Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Warped9, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    My progress with 3D modelling has been incremental, stumbling at first, having "ah ha!" moments then hitting yet another wall. But bit-by-bit I'm getting there. Recently I've learned the power of Sketchup's solid tools which have solved certain problems for me.

    Sometimes I over think a problem and other times I mistake something for being too simple. But I'm gaining more confidence with every session.

    Here's where I stand. The scoutship's shape may be deceptively simple (just like TOS' Class F design looks deceptively simple), but they're both nuanced shapes with unusual and easily missed details. But I'm taking heart because I've come a long way as evidenced in the posted screenshot.

    In the background you can see the schematics I've imported as immediate references for the model. In the foreground is an X-ray image of much of the scoutship's main hull section. I rather like working in this transparent mode so I can easily see all sides at the same time and note potential problems without having to always turn the model around.

    [​IMG]

    Certainly I'm finding it easier to make the hull in separate parts before putting them together rather than trying to build the main hull all in one piece. Actually I'm not sure I'd have any idea on how that could be done.. In this sense I'm finding 3D modelling is exactly like building a physical real world model.

    Forgive my little ego-boosting here because I'm feeling rather good about how far I've come. I know there'll be more stumbling blocks along the way, but I'm feeling a lot more confident about this then I thought I ever would in the beginning.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  2. Bernard Guignard

    Bernard Guignard Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    you are coming along quite well
     
  3. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I have to say that trying to model the shuttlecraft in this way revealed a few flaws in my thinking when I drew the schematics. As a result when the 3D model is finished I'll use it as a template to correct the few small errors I made on the schematics.

    I suppose I'm taking a harder approach to learning this by trying to model an object such as a sic-fi spacecraft, but frankly I don't have the patience for just playing with random shapes. I think I'm learning faster by trying to make something a bit challenging and more recognizable. Long term: I want to complete this and then the other two TAS designs as well as as the Class F design based on my drawings. I also wouldn't mind trying my hand at Space Ghost's Phantom Cruiser.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  4. Patrickivan

    Patrickivan Fleet Captain Newbie

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    I was the same. I just wanted to see my ships. But really, I don't think it's the worst way to learn. As long as you don't get frustrated. The best part is when you learn how to make something more simply and effeciently then when initially having spent 2 hours on it.
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, definately my experience. Sometimes I do get a bit frustrated, but I've learned enough about myself to know to take a break and walk away to think about my approach and assumptions then come back with a fresh mind.
     
  6. Bernard Guignard

    Bernard Guignard Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well put. I've got to learn to do that. I'm so use to working in 2d AutoCad that I find using Sketchup and ViaCAD difficult to use. I'm finding Sketchup to be more intutive then Via cad.
    How do you get the 3d tools to work its not active on the
    free version of Sketchup 8 that I downloaded ?
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure what you mean by the 3D tools. I'm also using the free version...although considering that Sketchup Pro is just under $500 I'm seriously considering stepping up, but I want to see how ell I progress first. That said if and when I feel proficient enough with Sketchup I may try learning something like Blender which is another free program rather than paying for an upgrade.

    I'm not looking too far ahead here because when I look at some of the other programs like Lightwave, Cinema 4D and Maya and others I feel rather intimidated. Strata 3D CX6 doesn't actually look bad, but again you have to pay to get something more than a tryout version.


    I can find some of the tools fickle which could be something buggy in the system. Like a Move or Scale tool that seems to have a spot at a certain angle that won't work or works clumsily occasionally. I find I like to get exact measurements and then punch those in rather than trying to adjust something strictly by eye. I've also found you have to be aware of hidden geometry or lines or surfaces that aren't locked or grouped because they can really affect the element you're trying to work on. And it's easy to forget something you should have locked or erased just like garbage laying around that you can trip on.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I'm really bummed. Talk about frustration and hitting a wall. I spent much of today's session working on the upper bow section only to find that when nearing the end things weren't working out as I'd hoped. Hours wasted (as well as struggling with some hidden geometry I didn't really was there)! Aargh!!! :scream:

    Anyway I took a break and went back to studying my drawings to understand where I went wrong. I think I've got it solved, but it's enough for today and I'll try again tomorrow.
     
  9. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Feeling much better now. Last night I experimented more with the Follow Me and Solid tools and I finally got what I wanted. Not exactly as I'd planned, but damned close enough.
     
  10. Patrickivan

    Patrickivan Fleet Captain Newbie

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    Good. And try not to think of it as wasted time. Be sure to save your progress so you have a visual record of your increasing skills...

    Failure leads to understanding if you take the time to make it so. Damn- that's not a bad quote! It's mine! ALL MINE!
     
  11. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Very true. For much of the past two days I'd go to bed rather pissed and even wondering why the hell I'm bothering with this. Then I calm down and my stubborn streak kicks in and I refuse to be defeated by my own lack of understanding. I then try something different and feel a genuine sense of accomplishment that I managed to work it out.
     
  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Some genuine progress...for me anyway. :lol:

    I'm actually working on only one half of the ship because other than registry numbers and such the design is mostly symmetrical. But I've duplicated the one side and reversed it to give a better understanding of where I'm at.

    This mightn't seem like much and seem like rather slow progress compared to some of the other vastly more skilled modellers around here, but bear in mind I'm learning this from scratch as I go along.

    Anyway I spent more than two days trying to fashion the upper nose section, something that looks rather simple, but I had a lot of difficulty getting it the way I want. And believe it still really isn't exact, but it's close enough. I know where there are one or two small flaws, but I'm not pointing them out. :D

    The side of the nose section looks so dark because there is a lot of visible geometry there that I can't understand from where it came. When I used a similar method to build the main section I didn't get that kind of geometry. So go figure. For me what's important is that I got the shape I wanted. Also when the ship is finished I'll eliminate a lot of the unneeded internal geometry because all I need is the outer shell for the finished model.

    Next I'm moving on to the lower nose section which extends from the nose to about midway under the main section. I'm including an image of the scout to give a better sense of what shapes are what.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    With this much effort put it--it wouldn't take that much to go to Ford and sell it as the next Aerostar--or make that Pontiac Trans-Sport--oh wait...no more Pontiac...
     
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I do find it amusing that when the design is broken down into separate components it doesn't look much like they belong to the final result. But as I put the components together then the familiar shape begins to take form. Presently I think it looks flatter and wider than I'd thought it would, but I've yet to finish the forward section and add the upper hull.

    I've already toyed with making the nacelles and so I don't foresee any real challenges there.

    With becoming more familiar with the tolls available I've begun to see how I'll be able to add certain details. I'm pretty sure that the service access panels and the aft hatch control can actually be separate pieces with genuine seams to them rather than just painted on details.

    I'm also toying with the idea of something like a cutaway view with something of an interior to illustrate what I had in mind for that layout.
     
  15. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    You learn by doing and by making mistakes and trying something else. Well, in choosing what I felt was the best way to construct the lower section on the bow I found it worked so much better than what I had done with the upper section. So I'm remaking the upper section in conjunction with the lower part combined as a subassembly to be then joined to the main hull.

    I'll post when it's done.
     
  16. The Axeman

    The Axeman Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  17. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I've already noticed that with more familiarity comes greater proficiency and speed.
     
  18. The Axeman

    The Axeman Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  19. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  20. The Axeman

    The Axeman Commodore Commodore

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    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.