USS Grandeur - One... More... Time!

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Vektor, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. GilmourD

    GilmourD Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Same here. It would go on the same shelf as all the ships designed by Matt Jeffries, Andy Probert, and Rick Sternbach.
     
  2. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As I believe has been mentioned, REL has offered to do a physical model of the Grandeur when I finally get it finished, so those of you who want one will eventually get your chance.

    If you don't know who REL is, do a search for his postings here on TrekBBS or as REL777 over at Scifi-Meshes.com.
     
  3. ncc-1017-e

    ncc-1017-e Captain Captain

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    atlanta georgia unitedstates
    ^ I love your work with this, but I would love to see a physical model done of TOS Enterprise you have been working on! As I have said before your work and creativity is just outstanding! Your understanding of Star trek art direction is first class!
     
  4. CaptainRoop

    CaptainRoop Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Mar 18, 2006
    Yes the Citizen/the Commander has already been in contact with Rel and unless something changes between now and then, we will be getting physical models done in fiberglass. More will be coming on that in the near future.

    I have had polls out on how many would be interested in purchasing a model of the ship when ready.

    http://www.sextondesign.net/grandeur/html/grandeur_poll.html
     
  5. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Been working on more detailing, mostly around the saucer impulse engines, but I've also been tweaking the contours on the underside of the saucer a bit. Some of these parts still need to be lined up, seams closed, etc. so don't mind the imperfections too much.

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  6. Jon1701

    Jon1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That angle is awesome. I've always loved seeing Starships from that angle.

    Very TMP. :techman:
     
  7. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, I’ve hit a bit of a snag. I’ve been working on detailing the underside of the saucer and in the process I’ve discovered that I didn’t plan ahead very well in structural terms. Both the top and bottom sides have a number of features that are supposed to align with the implied radial and concentric structural members of the saucer, but I have never previously worked out exactly what the configuration of those structural members are. As a consequence, the details on the upper and lower saucer surfaces failed to magically line up as I had been hoping they would since I first realized it could be a problem.

    Now, I could fudge things just enough to connect the dots, so to speak, and hope that nobody notices that certain details are a little off or slightly askew, but I have a really hard time cutting those kinds of corners after all the work I’ve put into this thing. The alternative is to basically erase most of the radial details on the saucer and rebuild them in a way that lines up with a unified internal structure. Some of the larger parts and pieces might have to be adjusted as well. Ultimately, the amount of work required is what scientists and engineers like to call “non-trivial.” It’s a significant step backward in order to move forward, which is the kind of thing I was really hoping to avoid at this late date. I swear, sometimes I wonder if I’m gonna have to leave this project to my descendants to finish.

    Anyway, I have pretty much made up my mind that if it’s worth doing then it’s worth doing right, so I started the detail removal process last night. In most cases, I can go back to earlier iterations of the model and steal the pieces I need, but I can’t do it wholesale because there are a lot of other modifications of the same parts that I need to keep. It’s actually going more quickly than I expected, if I can just figure out a structural configuration that will work with all of the design requirements I’m trying to satisfy.

    One bit of good fortune in all of this is that it gives me the opportunity to fix something else that has been bugging me. I’ve been thinking for a while that the gridlines were too wide and too deep for a ship this size, to the point where they actually detract from its sense of scale. Since I’m redoing most of the gridlines anyway, I figure I might as well scale them down a little bit. Of course, that means I will have to redo ALL of the gridlines, including the ones on the warp nacelles, but in for a penny, in for a pound.

    At least you will all know what to expect in the next set of WIP images, but don’t count on seeing them before next weekend.
     
  8. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    AAAAAH!
     
  9. Ghostface1701

    Ghostface1701 Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't envy the work you've got ahead, Vektor, but you're doing the right thing. I really believe that this will one of the most carefully and well constructed ships we've seen since Probert's Enterprise-D, and I love watching it take shape.

    Take all the time you need (but be quick about it ;) )
     
  10. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    Vektor, your integrity is admirable. Two thumbs up, man!

    I'd love to see shots of the new work in progress, even if it does look a little like scrolling back to the beginning of this thread. I had similar difficulties with a fictional wet-navy ship I'm working on right now ... I went back to scratch on a number of pieces and might yet go back again at a future date because it still isn't working out the way I'd like.
     
  11. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    He likes to dock in the aft shuttlebay.;)
     
  12. ninetofive

    ninetofive Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    What software package are you using, Vektor? Studiotools, Maya, Rhino?
     
  13. Rally_man

    Rally_man Captain Captain

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    Thanks for the heads up! :techman:
     
  14. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    3ds Max 2009.
     
