Easily Modifying the Apache Helicopter

Inkscape tutorial – advanced

We take the art from the last tutorial and start modifying the Apache Helicopter into some new game asset. In the last post I mentioned that it’s fairly easy to modify existing images. This tutorial will teach you how to create variations. It’s a fast process, seeing we already have the core shape.

So as requested by some here is a modification tutorial bringing the Apache more in line with the helicopter used in the HeliAttack3 screengrab at the top of the last post.

Instead of the usual start with a simple shape I take the helicopter from the last tutorial ‘Creating an Apache Helicopter‘.

Note:
You can download it for free at the bottom of the post.

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Remove and Recolour

2dgameartguru - modifying the Apache Helicopter

Start modifying the helicopter by taking off some of the features from the latest version.

2Dgameartguru - modifying the Apache Helicopter

Now we colour the helicopters base elements in a army green. The main body has a gradient with a slightly lighter colour on the left (front of the helicopter).

2dgameartguru - modifying the Apache Helicopter

Next up – darken the cockpit and increase the transparency on the lights – as they will stand out a lot more on the darker shape.

2dgameartguru - modifying the Apache Helicopter

Start altering the shapes. Bring in the turbine and extend the square on the top. The idea is to make the body look even more compact and blocky.

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Modifying the Apache Helicopter

2dgameartguru - modifying the Apache Helicopter

Now shorten the back by bringing the nodes over to the left and ‘trim’ the rotor blades by moving the outer nodes. Adjust the shadow and highlight elements to match your changes.

2Dgameartguru - modifying the Apache Helicopter

Alter the ‘nose’ of the helicopter but adding some more nodes and pushing it in slightly.

2dgameartguru - modifying the Apache Helicopter

Use the straight line tool to draw a simple 3 node line to form the landing gear. Curve the left side and then convert the lines to paths (Path/ Stroke to Path).

2dgameartguru - modifying the Apache Helicopter

Give the landing gear a matching stroke and colour. Move it into place.

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Final Touches to the Helicopter

2dgameartguru - modifying the Apache Helicopter

Next, we make some more alterations to the cockpit. Move the windows up and adjust the bottom nodes. Use the straight line tool to add more detail. Duplicate those lines and give them the highlight colour.

2Dgameartguru - modifying the Apache Helicopter

Delete all but one missile, scale that one up and recolour it slightly. Add some more firepower to this helicopter. Red tips look a lot more aggressive.

2dgameartguru - modifying the Apache Helicopter

Three circles and a few rectangles make a simple gun. Add a few more simple shapes for more decoration.

2dgameartguru - modifying the Apache Helicopter

With a few modifications you get a different looking assault helicopter. Finally, there is always bigger and more impressive looking guns and missiles to add. 😉

Note:
Keep the guns and missiles separated when exporting your art. Add them as separate objects attached to the base shape. This allows you flexible use (e.g. firing and rotation for aiming) inside your game engine.

Here are the two helicopters side by side in the scaled down size.

I hope this sheds some light on how quickly you can reuse and modify vector elements. Creating new assets for your game or illustration can be easy when working from existing images.


As promised another free bit of art to make up for the long time between posts. Enjoy!

Get the source art (svg file) of this tutorial for free!