases between metal plates to give the illustion of a constructed object.

And what also helps is to just draw it out and design what parts you think it will need for it to work. That helps to make a more realistic deisgn.

Thanks, that actually helped a lot :D.

Yeah I had this problem when I tried to add loads of detail to a mech I made. Basically in some areas I added a bunch of different length ‘panels’ and just mixed them up placed them in the bland areas. You can even use ‘sets’ of these again and again by copying the whole set and rotating/scaling it and placing it elsewhere. This saves time and still looks good. Add stuff like pipes, cylinders, panels and other shapes with stuff that connects them.
Another thing that is good is to add rivets. You can do this by taking a uv sphere and deleting all but the top 1/5th or so, then just keep copying that and placing it where you want on the surface (like the corners of the panels). Since it is mechanical there won’t be deformation (in most cases) if you animate so having all these seperate objects shouldn’t cause any problems.
I had the same trouble as you and doing the stuff I have just mentioned I added a lot of detail and was quite pleased with the result. Just go crazy :slight_smile:

I should be taking notes :wink: .

Thanks for the info. :slight_smile:

the best way i find is to do a sketch and let pencil help you add detail there its alot easier than straight blind modeling…

Rivets and other details like that can also be added with bump-maps, particularly when the object is some distance away from the camera.

I suspect that a lot of the realism in graphic models comes more from mapping techniques … image maps, bump maps, dirt and other “beauty” maps … than from the complexity of the underlying geometry.

Always try to take full advantage of the fact that, even though you are creating a three-dimensional model, you are producing a two-dimensional image from it. Your eye will re-construct the three-dimensionality based upon the presence of visual clues. You can construct those clues in one of two ways: - Actual three-dimensional modeling. The computer’s computations of light and shadow provide the 3D clues. - Two-dimensional painting and “fakes.” The output pattern of pixels on the computer monitor is exactly the same, if well-done, but the source material is an arbitrarily-detailed flat image projected upon an object’s faces. The computational difficulty of this is basically trivial.