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Star Trek ship Modeling Question

Hey all, ChiefBrex here,

I'm working on a star trek starship design that a friend and I co-created. In the past I've done work on TOS ships, and have wanted to do TNG era ships, but have always struggled with the curved designs. On this design of mine, I'm trying to work out the bridge module and deck 2. I have tried using a sphere, tried using a sphere and a cylinder. But, no matter what, I get to a point where I'm literally confusing myself on what step to take. I'm working with Max2020. I've attached a picture of my current progress (I'll include the ship model, the sketches, and my current bridge module progress). Hopefully someone here can be of help?


The Bridge Detail is what I'm trying to model right now: abpifjyvkfsc.jpg
This is the bridge module as I currently have it: epot4ewvmygq.jpg


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Posts

  • BrandenbergBrandenberg281 Posts: 835Member
    Do you want it really close to the drawing, or something between the drawing and what you have?. I ask because the drawing is quite flat compared to your module.
  • BrandenbergBrandenberg281 Posts: 835Member
    edited August 4 #3
    I assume those are windows at the end of the bridge side extensions? I'm going to try something and post it. If it works, I'll tell you what I did.
    Post edited by Brandenberg on
  • MadKoiFishMadKoiFish1038 West of the right nutPosts: 3,718Member
    edited August 4 #4
    uh why 2 posts SFM lol
    Post edited by MadKoiFish on
  • MadKoiFishMadKoiFish1038 West of the right nutPosts: 3,718Member
    edited August 4 #5
    Break the bridge up into segments/elements. So I would start with the base shape that creates the rounded front and aft meeting room I would then work that branching Y bit that has the offices in as a seprate mesh, then those sipe detals. I would work it all in box modeling and subdiv, given the details on the front meld into a cyl shape I would work the subdiv with a template below to make sure the used circular bit is retained without distortion. Then once things are set up I would collapse and add detail.
    bridgebreakdown-01.png
    bridgesample-01.png
    One thing to be aware of is interior volume and spaces inside. SO think about how those lifeboats are accessed and how the internal halls will lay and what areas are resulting dead spaces.

    Sub D (aka turbosmooth or meshsmooth will be your friend for TNG stuff. Suggest looking for tuts on how to manage "smoothing groups" edge loops etc and how sub division affects shapes. It should give you a idea on what to do.
    attaching a max2013 file should open in 2020

    well apparently site isn't allowing anything but images.

    hopefuly this works DB is just a long line of wtf.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/t9ykxp8ihyc2d14/bridge-sample-01.max?dl=0
    Post edited by MadKoiFish on
    McC
    • Like - McC on August 7, 2019.
  • BrandenbergBrandenberg281 Posts: 835Member
    edited August 4 #6
    How much experience do you have in 3D software and what software are you using? Complex curvy shapes make me crazy too. Obviously, there is no one tool that will just make the shape for you. My program doesn't have turbosmooth or meshsmooth. "Sub D" or subdivision surfaces are accomplished with mathematical algorithms you will probably find somewhere in your software. You can look these up on Wikipedia. There are the Catmull-Clark algorithm and Doo-Sabin algorithm and others mentioned there. My software uses Catmull-Clark.

    To be honest, I haven't had much experience using Subdivision surfaces and badly need to experiment with and learn how to use the tool. What I have used so far is a more time-consuming (dumb) method. MadKoiFish is one of the site maestros and again I don't know where you are in your skill set. Forgive me if the following is too rudimentary. As he said it is best to split your design into its component parts.

    I start with the basic shapes. In the image below the progression obviously goes from right to left. At the back I made circles and ovals that I borrowed pieces from. I made them, then deleted the polygons I did not want. This includes the flat top and bottom. In certain cases I had to reverse or "Flip" the polygons. This made what was the inside surface of the shape, the outside surface. I moved points and joined them together to make the final crude shape on the left in the back. It might be used as a cutter or stencil pattern on the front image or could be shaped to curve down by cutting IT with the front shape. Most 3D software have tools that let you combine two shapes in a boolean manner. Add, Intersect, Subtract etc.

    The front shape was accomplished by making a disk and then pulling the points starting beyond the back half of the disk into the base shape that I wanted. The points I mean are indicated by the raised portion on the right most image in the front. The center front image shows the progression.

    Finally I got the raised dome effect by using a tool in my software (Lightwave) called "Bevel." This can be used to add another same shaped polygon above and attached to the first. I then took the points on the top of this second row and used the "size" option and collapsed or pulled in the points to a smaller "diameter." I then selected the smaller diameter polygon framed by these points and pulled a 3rd row with bevel and sized this row smaller too. Keep going until you have as many vertical rows as you like. You can eyeball and create a smooth curve going up. You might have to stretch and move points a little. In this process "symmetry" may be your friend. You can split it down the middle and reproduce the same reversed shape on the right from the shape on the left or vise versa and join them together.

    I should add that my "Bevel" can raise a row of polygons above the base shape AND simultaneously make them smaller but I usually run into problems in the sharper corners. By using "Size" I avoid that because size won't make one point cross over the other at a sharper corner.

    Hoping this helps and didn't insult your intelligence. I just don't know your experience level. :)

    3xf7wdz02jyc.png

    BTW. Love the engines in your drawing. NICE!
    Post edited by Brandenberg on
  • ChiefBrexChiefBrex180 Posts: 35Member
    edited August 4 #7
    Thanks for the responses guys! I had hoped to do it as a single object, but, it's clear to me it's got to be separate objects. So, I will definitely give that a try.

