How to Model a Helicopter in 3D Studio Max in 10 Easy Steps

Fresh off the wings of my last post, I decided to create a simplified, step-by-step guide to modeling a helicopter. This is a guide for begining to intermediate modelers who have a general frame of reference for 3D Studio Max. I created this guide to show modelers and people interested in modeling what my process looks like. I thought it would be interesting make a guide that shows how I approached making a model of an airplane from scratch. This is not the only way to make this model. As with any form of art or modeling, there are a multitude of ways to approach a project like this.

Here is how my model began to take shape:

Here we begin with a simple rectangle. Colors aren't essential at this stage. I also made the box transparent to see the blueprint better.

Here we begin with a simple rectangle. Colors aren’t essential at this stage. I also made the box transparent to see the blueprint better.

Next, I clicked and dragged my cursor to select the edges which show up in red.

Next, I clicked and dragged my cursor to select the edges which show up in red.

Making rings creates more geometry so we can refine the helicopter's shape and give it more definition.

Making rings creates more geometry so we can refine the helicopter’s shape and give it more definition.

By selecting the vertices, we can block the shape in even more.

By selecting the vertices, we can block the shape in even more.

Now for the tail! After selecting the vertices, right click and select "scale" to start shrinking the geometry in for the tail.

Now for the tail! After selecting the vertices, right click and select “scale” to start shrinking the geometry in for the tail.

The "extrude" option makes more geometry and helps with blocking forms in, as well.

The “extrude” option makes more geometry and helps with blocking forms in, as well.

As you can see, working in 3D is like working with "clay" on the computer. In a sense, we are "sculpting" in 3D space.

As you can see, working in 3D is like working with “clay” on the computer. In a sense, we are “sculpting” in 3D space.

It's very important to look at all of your views of the model (top, bottom, front, back, left, and right) to be sure it's areas are sculpted to where they need to be.

It’s very important to look at all of your views of the model (top, bottom, front, back, left, and right) to be sure it’s areas are sculpted to where they need to be.

Always stand back from your model from time to time to see how you're doing. You can also add the "Smooth Mesh" model to see how it's taking shape.

Always stand back from your model from time to time to see how you’re doing. You can also add the “Smooth Mesh” model to see how it’s taking shape.

Hiding geometry from your model helps so that you can see the area you're working on much clearer.

Hiding geometry from your model helps so that you can see the area you’re working on much clearer.

Thanks for taking a look at my process! These are all the steps that I take to create any models I'm working on. I have so much fun working in 3D Studio Max!

Thanks for taking a look at my process! These are all the steps that I take to create any models I’m working on. I have so much fun working in 3D Studio Max!

 Here is the final version of my latest freelance job for Mecaer Aviation Group. I designed a wrap and a model of a truck.

Here is the final version of my latest freelance job for Mecaer Aviation Group. I designed a wrap and a model of a truck.

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One response to “How to Model a Helicopter in 3D Studio Max in 10 Easy Steps

  1. Pingback: The Art of Working for Yourself: 5 tips to help you succeed when you first begin freelancing | Dorothy Groesbeck·

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