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Modeling in Wings3D V

Author: Locke21

Tools Needed

  • Wings3D


Ok guys, after a lot of play and practice, I'm sure that by now you've become a great deal more confident with Wings3D. That's why I think this will be the last tutorial for this subject. After I show you the commands I have in store, it will really become a matter of honing your skills and exploring Wings3D, not me teaching you more stuff. I just want to warn you, I'm just going to use some commands without a whole lot of explanation, so if you're confused, you can PM me or email me at Ok, today we are going to learn some of the most important commands you'll ever need. They will be the use of Magnets, Bridge, Inset, Weld, Put On and Combine. We will also learn some new tricks for old commands like Move. We are going to create a simple jet engine and turbo prop. The turbo prop is duplicated from a tutorial over at Renderosity, but the author starts with the premise that you already know the commands. I'm going to explain them to you. Ok, here we go.

Step 1 - Step One

Every engine needs a case to go it. It is a smooth ovoid, with one end bigger than the other. To get something like this, we could use a cylinder, but that would involve a lot of extruding and scaling. Instead we will use a cube, and in the process learn both two new commands and a new use for the “Move” command. Ok, first of all, bring up a cube.


In order to get an engine, it has to be hollow. This can be done by building a bunch of blocks around a hollow core and welding them all together, but WHY!? It's much simpler to use both the “Inset” and “Bridge” commands! First, select two faces that are on opposite sides of the block.


Step 2 -

Now that you've got the sides selected, right click and choose “Inset”. What this will do is move the edges of the face in and out, relative to the original edges….just move the mouse and watch.


Because we selected two faces, the same thing has happened on both of them. So what we have are new faces, exactly the same size, on opposite sides of the cube. Now we can easily hollow out the cube by using our next new command. Right-click and choose “Bridge”, this command takes two opposing faces and connects, or bridges their edges.


And since it works with the edges, the faces themselves vanish, leaving us with a hole.

Step 3 - Step Three

Ok, we've got our hollow block, now to turn it into a nice ovoid for our jet engine. Go into “Edge” mode by clicking the pyramid at the top. Now instead of selecting faces, we select edges. I want you to select the inner edges of one side of the block and use the “Move”/“X” command. This is going to move the edges out. But since they are connected to a larger object, it will stretch! Just try it and see.


Now do it for the other side. Remember; only choose the inner edges of the hollow, not all of them. Keep going until you have what I do.


Step 4 - Step Four

See how one side is longer than the other? I want you to re-select just those edges and use the “Scale Uniform” command and shrink them to about half the size they are now.


Then “Body” select the whole thing and hit “S” about three times to smooth everything over. Well, there is the jet body!


Now for the blades and some of the most important commands and techniques you'll ever need!

Step 5 -

First, get the body out of the way, and then bring up a cylinder. You can have as many faces as you want, just remember it has to be an even number, and half of those faces will be the number of blades we'll have. Just to speed things up I'm going to do 20 faces.


Ok, first select the bottom and top, and then “Extrude”/“Normal” them slightly. Then I want you to select one of the inner long faces and “Extrude”/“Normal” it. Not too far, just about a quarter of its length.


Step 6 - Step Six

Ok, have you ever gotten tired of doing the same thing over and over again? Like extruding a piece so far, then doing it again and again? Well there is an easier way, just hit “Shift+D”. I want you to do this about eight times until you get what I have.


Now comes the fun! Time for use to learn about Magnets! Just like in a lot of 3D programs, Magnets are used to deform and warp objects. Here we are going to create the curved surface of the blades. I want you to hit “Space” to make sure everything is de-selected, and then select just the end face of our blade.


Step 7 - Step Seven

Ok, to activate the magnets, I want you to right-click and choose “Rotate”, BUT, with the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON instead of the left. Now nothing seems to happen, but you have entered “Magnet Mode”. Now select the face again, AH! Check it out!


That little arrow is telling us that the face is now under the power of a magnet! Of course we still have to tell it the limits of the effect or it will only work on that face. So, to tell it we want to affect the entire blade, “Alt+Right-Click” and the “Vertices” mode will pop up. Now select one of the vertices at the end of the blade and it will turn blue, then Right-click again and twist the blade 90' in either direction. Cool huh?


