“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t”
For further practice of using edit poly on 3ds Max, we decided to make a spaceship. I decided to make a spaceship that I could place in the space shooter that I’ve been working on.
As inspiration for creating a spaceship, I looked to a few existing games for ideas. A few spaceships that stood out to me were the ‘Swift Interceptor’ from Star Conflict and many of the ships present in No Mans Sky (Although I personally dislike the game, I think the spaceships are pretty cool.). I liked the idea of having a cuboid-like shape for the hull that extends out to the front with a small cockpit near the back with two large engines connected to the main hull but not part of it (In SC’s case, it would be two afterburners). I also took inspiration from real like aircraft such as the ME262, but with engines that looked a little bit more like that of a real like rocket engine. This is what I tried to replicate.
I started off by using a cuboid that was quite long in order to form a basic, simple hull for the ship. I then split the entire object in half and used the Symmetry modifier to save me some time – this would replicate every change it made to one side of the ship onto the other so in theory I would only have to do half of the work. I inset the face on the left, scaled it to a size that would be ideal for the engine to be connected to, then extruded. I scaled up the extruded poly along the z axis and extruded again – forming a basic cylinder-like shape for the engines. I then extruded again, but scaled it inwards along the z axis to complete the cylinder before extruding one last time to form some basic wings. I took the poly at the end of the wing and moved it forward to give the wings a “cool” sci-fi look. I then went back to the engine and extruded the front polys, then extruded again – scaling it down this time to make it streamlined. I then inset the face, and extruded inwards to form an air-intake. At the back of the engine, I inset the face, dragged it back a little bit before extruding. I scaled the extruded polys along every axis to make a simple engine nozzle that resembled both the exhaust of a fighter jet and the nozzle found on most real-life rocket engines. Much like the intake, I inset the poly before extruding inwards to form the thrust chamber.
I then moved on to using connect to create some more polys vertically along the hull of the ship. Using extrude and scaling, I was able to create a simple cockpit. After using the target weld tool to tidy up a few unused polys and extruding the front of the ship inwards because I thought it looked cool, applying smoothing groups, and stitching together the symmetry models, this was the result.
Then came UVW Unwrapping. I went around the ship with the ‘Point-to-point’ seam tool to mark where I thought seams should be located. I then selected everything and quick peeled. In the UV Editor, I went through the unwrap and stitched various parts back together to keep things grouped, and split other parts if the unwrap didn’t work.
I then saved the UV template and whipped it over into Photoshop and began texturing. I wanted to create a sarcastic but badass looking ship. First thing I did was add a layer of green below everything, and add a metal texture which I multiplied to the green to get some interesting details. Next thing i did was add the nozzle details. For these, I went to textures.com and used a photograph of a close up from a jet engine to get the texture. I had to copy-paste this multiple times to get a 360 degree texture that would work. I also got a warning decal from the web and added the text “//WARNING: PROS ONLY//” to the side of it. Also added “Caution, do not step here” signs to each engine. I then added some misc white and black stripes to the hull for decoration. This was the final result.