🟥Learn how to create a full prop, specifically a weapon, from scratch to finish in this comprehensive video tutorial.
🟥Improve your prop modeling skills and create realistic assets for games and films.
Before we begin making our gun we first want to lay out our reference images like we always do to help us make the model correctly from each side.
Another important thing is to make sure your reference images are in the center of the graph where the model is perfectly split in half on each side.
When modeling something that has a lot of parts to it it’s best to try and get the form right and worry about the topology later.
We’ll start off with a square, scaling it up to the correct size of the gun.
Select the first two vertices on the front of the square and merge them to the center.
Doing so will get us a triangle.
Select the back two vertices and do the same thing.
Before we continue make sure the base of your gun is placed correctly with the reference.
With the multicut tool add edges on each side of the triangle.
Once we add one edge on the side and move on to the next we can see our multicut is going through the entire triangle unlike before.
This is because we’ve made a 4 sided polygon and the multi-cut is going to add edges that loop all around the model.
This is an easy-fix problem, double-click the edge and deselect the one we need.
All of the other edges we can freely delete.
One last edge we need is on the bottom of the triangle.
Select all the side edges and go back to your front view camera, from here activate the deformer tool and expand the edges from all 3 axis.
We can see that we are now slowly getting the shape of our stylized gun.
From the Perspective view, we can see that we have some deformities from the front.
Select the vertices from the fran and straighten them out using the deform tool.
Repeat the same thing on the back.
Select the three edges from the side and bevel them.
When beveled adjust the fragments and segments so it smooths out the sides of the triangle.
We’re going to do the same with the main 3 edges holding the form together, select, bevel them, and adjust the fractions and segments.
Select the front and back faces and delete them.
Add an edge in the middle of the gun with multi-cut, select the back faces, and delete them.
We’re doing this so we can only work on one side of the gun the mirror everything in the back once we are done.
We can’t leave a hole in the front though, select the edges, and extrude them inward before Merging the Edges in the Center.
Next, we’re going to add an edge in the front, select the faces and duplicate the poly loop.
Using already established topology to create new shapes is easier than making them from scratch, it also speeds up our workflow.
After we are done with the edge we can delete it.
On our new poly loop of faces, we’ll extrude them outward to fit our reference.
From the top camera, we can select the vertices of the gun and move them more in the middle.
From the same camera, we’ll move the new part to fit the reference, deforming it if it is too small.
We also need to make sure it is placed properly from the side.
We can see in our reference that our new part should have a slope on the borders.
Select the front edge and bevel it, afterward doing the same thing to the back edge.
Select the front faces of the gun and move them more inside the extruded part.
Grab the triangle and mirror it on the opposite side.
We can see the back is too long, we can select the vertices from that side and move them accordingly.
The next thing we want to do is delete the edge in the middle.
With the multi-cut tool, we’re going to draw out the part around the gun.
We can do this best from the Side camera.
After we cut out our shapes, select the faces and duplicate them.
We want to fix up the topology just a bit on this shape before we move on.
With the multicut tool connect opposite vertices to create nice 4-sided polygons.
Now that most of the parts are properly connected we can delete the horizontal edges in the middle.
The faces will go inside the mesh but we don’t need to worry since we’ll extrude these same faces outwards.
From the Top camera, we’re going to pull out some of the back vertices to fit our reference.
Using the soft select be can move the vertices to fit the shape of the back part of the gun.
We want to grab the top face of this new part and straighten it out so that when we mirror it we won’t have any deformities.
We also want it to be perfectly in the middle, to do that turn on the geometry grid, gold down V while having the vertices or edges selected at the end of the part and with the move tool snap it to the middle edge of the triangle part.
Just like we did before we’re going to use multicut to draw out the form of the side parts of the gun.
After that, we’ll select the faces and duplicate them.
We’re going to isolate the face so we don’t click on anything else in the background and delete the edges by clicking the Delete key on our keyboard.
This way we still keep the form and vertices.
Using the multicut tool we can reconnect the vertices properly.
After reconnecting the vertices we’re going to extract the faces to fit the reference.
We’ll move on to making the handle.
Append a square in your scale and place it on the beginning of the handle from the side camera.
Scale it up and move it closer to where the handle is from the side and top camera.
To make moving the object easier, you can always change the Pivot's direction from world to object.
Move the pivot down on the end of the square and rotate it to a slight angle like in the reference.
Going back to the side view we’ll start adding in our own edges to create the shape of the handle.
With each edge we add we’ll move it wherever we need to, stretching and deforming it to create our desired shape.
Feel free to move around the vertices as well.
Take your time during this process, if you add in an edge that you don’t need you can always delete the edge and start over.
The handle is pretty straightforward, we’ll add edge loops along the handle and scale them up to fit the reference.
