The majority of this project was actually fairly straightforward to model. After setting up the reference image I blocked in the main shapes in little time. The most difficult piece was the pommel of the sword which is the very bottom bit at the base of the handle.
I used the Symmetry modifier for the first time which saved a lot of time. What Symmetry does is whatever geometry you change on one side is automatically mimicked on the other side. This way everything is aligned and sized perfectly and saves me half the workload. I became concerned when I finished the pommel however because even though the basic shape was blocked in, when it came to smoothing it it added just over 5,000 poly’s to the model and that was only on two samples. I now understand the battle modellers have when trying to maximize quality with as few poly’s as possible.
Another thing I learned about smoothing is that if you don’t have a few extra edges around any hard corners then the smooth process will turn your model into a big blob. Because Turbosmooth uses averages to smooth out the model, I had to create a couple of extra edges where I needed a defined corner.
Once all the modelling was done, I deleted any unseen poly’s and began the unwrap. For the most part the Unwrap was uneventful. With all the added geometry on the pommel I just had to be more cautious than usual about where I was cutting it. I did use more Unwrap tools then the previous project however, like the relax tools and the flatten mapping tools as well as the projection tool. Once I had all the pieces lined up and placed on the texture it was time to try my hand at creating a normal map.