Having been fascinated by all kinds of flying vehicles since I was a child (caused by an airbase being located in Heidelberg, where I live); I finally gave myself a push and started creating this Pave Hawk helicopter. The reason why I chose this particular model is because it's a multi-purpose aircraft, which can be used for things such as general searches and rescue operations, right up to NASA Space shuttle support, so many interesting situations can be created with it.
The software I used for this piece was 3ds Max 8 and finalRender Stage-1 for rendering.
Before I started the modelling process, I invested a lot of time into my research. It's always good to have the object you model completely in mind before you begin. I searched for a many photographs and videos for all of the details, especially for the swashplate and how it works (special thanks to Paul Donaghy, a British helicopter engineer). The next step was setting up the blueprints to use them as a rough guide to achieve the overall shape (Fig.01).
After a lot of classic polygonal modelling, I also used some dynamics to get fabrics into the right shape. The net and rope you see here were done with the cloth modifier – a very practical tool (Fig.02).
The swashplate, with its rods, was rigged; the rotor blades bend and twist during flight to get the right silhouette for visually supporting the weight of the helicopter in the air (I'm wondering how often I see just flat blades on so many CG helicopters in movies and series; in my eyes, the bending and twisting of the blades assists the integration of the vehicle in the air a lot as it gives a more dynamic feeling)(Fig.03).
What you see here is the final model. The wheels have morph targets to become deformed by the ground (Fig.04 - 05).