When we get to the tip of the handle it will look a bit complicated at first but we only need 2-3 edges and move around the vertices to fit the form.
At the bottom of the handle select the first couple of faces and extrude them accordingly to the reference.
Make sure you check the handle from the perspective view for any misplaced edges or vertices, if there are any you can simply move them in place.
Check the handle from the top and front view to see if everything is in place.
Use the Soft select to bend the handle easily on the top.
You can also go back and forth between views to make sure the shape of the handle is nicely curved.
We’ll move on to the rest of the handle.
We’ll add a cylinder in our scene and lower the subdivisions down to 12.
Next, we’ll scale the cylinder to the correct size and afterward add a multi-cut in the middle.
Select this edge and bevel it, in the bevel settings change it so it has enough fractions and segments that will fit the shape.
Once we have our shape we need to check it from all sides to see if it is placed in correctly.
Next up we’ll add in a Torus for the aim circle on the gun.
Inside the Torus Inputs change the Section Radius and the Subdivisions to fit the shape in the reference.
You can also use the deformer tool to scale it.
You know you’re shape is right when it has edge loops in each gap of the gun like on the reference.
Next, we’re going to select the top poly loops and extract the faces.
Now that we have our basic shape we can check from the side view if the aim circle is placed correctly on each side.
Before we move forward, we can delete some of the faces on the bottom that we don’t need since they won’t be seen on our model anyway.
Select the same edges that go inside the gaps and bevel them.
We want to split this edge into two where we create a poly loop that we can then extract the faces of to create the gaps of the gun.
For the tube of the gun, we’ll use the curve tool to create a nice curved mesh.
Once you select the Curve Tool, from the side view start to draw out the curved line, make sure you have enough vertices so we can change the shape easily.
Once our curve is done, create a sweep mesh while the curve is selected.
Inside the Attribute Editor, you can choose how many slides you want the curve to have, the more slides the more edge loops it will add.
Here we can change the scaling of the sweep mesh as well.
The precision will make the curve more smooth so make sure you tinker around with it to find the best value that works for you.
Once we are done with the Attribute Editor we can move on to editing the curve vertices, moving them around to fit the shape of the tube better.
Once everything is nicely placed we can start making some extrudes on the parts that are sticking out from the tube in the reference.
First, move the edges loops in position and rotate them to fit the sides.
We can adjust the middle edge loop using Edit Edge flow.
Once the edges are in position, select the faces and extrude them.
We can see in the reference that there are slopes on the sides of the extruded parts, select the side edge loops and bevel them.
From the side view, we can adjust the top vertice so it creates a nice smooth slope.
We’ll repeat this same process on all the other extrudes on the tube.
Move around the edges to fit the shape.
Select the faces, extrude, and bevel the side edge loops.
The final extrude may be a bit more difficult to make than the others.
You can use either edges or vertices to get the shape.
In this case, we are moving the edges around but it also isn't wrong to use vertices.
Once we get the shape we will extrude the shape like usual but before we bevel it we need to finish up the entire handle.
Select the back faces and extrude them inside the gun to create the full shape of the handle.
With the multi-cut tool add an edge loop on the beginning of the handle, select it, and straighten out the edge using the deformer tool, we do this so that our edges aren’t looped while our mesh is perfectly straight where the handle is.
From the side view add some more edges to create the form of the handle by moving around the vertices to fit the reference.
After we are done making the form, select the edge loops on the sides and bevel the handle.
We don’t want our handle to look so blocky, to fix that we can Soften the entire model.
This will give us a better look but noe our extruded parts look too soft.
To fix this new issue we can select the edge loops on the top and bottom of the extrude and only harden them.
Going back to the rest of the handle, using the already established edge loops we’ll make the form on the end of the handle.
If we don’t have enough edges we can always add more using the multicut tool.
For the button, select the top faces in perspective view then going back to the side view we’ll extrude them upward.
Once where the first horizontal line is, then extrude a second time to get the top slope of the button, scaling the faces down to create the slope.
Since our top faces didn’t have any topology to them we will delete them and then extract the edge loop inside the hole.
Extract them somewhere to the midpoint the merge the edges in the center to close off the hole.
If we want to animate this button to be pressable we need to extract it away from the handle so it can be its own object.
Select the faces of the button, extract them, and move them a bit inside the handle so we don’t have any visible floating faces.
We’re going back to the back part of the gun and fixing up the shape a bit before beveling it.
Some of the back vertices are sticking out too much, select them and move them slightly backward.
In perspective view select the corner edge loops and bevel them.
We can see that we forgot to reconnect some of the edges from before, we will get back to them and fix them later on.
To see the shapes better on our models without having to turn on the object grid we can instead turn on the ambient occlusion.
