As part of trying the expand my knowledge of 3D modelling, I wanted to learn how to create higher detail low poly assets by understanding how to bake high poly meshes upon lower poly geometry.
I started by gathering and analysing images of an MK-2 Grenade from various angles and depth to understand how the model would be pieced together. I could begin to visualise the required geometry to create the final shape of the grenade.
I also learned the dimensions of an MKII Grenade to help recreate the model to scale within 3DS Max.
Total length: 114mm
Length body: 90mm
In preparation of modelling the grenade, I firstly applied a suitable side-on reference image to a plane which had been scaled to match the dimensions of the grenade.
I would use this image as a guide, matching the geometry upon it to create a model which matches identically to the real-life object.
I would begin the low poly recreation of the grenade, further splitting it down into five smaller components; the body (pineapple), the head, the spoon, the pin and finally the ring.
I have provided a brief explanation of the process for each component, complete with geometry, below.
The body started as a 48 sided cylinder scaled to the correct size. I then inserted edge loops wherever needed, scaling the vertices outwards or inwards to match that of the reference image. This left me with an egg shaped mesh which I then applied extrusions with a bevel to create the final pineapple shape.
The head of the grenade started as an extrusion from the top of the body of the grenade, which was then detached as a separate mesh to reduce any unnecessary topology. Half of the cylinder was then deleted and extruded length-ways to produce the elongated shape of the head. The chamfer tool was used on any necessary edges which need rounding to match that of the reference image, also using the move tool to manipulate vertices into to position which also did not quite match. Finally, I used an inwards bevel on the rear of the head as extra detailing, allowing you to see the pin passing through the model.
To recreate the spoon of the grenade, I used the top face of the geometry created from the head (shown above). I created a clone of these faces, using the move tool to position it correctly slightly above the head. I then extruded selected edges outwards and downwards to match the rounded detailing on the spoon shown on the reference images. I chamfered any vertices where required to help produce a more rounded shape, ensuring to re-connect each vertex so that each face was either quadrified or triangulated.
Next, I used the shell modifier to add thickness to the geometry. Lastly, using a boolean to cut a 14 sided cylinder out from the spoon for me to position the grenades pin through. Again, remembering to re-connect any necessary vertices as a result.
For the ring of the grenade, I created spring geometry found under the “Dynamic Objects” options within 3DS Max. I then adjusted its default settings to that shown below to perfectly match the reference image.
Lastly, I selected one end face of the spring and extruded it to produced a straight edge, a detail that was evident on the images of the grenade. Remembering to cap the end to finish.
The final component of the grenade was the pin. I used the geometry of the ring to help create it by selected an edge loop which covered the diameter of its thickness. I then “created a shape from selection” which created a circular spline with I manipulate into the shape of the pin.
Next, I selected the “enable in viewport” option to begin adding thickness to the spline. I then adjusted the above setting till it resembled the correct thickness shown in the images. Lastly, I then made the selection into an editable polygon and removed the inner edge loops to produce the flat face on the inside of the pin.
Final Low Poly Model
Next Steps / Conclusion
I am slightly concerned with some of the chamfered corners of the grenade, especially those found in the head of the grenade. I feel I may need to add some extra geometry and vertices to allow it to triangulate correctly, without producing an distortion or “nipping” on the faces of the mesh when rendering.
Despite these concerns, I am really pleased with the final low poly model and feel that it matches perfectly with the reference images. The next step is to create a high poly version of the same model, adding extra detail where possible.