With the box model in the background I started to model and detail each individual part. The model wasn't complicated to create because of the simple forms so I won't talk too much about the modeling process. The only important thing to talk about and explain further is the hard surfaces. The model was made from individual subpatches in LightWave. This is basically a process by which the basic geometry is smoothed to create simple forms. The only problem with using this approach is that you lose some of the hard edges in the corners of your model.
As far as I am aware there are two solutions for creating hard surfaces using this technique; you can either weight the suitable edges or add additional cuts. I excluded edge weight because it was not compatible if I decided to export the model and use it elsewhere, so the trick I chose was to just add extra edges loops near the borders that needed to be sharp (Fig.03).
The last step after completing the mesh was to add the rivets. To add them I cloned one using a plugin, which repeated them around the body. Rivets were an important detail because they broke the plain surface of the body of the robot and at the same time they added some nice, smaller details (Fig.04).
The model was now ready to be posed! You can see the wireframes of the individual parts in Fig.05.
Rigging and Pose
I decided to rig the character so I was free to pose him as I chose and also so I would be able to animate him in the future. In LightWave you can rig a character in two different ways. You can use bones, which you assign to each part of the robot and apply weight maps to, or you can use hierarchies and separate all the robot parts into layers and animate them using their original pivot points.
To describe all of the rigging process would require me to write a very long tutorial, but I would always suggest that you use the first method as I did because it gives you more control and causes fewer headaches (Fig.06).
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