This will add shadows to our model and it’s easier to see where the shapes are.
From the side view, we can see that some parts of the shape haven’t been adjusted to the reference, it’s ok if we forget to move some parts around, and can always be fixed.
Grab the vertices and move them back.
We can always add an extra edge loop if we need to fix up the form.
We can move on and make the cross aim for the gun.
Add a cylinder and move it to the cross aim in front view, scaling it up to the proper size.
In the Cylinder inputs, we’re going to lower the Subdivisions to 12.
After that, we can squish the cylinder so it isn’t too long.
Select the front and back faces and extrude the Offset inward to create loops that match the front of the cross aim.
After we’ve made the extrude delete the front and back faces to create the border of the cross aim.
Select the front and back edge loops of the hole and bridge them together.
If you have this result, we can fix this issue by moving the Twist value till our edges are perfectly aligned.
Select the bottom edges of the cross aim and extrude them downward to create the handle.
From the side view move and rotate the handle to fit the reference, since the cross-aim is bent more on a straight angle, select the cross-aim faces and only rotate them.
From the front view fix the size of the bottom of the handle by selecting the vertices and scaling them closer to each other with the deformer tool.
Select two of the bottom and top faces inside the cross aim and Bridge the face together to create the crosses.
You can either Duplicate or Extract the faces in the middle so you can scale them to the correct size.
The best option to go for is duplicating them since it won’t create holes inside the cross aim, if we extracted them we’d have to bridge edges to fix up the topology.
Scale down the duplicate faces and use the deform tool to make them longer, you also need to straighten out the end vertices so they’re not bumpy.
After that place it in the middle and make a duplicate for the horizontal cross.
Snap Together Tool
We’re going to make the buttons and switch for the gun and use a new tool to help us place them on the model.
Add a cylinder and lower their Subdivisions to 12.
Rotate and scale it down the size of the button on the reference.
Add an edge loop on the back and extrude the poly loop faces outward to create one of the buttons.
Using a square we’ll make the switch.
Extend the square, add a multi-cut in the middle, extrude the front face, and rotate it at an angle.
The back of the switch is too long so we’ll select the back vertices and pull them forward a bit.
For the second button, we’ll just duplicate the first one, extrude the front to be longer than the first button then just bevel the edge loop and add more segments.
The last button is a copy of the first one scaled down.
Now that we have all of our shapes we’ll open the Snap Together Menu and turn off the Snap to Polygon face.
To use the tool, select the object you want to move, click on Snap Together Tool and a blue line will appear on the model.
Now just click where you want that object to snap to.
Doing that will make the button snap onto the gun.
Make sure you check everything from the side view, we might need to scale and deform the switch a bit to fit the reference image.
Duplicate the last big button because we need two of them like in the reference.
Just like we did with the other accessories, use the Snap Together Tool to stick them where they need to be, then from the side view adjust their position and size.
For our last button, we’ll have to make a lot of duplicates to stick on the rims of the gun.
There is a tool inside of Autodesk Maya that lets you make special copies that are connected with each other in a way where changing anything about their geometry gets applied to not only the original but all of the copies as well.
Inside Edit you can find the Duplicate Specials.
Click the Menu to open up the tool’s options.
Here we want to change the Geometry type from Copy to Instance and add the number of copies we want to make.
After that click on the button and click Duplicate Special.
In our workspace, we can see that the button has 10 more copies of itself that we can use to stick onto our guns.
If we select an edge, vertex, or face it will also get selected on every other copy.
We can move each button anywhere we want and it won’t affect the others.
We’ll use the Snap Together Tool to snap the buttons in place bu this time we want to have the Snap to Polygon face turned on so that it will always snap in the center of any face on our gun.
Before we start snapping them on the gun we want to delete all of the back edges on our buttons so the Snap Tool will always be in the center of the back.
We can now start snapping each button one by one on each face around the rim of the gun.
If you run out of copies, select one of the buttons and again just click the Duplicate Special to make more.
Even though these copies have been made afterwards they will still work in unison with the others.
We can’t change the scaling on all of the buttons in Object mode but if we select the faces and scale them, every other button will scale together.
Now we just need to mirror everything we made on the left side of our model to the right side using the Mirror tool and setting the Axis Position to World.
Mirror not only the handle and the side parts but also the buttons.
And the last thing to do to finish our model is delete all the unnecessary back faces.
Any face that isn’t visible needs to be deleted.
When we delete the faces on the tube handle we also need to scale down the edges a bit so it isn’t noticeable when we look at it from the side.
The same applies to the buttons.
Bonus Information about Duplicate Special
The Duplicate Special also applies to UV cutting, if you cut a UV Shell for one of the duplicates, it will cut it for every single one and it will also stack the UV Shells on top of each other.