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Old June 27 2009, 06:26 PM   #91
CTM
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
CTM wrote: View Post
Saquist wrote: View Post
How big is this file sofar?
Just over 98MB
Dude, ya need to invest a few $$$ in a new powerhouse machine and new software.

98MB is TINY. That's like a single texture in "modern" terms.

Seriously, though... I'm impressed by what you've done so far, but can't help but think what you could do with better tools.
Unfortunately, I have to cover $$$$$ in unplanned medical bills this summer, so there's not even $$ around to go towards $$$ for a new system and software. I'm basically wiped out of all disposable $ for the next six months or so. When those are covered, I can see about making the $$$$ repairs to my car (Fortunately I don't have to drive it to get to/from work); then, and only then can I actually spend the $$$ on a new system (I have been doing the planning for a while). This is why I'm doing CAD modeling, instead of building real models.

98MB is substantial for a program designed to run on 4MB ram. For the time being, I can only dream of new systems and software. You design/build with the systems you have, not the systems you wish you had.
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Old June 27 2009, 06:52 PM   #92
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

CTM wrote: View Post
You design/build with the systems you have, not the systems you wish you had.
Quoted for truth.
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Old June 29 2009, 02:32 AM   #93
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Ok. I think I may have a viable Neck Assembly at last. There is much more work to do to clean it up, but the basic assembly should work.

Took me like 6 tries to get this to even come close to looking right. The complex curves around the neck are very difficult to model in AutoCAD.
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Old June 29 2009, 02:42 AM   #94
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

I am heading out of town on business for a day or two, so it will be several days until I make any more progress.
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Old June 29 2009, 09:30 PM   #95
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

That neck looks pretty good to me. Have a safe trip.
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Old June 30 2009, 03:57 PM   #96
Saquist
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

CTM wrote: View Post
Saquist wrote: View Post
How big is this file sofar?
Just over 98MB

That's massive.
My Enigma Surface Model Design is 7.6 MB. I thought that was large.

The Solid Model of the ship is going slow is at 2 MB an that's only 90% of one Nacelle.

I can only image what this is going to end up as...but this is THE most amazing project I have ever seen and frankly it's inspiring me. IT's making it real.

I have so many equestions CTM. I know your time is partitioned but how did you make these curvatures. CAD is so restrictive. I've only just figured out the Loft Command which stranglely enough makes these cross-sections much easier.

This starts off as simple extruding from deck plans and then jumps to high contoured solids skins...(eventually.
I guess I just need to work through it.
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Old July 2 2009, 08:45 PM   #97
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Amazing work. I'd never have the patience, let alone the skill, to even attempt something like this. Well done, sir.
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Old July 3 2009, 06:26 AM   #98
Cary L. Brown
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Saquist wrote: View Post
CTM wrote: View Post
Saquist wrote: View Post
How big is this file sofar?
Just over 98MB
That's massive.
My Enigma Surface Model Design is 7.6 MB. I thought that was large.

The Solid Model of the ship is going slow is at 2 MB an that's only 90% of one Nacelle.
Well, the more complex you allow your forms to be, and the more detail you incorporate, the more demanding on a system the dataset becomes.

For comparison, the file for the secondary hull of my "enterprise" (that is, everything "south of the dorsal dividing line, including nacelles) is currently in a Pro/ENGINEER file which is 274,664 KB. And my primary hull is 261,882 KB. Basically, the model I've got now would take up nearly an entire CD. (That's the DISADVANTAGE of CAD, of the sort I use... it's tremendously more accurate but it's not exactly "efficient" in file-size terms). And it's not remotely "done" yet...

Every time I load mine, it regenerates the file... which is, for all practical purposes, a text-based programming language file. The end result is geometry, but the model itself is something else entirely.

Now, for AutoCAD, it's really designed as a 2D program, with a few (fairly limited) 3D "extensions" in the mix. Basically, what CTM here is doing is creating 2D shapes and attaching them, not creating "solids" per-se. That's why it's difficult (using AutoCAD) to do stuff like the shape of the dorsal.

Doing basic modeling, of the sort you might do with Lightwave or Maya or 3DSMax of Rhino or Blender or whatever, is quite a bit simpler on the surface... you're either creating simple polygons, or a fairly limited set of NURBS patches, really. Polygons are VERY simple (three sets of three dimensions, plus a "normal," for each polygon or each vertex). NURBS patches are more complex (three or four 3D bezier splines, plus tangency controls along at each "isoparm" point on each spline) but still a lot simpler than "real geometry" of the sort that high-end CAD packages do.

What CTM is doing here would be child's play (from a toolkit perspective) with a more modern piece of software and more modern hardware. Of course, that doesn't belittle his work at all, since (like with EVERY tool) the result is more a matter of the thought that goes into it. You can't just "hit the button and have it appear" (no matter how often TNG-era Trek told us so!)

I know about the limitations of budget... but considering what CTM's accomplished with this particular set of "stone knives and bear skins," I'd love to see what he could do with something a bit more capable!
I have so many equestions CTM. I know your time is partitioned but how did you make these curvatures. CAD is so restrictive. I've only just figured out the Loft Command which stranglely enough makes these cross-sections much easier.
I'm pretty sure that AutoCAD, and in particular these early revs, didn't have any "surface" tools like loft or birail sweep or anything like that. Am I mistaken?

