Sometimes models don't need to start from complex shapes and operations in order to look detailed, in this chapter starting with this video we show that the humble cylinder can make complex looking parts of our model.
- When creating hard surface models, we don't always need to approach things in a complicated way. In fact sometimes we can break down the main bulk of a model, or even just a section of it, into primitives, which is exactly what we're going to do in this particular exercise as we look to create the respirator valve that we see in our reference image here. In fact, as we scrutinize this a little bit, we can see that it is, for all intents and purposes, made up of a bunch of cylinders. Now we do have this threaded piece here but seeing as we already have one of those, we can simply create a copy and then add it in later.
Breaking this down a little then, we essentially have one, two, three, four, five separate pieces here, the big shape of which can, as we say, easily be created from cylinder primitives. After snapping our web browser to one side of our view then, let's just frame our reference up so that we have a clear view of what we're going to be creating. The first step of which in the create tab of the command panel will be to select the cylinder option from the primitives list.
We can then click and drag in the view port to first of all, set our cylinder radius, which we lock into place by releasing the left mouse button once we are done. After which we simply drag again on the mouse in order to set the cylinders height. Again, let's left click to lock that into place, finishing with a right click that will exit the creation process for us. Now we will probably want to make some changes here, and so let's hit the F4 key, and then first of all get rid of the height segment as we really don't need them in this instance.
Let's also set the radius to a value of two centimeters. Now there's the base shape here is clearly meant to be wider than it is tall, let's set the height to about 1.3 centimeters. Now the size value, we can set to 12 as we don't need quite this many, and then once done we can right click in the view port so as to switch focus away from the command panel, meaning we can then enable the move tool, hold down the Shift key, and then click and drag upward in order to create a copy.
Now this second level looks in our reference to be around about half the height of the first, and so let's set this to 0.75 centimeters. And then again, holding down the Shift key, left click and drag upward in order to create yet another cylinder. Now it looks as if there might be a little bit of a taper going on between these two cylinders, but that could be just a trick of the original cameras lens, so now I'm going to leave it up to you and your artistic preference as to whether or not you add that in there.
Of course, we could always use an FFD box to tape this later on, again if we wanted to. This shape is of course definitely smaller, and so let's go with a radius of 1.7, and then lower the height to about 0.25 centimeters, which looks to be more or less what we want here. We do have yet another level to create, which again is considerably smaller sitting in the center as it does. And so let's copy and set the radius to 1.2 centimeters.
Which again, looks to be giving us the basics of the shape that we want. For the final cylinder, we will need to leave a bit of a gap where we have this threaded piece of geometry showing. But then after copying, we can set this to be a tiny bit smaller, so a radius of one centimeter, and also add quite a bit of height, going for something like 0.7 centimeters, which nicely completes the setup of our basic outline, although we will want to press the M key in order to open up the material editor, and then add our modeling material to all of the cylinders that we have created.
In fact, we can probably create a more complete initial setup here if we add a copy of our already created thread. Press on A to bring up our align tool, choose one of our cylinders to align to, and then in elements of object mode for the thread, delete any of the unwanted and unseen sections of the geometry. With the thread selected, let's also adjust the scale so that it more closely matches what we see in our reference image. We could even delete more of the polygons that aren't going to be seen if we wanted to keep our poly count as optimal as possible.
Okay, now that we have the base of our respirator valve in place, we can move on to the next exercise and start our modeling here in earnest.
- Modeling with splines
- Creating a working grid
- Duplicating and welding components
- Extruding complex shapes from components
- Building shapes with primitives
- Applying subdivision creasing
- Box modeling