Hello everybody, my name is Martin Kostov and in this article I will have the honor of explaining the creation of my image "AH-1Z Viper Helicopter". First of all, I want to start by telling you that I did not work alone on this project. The high poly modeling was done by my friend and colleague Ivo Jovchev. We wanted to create a good piece of art and at the same time wanted to keep the poly count as low as possible. The first step we took was to look for references. We were lucky and found a lot of high quality photos on the internet. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have good references (Fig.01 - 03).
The next important step was to find information about the helicopter. Such information can usually be found on Wikipedia and similar sites. You can always make the model without knowing anything about it, but this model was very complex with a lot of different elements and we wanted to get to know the different parts so that we could create them more easily.
After we gathered all of this data we sat down and decided that in order to keep the detail, but end up with a low poly count, we had to make a very high poly version of the model first, then create the final mesh and bake all of the small stuff (like bolts and small holes). Ivo was going to create the high poly version and I would do the rest. He sat down for two-three weeks and created a really detailed high poly model with around 9 million polygons (Fig.04 - 05).
After I received the model I started making the final mesh. I used the high poly version that he had created and started going through all of the pieces one by one, making the final meshes. I grouped and fixed elements that needed adjustment before the baking.