For the past month (or so). Still learning the software though.
For my first attempt, I decided to try this old design: the Paladin-class Destroyer/Scout
The aft of the underneath of the ship. I started on this by itself, independent of the rest of the ship, but found that there were too many vertexes to attempt to attach it to the rest of the ship! Oops! At the very least, I know what I want the bottom aft of the ship to look for.
The pod pylons were one of the first objects that I tested applying subdivision to. It's a shame that for some reason, the subdivision modifier doesn't appear in the render, and the object is too complicated to integrate with the rest of the ship!
This was supposed to be part of the ventral hull, only for me to find that integrating it with the rest of the ship vertex by vertex was too complicated! I'm starting over, with plans to maybe eventually put a nav deflector here.
It took multiple attempts to get to this point, during which I learned that it is important to make sure that I have everything in place BEFORE subdividing (in which case, there are so many vertices, it becomes too complex to move them with any sort of accuracy).
Eventually, I found myself moving too slow, afraid of ruining something and having to start over again! So I found this detailed X-Wing tutorial
, and have been plugging away at it since early this week.
I'm especially proud of how I got the shape of the aft dorsal to come out, and my first torpedo tube isn't too bad looking either.
I am proud of how the panel came out, but have also learned to make sure that any panels that I work on lie flush with the parent surface BEFORE beginning subdividing! I'll likely have to just start over!
Also, how do you get the subdivision surface to appear in renders? I have them on, but it disappears during my renders for the Paladin?
As for subdivision, you have two numbers in the interface:
The top number is how much the Sub-D will be visible in the 3D viewport, whereas the bottom number is how much it will be visible in the render. If you have either number at 1, you won't see any Sub-D. So, whatever you set the bottom number to is how much Sub-D you'll get in the render.
I have to say, this is pretty unique to Blender, as far a different levels for viewport and render, at least among the 3 different programs I've used in the past 20+ years.
Thank you, but the only reason I've gotten this far is on tutorials and lots of searches. And copious amounts of cursing. I would recommend giving it another go. You should be able to find a tutorial for something you'd like to build.
Keep it up. The only way to learn is to keep plugging away at it.
I've learned that for some strange reason, the subdivision mod disappears in the Paladin file unless I click apply. Probably a stupid glitch. Hopefully, it will remain unique to that file only.
I would also add that loop and vertex slide is one of my best friends. Initially, I thought I just had to keep adding loop cuts until I got the loop where I wanted it (and then had to go back and delete the extras I didn't!)
Ever since I've discovered the slide tools, I swear that my work efficiency has doubled! I am still cautious about adding them too soon though. I find the less vertices there are to work with, the easier to triangulate the proportions.
This is great advice for users. Of any skill level. Can't count the number of times I wished I saved earlier before starting a new step.
Doing this is probably above my skill levels, but I was obsessing over it too much. I have special plans for this!
I'm sure most everyone here will agree on that one.
I'm using 3.4.
I managed to knock out the basic shape of not just the saucer section, but refine the engineering hull a little too. Next up is the next, which is going to involve complex extrusions. I'm just posting my progress before bed.
I also positioned the vertex grid of the engineering hull, with the intent of loop cutting and extruding in the deflector grid later. Since the triangle count is already at over a million, there might also be some vertex culling in the near future, specifically those inhabiting the saucer section.
Finally, I plan on saving this into two files, since I've been planning on making a variant. I just have to finish off the basic shape of the neck, and that's where they'll diverge.
Could be. But for the moment, it isn't causing a debilitating problem, so I'm keeping it as is for now.
Moving on to the neck, which I managed to get blocked out for the most part. Still in need of refinement, but, hey, it's a start! Probably not going to have any more time to work on it tonight (stupid laundry, not folding itself!), so I'm posting this here now.
Even though very intricate, due to being a quite complex curve, this has been also one of my favorite parts to work on.
