View Full Version : Need to build an Helicopter

09-24-2018, 08:51 AM
Does anyone know of a good tutorial on how to build an aircraft like a helicopter?

09-24-2018, 08:56 AM
Does anyone know of a good tutorial on how to build an aircraft like a helicopter?

Pluralsight has only 3 Lightwave tutorials. One of which is how to build a helicopter. Just search Lightwave on Pluralsight and it will come up.

09-24-2018, 08:58 AM

09-24-2018, 09:54 AM
You might also consider "kit bashing" one or more free helicopter models from Free3D.Com or Turbosquid (or elsewhere):


If you download one or more models and like parts / portions of them, you can see how they're modeled for a shortcut, or even use the portions / parts you like for your model.


09-24-2018, 10:20 AM
While Pluralsight offers a specific helicopter modeling course, you can expand your search for any vehicle (boat/car/plane) modeling training (aka 'hard surface modeling').

More aviation modeling training...

As mTp notes, you may not need to reinvent the wheel (or rotor) if you can modify or build on to an existing model. (I'm making an assumption based on your location shown in your forum profile that you may have ready-made CAD data.)

09-24-2018, 01:37 PM
Use tutorials for any 3d package as principial scheme -


09-24-2018, 05:17 PM
Thanks to all, these are GREAT!

10-06-2018, 10:36 PM
One approach is to find a bunch of photos of a helicopter that you want to base your model on and keep referencing them.

Then, in Modeler, start with the body of the 'copter by creating a centered box that's the length of the chopper from nose to tail and give it about 20 or 30 segments.

Next, use stretch (or mirror mode) to move the points so that you get a rough outline of the helicopter's body. Now press tab to see the shape you're getting. Keep tweaking points until you get the correct shape.

Save a copy so that you can go back to it later.

Now Freeze it at a fairly low-rez level of subdivision.

Next, give the whole thing a surface name of Helicopter Hull.

Then select the polygons for the windows and give them a surface name of glass.
Name any other surfaces that need unique names or materials.

Freeze it again and the surfaces will each be 'smoothed' automatically.

Use the same approach for each rotor.

All other items should be able to be done using basic objects like cylinders.

And on that note, remember that cutting and pasting every second ring of polygons on a cylinder will keep the renderer from smoothing the changes in polygon angle along the length of the cylinder.

10-07-2018, 07:15 AM
Some free chopper models on Archive3d.net....not for commercial use as I know of, but to study the models.

3ds format mostly, and as such they are triangulated and dense...so you may not get any use of understanding the model geometry flow, but can be used as reference if rendered out or used in background layers.
import and scale object/custom scale set at 0,001
textures are often one single texture and you have to re-apply it on the right surfaces (use pick surface) and then pick the uv map in the drop down list and add the correct image.


10-08-2018, 12:31 AM
Here are some images of the process I was thinking of.

Main tools used were:
- Display Background (for reference images in viewports)
- Box (segmented between 3 and 12 times... varies per axis)
- Knife
- Tab (Sub-D)
- Drag points
- Stretch (point mode)
- Move (point mode)
- Taper (point mode)
- MultiShift

You might opt to use Drill -> Stencil for things like glass. You'll probably need to triple the polys that surround the stenciled area, in order to eliminate render errors.
Multishift can create the frame around the glass using the glass polygons. I'd suggest doing that on a separate layer and then adding the frame to the main object separately. It's a raised surface, so it'll show up in the render and the base of the frame will follow the hull's contour exactly.