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Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Modeling Process

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CromaTine77 polycounter lvl 4
In this post I will try and cover the process of modeling the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

why I chose this weapon specifically, cause it's visually interesting and a good example to practice on using the Booleans workflow in Zbrush

This Post is not very technical regarding how I model the weapon but it's more of explaining the whole workflow 

.The Programs I use
-Maya 3D
-Zbrush (which I will use later on to do the high-poly using the booleans workflow)
-Substance Painter
-Marmoset Toolbag

1. I generally start by looking out for reference on the internet and trying to look (if available) for the weapon's dimensions
   and most importantly a good side image of the weapon and the magazine to put in the scene and that what'll be using to model the weapon
   (you don't need a perfect side image cause most of the images are a tiny bit distorted by the cameras focal point when they were taken)

you can find references from these sources (google, Pinterest, videos, gun auctions website or any store online that sells weapons cause they have high-quality images)
- I suggest using PureRef (it's flexible and easy to use and move around especially if u have a second monitor to put it on unlike keeping a folder stacked with images and moving between them)

then I start getting into the blocking out stage, In this stage, I start to roughly model the weapon with very low topology not caring about any artifacts

q/but why do a blocking stage?
    /In the past when I started out modeling I used to get fully focused on the details as soon I started and trying to refine the topology as much as I can but that resulted in a lot of problems
      , later on when u start modeling other parts of the weapon u might find that the proportions of the part next to it are looking off somehow and therefore u will start re-adjusting it and u will start to mess with the topology and that will create a big mess and will make u go back and fourth re-adjusting a ton of things.

-doing a blackout will save u from all this hassle and most importantly time.
    it will make u more focused on the general look and proportions/feeling of the weapon and that's the most important thing in modeling complex shapes and ensuring that your proportions will not look off at the end and will look proportionally right.

. blocking out the shapes starting by the cartridge (9mm in my case) then blocking out the mag

q/but why start with the cartlidge?
(credits to Eugene Petrov for mentioning this workflow in his Handgun tutorial which is very helpful, really recommend it https://www.artstation.com/artwork/DxoeNR )
   u can find any cartlidge dimensions accurately on Wikipedia which will be a good starting point to then model the Magazine depending on the cartlidge proportions and that will make u more easily decide the width of the grip without going back and forth re-adjusting it.
   also, a lot of weapons don't have their dimensions accurately listed online (which I don't really even recommend using, cause this is not rocket science and u don't need to get everything perfectly) 

Keep in mind that the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Mag is Single-Stacked unlike Double-Stacked
so always when modeling the mag try and adjust it according to the mag type

. moving on to blocking out the rest of the weapon especially the grip cause it's the core body of the weapon 
-and again with the lowest topology possible and not getting into details (which I know is tempting to :3 )

In this process, I will use a lot of booleans operations as presented in the GIFs
(I really suggest using "KTools" script which helps u do live booleans operation which is not really destructible as the default one in Maya)

. make sure to model some of the internals of the barrel cause in a First Person Shooter game it might reveal to the player while reloading 

keep in mind that when we move to Zbrush to model the high-poly a lot of the details will be booleaned that's why you don't need to combine everything together.

I will try and update this post over time to cover the high-poly and the low-poly.
and please notify me if u notice something wrong/incorrect

if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. hope this can be helpful to anyone out there.  


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