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lewisniven wrote: »
oooh that looks great, good idea for the panelling
Brandenberg wrote: »
McC wrote: »
The idea of using the Discombobulator to layout micropanel detailing is inspired! Whole thing is coming together very nicely. Also, welcome to the Blenderfold
publiusr wrote: »
I would like to see a TMP version of that saucer
Warp Propulsion Laboratory wrote: »
Great attention to detail, especially with the nav lights!
Dannage wrote: »
Your blender game is strong.
Will be following, and looking at whatever you did five years ago to start getting tips.
I now know how to easily make an egg shape. That is after trying to build one with a spline, a cylinder top, and via pulling individual verts or edges to match the shape on the orthos I have loaded into the scene. Tediuos, but might be useful skills later on down the road for other shapes.
To think all I needed to do was select half the object and use the transform tool. A couple of extra steps than what I was used to in TrueSpace, but there it is.
So now I'm almost caught up to where I was. I like the thinner panel lines I've added near the spine. Just need to add the vents where the impulse engines are supposed to be. Then I'll be where I was before. Also, I don't need to carve into it as if I'm making a model for mass production. Fine details will be alright for what I'm planning. I haven't done a high detail model in... Must be years now. It'll be interesting to see how I can embellish the design to make it my own.
When I'm done with the Enterprise, I'll strip it down and kitbash the Miranda!
Well, I'll need to build a lot of parts, like the wedge hull, the roll bar, and pretty much two-thirds of the ship to remake the Miranda. But I'll still be able to reuse parts.
Oh! Maybe I'll also remake the Rostam! My Saladin-class scout. To think, with this little actual progress, I'm already planning three different starships.
Here are a few of the progression images of one of the models I did for Catalyst Games' BattleTech Kickstarter. It's the Battle Cobra 'mech. The sketch was first drawn by Hari. Then it was blocked out, and detailed by me, with the final edits done by the art director Anthony before it was sent out for prototyping.
Building that Battle Cobra made me want to break things.
The challenge to this was the funky angles of the torso. I had to shape them in a way so that the faces looked flat, rather than dented or having creases as if the armor plates were bent. And then it was placing a lot of the surface details on top of that. I had a lot of fighting with non-planar faces during this build. And truespace didn't have an easy way to manage them the way Blender does.
Most of the handicap was due to using software that was discontinued in the early 00s. To think I'd been hanging onto it for this long is simply astounding. Especially considering that I'd already felt the sting of using an inadequate tool even before I started this.
That and a suggestion from the art director to switch to Blender3D was what finally pushed me over the edge to update to new software. The Cyclops, when it shows up, will look drastically better than what I was able to do with the Battle Cobra.
To say that this has been a learning experience is an understatement. First I had to learn the production methods for the model. The tolerances that are necessary for plastic injection molding, and shedding a lot of the techniques I'd been used to when I did past jobs. And then leaving my comfort zone and picking up Blender for the follow-up.
To think this is quite possibly THE last full build that I'll ever do in truespace.
All I need now to complete my image collection is the tabletop mini itself!
It's that half of the lines that I need to create the shield grid don't align to a 15° angle from the 0°, 45°, and 90° lines.
What's worse is I tried doing math when I was half asleep and somehow came up with an 18° angle spread. Because I forgot how to count apparently. So I had to use a backup mesh and...Well, I pretty much just wasted a lot of time.
On the plus side, I DID manage to catch up to my earlier progress. So I have that going for me, which is nice. More than that! I added in the center-forward ridge thingie that has all of the spotlights that illuminate the ship's name and registry!
The panel lines on the engine deck might be too thin now, though. Still, I think I'll stick with it.
Pretty lucky for me that he let me pick up enough knowledge in the program and let me do this build. Building up my skills in Blender within the span of a month had set me on track to stick with Catalyst as a 3D artist.
This is my second contribution to Catalyst Game's BattleTech Kickstarter. It's also my first full build in Blender as I'd completed it before I added the final details to my Witcher Steel Sword.
Sadly, I wasn't able to do any more builds for Catalyst, as the fulfillment was about to be completed, the crunch was on (I admitted I'd be too slow to do one more in the timeframe), and the last batch of models had already been assigned.
Anyway, enough backstory! Here's the promotional render for the Cyclops!
So, edge loops to create the lines at the 15°, 30°, 60°, and 75° angles. Edge Loop Select to grab those as well as the rings on the top and bottom of the saucer. Then manually select the rest of the grid (and deselect the lines I didn't want). Bevel the entire selection to a width of 0.05. Then Inset Face with a width of 0.01 and a depth at 0.05. That gave me what you see below.
I think I'll redo the panel lines on the engine deck since they're hardly visible. This'll be the third...Or fourth time attempting that? Maybe more. I'm not sure. Not a problem since I have the technique down at least.
