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Old February 23 2012, 06:08 PM   #151
Warped9
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

I understand and thanks. I look forward to your progress.

I do understand about long term projects. My shuttlecraft drawings are an example. I go in spurts of intense work sessions and then droughts where little gets done. Real life interferes as well as not having a definitive deadline. I'm doing it for enjoyment. I can say that all the major drawing has been done to the point where I can get the designs rendered in 3D. But, of course, I still have to finish the interior views.

One day...

The current scoutship restart is going quite well so far. I've got the major hull section done except for the topmost component (where the forward viewport is set). After that it should go quickly because all that will remain are nacelles, landing struts and details...and of course colouring and registry markings.

What I've learned so far gives you a much better grasp in what is involved in cgi animation. It's all very well for people to say, "Oh, they can just whip it up in the computer and presto!" But, of course, that's not how it really works. You still have to design things and then painstakingly build them from scratch in the computer even if they are "only" mathematical constructs as opposed to physical models. I'd argue that a physical model could conceivably be constructed faster than in 3D. The distinction is that 3D models don't require actual materials. They simply require time: time to design and build the models and then lots of processing time to animate them.

Fortunately I'm dealing with relatively simple static models that might see limited animation.
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Old February 25 2012, 10:57 PM   #152
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Something to show.

Again it's an X-ray image of only one side, but that can just be duplicated and reversed to make the whole thing. I know have the main hull finished but one detail small thing in the back end. But the main body is done and a helluva lot of work it was too. The hardest part has become those little detail elements like where rounded corners meet or lining up surfaces with compound curves and angles. Argh!!! (-:

But based on how far I've come along with this I don't foresee any major hurdles with adding the remaining bits and pieces. Now, though, you can get a better sense of the shape and what this adapted TAS design will look like in 3D.



And a quick glimpse...
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Old February 26 2012, 01:51 PM   #153
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Very nice work there
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Old February 26 2012, 04:09 PM   #154
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Bernard Guignard wrote: View Post
Very nice work there
Thanks! I was up until 2am last night working on this too.

I'm quite pleased overall, but for myself there are quibbles and some of them go right back to when I drew the schematics initially. As for the 3D model there are things that have worked out, but I now know I'd do differently when I start the next model or if I do this one again sometime. One thing I'm not really satisfied with is that some of the rounded edges are still too sharp for my liking and I'd make them larger diametre edges in the future, but since I took the measurements right off my schematics the mistake was made long before. Hmm, so maybe I should go back and modify my schematics.

There are areas of Sketchup I'm still not familiar with such as how to get more realistic looking surfaces and lighting. The default setting and what I've played a bit around with still looks too bright and intense. And the default surfaces have too much reflectivity at this point. I know it's possible to look more photo realistic, but I haven't learned how to do that yet.

Also I haven't learned how to get sharp and clear pictures of the model yet either. So far I only know how to do screen capture pics and thats not what I want ultimately.

But so far overall I'm quite happy with it. Now what lies ahead shouldn't be too hard. The next major hurdle I have are the triangular indentations on the lower part of the bow section. And with what I've learned so far the landing struts and nacelles shouldn't present any major challenge.

One thing I did yesterday was remove all the unneeded internal geometry thats visible in the X-ray images above. That was needed when I was constructing and assembling the individual components, but now they're not needed and it just complicates things when rendering the model. When I copied the one side and reversed it to get a look at the whole ship I'd get a little spinning beach ball while I waited for things to get processed. And I have 4G RAM. After removing all the internal geometry things sped up noticeably, but I think I'll eventually upgrade the RAM to 8G, possibly more.
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Old February 26 2012, 11:55 PM   #155
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
There are areas of Sketchup I'm still not familiar with such as how to get more realistic looking surfaces and lighting. The default setting and what I've played a bit around with still looks too bright and intense. And the default surfaces have too much reflectivity at this point. I know it's possible to look more photo realistic, but I haven't learned how to do that yet.

