Hard surface, high-resolution modeling presents its own unique challenges. This tutorial series shows the creation of a common hard surface object, a gun, from start to finish.
Hard surface modeling?
Hard surface is the term used to describe manufactured or mechanical objects – cars, planes, guns, Iron Man, consumer electronics, etc.
Hard surfaces are the opposite of organic models (characters, monsters, trees, etc). Hard surface models generally have lots of straight lines, sharp corners, repeated detail, smooth surfaces, and lots of beveled edges.
Maya gun modeling begins with the block out
When modeling hard surfaces, nailing the base shape is extremely important. The base shape is the starting point for the rest of our detail.
Generally, we can’t make changes to the basic shape once we start detailing. So if we have wavy lines or sloppy curves on the base shape, our high res detail will end up looking lumpy and fake!
Then we begin adding hard surface detail
Next we add detail to the base shape, using tools like bevel, mesh smooth, and Boolean. The real challenge to hard surface modeling is adding detail (i.e. lots of polygons) while still maintaining a mesh that is easy enough to work with that changes are still possible. It is definitely a balancing act.
Last – professional detailing
Hard surface modeling involves a lot of patience: to create the best possible model, a modeler must be patient enough to add each and every detail, no matter how small. This last step involves using mesh smooth to up-res to a high level of detail, and adding our final bevels and sharpening our normal to get crisp, mechanical looking details.
For this tutorial, I used reference straight from the manufacturer’s site: http://www.kriss-arms.com/
A simple image search should turn up plenty of detailed images you can use for reference as well.
Now start modeling! And post screens of your work in the comments. 🙂