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3DLego 101

anystaranystar0 Posts: 0Member
edited December 2011 in Work in Progress #1
As I recently began learning 3ds Max, I kept getting in over my head and getting very frustrated with trying to create shapes in several different methods.

it kept coming down to the fact that I just havnt mastered the basic skills. i'm too used to working in another medium (autocad) and as i kept getting angry and starting over again and again... i was watching my son in the next room with all his lego's strewn across the floor as he played, it gave me an idea!

basically i began modeling one brick after another. eventually i had a decent library of parts, and the repetition of creating all of them was finally getting me the skills i needed!

next i downloaded several instruction booklet pdf's from the Lego website, and began learning assemblies etc... as i would stack and construct with them.

anyway, hope this will help out anyone else just starting out as well. and here's the first lil-bugger i put together! hope you like it :D
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]0 Posts: 3Member
    Lego already cashed in on this. They have a program that works just like this with premade pieces, but max is far more powerful and better at rendering. Looks great =P
  • lordofardalordofarda0 Posts: 0Member
    I did the exact same thing when I was learning Maya. Couldn't for the life of me figure out how to build anything. So I did the Lego thing too and built Darth Vader's tie fighter.
  • InsanityInsanity0 Posts: 0Member
    Lego Digital Designer is the name of the program and its a free download on their web page.

    Looking good tho
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]0 Posts: 3Member
    lordofarda wrote: »
    I did the exact same thing when I was learning Maya. Couldn't for the life of me figure out how to build anything. So I did the Lego thing too and built Darth Vader's tie fighter.

    Check Peeron™ LEGOAc Set Inventories for inventories of various Lego sets include building instructions, they only donA’t have newer than 2 years I think. It is agreement with The Lego Company.
  • homerpalooza67homerpalooza67226 Posts: 1,891Member
    not a bad start. With practice comes perfection or a nervous breakdown :D
  • Bigd524Bigd5240 Posts: 0Member
    Very good start, i myself started with autodesk Inventor and then went to add Blender to my skills.
  • L2KL2K0 Posts: 0Member
    good start.
    you may want to put a skylight (light>standard lights>skylight) in your scene and a lighttracer in your advanced lighting render tab.
    ;)
  • anystaranystar0 Posts: 0Member
    thanks for all the kind words and tips!

    maybe i should add a few more links to this then, the peeron site already mentioned is great Limited access to scans it has both instruction libraries, and complete part listings for the kits too

    i spent quite a while thumbing through this site too Brickfactory it is the simplest site i found that has all the sets box art categorized by family, i found all the old sets i used to have as a kid there :)

    i found it easier for downloading the actual instructions to get the pdf's from the lego site itself: LEGO.com Customer Service : Building Instructions the search function sucks, so i'd just find the set # on either peeron or brickfactory, then punch the code in on that page to get the PDF

    also, for bricks themselves (although not every brick makes it into the library)
    Pick A Brick | LEGO Shop

    and here's a couple other links for lego sizes, colors, etc...
    Peeron Color List
    LUGNET LEGO Color Reference
    Lego dimensions:*the measurements

    as for the LDD app, ive had that for quite a while. My son has come to me more than a few times handing me a wad of allowence saying "i need new parts, gimme your CC" :lol: he's aaaaaaaaaalmost as much of a lego-nerd as i was back in the day!
    this adventure was more about modeling the bricks themselves for instructional purposes than it was about stacking them together :cool:

    the mini-snowspeeder above was built out of some rather simple bricks too, i now have most of them refined more with bevels and chamfers to catch more light (although it makes it harder building with them because of object snaps :mad:)

    there are still a few things i'm struggling with, so i may continue with the lego thing a bit longer before i get back into my regular projects. there are 3 other SW Snowspeeder kits (although one of them is one of those 1k+ piece monsters) maybe i'll build one of them up as i progress further

    i actually started out this endeavour with one of the biggest Lego kits out there, the ultimate Star Destroyer... over 3k parts... Peeron: Imperial Star DestroyerA? (#10030-1)
    i only made it to page 12 (of 228) in the instruction book before i realized that all these surfaces are going to KILL my processor trying to render them just as i would work... :flippy: i was building this one with the higher-poly light-friendly bricks too though
    Capture-1.jpg

    anyway: its lunchtime, so my brains about to stop working for an hour or so... :lol:
  • liam887liam887236 ViperPosts: 564Member
    haha that would be insanse if you did that!, have you thought about modelling different sections in different files and combining them only for render or even giving the file to some1 else to render?
  • anystaranystar0 Posts: 0Member
    yes, thats how i planned it, that above pic was 2 such files/sections... when i merged them and tried to mirror the right side portion over it took about 1.5 mins of my pc crunching each time i moved the mirror axis.... LOL! and my comp is only about 16 months old!!! :eek:

    and THATS how i learned about the difference in high-low poly modeling! hahaha

    edit: now that i think about it, just after that discovery is what prompted my current avatar!!! :)
  • SastreiSastrei0 Posts: 0Member
    anystar, I've run into this problem myself as I use a digital library of Lego bricks to create game models for one of my Homeworld mod projects. I'm not sure if it's possible, but I would suggest doing some sort of render-time substitution of parts, so that you only work with lo-poly parts and it simply swaps them out for the hi-poly versions at rendering.

    -Stefan-
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]0 Posts: 3Member
    Max have a layer app. it lets you select areas (such as section) and put it in a new layer. You can hide and show layers depending on what you're working on. It saves alot of memory and time. You might want to either hide already finished sections or change the viewing to simple edge/bounding boxes (I prefer bounding boxes for finish parts. It lets me know it's there, but I don't have to see it since I know i finished that part.).

