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Intro and Question

 
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Paul Domingue



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10
Location: California

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:59 pm    Post subject: Intro and Question Reply with quote

A brief history and a question

I found this site while researching for my models. I was astounded with the beautiful detailed models you people have made. I am a novice compared to all of you.

I have always enjoyed making models and started making aircraft for flight simulator (another thing I enjoy). I started with AFDS then moved on to Gmax and then 3ds Max. I ran into the problem of high poly count because of to much detail for flight sim but I enjoyed making the models more then flying them.

I have now started working on ship models. My interests are in WWII aircraft and ships. Currently I have just started working on the DKM Bismarck and the USS New Mexico.

My question is what methods do you use to make the hull? I have gone thru trial and error and have started a nice looking hull but making alterations to it is tedious due to such a high poly count. The following, while far from satisfactory, is what I have done to start the Bismarck hull.

I created splines from drawings that I have.


I attached them and added a cross section.


Then I added a surface modifier and converted to an editable poly.


It looks nice but the poly count is very high.


I could reduce the poly count but I am not experienced enough to know how to do it without a lot of work. I知 self taught in 3ds Max so any help would be appreciated.

Paul Domingue
[img][/img]
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Paul "Mechanic" Domingue


Last edited by Paul Domingue on Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MarkD



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hull construction has always been a struggle for me and I've tried just about every method in Max. After a LOT of trial and error, I found a free program called Delftship:

http://www.delftship.net/

It's easy to build a hull and you can export to OBJ format that can then be imported into Max as an editable poly. The program has 4 levels of resolution and the highest will net you a pretty high poly count, but even the lowest resolution works great. The base hull for my USS Delaware project (which you can find in the model section of this site) was built with Delftship.

I don't know what your limit is for poly count, but you can build a very nice hull with less than 1000 polys easily.
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Ship's Historian. USS King (DLG-10/DDG-41) Association
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Paul Domingue



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark,

Thanks for the tip. I did recently download a copy of Delftship, very interesting program. It looks like it would take as long to learn it as it would to manipulate the hull I have now. I値l have to play with it and do some reading on ship design so I can understand the terms used.

Your USS Delaware Project is exquisite. I love the cut-a-way shots. You must be a graphics designer by trade. The USS New Mexico I am working on looks similar in design in its original configuration. She was launched in 1917 but did not see service until 1919 after the Great War. I知 making her as she looked in 1944.

I believe I read somewhere that one of your founding members is from the Boston area; I grew up on the North Shore.

I hope we can stay in touch so I can pick your brain from time-to-time as I work on my projects.
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Paul "Mechanic" Domingue
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MarkD



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!

I'm happy to help. I'm actually in the process of writing a tutorial for Delftship. It's really not that hard, but the terminology and program conventions are a little different.

I'll post updates here as I progress.
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Paul Domingue



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I知 looking forward to seeing your tutorial.

I知 not happy with the hull I致e been working on so I知 going to start over from scratch. I知 going to make the frames first, there are 28 of them beginning from the stern at 6 meters all the way to frame 28 at 234 meters. Then I知 going to attach the outer plates. I thought I could make a texture for the plates showing the welded seams. I値l let you know how it goes.

Thanks for the help.

BTW, I looked up the USS King. Nice site and very interesting ship plans.
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Paul "Mechanic" Domingue
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MarkD



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul Domingue wrote:
...I知 not happy with the hull I致e been working on so I知 going to start over from scratch...


Man, I don't know how many times I've said that!!!

Just take them all as learning experiences!
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tone
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Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 478
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Paul -- welcome!

You seem to be off to a good start. I hope we can seduce you away from WW2 and into WW1, when people still knew how to have a proper gun battle!

tone
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Paul Domingue



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10
Location: California

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tone,

Thanks for the welcome, I thought there was a Boston boy out there. I grew up in Winthrop and Saugus.

I'm modeling an R.A.F. BE2e does that count?

About my hull work; I decided to take a crash course in Delftship and it's coming out quite nice. The more I use the program the better I like it. It does have some glitches that you have to watch for but in general it is not very hard to grasp. I'll post my results after a little bit more work.
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Paul "Mechanic" Domingue
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Paul Domingue



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10
Location: California

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark,

What a fantastic program Delftship is and free no less. It takes out all the hard work that痴 involved in making a hull in Max. I found the best import is the WaveFront OBJ file. It cut my poly count down to 1/3 of previous attempts.

Here is the hull plan from Delftship and what it looks like in Max. I still have things I want to refine but the major work of forming the hull is done.




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Paul "Mechanic" Domingue
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Iain



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you import Autocad DXF or DWG files?
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John H. Dulaney
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MarkD



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an excellent hull there!!!

Delftship really is a nice piece of software!

Iain - Delftship will not import AutoCAD files, but you can export to DXF.
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Paul Domingue



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10
Location: California

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mark. Coming from a master that could swell my head.

Iain,

The Deepexploration File Converter from Right Hemisphere can convert the exported files from Delftship or any other program for that mater, to DWG or most any other type of file. It is a definite must for a designers utility library.

..........edited later.

I'm sorry but I may have spoke to soon. I have a copy that was a demo version that is fully functional so I am a little confused on the issue. I'm doing some research on the subject.
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Jefgte



Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Posts: 65
Location: France

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a nice Bismarck hull !!!


Jef
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Paul Domingue



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merci beaucoup M. Jef,

That's as much french as I can handle. I took Mark D's advice and dove head first into Delftship, quite an amazing piece of software.
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maxyang



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 100
Location: Shanghai, China

PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that is very nice piece of work!

I have been trying different tools to make the hull too. Mostly I use Rhinoceros since it uses NURBS surfaces which is smooth by itself. When later converted to polygons, you can have the control over polygon count mostly. But it does have shortcomings, NURBS surface undulate if not well controlled, and it is hard to make sharp turns such as the bow and stern, and it is hard to join two surfaces together seamlessly.

Another tool I think worth trying is Modo, currently at version 4. It is a subdivisional surface tool and it includes many powerful features such as hand-sculpture, much like using a knife to peels off thin layers off the hull. (I am not a good writer, hope you can understand what I mean :) ) These features can be very useful when you want to make very precise models. What is problem then? I am still having trouble making out all the opennings on the hull. Once a new hole is created, I have to fix all the points around it, not like Rhino, just cuts out.

Just downloaded Delftship and will give it a try some time. Thanks to MarkD.
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