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The "Palermo method" of creating trigger guards

The so-called (by me at least) "Palermo method" is of course named after the famous SWAT3 modder Palermo, who first showed it to me.

When modelling a trigger guard it's very easy to waste polygons. The ends of the guard will be connected to the body of the weapon, so there's no need to see them. Most of the guard will be obscured by your character's hands while it is held, so any unnecessary areas of detail are big no-nos. This method allows you to create reasonable trigger guards with a very low polygon count.

I'm going to do the demonstration in Maya. The techniques are generic, however, and can be carried out in Milkshape, 3D Studio MAX etc etc etc.

Our gun

Here's the SPAS12 as modelled for SWAT3 - without a trigger guard. Let's see if we can add one...

The gun

Step one: create a cube

First thing to do is to create a cube with twelve vertices so it's split into two sections.

Create a cube with two sections

Step two: select the "top" vertices

With the cube moved roughly into the trigger guard's position, select the top set of six vertices.

Select the top six vertices

Step three: scale the vertices

Next scale the vertices so they all meet along a plane through the centre of the object.

Scale the vertices inwards

Step four: merge the vertices

Now merge (or weld) the vertices together. From six vertices we're down to three.

Merge the vertices

Step five: select the end faces

The end faces of the trigger guard will meet the body of the weapon and won't be visible in the game. So let's kill them and claim our bounty of two polygons off the count!

Select the end faces

Step six: delete the end faces

Bye bye!

Delete the end faces

Step seven: fine tune the guard's position

Finally you can move the individual vertices of the guard into position. Point snap mode (hotkey: V) helps here!

Finalise the arrangement


A half-decent trigger guard in twelve triangles!


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