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Old February 18 2012, 12:23 PM   #136
The Axeman
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Every day's a school day working with 3D software. Stick at it and your next model will take a third of the time this takes.
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Old February 18 2012, 03:07 PM   #137
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

The Axeman wrote: View Post
Every day's a school day working with 3D software. Stick at it and your next model will take a third of the time this takes.
I've already noticed that with more familiarity comes greater proficiency and speed.
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Old February 18 2012, 03:35 PM   #138
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Its not just familiarity with the tools, you usually end up discovering ways to do the same thing with a different tool or technique that speeds things up or gives better results. Several times I've watched friends making something and they do something that makes me facepalm and wonder why I never thought of it. There are lots of routes to the same finished product, be it building up clay or carving out rock.
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Old February 18 2012, 04:07 PM   #139
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

I've already found that some things don't work as planned. I'd been thinking about using Sketchup's "follow me" tool for certain things only to find it only works for certain applications. It's still a great tool, but not for what I'd hoped to use it for. On the other hand I really appreciate the "solid" tools and the "push/pull" tool for help in building unusual shapes.
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Old February 18 2012, 05:34 PM   #140
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

If i got to pull out a simple shape from something else in Lightwave I could try smooth shift, extrude, path extrude, rail extrude, spline modeling, sub-d modeling or taper. All will get the job done with varying degrees of success and ease, its just a case of knowing which to choose for the job at hand. The more you use it the more you get the hang of it.
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Old February 18 2012, 05:51 PM   #141
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

A much improved and cleaner bow section. I'm quite happy with the results.

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Old February 18 2012, 06:17 PM   #142
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Warped9 - Did you pay for the pro version to get the solid tools? Or just download the 30day free edition of Pro? If the latter, after 30 days just get the freeware non-pro edition and you can download plugins that give you the full functionality of the solid tools. No money required.
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Old February 18 2012, 06:36 PM   #143
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

sojourner wrote: View Post
Warped9 - Did you pay for the pro version to get the solid tools? Or just download the 30day free edition of Pro? If the latter, after 30 days just get the freeware non-pro edition and you can download plugins that give you the full functionality of the solid tools. No money required.
I just got the freeware version of Sketchup 8 that includes only one or two features of the solid tools: intersect and I forget what the other one was. Depending on how things progress I might even pay for the Pro version because I don't find it that expensive especially compared to other 3D programs. That said Blender is free and learning Sketchup might make it easier for me to transition to Blender.

Bottom line, though, is I don't mind paying if it's within my budget and reasonably priced.
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Old February 18 2012, 07:18 PM   #144
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Take it from someone who has tried. Sketchup will make learning Blender harder. The way you end up building models in Sketchup actually is very different from most other programs and once it's ingrained it really becomes a pain in the ass to unlearn it.

As for continuing to use sketchup, your modelling life will be much easier once you start installing some of the many free plugins available. There really is no point to buying the pro version unless you need the timeline tools for working on "projects". (think architecture and construction projects).

Check out this thread again now that you've played with the program a bit.
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Old February 19 2012, 01:57 AM   #145
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Sketchup works rather differently from any other prgram I've tried. I think the way its designed it makes building relatively simple shapes very easy, but more complex shapes are very difficult. I would save your cash and try learning Blender instead. Blender is very powerful and being improved all the time, but the only drawback is that the learning curve is pretty steep.
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Old February 19 2012, 03:35 AM   #146
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

The Axeman wrote: View Post
Sketchup works rather differently from any other prgram I've tried. I think the way its designed it makes building relatively simple shapes very easy, but more complex shapes are very difficult. I would save your cash and try learning Blender instead. Blender is very powerful and being improved all the time, but the only drawback is that the learning curve is pretty steep.
I hear you. Odd shapes are indeed a challenge in Sketchup and you really have to think it through to get what you want. I've already downloaded and installed Blender and at some point I'm going to give it a try.

For now I'm struggling with the uppermost section of the scoutship's main hull. Again it looks deceptively simple, but I'm still trying to figure out the best way to get the result I want.
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Old February 20 2012, 12:07 AM   #147
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Well, we learn by doing...again.

I've run into some difficulty which also underlined some of the mistakes and compromises I made along the way. I know it's mostly the way I'm looking at it, but some things seem a lot clearer than they were before and the model looks somewhat stained by the mistakes I know are there.

