New Modeller Trying to Learn

Hi all,

I’m trying to find out if I’m doing this right. And maybe get over some problems I’m having.

I’m making a simple model of an airplane for a program called RealFlight. The model I’m creating is a “foamie” RC plane.

I open a bitmap and set it as my background image. I want to create an outline of the fuselage, convert that to a surface, and extrude that to a thickness.

I tried Add >> Mesh >> Circle and the dragging the points to the outline, adding vertices where needed. The problem was that extruding that did not give me a 3d model. Just an extruded outline.

Now, I’m doing Add >> Mesh >> Plane. This seems to work okay. However, sometimes when I create a vertex and move it, it ends up inside the line between two other vertices. Then I have to select those, create new vertices, and move things around.

Plus, at the end, my surface looks like a spiderweb of vertices and lines.

I’m thinking there has to be a better way.

I have attached images with the steps I’m going through now. Can you offer advice?

I could start with a plane and subdivide it into thousands of points to begin with, but that is kinda a headache. I end up with lots of internal points I really don’t need.


I’m sorry if that was a really dumb question. I guess my google-foo was off yesterday.

It seems the majority of the tutorials out there are to create “natural” scenes. But I finally found a tutorial for creating a car that I think will work for me.

The tutorial suggests extruding the box vice subdividing it. It seems to work okay for now.

However, I’d really like to place vertices around an outline and have those vertices become a surface.

Anyway, back to modeling for now…

Try using the loop cut tool [Ctrl+r] to add vertexes. Much better for what your doing than subdivide, which creates all those nasty triangles. Also, start with a cube, not a plane. Planes and circles are flat. Start 3d. Grab one end of the cube and move it to one end of the fuselage. Grab the other end and move it to the other end. Put in some loop cuts and start adjusting the profile. Another handy tool: select edge loop [Alt+RMB]. Do your grabbing and moving in wireframe mode, to make sure you get both sides of the cube.

to trace an outline I’d suggest to:

  • Go into orthogonal view (NumPad 1, 3, 7) and load backgroud image.
  • add mesh and hit (key X) to delete, select “faces”. Now you’re in edit mode but with an empty mesh.
  • Start adding points with (Ctrl-LeftMouseButton),
  • fill by selecting 4 vertices and hit (key F).Regards

Thanks, guys.

I tried both techniques. The loop cut tool is a lot easier than extruding. It seems to work very well.

The “adding points” tool is very clever. However, I wish it was smart enough to generate a mesh from multiple vertices. When using that, I just have to keep in mind that I need an even number of vertices. Otherwise, I end up with the same spiderweb mess.

The reason I’m using a plane vice cube is that the aircraft I’m creating is a “foamie”. It’s basically a flat profile model designed to to together quickly. Since there is no need for 3d detail in the front plane, I just model in 2d on the side view and then change to front view to extrude.

The first post in this forum has some videos of the “real-life” plane flying.

And attached is an image of my model.

Now I just need to figure out how to wrap a skin over the dammed thing. I built a UVMap, but it made my head hurts trying to figure out which way was up.


Yeah, I see your point, but I’d still use a cube, just scale it real thin along the x axis. Even foam has some thinkness. Anyway, that’s a matter of workflow, what ever works is the right way.

Regarding UV mapping, with a model like yours, you should be able to cut seams (select edges and [Ctrl+e>>Mark Seam]) to give you some nice easy to paint UV maps. To determine what is where, after you’ve unwrapped, you can deselect everything in the 3D viewport and just select, say, the top of the wing, and only the top of the wing segments will show up in the UV Image Editor. Then you can select them in the UV Image Editor window, scale them, move them around, what ever you want. Make seams where there would be a natural seam anyway: where the wings attach to the fuselage, the trailing edge of the wing, places like that.

Yeah, the first time I tried UVMapping, I didn’t create a seam. The map was really confusing.

Now, I switch to front view, box select all the vertices on one side, and mark a seam. The UVMaps are virtually perfect.

If I do a UVMap along with VerticePaint, will they mix? Is there a color I can define in the UVMap’s image that will become transparent so that the underlying layer will show through?