Those tools are tremendously powerful for certain things... I recently upgraded my personal license of Pro/E just so I could incorporate an additional module which gives me those capabilities (something not included in the base package). I know that you have something similar in AutoDesk Inventor, and of course both Maya and 3DSMax have it, but AutoCAD? I'd be pretty surprised. AutoDesk doesn't target AutoCAD at that market.
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Old July 3 2009, 02:35 PM   #99
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Loft and sweep first appear in ACAD 2006 and creates a solid model, not a surface. There are some problems with the implementation that makes it easier to use the command in inventor.
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Old July 3 2009, 05:44 PM   #100
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Fantastic work! Can't wait to see how it turns out.
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Old July 4 2009, 03:35 AM   #101
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

So many questions, I've been away from this thread for a bit... so to try to answer as many as I can as quickly as possible:
AutoCAD R13 does do solid modeling, but the advanced complex curves are not easy to generate. The way I approached that in several cases involved using the edgesurf command, allowing me to use 4 poly-lines to define the shape, generating a 3-d poly-mesh object. It is essentially a 2-d face shaped and adjusted into 3-d space. I then take a 3-d "box" and trim it down, using the poly-mesh planes to define the edge of the solid object. That is how I dealt with some of the difficult complex curves on/around the Photorp deck. The remainder of the neck, I cheated. I defined essentially two separate ellipses, one running up the back of the neck, and one running up the front of the neck. I then joined them together (if you look very closely you can see the fusion line running up near the front of the neck - but not quite all the way to the front of the neck; starting with K-deck (the Photorp Deck is M) and continuing all the way up to the saucer.

"loft" is a foreign concept to me in CAD (although it shouldn't be).

So, here's the latest work on the neck - I still have to fit the Jeffrie's Tube (will run down inside the aft end of the neck), and bore the holes for the turbo-lift; and put in the doors, and fit the docking port, and put in the ladder/stairs in the ladder-well. Also, I need to finish building the structures on H-deck (where it starts to join with the Primary Hull). It might not look like much more than what was there a week ago, but there is quite a bit more work that has been put into the neck.





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Old July 5 2009, 03:18 AM   #102
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Another day's work added. I actually started working on filling out the lower decks of the primary hull - and have the basic framework for the primary hull built (but didn't render it). I have not built (at least as yet) a mechanism to separate the primary and secondary hulls. As I finish the neck interface, I will look at how to do that.

Four pictures tonight, wireframes and renders of the insie and outside of decks H-M.



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Old July 5 2009, 08:33 PM   #103
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Wowser.
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Old July 6 2009, 01:13 AM   #104
Saquist
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Beyond Belief.
This is the closes will come to building this ship....
I can't wait to the finish.
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Old July 6 2009, 12:42 PM   #105
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Not to take anything from this, because it looks great and its taken alot of work, but it isn't right. This is more the fault of the designers in Treks 1 & 2 than you though. Specifically, your torpedo bays are waaayy too small. If you look at Trek 2, that one bay is bigger than what you have here, and if we accept that there are in fact 2 bays, then it creates more problems. Look at the width of the exterior structure of the entire torpedo bay and compare it to the bridge, and the landing bay, to get an idea of how much space is in there (ie, not much at all). Now, if there are 2 bays and the other bay is equal to the size of the one seen on screen, then they just don't fit into the structure (and there's certainly not enough room to get a funeral party in there). Also note that in the funeral scene there is another level above Kirk & party. Logically that level is part of the neck, and not the torpedo bay, as the bay isn't big enough to have 2 decks (look at the airlock size). Therefore if there are 2 bays then it makes no sense for there to be a seperate level above one of them. The only thing that makes an argument for there being 2 bays is the fact that it is trashed in WOK but looks undamaged later (perhaps damage control were just really efficient that day?)

Also, I think we have to accept that main engineering is further back in the secondary hull. Why? Because of that corridor we see in TMP and the first attack in WOK. There's no 2 ways about it: if engineering is where Shane Johnson and Mr Probert say it is, then that corridor extends into the deflector dish. It has to be further back for it to fit.

The torpedo bay in WOK looks pretty cool, but they dropped a major bollock on the design side. For one thing, there's nowhere for the intermix chamber, unless we accept that its between the torp tube arms. I think Shane Johnson came up with that solution because its the only one he could think of that allowed his layout to follow Mr Probert's design drawing, but it is ultimately pretty silly. Also, note that at the end of the inspection scene, alot of trainees disappear off to the rear of the bay - to engineering, perhaps? - which would strengthen the more logical assumption that engineering is further back. And the entire layout of the bay is baffling. To load a torpedo, the arm must retrieve it from storage (wherever that is) and lower it on to a long track, where it then travels (pretty slowly from the on-screen evidence) down to the launch tube. I'd estimate there's a minimum 30-second loading time for each torpedo because of this design - plenty of time for some nasty Klingon to pound your ship while you arse around loading your gun. Why not use the bay itself for torpedo storage so that they go straight into the launch tubes when needed?

As you are finding, I think the design problem with this Enterprise (and don't get me wrong - its the best looking of all of them) is that its just too small. The landing bay, and the shuttlepod docking at the airlocks in Treks 1 & 2, give a good sense of scale and size, but the interior set design of main engineering and the torpedo bay (or bays) bugger things up because they are not logically scaled. And there's a big corridor.
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