And so for my own peace of mind and taking what I've learned I'm starting again from scratch. The big difference this time is I have a better plan and a much clearer sense of what I'm doing. Since a lot of fumbling (but certainly not all I'm sure) can be bypassed I should make a lot faster progress.

In the process I sometimes listen to TAS music sound clips...or I hum or whistle them to myself.
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Old February 22 2012, 01:53 AM   #148
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
In the process I sometimes listen to TAS music sound clips...or I hum or whistle them to myself.
May I suggest my Star Trek: The Animated Series Soundtrack playlist?

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Old February 22 2012, 05:15 AM   #149
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

DakotaSmith wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
In the process I sometimes listen to TAS music sound clips...or I hum or whistle them to myself.
May I suggest my Star Trek: The Animated Series Soundtrack playlist?

Dakota Smith
Thanks! I actually listen to those tracks off YouTube sometimes while I'm working. I'd love to get copies of those recordings for my computer or iPod. TOS music has been released and even re-recorded note-for-note for a clean sound. When you really listen to the TAS music (which has quite a different feel than TOS') you can hear it's not as simplistic as it sounded on '70's era televisions.
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Old February 23 2012, 05:25 PM   #150
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I'd love to get copies of those recordings for my computer or iPod.
Well, depending on what browser you use, you might find an extension that allows you to download YouTube videos. I use YouTube Downloader in Chrome -- it allows me to download videos as audio-only MP3s.

However, I'm on something of a very long-term project to liberate and reconstruct all of TAS' music cues. I've got my DVD copies of the episodes, and these include an isolated music track. Four isolated music tracks, in fact.

I choose the clearest cues with the widest audio range and load them into Audacity. I then painstakingly normalize them. It's a hideous process.

See, what they did on TAS was crank the music levels up high when there was no dialog. The moment someone speaks or certain sound effects occur, the levels dip by three to six decibels. When the dialog/sound effect is over, the levels are cranked back up.

Since this was the early 1970s, this was naturally done by hand with a simple analog potentiometer. The individual "valleys" aren't particularly uniform, as the editor might adjust the levels slightly to react to changes in an actor's delivery.

So you wind up with all these analog "valleys" in a digital waveform. You can normalize the bottom of the valleys to be consistent with the peak levels in a couple of passes, but the slopes are really difficult. They must be broken into tiny individual chunks and normalized fractions of a second at a time.

When it's all finished (and at this rate and with my schedule, I could retire before it's done), I plan to release everything: original music cue rips in FLAC, my edits in native Audacity format, and the resultant music cues in FLAC.

Man, do I wish I had access to the masters.

Warped9 wrote: View Post
TOS music has been released and even re-recorded note-for-note for a clean sound. When you really listen to the TAS music (which has quite a different feel than TOS') you can hear it's not as simplistic as it sounded on '70's era televisions.
While I'm not yet satisfied with the way the levels turned out in "Danger Approaching (Variation)", I am extremely fond of the cue I went with. The frequency range is really excellent and allows you to hear a lot more depth than would ever have been possible in 1974. The tiny drum and cymbal crash at the very end is virtually impossible to hear in any other cue. There are occasions when I think I can hear the electric guitar echoing in the studio.

I think it would be awesome if a modern orchestra were to record these cues. Admittedly, it would probably require some re-orchestration: these were never composed with an 80-piece in mind. Also, in terms of time, there's between fifteen minutes and half an hour of unique music -- though to be honest I've not yet tried adding it up.

You might be able to have a "Star Trek: The Animated Series Suite" -- and in point of fact, I'll probably put one together when I finish it all. The music (actually very good stuff itself) was used pretty formulaically:

You had the main titles followed by the episode titles, followed by the Captain's Log: each of them used identical cues in every episode. Then you usually had one of two or three cues that would indicate suspense. Then there would be one of several action cues. Repeat as necessary until the tag, which almost always included the Captain's Log with the exact same cue in each episode (the one that starts with a fanfare and ends with a drum roll).

I think a "suite" could very easily re-create the "feel" of watching a TAS episode, but if arranged correctly would still have emotional impact. As I say, it's something I think about as a "final product" for the project.

Dakota Smith
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