My work on the moth continues. After completing the limbs, my next challenge was the antennae. This would have been a simple matter if all I wanted were single curved tendril-like antenna. But I had my sights set on something more complex. Some of the photos of moths I used as reference, showed some filamentous fern-like antennae. That is what I wanted to model. I could have done this by the tedious manual placement of the filaments in the shape I required, but you might as well learn a new technique when faced with a challenge. So, I decided to learn the duplivert technique.
Dupliverts in Blender, are a great way to model complex structures that involve the repetition of a basic unit in some regular manner. You select a mesh which is going o be the template for the placement of your copies, and you make it the parent of the object/mesh which needs to be repeated. Now press the Dupliverts button found in the object window (post v2.3) or the edit window (pre v2.3). This places a copy of the child object on every vertex of the parent object. So to create my antenna, I first created a simple mesh curve to be the parent. I then subdivided it many times to increase the number of vertices. Next, I created a stretched mesh plane which I subdivided and proportionally edited into a curved sail shape. This was the repeating shape. On applying the Dupliverts option I had a line of identical curved planes placed vertically along the parent curve. I needed a variation in the size of the filaments. Since dupliverts are logical copies of the same object, I had to convert the copies to real objects (shift-ctrl-A). Then with proportional editing I created a cascade of the curved planes gradually diminishing in size along the curve. This entire group of filaments was then duplicated and mirrored along the base curve to create the complete fern-like antenna shape.
I had already modelled 2 compound eyes before. Now the antenna was also duplicated and mirrored to create its symmetrical twin. To complete the body model, the half body was duplicated mirrored and joined to the original half. Remove doubles was used to create a clean joint between the two halves and to get rid of the ugly seam.
As you can see in the screenshot, the body of the moth is now complete. All it awaits are its wings. Coming soon to a blog near you …