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Local TutorialHow to build the Starship Enterprise in TrueSpace 3



  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    malach wrote:
    Okay, i'm working in tS 3.2

    is there a way I can "lock" the background image in place so I can move stuff around and not have to re-line it up to my image?
    Well, if you load the image into your background as in the first part of my tutorial, the image will never move. You are then free to move objects around to your liking ... but I don't recommend it.

    This is going to sound stupid but if you move things too far away from the center, it's a pain to align them later and we're going to have to align them all to put them together.

    I recommend leaving your objects centered (where your infinite lights, primitives or camera appear) and use the World View tools to move the background until they match up with the objects. Your final object will be centered and easily found when loaded into any other scene.
  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    Eric wanted me to post this, so I spent all last night going through the steps again myself and making pictures.
    And a nice job you did, too. Thanks eg180!
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804256 Posts: 11,034Member
    scifieric wrote:
    And a nice job you did, too. Thanks eg180!

    No problem. Now about that sensor dome tutorial you promised...

  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    Okay, you've waited patiently ... you've asked politely and you've cornered me in dark alleyways with switchblades. So, okay, here's the Next Installment The Lower Sensor Dome!

    Here are my best reference images that I've gathered from around the Net over the years. A lot of them are from Mike Trice's spectacular site.

    Here is a close up drawing Alan Sinclair once posted on a site. (At least, I remember it as being Alan's ... hurm ...) It's a place to start but I think it's got a couple of details wrong. We'll go over that. First take a look.

    I always wanted a detailed look at that area but if you create this set of features, the result looks a little bland and lacking in detail. This is augmented by the following image:

    You'll notice there is an extra "lip" in this image. This is a shot from (obviously) Going from the bottom up, there is a dimple, then the sensor dome which has a lip. That is all one glass piece, secured to the rest by two screws (I think). I'll try to find the shot that shows this but I can't remember where I put it.

    Then there's almost the equivalent to two inner rings and an outer ring. The outer ring is "studded" by three rounded cones or dowels.

    To more accurately reflect what you see here, I have amended Alan's excellent drawing. My two tiny additions are in red.


    I think I should have reduced the size of the dowels but it's a start.
  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    I set this image as the background for trueSpace, first making certain that it would not change ratio. Then I outlined a spline for a template using the same techniques as in the first section of the tutorial.

    Spline Path Tool


    Remember to set the sharp corners with the spline attribute tool.

    Adjust each of the spline point handles until you have corrected the automatic lengths and the result is smoother.
  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    This normally unseen lip is what I think of as most important. It is not sharp. It has a fairly smooth transition into the lower lip.

    Once you have the shape you want, right mouse click on the Lathe option. I have set this to be almost as dense as the saucer itself as I want it to hold up to fairly close renders.

    Since I started my spline on the top left hand side of the drawing, my lathe automatically wanted to go off in the wrong direction. I had to flip it 180 degrees in rotation. The number of segments is 80 and change the default 270 degrees to 360. Finish the lathe with a left click on the lathe tool.


    Left click on the object selection tool to convert your spline cage into an object.

    I had extra polys on the resulting objectand deleted the extra faces by slightly overlapping them with a large box and then performing a boolean subtraction to remove the box and faces.

    The result looks pretty good.
  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    You can sometimes remove extra polys by performing an object intersection. I loaded a large cube over my new spline-built object, making certain that the sensor apperatus was completely encompassed by the cube.

    Pick your Object Intersection tool.

    Glue the cube and you should reduce the polys around the flat faces of your object. Remember if it doesn't work, you can always try the subtraction method I mentioned before.

    Next, I added a globe. I did not use the deformation tool, merely the object scale tool.

    Once I had the globe the correct shape to fit the outline, I added a cube that was larger than the globe. I moved the cube above the intersection between the globe and the sensor platform and subtracted the cube from the globe leaving only what we need. Next, add a smaller globe and position it in place. Check in all three planes to make certain of alignment and perform an object union with the larger globe.

  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    We are missing the lip of the globe itself. For this I used a simple primitive place, scaled to match the thickness of the lip and joined it with a simple regular round polygon.

    After making an object union and subtracting the excess round polygon with another plane, I positioned the template and right mouse clicked the lathe tool.


    I matched the number of segments of the sensor assembly and lathed. I used the object union tool to join this to the globe.

    We should now have two halves: Assembly and Globe.

    "But, but Eric" you say. "You have made your sensor assembly shorter than the actual object! What gives?"

    A good question! ;)

    Real world objects are rarely sharp. The real model has filler smoothing the transition between the sensor assembly and the lower hull. I want to duplicate that a little.

    I used a new perspective view and rotated the view around to the top of the sensor platform.

    Next I chose Point Edit: Faces and selected the top of the platform.

    Next, right mouse click the Sweep tool to bring up it's options. I reduced the sweep to it's lowest size 0.001 and left clicked the sweep tool.


    On the point nav tools that opened up with with the Point Edit: Faces tool, select the Point Scale option. Make sure your grid mode is set to off. You can widen the selected face very slightly.
  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    Next I added a low poly cylinder of about 40 faces and a sphere set to the same number of faces (20 over 40). Boolean Join the two objects and re-size them to fit the dowels in the illustration. Position the first of the dowels on the edge of the assembly and make sure it matches the position on the plans.

    Next, select your object rotate tool, turn on the grid mode and right mouse click the grid mode. This will bring up the object rotate options (the angles that you will move an object with the grid mode on). I'm going to rotate our dowel in the front view new perspective window so I changed the Z axis to 120 degrees and turned off all other axis. If you have any doubts about which plane you are using, just change all of them to 120 degrees.


