Modeling Gugu's Helmet--Many Ways Tried--Am I Doing It Wrong?

I’ve been working on this on and off since December. I have made three versions, but all have bad geometry and are impossible to UV map.

Then I tried doing the poly by poly build method I see in so many tutorials on making anime characters. So here’s what I’m trying:

Modeling a Helmet–Am I Doing this Wrong?

But as I close in on filling in the whole area, I still end up with bad geometry.

For reference, this was my first attempt, but the UV mapping is a mess.

I’m really not sure how to go about modeling this deceivingly “simple” shape. I can model architectural stuff, and make vacuum tube models, but this one “simple” shape has me stymied.

How would experienced Blender users tackle this?

First of all you may sketch simpler versions and go into details later and don’t jump right into details.
Second: extruding single edges to make only in one point connected polygons is a bad idea.
And third: you side view and front view seems not to match up… so it is very unlikely that this will be succsessfull if you are a beginner…
And last: This seems to be from Fumetsu no Anata… ahh…

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So, what would be a sensible approach?

I’ve tried sculpting, I’ve tried starting with a poly primitive and then shaping it and subdiv. Now I’m trying the method I see used in tutorials for doing anime characters. But I lack sufficient knowledge of the process.
Indeed it is from Fumetsu no Anata e.

The problem when doing modeling from a front and side view is almost ever: the don’t match. Even if taken from a 3D model they are not orthographic and mostly not exactly the same size. So this is only a reference. Even car blueprints do have some quirks… The problem is you have to be able to read the 3D form a ( or more) 2D (maybe perspective distorted) images. Even worse the image from the manga or anime are drawn 2D representations of a (imaginary) 3D object… For example look here:

you can see that this is the helmet… but look closer… it does have a complete other form…

I played a bit with some images which seems to be better aligned… but:

The aren’t… (See shoulder thing for example…) Lot’s of work to imagine this if not familiar with this object form (meaning: haven’t seen the anime.)

One possibility would be to see/learn the from by just modeling this out in real of putty… if you are unexpereiences in 3D modelling…

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There are challenges with the apparent “morphing” of the shape as it turns, due to the nature of anime artwork. But I can interpolate those differences mentally.

What is giving me problems are two things:

While I can get the shape outlined in orthographic right/left view, I don’t know how to loft it into front view properly. I was using the method of dragging some vertices with proportional editing turned on, but it doesn’t produce the best geometry.

The second problem (which I experienced with earlier versions I tried of this model) is that the UV mapping is fragmented and completely unusable. And I’m sure this is due to improper construction of the polygons in the model.

So while it’s a challenge to model this because the side and front views aren’t a perfect match, I can mentally make adjustments. The problem is I don’t know the proper method to make my 2D profile geometry loft into 3D.

There is a clay version depicted in the end credits:

Yeah… this is vertex pushing at it finest… :crazy_face: