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3DLizzy's WIPs



  • Lizzy777Lizzy777353 PNWPosts: 489Member
    edited October 2019 #272
    Sounds like a fun afternoon.

    Oh, yes... Fun... Yay. LOL

    Fixed the rivets on the turret, though I didn't render the result since it basically looks the same as before. then I started working on the Hotchkiss M1914. I found a bunch of references for the gun and loaded them into Truespace.

    Since the majority of the gun most likely won't be seen, I'm not going to put too much working detail into it. But for now, here's the rear section that holds the trigger mech. I just need to add on the cover plate and the buttstock. Next, I'll move onto the receiver and then finally the barrel.

    Post edited by Lizzy777 on
    "Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the corgies of war!"
  • Lizzy777Lizzy777353 PNWPosts: 489Member
    More gun progress. For this section, I still need to add the belt feeder and ejector port. Plus some smaller details. Then I can get to the barrel mount and finally the barrel and actuator.

    "Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the corgies of war!"
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801443 Posts: 9,643Member
    That gun is looking awesome.
  • ashleytingerashleytinger512 Central OhioPosts: 548Member
    That looks fantastic
  • Lizzy777Lizzy777353 PNWPosts: 489Member
    That gun is looking awesome.
    That looks fantastic

    Thanks, guys!

    Okay! Now the real reason I want to use the Hotchkiss is because of the barrel. That just screams "Retro Sci-fi!" to me. It wouldn't be out of place for a Jules Verne story adaptation made in the 1930s. Or maybe even a Buck Rogers style death ray or whatever.

    Or is Buck Rogers more Atom Punk than Diesel Punk? Hmm...

    Anyway, I was stuck on the feed mechanism, so I pushed ahead with the barrel and worked that out in a couple of hours (with time spent looking at youtube videos). I found a few more reference images of that specific part, so that should be the next update.


    "Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the corgies of war!"
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801443 Posts: 9,643Member
    Yeah, it definitely has a nice retro Sci-Fi look to it.
  • BrandenbergBrandenberg1198 CaliforniaPosts: 1,635Member
    Looks wicked. Nice work.
  • FreakFreak925 Posts: 4,066Member
    Great looking gun.
  • Lizzy777Lizzy777353 PNWPosts: 489Member
    I had a little trouble figuring this bit out. But I think I got it! The rear sight was a lot easier than the case ejector. Mostly due to the strange shape of the brass part's compound curves.

    All that's left to do is the feeder that's below this section.

    "Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the corgies of war!"
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801443 Posts: 9,643Member
    That's looking great.
  • Lizzy777Lizzy777353 PNWPosts: 489Member
    The feeder isn't 100% accurate. But it's as close as I feel like getting at the moment. Most of this won't be seen anyway so... ::shrugs:: Anyway, basic mats and GI lighting. Took a matter of seconds to render.

    I'm planning to unwrap the parts and try out Substance Painter to see what I can do with that. Grunge it up a bit and all that.


    I may have cursed myself with the detail level for this entire project. If I've put this much into the gun, I'll definitely need to do more for the rest of the war machine.

    At least the scale of the weapon will help me figure out the scale of the rest of it.

    "Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the corgies of war!"
  • BrandenbergBrandenberg1198 CaliforniaPosts: 1,635Member
    Boy, don't point that thing at me... :p
  • Lizzy777Lizzy777353 PNWPosts: 489Member
    Boy, don't point that thing at me... :p

    Ralphie: "I want a Hotchkiss M1914 portable machine gun!"

    Santa: "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"
    "Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the corgies of war!"
  • Lizzy777Lizzy777353 PNWPosts: 489Member
    edited April 15 #285
    Whoa, it's been five months since I posted anything? Hm... Guess I should change that, eh? Aside doing real work (which I still can't show off just yet), I've been doing some quick kitbash bits. First I turned an Urbanmech into a Beer Stein. And then I did the same to an Atlas head.

    But the biggest thing so far was I'M FINALLY LEARNING HOW TO USE BLENDER! WOO!!! Anyone who follows me on dA has probably already seen this stuff. So here's some copy/paste of what I've already uploaded there.

    I'm hoping that by posting this, I'll regain the motivation I had when I started so I can finish this little project.

