See the Products page for info on ALL of my 3D tutorials.

It's huge!

See the intro movie here. (about 61 MB MP4)

In it's physical form, this was a two-DVD set, with a huge amount of info and over 5 gigabytes of video on building scale projects like the Cessna 310K featured here, plus a building article on the Northrop T-38 "Talon". Several other videos (See below) on general modeling, rigging, and animation. Bonus... Several complete models included too, including the complete T-38 model, already rigged for animation., and a library of drag-and-drop assets for your models. (Cockpit instruments, nuts and bolts, wheels, assorted hardware etc.)

Available Now!


That's what this set is all about, and the two main projects focused on, (Cessna 310K and the Northrop T-38 "Talon") provide plenty of opportunities to show a variety of methods for creating them in modo. As with all of my other volumes, I want to make it clear that although I generally concentrate on aircraft, these techniques apply to anything else you want to model. It's about creating shapes that serve your needs, texturing them, rendering them, and setting up some basic animation, via modo 501's great new tools. The (screen capture) video parts of the presentation are 1280 X 720, at 24 frames per second, with audio, and as with my previous sets, the rest of the content is set up just like a web site, so that you can navigate directly to any parts you like, in any order you like. There is an included "user_media" folder, containing several free models and scenes.

And... It's not all "serious". Nothing wrong with exploring modo and creating something fun, too! Here's one example.
(about 5 MB MP4, so give it a few moments to load)

Some of my favorite fellow artists have created step-by-step tutorials, in which you build a particular model, just as they built it. Clearly, some people like that approach. But when I watch these, I never build the model shown. Instead, I try to learn the methods, and apply them to my own work. So, as with all my previous tutorials, this one is aimed at showing you the methods and the results, but is not a "step-by-step" tutorial that ends up with you having built the same model I did. That's not the point. Learning the "how" is much more important than the "what", and so several files are included for you to use. The methods shown in this tutorial can be applied to any modeling task, so have fun with it, and go in your own direction.

The projects shown in this volume also include organic art visualization, some news, regarding modeling for rapid prototyping, simple texturing and UV-ing, rigging for animation, and compositing. Due to increased security by nearly all manufacturers, accurate documentation is more and more difficult to obtain. So, I'm also passing along the methods I use to discover and compare data from various sources, to create accurate scale models, when the documentation we'd like to have doesn't exist. We all have to "eyeball" things at times, and those familiar with a particular subject will instinctively know when it's right or wrong, so I feel that this part of the presentation is important. The Cessna 310K project was truly an "exercise in extrapolation".

The featured modeling project on this volume is my "museum scale" version of the Cessna 310K. It's not only a scale exterior model, but, like my Cessna T-50 project, it features a detailed interior structure, cabin and cockpit details, interior and exterior lighting, and rigging of the control surfaces, using modo 501's new schematic view. At this time, this model has about 11 milion polygons, and the file size, including all the images used for textures, is about 60 MB.

My Northrop T-38 "Talon" project is also included, and uses a different approach, concentrating on saving system resources. Still, it represents the T-38 accurately, and includes exterior lighting, rigged control surfaces, and a moderately-detailed cockpit. At this time, the model has about 1.5 million polygons, and the file size is about 13 MB.

Aside from the lessons learned during the Cessna 310K and T-38 projects, I've included various tips that apply to all of our work, including lessons learned from using booleans extensively, the importance of working in the right mode, when scaling and moving parts, the use of modo 501's new "schematic view" for rigging, some fun uses for replicators, tips for producing better renders without using up your system resources, an interesting "time-lapse" magazine article I produced for an aviation client, how to use image sequences for animation-within-animation effects, how to archive your model for easier future improvements, several "power tool" uses of the background constraint, some beveling tips, and more.

Like my previous volumes this one is set up to work just like a web site, which allows you to jump from one subject to another, as you wish. There are text and image articles for each subject, as well as video tutorials. I've also included "Reference Articles", which are copies of the Cessna 310K and T-38 articles from my online site, so you don't have to be online to view them. Here's a screenshot of the "Video Index" page from the DVD, to give you a better idea of the videos included. Click here to see an excerpt from one of the rigging videos. (about 15 MB MP4)

Models and Files Included:

  • The complete T-38 file, (with basic rigging) including the reference images, original sub-d parts, and boolean cutters
  • New version (with interior) of my military troop carrier model
  • The "Displacement Fireworks" file, including the image sequence used, for you to experiment with
  • A HUGE variety of drag-and-drop assets for your projects, which you can add to your library (over 7 MB in .lxo format)
    (See movie at right.)
  • A few fun animations, just for your entertainment

Credit is always appreciated, but the models and files on the DVD are yours to use as you see fit, with no restrictions. Enjoy!

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Unless otherwise noted, all content on this site is ©Copyright by Mike James - - All Rights Reserved
NOTE: I am not at liberty to redistribute any of the documentation used to build any of the 3D models on this site.