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Nov 2010 14

40k Grot Tanks

Hobbies 3d graphics

Simple Grot Tank
Simple Grot Tank

So for giggles I have been doing some Modo work this weekend..   Warhammer 40k Grot Tanks amuse me so I thought it would be fun to make one in 3D..

I spent the first part of the weekend completely wiping my system and reinstalling windows, redownloading my copy of Modo from luxology and getting everything set back up..  It takes a while, but not too bad to be honest..

Once that was done I started working on the roadwheels and the track..

Tread Demo 1
Tread Demo 1

First 4 hours -- It took me forever to figure out how to get the one tread I created to clone around a bezier curve such that all the points matched up.. But once I did I was very excited!!  I think it looks great and it should be fairly easy to animate too..

The tread itself isn't finished, but since it's just 55ish clones of one tread anything I do to the parent magically appears on all the children.. Good times..

It's WAAAY too clean for a grot tank right now but I figured I'd make the clean version of everything then dirty it up my mangling the mesh and adding dirty textures..

I had to ask via the Luxology forums how to group the instances correctly such that I could move them.  Otherwise they go all wonky when you click and drag..  But once done it made sense and I was ready to move on to the rest of the tank..

Grot Tank
Grot Tank

+4 hours -- The next thing I did was build in the basic body shape..  I made sure to build subdivision into this model from the start so it wouldn't be something I would have to go back and do later..

I also spent some time adjusting my environment so that my renders weren't straight up black and white..

I have had a couple folks ask me recently if I thought Modo was worth the money..  For me I have to say yes.. Even though I don't do this professionally, It's just a hobby play thing I still think it was well worth the cost.  For professionals I'd say it's a must have..   Just the amount of work that one can do in a very short time is amazing..  It takes some training and experience, but still its fast going..

At this point I'm going to continue to work on the model, getting the "clean" tank finished before starting to add the bits of scrap metal, plating, rust and grime..etc..

Exhaust
Exhaust

+2 hours -- So I spent a couple hours tonight beginning the exhaust system on the back of the tank.. Far from done of course, but looks good.. Again I went through and made sure that the mesh was 100% subdivision compliant and it looks good..

Its far from finished though as I'm not sure what to put inside the cutouts.. This is one place where the model can't help me because its just solid..   I'll come up with something.. Likely something silly.. this is after all a grot tank..

Exhaust 2
Exhaust 2

+4 hours -- I spent the next four hours on this model getting the exhaust on the back of the tank looking the way I wanted it to look.   It's pretty close to the model I have and should look darn good once textures are applied.

I probably went a bit overboard on the polycount but oh well that's something I always do anyway..   There is a piece still missing, and that's the little bar/strap that goes from the band around the middle to the tank body.   My practical model only has a stick of resin with no detail connecting the two, and that just wont do.. I'll figure out something.. I have some ideas already..

Grot Tank
Grot Tank

+2 hours -- I went through and added a bunch more greebles, nurnies and what's-it's around the tank.. You can't really tell in this image but there are a lot more.  Plus I started working on the tank body though most of the work is on the other side.. heh..

I have a lot more work to do but the main portion will be taking the perfectly looking model and distorting it to make it look beat up and made up scrap metal parts..  Should be fun..

I haven't started the turret yet as I want to get a good handle on the rest of the tank first and there is a lot left to do.. The turret would just get in the way and make me want to work on it..  It's the coolest part after all.. Saving the best for last!

Metal Plating
Metal Plating

+4 hours -- I have been adding a lot of little deformed plates to the model as per my practical..  Basically they look like extra bits that have been bolted on, but all of them are beat up as befitting a true Grot vehicle..  Eventually I'll have to give the main tank body this same treatment..  But for now adding all the extra plating is taking time..  I'm not have way done with that..

Once I get the bulk of the plating done, I'll start working on deforming the tank body itself, before adding the rivets and holes etc..  Texturing the noise and destruction on to the model will really make the tank come to life eventually.  Should be good.

More Detail
More Detail

  • a bunch of hours -- I have been adding more plating, and generally cleaning up the model..

The main body is just about ready to start getting its deformation stuff before I get on to working on the turret.  At this point though I think I need to research a better way to make some of these details.. Right now I'm actually modeling everything in which is a huge time sink as well as making the model be an unbelievable number of polygons..

Sheet Metal
Sheet Metal

Take for example the sheet metal image to the right.. that's a lot of polygons for what amounts to a pretty small detail on the back of the model..   I'm sure I'll get some points for actually modeling it, but it puts a lot of strain on the renderer..  Right now I'm over 5 million polys and I'm no where near done..

I think this is where the experts know super secret tricks and things that you can do to get that kind of detail without having to actually place pixels.. Bump, normal and parallax maps for example..  No idea how to use/create those though..

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