    First, a simple screenshot of the blade, since I hadn't learned how to actually render the scene yet. It's a fairly simple shape, where I modified a sphere with a few basic operations.

    First I sliced a sphere in half using a cube and a Difference boolean modification. Next, I extruded the resulting circular face to pull the basic blade shape. Then I changed the object scale to get the length and width of the blade which created the point and edge. I made two copies of that shape to make a pair of bucks for the fuller. Then subtracted those fuller-bucks from the blade object.

    Lastly, to round off the tip and remove the faceting, I found the Subdivision operation (in a handy little mouse click menu!). Kicked up the smoothness up to max and set the number of cuts to 2. I haven't added the sword's tang just yet. But I have an idea on how to do it with the same set of operations I've learned so far.

    I'm also thinking of combining elements from the sword replica from the steel blade created by Fire & Steel with a few features from the Netflix series version. This will involve adding a block to the end to create a ricasso that angles into the blade's edge.

    Though that will necessitate remaking the entire blade since I've already cut in the fuller. No problem! Practice makes perfect! Or something like that. Anyway, the more I rebuild the part, the better I'll understand the software.

    After that, I'll learn how to create the crossguard with a pair of twisted quillons.


    Another simple screenshot of the blade, because I still haven't learned how to actually render the scene yet.

    I've basically been rebuilding the shape over and over to get a feel for Blender, and to get the look and dimensions that I want. The tang might be a bit long but that's an easy fix once I start on the grip and pommel. However, the next part will be the crossguard with twisted quillons. That'll involve a new set of operations and functions and all that fun stuff!

    I've discovered a few things that I can do in TrueSpace that I can't do in Blender without some sort of plugin. And that is mesh mirroring (or Mirror Modeling). It's a simple operation where you select a face on an object, click a button, and the entire thing is mirrored into a symmetrical object. And then to make it all a single mesh, you click "Create Welded Object".

    Right-click to select a face. Button press. Button Press. Easy!

    In Blender... I haven't found anything remotely close to this function. There is a mirror function, sure. But it does just that. Mirrors an object. I can just do simple copy/paste (CTRL+C/CTRL+V) like most any other program. When the two objects are joined, whatever edit I do to one side is reflected on the other. But it isn't an object symmetry function.

    Why is this important? When creating complex models, like say a Battlemech, I can detail half of the model and then hit Mirror Modeling in TS. It works great because most mecha designs are symmetrical. It saves me from having to do twice the work otherwise.

    What I wanted to do this time is to create a form so I can cut out the shape of the blade fuller. Since I wasn't able to get the exact result I needed, I ended up drawing the edge past the ricasso. I figured, maybe I'll just skip it and "Hide my Crimes" with the crossguard. BUT! That isn't why I'm doing this! I need to be able to do EVERYTHING in Blender that I can in TrueSpace and more! Otherwise, what's the point?

    Turns out there may be a solution that I'll need to check out. An add-on called "Fast Carve". And if it does what I need and I end up rebuilding the blade section again? So much the better.


    So, I think I've learned a lot. But still, a complete noob when it comes to Blender. I'm using a few addons to see if they make things easier for me. The most useful so far has been Import Image as Plane, so that let me load a reference image directly into Blender and model off of that. That was something I used often in TrueSpace and it's really helping me get the shapes I want here.

    I also got the Mirror Modeling thing down, though it takes FAR more steps in Blender than it does in my old software. What's worse is I don't know how to simplify it just yet. A key part I was missing before was having to delete the face where I want the two halves to join. Once I got that, the operation clicked in my head. Now to do it a few more times so it'll stick with me.

    I was also playing around with render settings. I STILL don't know how to do it properly just yet. Though the hotkey is simply F12. Unfortunately, my incredibly limited knowledge has left me wanting. I don't know how to set up the lights in a way to show the definition of the work that I've been doing thus far.

    Adjusting the camera is easy enough. Unfortunately, I haven't figure out how to do a proper light setup. And in doing so I managed to change the default lighting in the workspace and have no idea how to reset it. So for the moment, I'm stuck with this muted view.

    I'll probably need to import some pre-made light rigs for basic clay renders. I have a collection of HDRI files which would be nice to use. But again I've yet to learn how to add them to the project.

