Making of 'The HH-60G Pave Hawk MEDEVAC'
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 helicopÂter. 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 DonÂaghy, 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 bendÂing 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).
To be able to place all the rivets and details accurately, I wanted to have as many undistorted UV coordinates as possible. I also wanted to be sure that all the pixels on the 3D model have the same size later. To achieve this, I always use the same size of the 'mapping gizmo' on all the parts, no matter how big or small they are. The most frequently used mapping method for this piece was the planar mapping, which was the best solution for almost all of the parts, in my eyes (Fig.06 - 07).
Here's a rendering of the tail wing (Fig.08).
For shading, lighting and rendering I used finalRender Stage-1. A big plus for me was the finalÂRender advanced material which gave me the possibility to bring the shaders exactly into the direction I wanted to have them. The reflections of the hull are a balanced mixture of coloured gradiÂents, a physical sky environment and a HDRI file.