The iconic silhouette of the Y-wing starfighter is instantly recognisable to any Star Wars fan. It may not be as glamorous as Luke Skywalker's X-wing or the Millennium Falcon but the Y-wing has been an integral part of the galaxy far far away since it first appeared in 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (known then simply as Star Wars). And it has now been redesigned in a stunning 3D render (see it above).
The Y-wing appears throughout Star Wars media but is primarily associated with the Rebel Alliance, who utilised them in their fight against the Galactic Empire in the original trilogy, and it has served as inspiration for a host of artist and designers over time. Here, we explore a recent render but you can put your own spin on your favourite movie or video game designs with our list of the best 3D modelling software.
Originally designed by concept artists Colin Cantwell (opens in new tab) and Ralph McQuarrie, the Y-wing (above) was refined by Joe Johnston (opens in new tab) so that it could be made into a VFX model for the first film's pioneering Death Star attack sequence.
Feeling inspired, Encho Enchev (opens in new tab), Ubisoft (opens in new tab) senior 3D and concept artist got to work using 3ds Max (opens in new tab), V-Ray (opens in new tab) and Photoshop (opens in new tab) to put his own spin on the classic Y-wing in a series of stunning fan renders.
Work on the intricate 3D model of his Y-wing design took Enchev just three days to complete. He built the Y-wing in 3ds Max, before rendering it in V-Ray and applying finishing touches in Photoshop. Often working on vehicle concepts in his spare time, Enchev particularly enjoyed creating something that could belong in the vast Star Wars universe.
Enchev took the opportunity to embrace more colour and contrast in his Y-wing design; "most of my projects are very muted and desaturated," he explains. In his day job at Ubisoft, Enchev begins projects by making rough sketches to present his ideas to the art director.
Next, he creates a low-poly 3D model to figure out the correct proportions and composition for the piece, continuing with the details once he's satisfied. "If I'm making an in-game model for Ubisoft I unwrap the model and start texturing and baking in Substance Painter," he explains, "if I'm doing a design for me I will skip the UVs and just do a paintover after I'm done with the renders."
When working on personal projects like this Y-wing redesign, Enchev's inspiration comes from seeing a work of art evolve from an initial sketch to the real 3D model seen in a movie or game. Want more? Check out our list of stunning 3D art.