Intro: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Goddess Chest
Some background info: I had found a Skyward Sword heart container necklace to give to a friend (http://www.thepixelsmithy.com/collections/necklaces), but I wanted to present it in the most elaborate ...
My method of modelling things in 3D is as follows:
I first outline the object in Adobe Illustrator. I prefer Illustrator over the outline capabilities of 3D modelling tools. I then export it as an AutoCAD drawing, which allows me to import the vector graphic into SolidWorks. I then perform the necessary 3D manipulations in SolidWorks.
It is during outlining that I plan the 3D manipulations. One needs to be mindful of the types of vectors needed to perform certain manipulations. It is also during the outlining phase that I plan all the pieces I need. The chest top, bottom, legs, and in inner top lining to house the electronics are all separate pieces, and I need enough vector artwork to model them as separate pieces.
Shown, are the reference photos I've used. It is best if you can extract the actual 3D model from the game, but purely for the texture mapping images (the 3D model used in-game is crude). I am able to find the papercraft model for the chest, so I used that for my reference images.