Also I haven't learned how to get sharp and clear pictures of the model yet either. So far I only know how to do screen capture pics and thats not what I want ultimately.
Are you just trying to do this stuff within SketchUp, or do you have a rendering application like Kerkythea or something?
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Old February 27 2012, 12:54 AM   #156
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
Are you just trying to do this stuff within SketchUp, or do you have a rendering application like Kerkythea or something?
I've just installed a plugin called Maxwell that will help me get better renders and pictures. I, uh, had to learn about Sketchup's limitations. I've played with it a bit and early efforts are promising and as I get accustomed to using Maxwell then I should get satisfactory renders. But I'm going to wait until I'm finished the entire model before I go for a final render.

I think I may install a rudimentary interior to the model because although the viewport is darkly tinted (to simulate a one-way transparency) there's still something coming through with enough light from the opposite side. So I should add something to suggest an interior with perhaps a couple of crew aboard. And they'd only have to be rough forms of people to suggest a shape inside the craft when viewed from certain angles.
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Old February 27 2012, 06:34 PM   #157
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Importing photo textures are a great way to add a realistic look. I have been experimenting with capturing images of real surfaces from google streetview and importing onto my sketchup surface. It can really make a huge difference to cartoony colours.

I hope you have better luck rendering images the. I have. I tried kyrktheia (spell check) to no avail.
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Old February 28 2012, 01:28 AM   #158
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Patrickivan wrote: View Post
Importing photo textures are a great way to add a realistic look. I have been experimenting with capturing images of real surfaces from google streetview and importing onto my sketchup surface. It can really make a huge difference to cartoony colours.

I hope you have better luck rendering images the. I have. I tried kyrktheia (spell check) to no avail.
I've installed a plugin called Maxwell for rendering. Early trials with it are decent so far.
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Old February 28 2012, 04:58 PM   #159
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Yeah, I'm bumping my head against Sketchup and lighting in Kerkythea myself.

You've gotten further than I have.
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Old February 28 2012, 05:29 PM   #160
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

It is possible to export Sketchup models (using the Pro version) as .obj and .3ds files which can be read into more powerful rendering engines. I've converted a few Sketchup models at peoples request and made decent pictures and animations with them. If you finish your model and want it converted to Lightwave, send me a pm and I'll do the conversion. For a small model like this it would take no time, and once in Lightwave I can light and texture it a bit better than Sketchup can manage.
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Old February 28 2012, 07:54 PM   #161
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Well, some of us (like myself) use SU because its basic version is free.
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Old February 28 2012, 11:59 PM   #162
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

You can download the Pro version and get 8 hours of use out of it before it disables itself. So work in free edition and only open pro to convert files. It should last for quite a while.

The Axeman wrote: View Post
It is possible to export Sketchup models (using the Pro version) as .obj and .3ds files which can be read into more powerful rendering engines. I've converted a few Sketchup models at peoples request and made decent pictures and animations with them. If you finish your model and want it converted to Lightwave, send me a pm and I'll do the conversion. For a small model like this it would take no time, and once in Lightwave I can light and texture it a bit better than Sketchup can manage.
mmmm, this might be the carrot I need to finish my USS Boundless.
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Old February 29 2012, 01:21 AM   #163
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Right now I'm gratified that I can begin modelling some of my designs myself in a form beyond 2D schematics, which I still quite like. The modelling doesn't replace the drawing for me but adds yet another dimension to the overall design work. While modelling this scoutship design I've realized a few things I'd like to change. And so I might go back and tweak those couple things on the schematics so that when I eventually tackle the scoutship again someday down the road I'll incorporate what I've learned and those changes.

For now I'm going to continue to finish the model as is. All told though there are really only a very few things I'm not content with, but they're not deal breakers and probably no one will notice but me.
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Old February 29 2012, 01:27 AM   #164
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

No promises. Converting a simple shuttle model should take minutes, but a much larger model can take hours of work.
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Old February 29 2012, 02:35 AM   #165
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

The Axeman wrote: View Post
No promises. Converting a simple shuttle model should take minutes, but a much larger model can take hours of work.
The thing with the TOS and the TAS designs I've adapted into more credible looking vehicles is that there are a lot of subtle compound curves and angles that aren't immediately apparent. It isn't easy making those shapes flow naturally into each other. And some simple things like lining up corners where two different curvatures meet is ...interesting.
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