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Model the Ironman Helmet
by Bracer Jack, Singapore Web:

Ironman Helmet

When I first saw Adi Granov's Ironman Helmet design in the movie, I was overwhelmed by how he had designed something that looked so geometrically simple yet harbors such a high-tech sophisticated look.

Very naturally I seek to replicate that design for the sake of my own satisfaction.

I will also be taking this opportunity to share some of the key points I engage in when modeling hard surfaces as I had received a number of emails regarding how I go about modeling the Evangelion Eva heads which you can see here.

The principle is the same, the key is to "Tighten the Edges" to create that fantastic highlight catching edge fillet effect when the 3D model is subdivided. In an ideal world, the perfect 3D model is one which edges are all sharp fillets thereby allowing it to catch perfect highlights everyway it turns.

Please note that this principle should not apply when modeling LARGE scale buildings or anything huge as the fillet effect would end up giving your large scale buildings that vacuum form plastic toy model look.

The first thing one must do before any modeling begins is to obtain a decent schematic view of whatever you modeling.

However if you are as obsess with the movie version of the helmet design as me, you would have notice some small differences which I will not bother explaining, for what it's worth if you can't tell the different, you might as well use this image as this drawing originated from the designers themselves.

ironman helmet concept

In my case, I prefer the way the cheek bone "structure" was designed in the final movie version.

I also would like to improve on the design consistency on the back of the helmet and to adjust the ratio of the helmet's frontal nose area curvature and a couple of other nick-knacks to fit the human facial proportion that I personally like, all in all very small changes but are things that matters to me.

P:S: Just in case you are curious, I have a short nose and I tend to draw my characters as such, in this case I had also altered the ratio of the helmet to reflect this. SORRY !

There's a lot of redrawings, refinements, blab bla bla but when all is said and done, these are the final line placements. Don't move on until your schematic is dead solid, this is very important for technical modeling, you can have more leeway for organic modeling when it comes to schematic accuracy.

helmet sketch

Bring the schematic into your 3D modeling application; I will be using very basic tools so you can pretty much follow the workflow regardless of your application of choice.

You can download this file containing my schematic drawing and the 3DS Max Schematic planes placement here.

The first thing I did was to create a place holder for the ear "tube", I did that because it was the only shape I am the most sure of, it's just a simple cylinder.

The next thing to tackle is the cheek plate.

Edge Extrusion procedure for the Ironman Cheek Plate

This will be the first and last image to demonstrate what I am basically doing throughout the initial modeling process; I started out with a simple rectangular plane with symmetry mode on and I keep on extruding its edges and placing them in their rightful coordinates repeatedly until the entire structure is complete.

The basic frontal portions of the helmet completed using the method illustrated on the previous step along with some simple extrusions, nothing complicated, the only thing it takes is time.

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