    Branden - I've been modeling star trek ships off and on for almost 20 years now. I've only ever really focused on TOS era ships. This ship design that I and my friend developed, is my first TNG era starship. I'm getting used to the interconnected curviness of TNG ships lol.

    Thanks for the advice guys! I will definitely give them a try and see what works best for me.

    Update: After thoroughly re-reading both your posts, I suddenly feel very stupid! I complete forgot about the bevel option in Max2020. Looking at what you both suggested, I see now that I was making this much more complicated than it needed to be! I will post what I manage to put together and post it here before opening up a WIP of the Poseidon on the forums. Thanks again guys for your help!
    Post edited by ChiefBrex on
  • MadKoiFishMadKoiFish1038 West of the right nutPosts: 3,718Member
    you can always cut around the overlaps loop them manually delete the overlapping faces attach the seprate parts then chamfer the join to get that molded in one piece look. I have done this on most of my TOS ship bridegs and a few of the other era ones as well.

    turbosmooth and meshsmooth and likely more in newer versions of max are "modifiers" So the process whatever they use is likely hidden by some user friendly name lol. I use turbosmooth cause I just want speed and I only care about Smooth Result/smoothing groups and Isoline Display for viewport speed (KIM you have to turn it off when you go to collapse the mesh as it will leave you with a mess full of verts and few edges) Meshsmooth gives you "classic" "Quad output" and "NURMS" and some more features. Anyhow each software has it's own approach to this. Some even lack the ability to smooth by material ID or smoothing ID. This gives your more options to keep the resulting mesh a bit cleaner and lower poly. Makes things quick to clean up a collapsed subdiv mesh too.
    LW has a lot of box modeling cxheats like being able to chamfer things without letting verts cross. Max sadly (least up to 2013) lacks a lot of these tools. Max in 2013 has a defective cutting system too as they altered it since 2010.

    Also if you use boolean in max use the pro boolean etc it leaves less vomit to clean. Max is notorious for making mesyy booleans. See my window tut on my blog as an example of how much mess cookiecutter booleans are (LW stenciling)

    Anyhow attached are examples of bridges I modeled in parts and welded together and rounded the join area so it looks like a single bit of hull. Often though I will hide joins with a panel line or something as splitting the mesh does help in UVW but in the case of the Bombay I welded it up to make mapping easier (less parts) as I unwrapped that model vs projections.

    bridgewire-01.png
    bridgewire-02.png
    Here you can see I broke it up into sections using panel grids and other things.
    bridgewire-03.png
    This one even in parts for UVW it was all welded together except a few details into the saucer. Likely never to be seen in most renders though.

    Brandenberg
    • Like - Brandenberg on August 5, 2019.
    ChiefBrex
    • Like - ChiefBrex on August 5, 2019.
  • ChiefBrexChiefBrex180 Posts: 35Member
    Those are amazing MadKoiFish! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm really impressed with your level of detail! I'm going to have to check out more of your works! Thanks again for sharing!
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_180665 Posts: 8,467Member
    ChiefBrex wrote: »
    Those are amazing MadKoiFish! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm really impressed with your level of detail! I'm going to have to check out more of your works! Thanks again for sharing!

    If you're going to check out MadKoiFish's thread, I'd suggest having a package of napkins available to keep the drool under control. ;)
  • ChiefBrexChiefBrex180 Posts: 35Member
    ChiefBrex wrote: »
    Those are amazing MadKoiFish! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm really impressed with your level of detail! I'm going to have to check out more of your works! Thanks again for sharing!

    If you're going to check out MadKoiFish's thread, I'd suggest having a package of napkins available to keep the drool under control. ;)

    Hehehe. I'll keep that in mind!

    @MadKoiFish and @Brandenberg Here is the latest attempt of mine, using your advice! I used separate objects, but instead of chamfered boxes and sub division, I used Free Form Deform tool on a cylinder and a sphere. Still feel like the cylinder (the base object) is too short, or the sphere too long. Either way, I can tweak that.

    Oh, I also took out smoothing for the moment. I generally save that for the last.

    tejd5gt4j6vm.jpg


    Brandenberg
    • Like - Brandenberg on August 5, 2019.
  • BrandenbergBrandenberg281 Posts: 835Member
    edited August 5 #12
    There you go. Bravo.
    If you're going to check out MadKoiFish's thread, I'd suggest having a package of napkins available to keep the drool under control. ;)

    Oh gosh yes. You'll short out your keyboard if you don't. And I'm not even kidding.

    I might add, that gaps between ship pieces may actually be preferable. It's closer to reality. Most of us here go to some trouble to make grooves or indentations to give a realistic feel.

    The following Greeble is put together as one piece. I went to the trouble so that I could easily select it from my greeble database. I direct your attention to the gap between the valve wheel and the valve housing. I admit that there are tons of other places on this mesh where the same thing should have been done, but it is one example.

    8optrahbbj6a.png
    Post edited by Brandenberg on
    ChiefBrex
    • Like - ChiefBrex on August 5, 2019.
  • ChiefBrexChiefBrex180 Posts: 35Member
    So, I'm going to start posting stuff in the WIP forum. If I have any more questions, I'll be sure to post here. Thanks again @MadKoiFish & @Brandenberg.
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