    On the plus side, I finally have the proper shape for the blade that I want. Now for the crossguard.


    I stopped counting how many times I've rebuilt the blade. Before this version, the edge geometry was just too round. Like a prop or plastic toy. This latest iteration still isn't exactly what I want, but it has something of an edge and I really need to move on with it. Besides, now I can craft this object in under ten minutes! WOO!

    No, seriously. When I started doing this, making the blade took me well over an hour and I had to keep watching tutorials so I knew what steps to do and all that. Now I'm a lot more familiar with the tools and techniques needed to make this shape. This brings me to the next part: the crossguard.

    I tried two different techniques to achieve the twisted quillons. The first one is a technique I learned with TrueSpace. Grab a cube, select a face, hit "Extrude", then set the distance and turn angle. Say, 0.05 units with a twist of 15°. Then just keep hitting Extrude over and over until you get the desired length and number of twists in the object. Doing this in Blender is....difficult. Because that's NOT the best way to achieve this effect in Blender!

    While the technique in Truespace is easy, I've learned that Blender actually does it better and far easier. Select an object (in this case, a cube). Set the dimensions I needed. Select Edge Loop and place it in the middle and scroll the mouse wheel to add as many segments as I need. Then go to Modify, and right there in the menu, "Twist" is the default. Here I just need to set the angle to 180° and set the proper Axis (in this case, Y instead of Z). Then just click Apply.

    After that, I just extruded the ends and shaped them a little to match my reference image. Copy, paste, and align to make a copy (because I forgot I can mirror it) and then Union the three crossguard pieces together.

    So, did I get the shape exactly as I want it? HA! No. I'm close, but not there yet. I'll most likely rebuild the crossguard a few more times until I better match the reference image. But such is the process of learning for me. And in doing so I'll become more comfortable in transitioning to modern software and design techniques.

    On I side note, I have picked up how to do a proper render. But right now the results are really basic. So, I'll hold off on that for a while yet. Also writing down my progress and uploading the screenshots helps me remember what I did and how I did it.


    Post edited by Lizzy777 on
    "Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the corgies of war!"
  • Lizzy777Lizzy777353 PNWPosts: 489Member

    What's this? An actual render instead of a screenshot! Why, yes! Yes, it is!

    Okay, so I looked up a few things, learned how to add an HDRI light setup (because a single sun lamp made it look flat), and added a simple metallic shader to the blade and crossguard. When I do actual texture work I'll most likely load it in Substance Painter and do a proper mapping job.

    As for the model itself, I rebuilt the crossguard. Unlike the sword blade, I only had to rebuild this bit once! WOO! PROGRESS! So obviously the next bit will have to be the sword's grip. There are a few parts to this like two metal rings, one at the base of the guard and one in the middle of the grip. Plus the two parts of the grip themselves. They look like cord-wrapped over wood, which means I need to figure out how to model in that detail.

    There are a few techniques that I can think of to achieve the look in the reference image, but I'm not sure which one I should do. I could make an array of parts to show the ribbed detail in the wrapping. Or I could learn how to do a shrink-wrapped screw operation sort of deal. Not only that, but there are also smaller details on the metal bits which adds another layer of complexity.

    HOWEVER! Before I do any of that, I need to learn how to replicate the shape of the grip itself first. There's something of an hourglass shape to the two wrapped grip parts that I want to match first. Then I can learn the shrink wrap operation. Or the object array idea. Or... Something.

    I'll figure it out.



    Okay! So I figured out the easiest way to do this part. Edge loops, and lots of them. Followed by Push/Pull tool in Edit mode to get that hourglass-ish shape to the two sword grip parts. I did try the array method which did give me the look I was after, but had way too many parts to deal with and I didn't want to mess with the Boolean/Inclusion tool which as any mesh bender knows, can cause a lot of problems no matter what software suite you're using.

    So, how did I do it? Easy! Create a cylinder. Then add in 90 edge loops (you can set the number so that made it super easy!). Now the more tedious part was selecting every third loop to make the indents. But once I selected the single lines I wanted, I used Select/Select Loops/Edge Loops, then used the Scale tool, where I once again was able to set the dimensions I wanted in the tool's pop-up window. Then I used the Push/Pull tool to get the curved shape to the mesh. Lastly, I hit the entire object with a Bevel operation in JTools.