Step 8 - Step Eight

Ok, that's one blade…oh man, we don't have to do this nine more times do we? Nope, we already have a blade, so let's just use it! Now there is a way to use a blade over and over again, but I prefer the “Duplicate” method like we used with the Candlestick jewels. I find it less messy. But first, we have to get the blade off the hub! To do that, we have to go back into “Edge” mode. Do that and select all the edges where the blade meets the hub,


then I want you to Right-click and choose “Loop cut”. What this does is follow around the edges you've selected and cut away what's on one side from what's on the other. The result is that we now have both a hub and a blade.


Step 9 - Step Nine

Now, using the techniques I taught you, I want you to “Duplicate” the blade nine times. This will give us the required number of blades to create our turbo prop.


Now to answer a question that a lot of you may have had. “How the heck do I put two flat faces together??” Well it's really simple, if you've spent a lot of time trying to figure it out. You “Put” one face “On” the other! Ok, it's really simple to use the “Put On” command, but most people wouldn't naturally figure it out because you have to use both mouse buttons with the command in just the right order. First select the end of one of our blades with the left mouse button. Then right-click, choose “Put On”, select the face you want it on, the right-click again. It will jump right to where you want it!


Now just do that for every blade, skipping every other face on the hub. BUT, and this is important, after every “Put On” you perform, remember to deselect everything or it won't work!

Step 10 - Step Ten

Ok, now you have an important decision to make. You have to make the blades a part of the hub, but how are you going to do it? There are two ways, each one doing it differently. One way is the “Combine” command. Think of this as screwing two pieces of metal together. They are still separate objects, just attached to one another. If you smooth them out, they will smooth separate from one another. This is useful for making things like aircrafts canopies, so one piece can be made to pivot away from the other. But since our turbo prop should be streamlined, we will use the “Weld” command, which will do exactly what it sounds like. Take two pieces and weld them together into one piece. This command will be used most often when building models with a lot of features that don't have to move independently of one another. But there is a rule for welding; both pieces have to have the same number of faces to weld together. Either one you use, they work the same way, select everything in “Body” mode and then right-click and choose one.


As I said, we will be using the “Weld” command. Everything will convert to “Vertices” mode and show you in red where everything has been welded together. Well, that's it…wait we forgot the nose cone! Oh boy, a new magnet deform!

Step 11 - Step Eleven

I want you to bring up a sphere. It really doesn't matter what size, we'll scale it later, BUT it has to have the same number of sections that the cylinder had for the welding process. Now, move it up away from the turbo prop and go into vertices mode. We are going to use magnets to give it that classic cone shape. What? Why not use a cone? Because its not precisely a cone, its more like a bullet.

Ok, now choose the top vertices and RIGHT-CLICK “Move”. This will start up the “Magnet Mode” again, only this time we're working in vertices, not faces. Choose the top vert again and there will be the blue arrow.


Then “Alt+right-click” and then choose a vert just below the equator and it'll turn blue. You've just told the magnet to only affect the area between the two verts! Right-click again and pull the sphere out to the size you want.


Step 12 - Step Twelve


Ok, last step. We can just pull the sphere down and attach it to the prop, but that's a bit messy. So select everything below the equator and delete it, then use the “Put On” and “Weld” commands to attach it to the hub and make it a part of the prop. All that's left now is a bit of manipulation, smoothing and scaling to set it inside the engine cowling, some UV Mapping, and I would use the “Combine” command and use different groups and materials so you could be able to affect each part in Poser or Studio. I hope you've enjoyed this Wings3D series. From now on, you have the knowledge necessary to explore the rest of Wings3D's commands and its true potential. Have fun modeling, and if you'd like you can have these tutorials for your own sites, just give me a bit of credit. This reminds me, if you want to study pauljs75's tut on making a turbo prop, you can find it in the Tutorial section of Renderosity. We both do things a bit different, especially when it comes to spawning new blades.

Good Modeling!!