Mig 21 Fighter plane

Hi everyone, just a DRAFT (old renders, differents shading etc…) test of a composition with the two planes to see the “action”. I’m really not happy with this one… What do you think (versus the first compo) ?

THanks folks !

lol, the first one makes more sense, this one (post 14) is way too random flying…


A couple of suggestions:
If not already, find a good SKY hdr image and swich to HDR lighting, google FREE HDR images there’s tons on the web:

Here some info:

Also, the specularity looks a little weard:

Check out this video:

This guy has some good node setups for specular maps. Sorry the audio is real poor.


@DDD : you’re right I can’t go on with old renders, it gives this random flight feeling I think :smiley: I have to make a real scene with DEDICATED renders… thanks.

@etoven : I have already HDR image of sky, but not correctly setted in the two distinct renders (one render for mig, one for the F4E, my computer cannot hold the two :/). But I will work on it, thanks. And thank you very much too for the spec node setup, I’ll check it soon.

So, I will change the composition and make dedicated renders :wink:

Hi, just to say I’ll try to make something different in order to avoid crashes and extensibles render times due to my old computer to work. I think I’ll append the F4E to the mig-21 scene, make some poses and captures without shading (3D view) and compose it in photoshop to present different scenes.


Looking pretty decent man! I’m really enthusiastic about military aircraft so I’ll try to give you some suggestions. The vortices from the wing tips should be slightly thicker and more varied. The main body’s material should either have more of a matte finish or a glossier finish. A lot of the aircraft from the era of the 50s and 60s usually had a glossy finish. I see that you’ve put a USAF logo on the wing of the F-4. You should add a red star to the vertical tail fin of the MiG! You could also distort the air very slightly to look like heatwaves behind the engine outlet of the MiG. Looking really good anyway!

@blueInGreen : thanks a lot for your comment. Your are right for the vortices. In fact there is (not on this render) a north-vietnamese star on the mig :wink: and for the glossy-finish, I comment it below :

@etoven : Erich, you save maybe not my life, but my work ! I use to have exactly the same nodes than from your video, but I had a … Fresnel node before the factor. So DUMB ! Thanks again !

Thanks all for your feedback and useful adivces.

Your planes are looking great so far, ookka! I agree about the specularity looking a bit off. If you are going for more of a painted/beauty shot, then it is fine, but if you want it to look more realistic than perhaps sharper highlights would work? If sharper doesn’t look right, then just more randomized specularity, to make it look more like a weathered surface.

Besides that, maybe chip the paint away in some higher-wear areas? Maybe this will help explain what I mean: http://stefan-morrell.cgsociety.org/gallery/955900/

Looking forward to seeing your updates!

Good work, your models seem to be accurate in all their proportions. The mesh is properly mapped and detailed textures applied. The question about the bump map intensity raised by etoven is more about the difference between the “realistic” and “cool” approach to the picture. When such a matte camouflage as applied, the flush rivets and panel seams are hardly visible, on a real plane. However, their presence can be emphasized by smudges of dirt (but not too much - remember that the ground crew washes these planes regularly) and reflectivity differences. I know this “intensive blue” color of the inside of MiG pilot’s cockpit, but I think you should give it a less saturation - I have doubt if it would produce such a contrast color from the distance as on the picture…

ookka, maybe you will find in this book about materials and textures some interesting elements - however it seems that the most of its subjects you have already worked out :).

I think that if you manage to add some “final touches” to your work, it may be comparable with good aviation art, as those presented on the the military-meshes.com, for example.

Thanks for your comments ! It is really not the final stage and for example I made mistakes in my specularity node (a Fresnel input killing the spec map), so of course I’m curently working on it, as on lighting.

@james: thanks, it’s motivating. The link you gave to me point on my last month wallpaper at work :-D.
@witold: ouha. I knew your work and it’s very very nice to read your comment… In fact I’m jumping on my chair :smiley: I know military-meshes very well as a visitor (and i’ve ask a lot of questions to Skyraider3D for example). But I’ve always thought “ha, there are masters, man, it’s not for noob like you”.

Try to update some lighting test this evening. And after, go for specularity before details/final touches/post-prod !
Thanks again !

Hi all,

just before coming back to specularity maps (for both planes), I’ve test some lighting and desaturation according to comments. I repeat, there is not yet specularity maps and all elements (smoke, fire, etc…) are in draft mode, but of course all crtique and advices are welcome !

Image 2-3:

Images 4-5 :

Image 6:

Thanks all again folks !

I like the spec in img2 and img 6 and clouds in img3
The bg plane is way to dark, if the sun is from behind as shown by the clouds and spec from he foreground plane then the bg plane needs to be really bright.
aaaand yes work on those flames…

Hi DDD, thanks for comment ! Of course flames are only to show future :slight_smile: But you’re right, it will be a hard point ! You don’t find the 2 too hard ? And you’re right for the bg plane too : I will had some extra light (I currently have HDRI/AO/Sun/emit but I will had another one).
Thanks again.


I’m currently working on some specular/bump and color testing and I really need external eyes to help me. I explain :

Thanks for comment and help !

But what about the reflectivity (aka specular, but in Cycles it may be not the same) map? It allows to create less “flat” materials (and not to rely exclusively on the color map, although it is also important). Just try to place the blurred bump map image as the reflectivity map, as the first approximation…

[SUB]BTW: I am afraid that it is difficult to express exactly what I mean in such a flexible renderer as Cycles. By the reflectivity map I mean the texture used in the role I have described in Chapter 4.6 (page 144) of the Excerpt III from my book…[/SUB]

Hum, I think I understand what you mean. In fact, it is quite specular in Cycles, but I have removed from this specular map the lines and rivets… maybe it is a mistake. I will try to keep them in it. But I think the lighting is really important in this effect with Cycles.

PS: what do you think about the reflectivity/specular of the fuel tank ? It sounds better no ?
[edit] Ha, I’ve just bought your book mate ! [/edit]

Witold, you’re book is amazing ! I advice it for anybody who want to make planes with Blender ! Congrats !

I am very happy that you have found this book useful - in fact this excerpt was dedicated exclusively for such a case like this. Now you will know all what I know about Cycles and textures :).

Yes, you are right, the light in the scene has a decisive influence on the overall effect. As you can see in the book, I have found that for such aerial scenes and matte surfaces rendered in Cycles, the sun has to have a relatively high intensity, to integrate the model better with the environment.

Yes, the fuel tank seems to be made of a dull aluminum (as it was in the reality) - it looks good. [SUB](The “natural finish skin” of the Soviet airplanes did not produced such a “mirror” effect as on the US-made aircraft. They were more blurred, as the tank in your model. The reason was the technology: US-made “alcald” had a thin layer of mirror-like, pure aluminum cover, as a cover against the environment influence).[/SUB]

It seems to me that the bottom surfaces of your MiG are painted in a light gray matte paint, am I right?

Hi Witold,

I definitively think I will earn a LOT of time with your book (because it is very hard for me to test shading/lighting, etc… : I had a so bad computer - about 32’ to render a 400 passes image, no possibility to render an image with two migs without make it crash, I have to change !).

You are right (and thanks for alcald info :)) for the bottom surface. But I’m not really sure about my references… Maybe it should be aluminium… What do you think about it ? It could be a good exercise too.

You must have done quite a lot of work, just to place all those rivets and seams alone! I think I like the render with the rivets visible in the diffuse channel as well, instead of only in the bump. I don’t know if they would be that noticeable or not in real life, but at this resolution, I feel you can’t notice them very well, so I would say leave them in the diffuse as well.