In 2014 I attempted to model a Beretta pistol and definitely bit off more than I could chew at the time! Now in 2019 I have the skill set to approach this with confidence, so here’s may latest attempt at the Beretta Type M9A1 pistol.
Started with a cylinder object as a base for the slide. Dropped into Symmetry and roughed out the shape keeping poly count low.
Further progress with the slide. Keeping good edge flow to allow for easy sharpening.
Moving onto the frame rail, starting at the front and working back towards the trigger guard.
Continuing the frame rail back into the handle.
More work on the handle and trigger guard.
Trigger in place and shaping the magazine release inset.
Magazine release and inset done.
Back strap area done.
More progress on the frame. Out of symmetry and cutting in details.
Take down lever done.
Blocking in the trigger bar topology flat before adding extrusions.
Slide Catch done. Added the ridge detail after making the base subdivided object editable.
Tackling this tricky grip shape is made easier by establishing the topology flat before introducing the curved shape using a Shrink Wrap Deformer.
A different approach to the grip, modelled with the Polygon Pen using 4 views. More precise, lower poly result than the flat/shrink wrapped version.
Having a smooth base (left) to shrink wrap onto allow you to cut in details (middle) and know that the result (right) will be just as smooth.
The Brush Tool in Smear mode is handy for making tweaks to shapes without messing up the topology.
Started sharpening some areas and getting nice & clean results under subdivision, which will allow for some big close ups.
Pretty happy with the topology used for sharpening this section.
Volume modeling has it’s uses but can’t compare to sub-d when attention to detail is important. On the left is a high rez volume mesh (450K polys) and on the right is a sub-d version (924 polys).
Rather than subdividing the entire frame to get more rows for this detail, I decided to stitch it in using some loops.
Magazine and lanyard loop in place.
I neglected to consider how the slide around the trigger area is machined to fit with the frame. So rather than trying to eyeball the slide separately I’ve split off that area to rework it as one piece, which I’ll reattach to the existing geo.
Once again the Shrink Wrap Deformer comes into play, allowing me to create the topology for this machined detail and not worry about messing with the curvature.
Using Plane Cut with Number of Cuts, Spacing and Angle settings adjusted to make cuts for this detail fast and accurate.
Cut in the slide grip detail. Clean and sharp.
Front and back sights in place.
Blocked out the Safety Lever shape using booleans. Could have used Volumes but I find snapping to the clean edges that booleans provide gives a cleaner result when retopoing. Same approach for the safety lever inset in the slide. Makes it easy to adjust and ensure a snug fit before locking in the topology of the inset and the lever.
Decocker Lever finished.
The hammer was modelled flat with the Polygon Pen tool before extrusion.
Used a modified cylinder to boole an inset into the slide.
Basically done. Just the logo and knurling detail for the grip to do.
Here’s how I created a seamless pattern in Photoshop to use infor the handle knurling.
Got the knurling and logo displacement working pretty well. Created and exported from ZBrush.
Unwrapped in RizomUV using UDIMS and even texel density, ready for import into Substance Painter.