    Why didn't I just select the array bits and hit J (Join)? Because I wanted a solid, clean mesh. Also, why didn't I use the Screw/Spiral tool for this? It's a lot more complicated process for the same look. Maybe if the grip didn't have a cord wrap, then I'd go for the other method. So I feel that this is the best method for this section overall.

    Before this in TrueSpace, what I'd do is overlay a torus on top of a cylinder and do a boolean exclusion to get the shape I wanted. If I wanted to match the reference image like in this project, I'd use an extrusion method and shape each extrusion to match the width of the image. Then mirror it from the center of the grip. Then I'd copy that object, enlarge the copy a bit, and make multiple slices with an array of cubes with a set width and distance. I'd subtract those cubes from the grip object. After that, I'd bevel the flat faces between each cut to get a rounded shape. After that, I'd try to boolean weld the two objects together. And if it worked I'd have a similar result as to what's seen here. Blender's workflow is a lot easier, and if I were more experienced, it probably would have been faster as well.

    Also edge looping in TrueSpace isn't that reliable. Neither creating the loops nor selecting the ones you want unless you're very careful. And that can be even more time-consuming. There are tools to do it, but Blender has them simplified.

    Now, I'm not happy with the lower grip near the pommel since the cord wrapping isn't the same scale as the one closer to the crossguard. Not only that, but I also need to detail the two metal rings in the grip before I move onto the pommel. Like the other parts of this build, I'll end up reworking it. As they say, practice makes perfect! And the more I rebuild a part, the more I get accustomed to how Blender works.

    And that is the entire point of the exercise.


    So... I've been trying different techniques to get this sword handle finished. I took another look at replicating the cord wrap on the lower grip using arrays to little success. At least I know how to properly do them now, but I still couldn't get the look that I needed. The curved shape wouldn't pan out when I used the Push/Pull tool and I ended up going back to the Edge Loop method. I just added a lot more of them this time. Previously it was 90 loops. This time I added 120! Same technique as the grip closer to the crossguard so there's consistency in the design.

    Still, I might not keep it as it is since I found some good screenshots of the sword from Witcher 3 as well as some concept art from the game. It has a simple leather wrap rather than a cord wrap like I have here. I might try that instead since the process uses a different modeling technique and a different set of tools.

    I'll probably need to learn it anyway since that's the point of this whole exercise! I did learn about Proportional Scaling, though, so that's good. It was handy in getting the shape I wanted (still not 100% but I need to move on). And I was able to make a good transition from the oval-shaped grip to a rounder shape near the pommel. This was NOT something I was able to do with TrueSpace easily. But with Blender, it was a simple operation.

    I still need to detail the metal rings. I'm pretty sure this is where I'll utilize the radial array function along with a boolean. I also need to detail the pommel and I suspect that I'll need to learn how to create a mesh from a vector image. This means I'll need to draw the wolf-head in Photoshop, save it as a vector map, import that into Blender and...Well, I don't know yet, but I have an idea! Or at least I can learn by watching some tutorials and replicate the technique for my project.
    "Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the corgies of war!"
  • Lizzy777Lizzy777353 PNWPosts: 489Member

    Not much progress on this one. Mostly because I'd been procrastinating. So far the only physical detail I have yet to do is the pommel. And that's because I haven't found a clear reference for the embossed beast head so I could reliably recreate it.

    The other reason is I've skipped ahead a little and am learning how to do textures. I don't know how to use Blender's UV mapper. I don't even know if I have it enabled just yet. But I am familiar with UVMapper's simple interface and process.

    Right now it's a couple of stock textures I found online; Brushed Metal, and Black Leather. Once I figure out how I want to do a proper object export and split everything for a UV map, I'll move to Substance Painter for a proper detail job. Or I could just do textures in Photoshop like I usually do.

    So many options... Do I stick with the familiar, or do I move to new software if I don't really need to? The reason I'm learning Blender is that TrueSpace is basically a dead platform. However, I don't see Photoshop dying off any time soon. And even if it does, there's still GIMP. Maybe familiarity in Substance Painter would be a nice thing to have in my digital toolbox, even if I don't add it as a mainstay.