Interestingly enough, the thickest part of the neck isn't towards the back, like I've always thought, but more towards the middle, behind the torpedo launcher (the thinnest part of the neck), but ahead of the secondary impulse deck and neck flare. Maybe I need to make a render of the neck from directly aft to show what I'm talking about.
The Galaxy class really is an intricate design, which is why I've been holding off on detailing her just get. And yet, I've also been sliding vertices in preparation for the deflector grids when she's finally perfect, since that will be much harder to fix if everything else isn't in place yet.
Nor would I. But I love the fact that you're going big on your first model.
I decided to start on the nacelle, only to have to delete it because the subdivision wasn't doing what I needed it to do. It was flattening out instead of curving, and there was just too many different loop cuts to deal with, to the point it was just faster to start over. I don't know if this was because I extruded parts inwards to later make way for the bussards, warp grills, and emergency flush vents.
About the only good thing was that this happened before I started working on the deflector grid.
Just in case things get bad, if I downgraded it to an older version, would my (current) files still be completely compatible?
Good question. Theoretically, I think it would work since Blender doesn't change their file format. And, you're presumably only talking about going from 3.4 to 3.3, which is an incremental change, not going back to something extremely old, like 2.X.
It's very challenging, and quite time-consuming to get right. And it's pushing my current skills to the limit. I think that taking it slow and one step at a time has been key.
Good! I think I'll just download and use what you're using. Maybe that will solve a few problems!
And speaking of going big on this:
I've had this idea of a Galaxy Mk-II with Sovereign-type refit elements in my head for a long time. I've also had this idea for a long time to use the nacelles from Madkoifish's Onimaru. I really like the whole design, and this should test how good I really am in Blender so far. If it becomes too tough, I'll just go back to the X-Wing tutorial to polish my skills some more.
Due to there being no orthos on the USS Onimaru aside from a small Mk-I set (which are not exactly the same, nor shows off all of the details), I've downloaded just about every image I could find, so I don't have to do so repeatedly, and I'm planning on using the annotate tool to draw and approximation of what the final version looks like, one angle and curve at a time to keep things from getting too vertex-heavy to quickly. I had to delete progress yesterday because faces were not coming out right.
The final version's nacelles are more rounded at the end, so using the vertex-slide to alter accordingly is next on the agenda. And watch the Scifieric's Enterprise tutorial, specifically the part with the nacelles, so I know the best way to approach making the pair identical.
That, and smoothing out the back of the neck, which has some corrupted faces that needs cleaning. I will likely just have to delete vertexes, and do them all over again. That is going to be a time-consuming nightmare, but then I'm learning to deal with uncooperative faces before they become a big problem.
Madkoifish seems to have given the front of the nacelles some sort of interlocking plates, and this is my attempt to reproduce them.
They're pretty cool looking. I've labeled them radiator plates, if I had to guess their function, but they might also hold forward sensors, similar to the sensors in the nose of an aircraft, for all I know.
How do you all integrate the parts so smoothly? Any advice/techniques?
So far, I've had to use a combination of scaling and moving the vertices, sometimes vertex by vertex, so that they align/sit on top/the bottom of the component as a whole, and it's really slowing things down!
That wasn’t far from the Yamato’s nacelle supports from KLINGON ACADEMY
Ah, yes, the Yamato class (also know as the Yamamoto). That class actually has at least one variant, with the nacelles in SFC-II being mounted flat on the X-Axis/horizontally.
I'd actually like to make a Dominion War refit of her some day (it's not going to be happening any time soon)
Most work has consisted of redoing and refining the engineering hull. The neck and bridge section of the engineering hull still requires more refinement, while I have decided to make the mid-section for the lateral sensors and engineering bridge separate objects, rather than layering on an ungodly amount of subdivisions to get the shape I need. But this has resulted in complications, such as making the engineering mid-section and the rest of the engineering hull appear as one object.
Finally, I worked on the basic shapes for the Nav Deflector. Fitting everything together has been the most challenging parts, whether it is blending different objects together, or attempting to make them appear as separate objects. I find that the magnet tool works sometimes, but other times, slowly nudging vertices gets the best results.