WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by CTM, May 12, 2009.

  1. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Starbase Houston
    Has anyone noticed that the Plasma Transfer Conduit to the Engines travels on the highly exposed top deck of the Excelsior's Secondary Hull? I guess there was really noway to avoid it with this design. The aft end it quite thin.


    FaltorPan & CTM,
    Shocking for me to say but Excelsior deserves it more than Miranda.
    CTM, have you learned to do fly by's in CAD yet?

    A pleasure to meet you Mr. Probert.
    I've appreciated your work on the franchise.
     
  2. CTM

    CTM Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    The exact center of my universe
    Thank you for your notice Mr. Probert. This is still very much a work in progress, and I welcome any additional insight you can grant me. The nature of this CAD model is such that literally everything can still be changed quite easily - and many things still will be. For example, the Turbolifts as you pointed out have curved doors in that area. At present, I am simply dropping in a pre-defined model block of the turbolift, tube, and square door assembly. This is mostly so I can keep track of where the lift stations are. I fully intend to go back and swap out these (and any others that require it) with more customized lift stations. I have also been letting the overall fitting of the cargo-bay into the secondary hull knock around my head for a while - and I'm seriously looking at either re-sizing either the deck or the whole secondary hull to make it work. Consider this a "first draft" (although a very detailed first draft), and if you are willing to disabuse me of any of my misconceptions or misinterpretations, I am happy to learn from the process - and make this a more accurate model.

    Charles
     
  3. CTM

    CTM Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    The exact center of my universe
    My reason for doing the Miranda has more to do with having an available "set" for my role-playing group than anything else. I will be using this Enterprise as a set for a refit of the FASA Constitution class when it is finished, and a Miranda would be a good choice as a contemporary. I imagine it would be easier to do than Enterprise, as it is not nearly as complex a fitting problem - nor do we have as many visible interiors of the Miranda's as we do of the Enterprise to have to find a way to fit inside.

    The Excelsior is a good choice for the reasons stated, but my role-playing group won't have need of an Excelsior for quite a while. I figure I could throw together a Miranda by using much of the primitives from this model, and then take Cary L Brown's approach to the TOS Enterprise and apply it to the Excelsior.
     
  4. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Starbase Houston
    I was thinking you'd do Miranda because like the movie much was the same in the design. I like modular designs. Makes more sense in Fleets.

    I can't wait to see this with a Transparent hull...
    I don't know how to do it in Auto CAD 2007 because they've done something different with the materials library but Auto CAD 14 makes it simple application and removal.
     
  5. CTM

    CTM Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    The exact center of my universe
    I'm building the hull on a separate layer, so I just turn it on or off if I want to see through it.
     
  6. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Starbase Houston
    It's more than that. It's an incredible visual effect. Like looking at the human body with the skin barely visible. CAD has colored transparencies that when added with a light souce make really intresting effects.
     
  7. CTM

    CTM Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    The exact center of my universe
    Not in my ancient copy :-D
     
  8. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Starbase Houston
    How big is this file sofar?
     
  9. CTM

    CTM Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    The exact center of my universe
    Just over 98MB
     
  10. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    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. :D
     
  11. CTM

    CTM Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    The exact center of my universe
    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. ;)
     
  12. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2000
    Location:
    Out there... thataway.
    Quoted for truth. :)
     
  13. CTM

    CTM Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    The exact center of my universe
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
     
  14. CTM

    CTM Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    The exact center of my universe
    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.
     
  15. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    That neck looks pretty good to me. Have a safe trip. :)
     
  16. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Starbase Houston

    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.
     
  17. GeorgeKirk

    GeorgeKirk Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    Location:
    The Internet
    Amazing work. I'd never have the patience, let alone the skill, to even attempt something like this. Well done, sir.
     
  18. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    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'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.
     
  19. Birdog

    Birdog Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Location:
    Birdog
    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.
     
  20. dougkeenan

    dougkeenan Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Fantastic work! Can't wait to see how it turns out.
     

Share This Page