Author: Carmine Napolitano
Title: F18 Hornet
Modeling: Maya
Render: Keyshot
Post Processing: Photoshop

"Carmine Napolitano presents a Making Of whose theme is the aircraft F18 Hornet, a fighter of United States' manufacturing. Even here, we find a workflow very precise and clean, with a methodical search of a particular result definitely impressive. Absolutely not to be missed "


The F / A-18 Hornet (Bumblebee in Italian) is an American-made fighter. Built by McDonnell Douglas as a result of a request from the US Navy, is one of the most versatile aircraft currently in service: it is designed to cover the role of fighter aircraft, ground attack, by close air support, tactical bombing , reconnaissance and advanced control plane. In fact there are many versions of this game, one that I have chosen is the 'f-18 hornet B tandem 2010. (Fig.1)


The goal was to improve myself in modeling. It was an exercise in style. I modeled as much as possible, even the details that could be obtained with a texture of bump or normal (for example, all the panels that make up the fuselage and bolts).

That said, I started with the search for blueprint (Figure 2) and reference (Figure 3)



At this point I switched to modeling and once I met the first problem. I wanted shaping panel by panel. The challenge was to match perfectly the different bending angles of the panels even if among them were staggered. I had two solutions:

1st method. Much elbow grease. Discarded!.

2nd method. Experimental. I modeled the fuselage as a single piece, not caring about the topology (fig. 4).



Once "completed" the fuselage, I used the new modeling tools offered by maya 2014

for making panels and rivets ( (fig. 5 and 7) being able to make them adhere perfectly to the mesh "dirty" placed below.


It worked !! .

Before proceeding, however, I realized that I had problems with the bolts. It would have been too boring and mostly inaccurate position individually each bolt between one panel and the other or all parts that required the presence. So I have made use of two nice script Mel: the first (duplicate along path) allowed me to duplicate objects along a path, the second (sort circle tool) to position n objects around a circumference keeping their distance equidistant (eg fig. 8).

Figured out how to precede with the fuselage I split the plane into sections. Front (nose / cockpit / cart), Central (wings / cart rear), rear (engine / drift).

Regarding the carriages, that is, you can not escape. Much elbow grease to model as closely as possible all the pieces that compose them. (fig. 9 and 10)


Another step that deserves a little 'attention was the part dedicated to missiles and bombs as simple to model required a fairly in-depth study, because the reference to the attachment system in short supply network. Fortunately it came at the head realizing that: The missiles under the wing engage with a double system would call a "tree". The first part, the trunk, is the fixed, universal; to this engage the "branches" that change according to the type of missile mounted. In fact, each missile has its own type of engagement, this depends mainly on the size of the weapon mounted. (fig. 11 to 13)

At this point, the bulk of the plane was modeled remained only the back of the engine. Again the script "sort circle tool" I have been very useful. In fact, it was enough to model a single "petal" then multiplying along the circumference (fig.14). Same goes for the turbines.


The modeling was completed. I switched to the UV. The process was long, but very simple that the bulk I did with planar or cylindrical projections. Fig.15


After the uv started the actual texturing. Here's an example of the maps applied to the fuselage (fig.16):


Mapped around the model are passed to the rendering in KeyShot. This rendering engine is very simple and versatile, and has allowed me to reach a final yield more than fair. So I set the materials. Here are the most important (fig.17):

Having done this, I found myself in this situation: I set a map hdri (fig.18), as a light source and a neutral environment as background. However, this did not help me to understand 100% if I had actually set the settings properly, but despite everything, I felt satisfied by the yield (fig.19)


at this point I post also the background (fig.20), imposed the chamber rendered with the same focal length of the room that took the photo of the background and position it so that the plane seems resting (fig.21).



Something was still missing, the background exposure was not right with that aircraft. So with a touch of photoshop joined the wonderful function KeyShot "adjusts brightness," I got this result (Fig. 22):


At this point I set and launched rendering (Figure 23).


And this was what came out of the rendering:


Post production in photoshop. Although I was pleased with the render, I knew that something was missing, so I opened the file in photoshop and balances between color, curves, levels, contrast ... I balanced the color, I added the wake of the wheels on the ground and I finally dusted a little model.


I hope you enjoyed this making of. Thank you all and see you soon!



For more information about the author of Making Of:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin...itano/42/19/522