I got the idea to further subdivide the main panels on the surface after watching the ST:ENT episode Minefield, where Trip was trying to disarm a mine on the surface of the ship's hull. Those smaller panels on the physical set that don't really show up on the regular ship CGI model.
Also, I nabbed a scanned copy of the decal sheets for the Polaris Lights plastic model kit. While the decal sheet doesn't show such regular gridwork, I like the design that's on the NX-01 better.
Thanks! Though I wonder if I should hold off on this bit until I start cutting the windows in. Or if I'll be able to cut the windows in these panel meshes as well as the hull without too much trouble down the road. Either way, I could foresee potential boolean errors cropping up.
I guess the only way to find out is to try it.
Okay, that turned out pretty well. Though I had to mod some parts so it'd work. The Discombobulator plugin didn't work on panels directly in front of the saucer registry light bar. And for some reason, the Loop Cut tool didn't create lines so I could divide the polygons in that area.
So I had to figure out how to get it to subdivide properly with little success at first. Selecting the polygons and applying SubDiv was ineffective. But I did notice that one of the panels where I had selected just the radial lines DID split in half. A happy accident led to a eureka moment, and I managed to break down the area so that Discombob would work. The rest of the upper surface went along with no issues.
It'd be nice if I knew how to paint individual polygons the way I could in trueSpace. That way I could aztek those subpanels. Something for later.
That engine deck looks even emptier now. Maybe I should work on that next. I'll see where the mood takes me.
So...I took a different tact and added more tiny sub-paneling. I'm not 100% on the look in some spots. I'll probably revisit the engine deck and try something else. We'll see.
- Mike Oldfield
To get the detail I wanted, I had to resurface a part of my model, and none of the tools in Blender were working. Either I was doing something wrong (highly likely) or my object was just too weird a shape (also highly likely). I followed a few tutorials that I found and none of them had satisfactory results.
Grid Fill didn't actually add a grid. The entire face where I deleted the radial lines (an artifact from when I sliced it from the saucer) remained a blank area. And a few other techniques didn't pan out. So I had to delete all of the lines and redraw them how I wanted.
At least the Space function in Loop Tools worked. Well, after I did some preliminary work deleting a bunch of unneeded verts. After this step was done, I ended up with the pattern I wanted!
Now the best part. My experiment worked! I got the panel lines that I'd wanted in the first place! After cutting those in, I made some more sub-panel objects for detail/filler and adjusted a few bits for placement.
I'm much happier with how it looks now.
At this stage, I'm thinking of what I can do with those... Impulse engine cooling vents? Is that what those slots on the rear are? I dunno. Just having them there feels odd without a visible purpose besides being a shadow catcher.
Even my library of games was unappealing. So... To break out of my funk, I tried again after this last week of not-even-bothering. I didn't even open Blender. I mostly binged some shows and vegetated. Maybe it worked. We'll see.
I thought I'd do something simple and meshed out the phasers, and then I cut in the spaces in the saucer. That took me about twenty minutes or so. Then I redid the light strip below the bridge and learned how to create light-emitting materials. The other six hours of my morning I spent playing with illumination nodes and settings.
I based the turrets on a blend of Star Trek Beyond ship weapons, and the Type III Phaser Rifle from Discovery. I liked the stepped look of the ball turret inset from Beyond. And the rifle emitters seemed like a good look when scaled up. It was an easy way to give it some complexity.
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Hey, thanks! Yeah, Discombob really was a good idea. I wanted to do micropanels on other designs, it's just that the work involved would have been mind-numbing and trueSpace plus my PC wasn't really up to the task of handling so many polygons. Its severely outdated render engine would have given up the ghost to be sure.
Also, 'Blenderfold' sounds like a sci-fi term for an exotic FTL drive. Jumpspace, Hyperspace, Subspace, Alcubierre warp drive, Kearny-Fuchida Hyperdimensional Jump Drive, Blenderfold, etc. LOL
That would be an interesting modification. Though there's a lot of TMP blended into this design already. I'm not sure how I'd go about updating the refit Enterprise in the style of the Discovery aesthetic.
No model updates this week. There was a big event in the game Mabinogi (Korean MMORPG by DevCAT and released by Nexon) and I caught it at the very end. Managed to complete it before the end date. It isn't something I play often, but I've been going back once or twice a year for a while now.
On the plus side, I found some more references for the studio model from Korben FX off of the Anovos website.
While I'd love to have a 35" long model, I'm short the $9,000 asking price! Even the $50+ 1:1000 scale model from Polar Lights is a bit too steep for me.
Guess I'll have to settle for building my own in digital space. Who knows, one of these days I may actually get a 3D printer like I've been planning for the past few years now. I recently saw a video for an FDM printer built on a treadmill. The printer head was mounted at a 45° angle. But I digress...
