Creating images from 3D models is a long and complicated process. For better understanding of the techniques involved, below I present the main stages of creating the US carrier-based fighter Grumman F-14 B Tomcat.       

Phase 1. Gathering the sources Grumman F-14 B Tomcat - gathering the sources

Contrary to what one might think, this is the most important and often the most time-consuming stage of work. Of course we want the model to be as detailed and similar to the original as possible. It's necessary to gather books with blueprints and paint schemes, plus as many photographs and drawings as possible. Photos of scale models are also very useful. For my reconstruction I chose an F-14 B of the VFA-103 "Jolly Rogers" (aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy). A research well done lets you avoid troublesome and time-consuming corrections in the following phases. We set the scanned buleprints as viewport background in 3D Studio, thanks to which measuring the exact dimentions is not necessary. 

Phase 2. Creating the mesh

With the help of various techniques, I then model a 3-dimentional mesh on the basis of the plans. First the fuselage and wings are created, then come the details. 

Grumman F-14 B Tomcat - creating the mesh Grumman F-14 B Tomcat - creating the mesh

Grumman F-14 B Tomcat - creating the camouflage schemePhase 3. Creating the camouflage scheme

The aircraft does not have any outer coating. Suitable materials (with the desired gloss, texture etc.) are applied to certain parts of the plane, together with flat images of the camouflage prepared earlier in a 2-dimentional graphics program.

Phase 4. Final touches.

The aircraft is ready. In the 3D scene we set cameras, suitable lighting, etc. Now we can create (render) illustrations of the fighter from any perspective, with any background or special effects, like motion blur.

Grumman F-14 B Tomcat - final touches Grumman F-14 B Tomcat - final touches

Battleship Bismarck 3D website -

Website dedicated to history and 3D graphics, and presenting the 3D models made by Stefan Dramiński, with a special emphasis on German battleship Bismarck.

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POLAND, 2015