    Right now the metal looks too dark when compared to previous renders. Just another aspect to figure out as I move along. I hoped I'd be done by now, but these little things keep cropping up with each step.

    All part of learning, I suppose.


    Texturing and U/V Mapping!

    No, I haven't started detailing the pommel just yet, BUT! I did find a few reference images for the Wolf School emblem that's embossed into the object, so that's a good start. I think I'll need to create a new *.blend file and create the pommel as a new project. The big challenge will be in modeling the wolf face itself. Which, luckily for me is a hard surface object and that's where my talents sit!

    So, to the point of this quick upload! I've learned how to use Blender's U/V mapping suite which was conveniently under the "U/V Editing" tab. Well, Okay, I removed all of the tabs when I started this entire project so I wouldn't be overwhelmed by everything. I started with the "Modeling" tab. Then added the "Shaders" tab (because that's where textures and global lighting is located) and now I've progressed a level with this newest addition to my workspace!

    Right now each piece of the sword is mapped to their individual spaces. So they aren't all spaced out as islands on a single texture map just yet. That means there's a lot of overlapping objects on the Brushed_Steel texture I'm using. Though I now know how to change their alignments so it'll be easy when I decide to create a 2k or 4k texture map later on. As far as the textures go, I've been learning how nodes work under the Shaders tab. TrueSpace introduced nodes in the last version, 7.5/7.6. I just never used them; preferring the original menu system that was in the program when I started using it way back in version 2.5 in the late 90s.

    On a side note, I also learned how to place the camera at my current view in the workspace using CTRL+ALT+Numpad 0. That's a lot easier than how I had been adjusting the camera angle.

    Next up, the Wolf Head Pommel!


    The Wolf Head! Um...Sort of. SOME OF THE WOLF HEAD!

    I don't know who created the pendant that I'm using as a reference. I found a few of these pics linked to Amazon and Etsy stores and there weren't any artist attributes listed. Anyway, this is how far I'd managed to get today after not having ANY motivation to do anything artistic, much less try to learn anything.

    Moods, amirite? I'm surprised I'm even wearing pants!

    Alright, so...This is the first of two different techniques that I plan to try out. Meshing out the shape of the head through mirror modeling. It's taking me a bit to wrap my head around adding primitives to the object under edit mode so they are actually mirrored on both sides. But, after building this thing a few times I think I have the hang of it. Though my little extended break from plodding around in Blender has me forgetting a few key shortcuts and controls. I have to keep looking back on my past updates to re-learn what I did when I did them.

    Good thing I wrote it all down with each update!

    I know experienced Blender artists could have done this in less than a minute, where it's taking me several hours. I know I'd be able to knock this out in TrueSpace within a few minutes. And they'd be further along than I currently am. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to do the ears and lower jaw. Shouldn't be too difficult, I hope. I wasn't sure how I'd do the detail work just yet. I've been looking through operations for a Polygon Draw tool like in TrueSpace, but it looks like what I'm after is the Knife Tool for adding edges to faces.

    The second technique that I might try out later is the vector art idea I had before. I'll trace the lines of this reference image in Photoshop, save it as a vector, and import that into Blender as an object. Simplify it to reduce the vertex counts to something more manageable and make regular extrusions and bevels to make an embossing for the pommel.

    At least that's the theory anyway. I'll see how well this first attempt looks when I flatten it for the final design.
    "Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the corgies of war!"
  • kadenkaden533 JapanPosts: 160Member
    That's awesome, nice work. It took me some time to figure blender out too but keep at it and you will become faster.
    I keep watching youtube tutorials for blender and almost every time I learn something new.

    check this out for the sword handle wrap
  • Lizzy777Lizzy777353 PNWPosts: 489Member
    I've seen that video! I have a few others bookmarked as well.
    "Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the corgies of war!"
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801443 Posts: 9,643Member
    Those are looking so nice. I'm a big fan of medieval weapons.
  • Lizzy777Lizzy777353 PNWPosts: 489Member
    Those are looking so nice. I'm a big fan of medieval weapons.

    Me too. A few years ago I had an idea to recreate the finale weapons from the series Forged in Fire. Never really started it, but it's still in the back of my mind. Though I have a feeling if I were to go into it, I'd get burn out from the over 100 weapons featured so far.
    "Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the corgies of war!"
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