So...Plans... I guess I'll try to finish detailing the top of the saucer before I move onto any other areas. I keep thinking of how to do the impulse engine and finding good references of the space between them are a little tricky to find at the moment. Might have to check out more build videos on youtube to see if I can spot anything there.
I'm going with the KorbenFX design regarding the Nav lights. The 3-foot model shows paired lights on the bow, port, and starboard sections. Where the Polar Lights and Eaglemoss versions have just the single light placed in an inset. I plan to make them a bit more detailed than the bubbles I have now. Not that anyone will actually see them when I get around to doing full renders. Meh. I'll know that they'll be there.
And once again, I reworked the light strip between the bridge and bow. My revision had seven bars going across the hull instead of eight. Now it better matches the studio design.
I also learned that I don't really need the Knife tool to draw lines between verts. Which is great because that technique doesn't always work for some reason. The solution was stupid simple that it made my head hurt...
Select two adjoining verts and press 'J'. Blender will draw a line between them.
I remade the bow lights with a little more detail. They match actual ship lights now instead of just little hemispheres.
After that, I cut and embellished the RCS thrusters.
Now here's where the majority of the time spent on this model in the last couple of days went...
Since I didn't properly calculate the original cylinder to account for the panel lines and divisions, I had to delete a lot of edge lines in a massive clean-up of the bottom of the saucer. After that, I had to close up some of the gaps to match the official design.
Then I was finally able to select the panels I wanted to subdivide and used Discombublator to create the new surfaces. That took a little trial-and-error since I forgot what numbers I used to get the effect that I had before. I created a few bucks for booleans to shape the triangular indentations and the registry projection lights on the underside of the saucer.
Now I just need to figure out the shape and alignment of the saucer windows, phaser banks, and torpedo tubes. And I need to decide if I want to continue the sub-paneling towards the middle of the saucer.
Will be following, and looking at whatever you did five years ago to start getting tips.
Thanks! Thinking I might change the RCS thrusters. They don't quite fit the look somehow and I'm not sure how I want to work it. Maybe make the insets a little more shallow and shrink the size of the exhaust cones. I'll figure something out.
Not so strong since I still have so, so much to learn. I can count the number of projects I've done in Blender on one hand. Five years ago I was still using trueSpace! So if you want tips and tricks on an outdated, unsupported bit of software, go right ahead. LOL
I'm not quite sure about the shape of the not-yet-placed windows just yet. The ones that aren't round. Three different ship references and there are some minor changes in shape and placement. Also, I'm still not sure if I want to add more subpaneling in that section. Though I can quickly add them before I make any cuts.
I'm also testing out a modified RCS thruster. Shallower insets with smaller exhaust cones with two rows of six rather than a single row of four in each inset. Also plotting out the lower RCS thrusters.
I had to add a gap around the rim of the saucer as it's in at least two of the references I'm using. Not quite up to the point where I'll start adding the sensor ring just yet. But that line looks crucial for placing the lower RCS thrusters. Otherwise, I'll probably misjudge placement without it.
The rest of the time spent has mostly been fiddly bits here and there.
Okay, not much progress on the build front, but I'm really proud of myself for figuring this next part out.
So I finished the lower saucer RCS thrusters. That's when I realized that the secondary thruster banks on the upper half have the same vector as these lower units. What I wanted to do was rebuild that section of the saucer so it better fits my design idea. And looking at some reference pics, it better matches the official design as well.
I don't know how difficult this would have been in TrueSpace, but once I figured this out, I was really surprised at how easy the repair was in Blender.
First, the physical gap in the saucer needed to be addressed. I used the Knife Tool to connect two vertices to make a dividing line. This is about where I wanted to close the gap.
Second, I selected the lower faces and deleted them. Then selected all faces and filled in the new hole (hotkey A; then hotkey F)
Thirdly, I selected all of the vertices below that gap and dissolved them. After that connected the four vertices to form new edges. (hotkey J)
Then, I connected the two vertices that formed the original centerline that gave curvature to the saucer. After some slight adjustments like rounding off the corners, I had my new indentations!
Anyway, here's the next bit. Cut in all the windows and created their corresponding light objects. Now that I've rendered it, the non-circular windows look too large. And on top of that, the phaser banks look too small. The pitfalls of working constantly zoomed in and having tunnel vision focus, I suppose. Not sure how I'll fix the windows. Maybe just grab the inset face and shrink it, pull it towards the surface, and do another negative extrusion. Intrusion?
I also added in some torpedo tubes to detail the um...torpedo tubes. A pair of holes cut into the saucer didn't seem like enough to me, and adding a simple bevel around the edge wasn't enough. So, I stuck in an extra part.
OK! I think that simple edit worked out rather well. It gave the windows an exterior bevel and made them better fit the overall scale of the saucer. As Bob Ross was fond of saying, "Happy little accidents."
I also think I'll enlarge the phaser banks since they do look really small when I zoom out. But that's for another time.