Making of Iron Man 3D

Check out The Art of Iron Man artbook that I've reviewed on my blog also.

3d iron man infographics
This Iron Man infographic appeared on The New Paper on 30 April 2008. It was done by Simon Ang, Fuzz (aka Fadzil) and me. I modeled the main suit. Simon did the layout and Fuzz modeled the internal of the suit.

The modeling process took 2-3 weeks.

hasbro iron man
I got my blueprints from Simon's toys (shown above), and from movie trailers and the Iron Man computer game. The computer game model has pretty a pretty high level of detail.

It had been established from the start that it would be impossible to accurately re-model Iron Man. If I can get it to look almost close to the movie, it should be considered job done.


I took a lot of photos of the toys in all profiles. Next I created the blueprints. The toys looked roughly similar to the movie version of Iron Man. There were rotating joints on the toys so you'll never get the real profile.

These line drawings (above) were then saved as Illustrator 10 files for import to Maya 8.5.



And the laborious time consuming process of modeling started.

Firstly, I modeled the general shape of Iron Man. As I have more detail, I cut out the polygons into separate pieces as determined by their coloured sections.


To save time, I modeled stuff that's eventually going to be seen by the readers. I didn't model the hands.


After one half of Iron Man is done, I combined all the polygons together and duplicated it. Next I mirrored it by giving X-scale a -1.

The two halves were then combined.

Before I smoothed Iron Man, I selected the vertices to merge them. I applied a smooth to the normals for the edges in the centre, as shown below.




If you don't smooth the normals of the edges, you'll get something like below. Note the hard edge on the face.


Here's the low poly count Iron Man and it's smoothed version.



For textures, I used a very simple combination of bumps and chrome. Remember that I've cut out the polygons based on their colours earlier. Basically, I applied the material as if I'm applying colour swatches.

Planar mapping was done on the polygons before applying the material as the modeling process stretched the UVs. Doing so ensures that the bumps, when modeled, are evenly distributed and not stretched.


Finally, I rendered Iron Man in high resolution for print. Of course, there were some post Photoshop work done. Such as adding the glow in the eyes, chest, the shine on the metallic body and other stuff.


Other information and graphics on the page were sourced by Simon.

------------------- Downloads ----------------------

Because a lot of people have asked me for the model, I've made it available for download. It's created using Maya 8.5.

The model isn't 100% because the job doesn't require it to be. You can just add on from there.

Please link back to this back if you have decided to use the model in your work. Thanks.

Here's the Iron Man 3D model download link at my deviantart page.

------------------- Books -------------------

Here are some Iron Man stuff from, including the concept art book.