The YF-19: Uh… Houston…

So here we are, finally at the cliffhanger I was supposedly drawing my readers to, so if you were wondering about my ominous indications that this project was about to stumble, well, here’s what happened.

September 14: More panel cutting!

September 14: More panel cutting!

You see those triangular shapes at both sides of the fuselage? Well, on closer inspection, there should be only one of them, on the left. As far as I know, they’re some sort of micro-missile hidden door or something.

Right there.

Right there.

So no big deal, right? It’s just a matter of not using mirror here, creating the whole piece as a single thing and then deleting the right side panels, reconstructing the mesh and keep on. But that little thing got me thinking: Why am I carving out each and every single panel out, even ones that are not probably panels but part of the paint job? (the zig-zaggy line above that triangular cut is probably a division with a grey paint job on top of it) Wouldn’t there be a more poly-efficient way to get the result I want without carving all of this? And with a plus: I could reduce the poly number substantially.

When my cousin commented on the last close-up above that the “UV mapping will be a nightmare”, I had to agree. Not only I had no idea how to UV map something in Blender, I was making it a lot more difficult if you could just make a bump map with the panel lines, UV map the surface and call it a day. Plus, I was going all the way down with this plane into a realistic short film of some kind, so I wanted efficiency of method in the model and let the textures and lighting do the rest. The idea of loading an extremely heavy model into a scene to be rendered, instead of a light, efficient model with the right UV maps and textures, was starting to become a daunting thing.

The last nail on the coffin for this stage of construction was that I had been watching a lot of pictures and videos on the Arcadia transformable toy, and I was getting more and more inspired to not only animate the YF-19 as a plane, but as a GERWALK and Battroid. That involves critical thinking in the modelling process, since from the beginning the modelling would have to divide the fuselage into the parts that disassemble and form the robot. It was a very exciting idea, and nowhere near the initial plan of just learning how to model something in Blender.

The YF-19 project had to make a forced landing here, and get back to the drawing board… plus watching loads of new tutorials.


About Eduardo

I'm some dude with a huge love for animation and film. I've been working in TV animation for the past 6 years in New Zealand. I love dragons, pointy metal things that can cut dragons, and flight simulators.
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