  15. Icy_Penguigo

    Icy_Penguigo Captain Captain

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    Vektor, have you ever written any tutorials for 3Dmax? I've been using it for a few years, but I am still a total novice compared to you. Just wondering if you've passed on your knowledge in any form.
     
  16. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've made numerous posts over the years describing my techniques for various things including box modeling, gridlines, windows, avoiding smoothing artifacts, etc, etc, but I've never really done an actual tutorial. I barely have enough time to dedicate to the actual modeling projects without trying to write tutorials as well. Not ruling it out, just sayin'.
     
  17. Just_Bob

    Just_Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    My office desk is ready and waiting for the Grandeur. :techman:
     
  18. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Sorry to hear that you've gotta take a step back... always sucks, huh?

    You're a much better rendering-guy than I am (and probably than I'll ever be) but I'm a pretty damned good engineer. I've been through this sort of thing on many design programs. And as a result, I've developed a basic "standard practice" that I use on everything.

    Before I make any physical elements of any kind, I create a very detailed "skeleton" made up of datum planes, datum axes, datum points, and sketches (never intended to be seen in the final model). I then build my geometry using those as references. That avoids the very problem you're encountering now.

    If dealing with habitable spaces, I generally create datum planes to reflect the floor and ceiling of each individual deck. I create sketches (on individual datum planes) reflecting basic structural elements. It's a long and involved process but it's invaluable... because you already have geometry (which will never be visible in the final model) which you can reference as you create every downstream feature.

    The problem with this approach is that you lose the ability to "massage" certain elements... you're pretty much tied into the general layout you create up-front. But if you do that layout in a parametric fashion, you can then "tweak" the layout in those datums and sketches and everything else downstream will update "automagically." (Or "most everything" anyway.)

    Just tossing in my own 2cents... you obviously have a workflow that works pretty well for you, but what I'm suggesting might avoid the sort of problems you're encountering now. Take it or leave it. :)
     
  19. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The way this model should have been done was on paper first, to a highly refined degree, then and only then in 3D. Just about any modeler will tell you not to try to design something like this at the same time you are building it, except for relatively simple “study models” where you’re trying to work something out that can only be effectively visualized in 3D. Maybe you don’t actually use paper, maybe you use a digital tablet or a 2D CAD program, but the principle is the same.

    So why didn’t I do it that way? Mainly because when I started this whole thing I didn’t really know any better, and because at the time I was more concerned with developing my modeling techniques than I was with the design itself. As I have stated elsewhere, I have learned probably three quarters of everything I know about 3D modeling from working on this one project, everything from spline cage modeling to box modeling to some of the finer points of polygon editing. Unfortunately, if you don’t pay close enough attention to the shape of the room, it’s easy to paint yourself into corners, so to speak.
     
  20. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    That's pretty much it, yeah... though I'm using a 3D CAD program, not a 2D one. (Most CAD is done using 2D sketches as the basis of features... though you also have the ability to do purely 3D geometry in most packages, most work is still done using sections which are revolved, extruded, swept, or blended into other sections. The use of NURBS and related tools is a lot less common, even when doing stuff like auto bodies... though I'm convinced it's actually a better tool for that particular job!
    Well, that's the fun part, really, isn't it? Try something you've never done before... find out it doesn't work... and struggle over it 'til you figure out what went wrong. Gives a real sense of accomplishment! :)

    Right now I'm stuck in a similar groove with some advanced electromagnetic analysis tools which just aren't working the way I want 'em to... I'm beating my head against the wall over it. But when I finally figure out how to make the software jump when I want it to... damn, I'm gonna be a happy guy (and a much more marketable guy to boot!)
    Yeah... been there, done that.

    Actually, I have a similar problem with the Vega. I used a "mirror" operation in my secondary hull at one point (at the very beginning of my creation of the "interior sets") and there's an issue with calculation accuracy with that feature. So I'm having trouble properly exporting it. That's part of why I haven't done any more postings on that recently - I need to figure out if I need to rebuild the secondary hull from scratch, or if I can recover by replacing the "mirror" feature without causing everything downstream from there from collapsing!) I can export as a facet-based model, but if I try to send out a NURBS-based one, it simply fails... the nurbs file is big, so there's a lot of data there... but importing it into anything fails.

    Thing is, I've got SOOO much work done on that, that I'm not really inclined to trash anything. All the other components (the saucer, the saucer's retractable nacelles, the cutter, the main warp engines, the engine pylon assembly) are all complete. But the secondary hull itself simply can't be exported! AAAAGGGGHHHH...

    (sigh)
     

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