    How detailed are each of your individual pieces? what kind of smoothing are you using on them?
  • anystaranystar0 Posts: 0Member
    How detailed are each of your individual pieces? what kind of smoothing are you using on them?

    the original post was built with what i'd consider "medium quality" bricks. it was just built up to practice assemblies and stuff.

    here's a couple new pics of the same one, along side the old, with the better quality bricks and more lighting as suggested earlier (thanks for the tip). at first glance its hard to see any difference, but once you realize what you're looking for it becomes more obvious.

    06.jpg
    07.jpg

    i'm also still at little unhappy with my textures, the light-grey is still washing out, and the black is still too blue :mad:
  • Captain ShrikeCaptain Shrike0 Posts: 0Member
    i swear by leocad. it may be very simple compared to lego digital designer, but your models can be exported as 3ds or obj. these can then be imported to max.

    hold on, thinking about it: i think you can export models as follows:
    ldd (.lcd or something like that) > leocad > 3ds.

    i will definitely agree the snowspeeder looks good!
  • experiment442experiment4420 Posts: 0Member
    Now you know how the people who made lego felt :lol:

    Nice work, I might try this in SU for a laugh.
  • anystaranystar0 Posts: 0Member
    Nice work, I might try this in SU for a laugh.

    haha, be carefull... its become quite addictive! i'm up to 154 bricks now!
    (big pics, so just thumb-links)
    th_parts-big-1.jpg th_parts-big-2.jpg
  • MarkyDMarkyD0 Posts: 0Member
    Excellent, nicely done :)
  • anystaranystar0 Posts: 0Member
    i stopped making bricks, and actually built something with them today :)

    1701-01.png
    1701-02.png
    themotionpicture0448copy.png
  • somacruz145somacruz1450 Posts: 0Member
    Haha that's probably the most original trek ship recently :p Anyway you did a good job with the bricks - they look very realistic and have that plastic feel to them :thumb:
  • anystaranystar0 Posts: 0Member
    ok, thanks to both TerranCmdr and stonky (http://www.scifi-meshes.com/forums/3d-wips/74836-lego-ucs-x-wing.html and http://www.scifi-meshes.com/forums/3d-wips/44829-classic-space-lego-galaxy-explorer-wip.html), i've been inspired to make another foray into Lego modeling. i have two subjects i cant decide between, both were christmas presents a couple years apart, and were my favorite Lego sets i had.

    i love the blacktron set, but with all the dark pieces i'm not sure how well it would turn out. on the other hand there are soooo many parts in the model team set. :flippy:

    any suggestions on which one i should tackle?

    001.jpg002.jpg
  • somacruz145somacruz1450 Posts: 0Member
    I remember the first set and the last truck ! I probably couldn't count the amount of time I was thinking on how to get my hands on one of them ! (unfortunately back at the time a new LEGO set was a once-per-year event) Anyway I think you should go with the last truck because of the parts such as wheels and those turbines.
  • anystaranystar0 Posts: 0Member
    ^ i liked that truck too, it was supposed to be some sort of fire-engine, but i always thought i looked like something that belonged in one of the space or mars sets! it used most of the parts from the truck and helicopter to build. it was one of the Try This examples that they put in the instruction booklet at the end of the build :)

    i'm going to throw out most of my bricks and start anew, many of these were created way too ambitiously. polycount is way too high, especially when the Model Team set has over 1k bricks...

    here's the old bricks, you can see by all the detail in the undersides why i'm simplifying them.
    001.png
    002.png
  • TerranCmdrTerranCmdr0 Posts: 0Member
    Definitely a good idea to simplify them. With mine I'm not beveling edges and I'm limiting cylinders to 18sides max. Glad to have inspired you to model some more! Do the last truck for sure!
  • somacruz145somacruz1450 Posts: 0Member
    Yeah the truck looks too advanced :D When it comes to simplyfing the bricks, you can always make each brick in about 3 layers - one would have the "base" of the brick, another one the cylinders on top and the last one the tubes inside (or "under"). That way you could turn off layers to make simple renders, leaving only the base layer on, along with parts from other layers that will appear in the render.
  • stonkystonky171 Posts: 0Member
    I can't wait to see what you come up with!!!
  • anystaranystar0 Posts: 0Member
    Yeah the truck looks too advanced :D When it comes to simplyfing the bricks, you can always make each brick in about 3 layers - one would have the "base" of the brick, another one the cylinders on top and the last one the tubes inside (or "under"). That way you could turn off layers to make simple renders, leaving only the base layer on, along with parts from other layers that will appear in the render.

    excellent suggestion, i was thinking just the same thing about multi-layer bricks.

    and i suppose the bonus kit of the model-team set is going to be the candidate then.

    however, here's something else to wet your appetites (or perhaps inspire one of you to tackle yourselves :flippy: )
    it would probably take years to model, but hell wouldnt it look great?
    8efd30ee.png

    fyi: at lego-scale the above model will be 20.5' long, 5' tall, and 9.5' across...
  • anystaranystar0 Posts: 0Member
    well, instead of just modeling bricks by type over and over, i decided to just model them as needed per-step.

    here's step one:
    xtra_01.jpg
    5590_001.jpg
  • TerranCmdrTerranCmdr0 Posts: 0Member
    Good idea. That's how I've been modeling mine. Glad you decided to go with that truck!
  • stonkystonky171 Posts: 0Member
    That's how I worked too, I just worked my way through the instructions, and I'd just model the pieces as I needed them. Eventually you stop having to model pieces and it just becomes about assembly, maybe the only time that work actually speeds up as you get closer to finishing. :)
  • RoskaRoska0 Posts: 0Member
    Where do you get the dimensions for the pieces? o_O
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