Let me start off by saying that this post is not meant to be a tutorial in any way. It’s simply to show the progress, over about a one-week span, of the process I went through to model the “Epic Battle Tank” for my Super Space Trooper video game.
To start off with I used a flat plane, and a mirror modifier across 2 dimensions. Bottom-left is a mirror of the bottom-right side, and then the top is a mirror of those two together.
I then began to do some extrusion of the flat surface upwards. At the top outwards and at the bottom back in.
On the sides and back, I added more extrusions to give a bit more mesh geometry instead of just relying on bump maps later
I then applied the mirror modifier to create a solid mesh. Then I extruded the right side so that it was different from the left side.
I then added in a curve and applied the curve modifier to a vertical pole, which will become the railings along the walkway
Next up I began working on the segments that would be the interior of the tank’s tracks. I also added another curve so that I could use the curve modifier for the individual tank treads.
Here we can see the results of the curve modifier on the tank treads, forming the track.
The curve modifier is replicated to create the other 3 tank tracks
The track interiors needed some replacing before they were extruded and worked on further.
Track interiors have been extruded. Pipes have been added to the mesh to give more detail to the model. You can see them down and to the right of the center. Additionally, the cable rollers have been added. They’re highlighted by yellow. Fuel tanks are also added behind the tracks.
More cable rollers are added on the model. The cable is also added, joining the front of the tank with the back.
Work on the tank’s main weapons has begun. They’re at the top of the model. I used multiple mirror modifiers and an array modifier. For each of the four “carts” I simply modeled 1/4. So I actually only had to model 1/16th of that part, the rest was modifiers. This should make for much easier UV mapping and texturing too.
The weapon rotator and guns are added to the top, again using modifiers.
I’m not exactly sure what I changed between the picture above and the one below. Can you tell?
Here I have begun to UV map the model’s mesh. On the left is the complete texture, done in Photoshop. Obviously I came back later to do this image series. Normally the texture map is put together piece by piece as you do your UV maps.
Here I have shown some of the UV mapping in progress. Within the left window, at center you can see the texture map. The other surrounding mesh are bits and pieces of the model. Eventually they’ll all fit within the texture map. I’ve found that getting all the UV maps for a mesh done first, then scaling them as needed and then finally fitting them within the texture map area works best for me.
Much of the UV map has been scaled and put into place. Just a few more pieces (in yellow) remaining for the main hull of the tank.
A close-up of the UV over the texture. Maybe a bad example since I later regretted using such a small UV map for such a large area of the mesh. It resulted in low quality for that part of the mesh. Fortunately in the game it’s not visible much.
UV mapping of other parts of the model. Here, the top of the weapon’s array is being UV mapped and textured.
A few touch-ups to the main hull of the weapons array.
Additional geometry is added to the model for the tracks. It is also UV mapped and textured.
I have begun to apply some of the materials and texture to the model itself. This is still in Blender so I won’t spend too much time on it as it’s within Unity3D where the materials will be finalized.
More touch-ups to the track interiors.
Minor revisions to the texture file were made. Can you see the difference? At this point I can’t.
The model is exported (fbx) from Blender and brought into Unity3D. I have applied the textures to the materials and the materials to the model. During the process of creating the textures in Photoshop, I also produce the normals map in gray scale. That was also applied to the material within Unity. The Battle Tank is more-or-less done now.
No different from the image above, just taken from a different angle.
And there it is. At this point I moved onto the scripting aspects of the model which included controlling each track tread individually, adding the box colliders (no mesh colliders here), and then the animations. Scripts were added to govern the weapons of the tank and when they instantiate projectiles. Also to follow the player’s motion. Animations were added to the overall tank as well as the weapons array sliding left to right along its rails.