3D Kits in LightWave

See how the talented artist Spooky Pooka create these impressive 3D Kits series using LightWave 3D

Posted: Thu 17 Dec 2015

Almost everyone has assembled a toy model kit of an airplane or vehicle at some time in their life. With that in mind the UK-based artist Spooka Pooka shares with us the digital equivalent of model assembly.  Using the power of the LightWave Modeler tools Spooka Pooka created this impressive 3D Kits series.

Spooka: My 'Kit' illustrations seem to be a perennial favourite with clients. Partly no doubt due to nostalgia for the 'Airfix' kits of their youth, or 'injection-moulded plastic scale model kits' as they were known outside the U.K. They also offer clients the ability to request a Rattlebag of associated elements with a 'build it yourself' ethos.

The beautiful ergonomics of LightWave Modeler (long may it remain independent of Layout) make the Kits a joy to work on. Starting with the intuitive layer system I can very easily experiment with the composition of numerous elements. Working to scale is always important at this point to ensure accurate rendering later down the line.

The plastic tubes are of course simple cylinders but the 90 degree turns are generated with an old tip from William 'Proton' Vaughan of selecting the end polygon and using the Lathe tool with end angle set to 90. Of course you only have to generate one of these then it's copy, paste, move, rotate, copy, paste, move, rotate.....until you kit-bash the whole framework.

The Modeler tools I tend to use a lot are Spline draw and Rail Extrude for organic tubes, Rounder and Router for edge bevels, Bridge, Knife and most of all Drag Net.

Figure elements are generally started in Poser then imported into Modeler for refinement. Any elements that need further refining can easily be sent over to Zbrush with the click of the GoZ button then straight back again with another click. Often for the Kit models the figures need the topology simplifying for which I use Zbrush's Zremesher tool.

When the model's finished scene setup is pretty straightforward in Layout. I use the Maxwell Render LightWave plugin for rendering which works beautifully within LightWave. Maxwell can use LightWave's area lights as Emitters so you can set the lighting up within the familiar Layout environment.

As ever, working to scale, and a little understanding of photography help both within LightWave and Maxwell.

Watch more on Spooka's Behance profile