    Why 120 degrees? There are three dowels so take 360 and divide by 3! This isn't strictly accurate but it will match our plans.

    Next, make sure your dowel is selected and then pick the Axis tools. Select the Normalize Location option which will move the axis of the dowel to the very center of the work area. So long as our Sensor platform is also centered, this will work perfectly.

    Select the Move Up in Hierarchy tool (big gray arrow pointing up next to the object rotate icon) and the dowel will highlight again.

    Duplicate the dowel and select your object rotate icon. Right mouse click in the front view new perspective window and pull down or push up until your copy of the dowel moves 1/3 of the way around the assembly. Duplicate this and repeat. You should now have three dowels.

    Done! Glue all the objects together and save.

    Import into your saucer scene, reposition and save.

    Is it perfect? No, but it looks close and should serve our purposes. I think our ersatz copy compares nicely to the original.

  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    This is what your final piece should resemble.


    Good work!
  • backsteptbackstept2051 Posts: 921Member
    now I have to redo mine :lol:
  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    Thanks backstept! I'd love to see a couple of renders of your Enterprise. Have you got them posted?
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804256 Posts: 11,034Member
    Yeah, that's basically how I did mine, but I did the deeper groove on Alan's plans. I might add that extra lip and round the edges a tad, but I don't need to do a new spline for that. :D
  • backsteptbackstept2051 Posts: 921Member
    I better get in on the fun and start my own thread :D I'll do that tomorrow (or later today, dang it's bed-time)
    I need to rebuild my secondary hull because I can't quite figure out the shuttlebay area
    oh yeah and the lower dome, mine's all one piece :shiner:
  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    Looking pretty sweet there, backstept! That's a nice looking model. You've got an excellent lighting/camera setup. I had to remind myself it was TrueSpace.

    I only do the pieces seperately for easier texturing. I don't know if it's better but it's easier for me!
  • backsteptbackstept2051 Posts: 921Member
    oh definitely easier for texturing :D
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804256 Posts: 11,034Member
    Looks great, backstep. WIP, go now!! :shiner:
  • chronochrono0 Posts: 1Member
    I'd like to add somethings about the tooling used so far.

    Deform tools - are frankly one of the best and error proof tools in any version up till version 5.0(they turned into garbage then). Also if you increase the amount of control lines the deform tool becomes nearly a hybrid Sub-Division/NURBS tool of incredibly diverse usage. Remember that when you try organic or smooth modelling.

    Spline tools - Are also nearly error proof and are some of the most incredibly useful tools in the early versions of TS(again in all versions 5.0+ they turn in crap). The examples shown within this tutorial thus far show the tool being used in an illustrative, single dimensional way. However they also can be used in all dimensions, easly building complex objects.

    Boolean tools - Perhaps THE most error prone tool within ALL versions of TS. Repeated usage on a single mesh WILL result in unrepairable mesh, and occasional scene, corruption. So it's highly suggest that their usage is avoided. However, as you can see, sometimes their usage will be invaluable when few to no other options are available. In the above cases their usage is a result of a lack of face axis tools allowing for easy/fast editing.


    Props on the tutorial guys! Keep it up!
  • backsteptbackstept2051 Posts: 921Member
    chrono wrote:
    . . .
    Boolean tools - Perhaps THE most error prone tool within ALL versions of TS. Repeated usage on a single mesh WILL result in unrepairable mesh, and occasional scene, corruption. So it's highly suggest that their usage is avoided.
    . . .
    amen, brother! :D

  • Toragh1Toragh1331 Posts: 0Member
    I'm thinking about doing this in Rhino. Some of the commands are the same, so why not?

    As for boolean tools, I find that the "split" command works better then "boolean difference" (basicly cuts away whatever object your cutting, and automaticly deletes the excess parts). This really screws up the model sometimes, but "split" seems to not do that as much. Plus, somtimes you find uses for the excess stuff, like you see the object " in a new light" as it were. I'll post examples later if anyone wants them.

    Just wandering, but has boolean always been a pain in the @$$! I've only worked in Rhino, so I don't know about other programs with boolean tools.
  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    Thanks for the comments guys!
  • OovebeiOovebei171 Posts: 0Member
    Ok Eric - Scout class rebuild has come to a halt - whats the countdown to next installment.

    This is one rocking tutorial and easy to transfer (Blender in my case) :D
  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    Thanks Oovebie! More upon the morrow!
  • RolibaRoliba331 Posts: 0Member
    C'Mon Eric. You've inspired a bunch of ta build the Connie, and now you're fallin' behind.

    Chop chop!:devil:
  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    True enough. I've got to get to work on the impulse section.
  • OovebeiOovebei171 Posts: 0Member
    For July Eric is going to show us all how to build the Miranda Class and all the Varients :thumb:

    Isn't that right :D ;)
  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    Oovebei wrote:
    For July Eric is going to show us all how to build the Miranda Class and all the Varients :thumb:

    Isn't that right :D ;)
    Okay hot shot, you better emmulate my smiley here -> :runs:

    (Ha, ha!) ;)
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804256 Posts: 11,034Member
    I think he already did. His little green light isn't lit. :devil:
  • OovebeiOovebei171 Posts: 0Member
    I think he already did. His little green light isn't lit. :devil:

    I need to replace the bulb :devil:
  • scifiericscifieric1122 Posts: 1,497Member
    Mine's not too bright either right now. I missed my Sunday deadline. :(
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