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Texlon
05-20-2004, 05:59 PM
Hi,
I tried it many many times without success and haven't found a satisfactional solution on modeling really technical things in 3D, yet so I start this thread in order to discuss the different possibilities modeling inorganic things. I personally use Max but I don't want this thread to be restricted to any 3D application. Ok, and now for a better unterstanding what I mean I'll explain it to you on an example. so maybe YOU outside can help me and the others having the same problems as me.

Let's have a look at this image here from Feng Zhu:CLICK HERE (http://69.44.60.9/artbyfeng.com/sets/set_14.jpg)

In this picture you see this rounded opening in the middle. that thing does not really look very difficult to model, but it's harder than you might think. I think the best way to model (in Max) the parts around this hole is to use splines and then bevel them to get a little thickness. But I haven't found a way to model this opening correctly. The problem is, that I want to model thechnical stuff as accurate as possible. First I used the Poly-->Meshsmooth way, but this doesn't give me really hard edges and wastes polys overall were they aren't needed. Because I want clean and accurate meshes I used rhino. This works very well, but the problem is that after the import in Max it's a bit disorted, has unnesessary polys and has these ugly triangulated polys. NURBS in max? ooohh noooo please, they suck... and even they have these triangles. Way three was pure poly-modeling (without meshsmooth) this thechnic gives me semi-accurate models and a lot of control but it's very hard and takes a lot of time to model things with rounded parts. Do you guys have some experience in modeling technical stuff? How and were do you start? Which modeling method do you use?

I hope there are some experienced "technical-stuff-modlers" outside, who can give me/us some tipps and hints.
If someone doesn't really understand my problem, then just write a reply and I'll explain it more detailed... although it's already detailed enugh I thing but maybe I add some examples more.

Best regards,
Texlon

peanut
05-20-2004, 09:39 PM
Polygon --- edge would be more than enough to model this.

you need to study how edge behave when your adding more than one.

Texlon
05-20-2004, 10:56 PM
Mh... what do you mean, can you discribe it a bit more please? I know how edges behave when adding them, but that doesn't help. And if it's the "poly-modeling (without meshsmooth)"-way what you mean, then I must say it's not the accuratest way, because on colseups you'll see the edges. And it takes ages to create such a opening with that detail. but nevermind thanks.
Any different idea?

JasonOsipa
05-20-2004, 11:25 PM
For stuff like this as far as workflow, it's usally best to build pieces on the origin, where you can make good use of revolves and actually making pieces, then rotating origin-centered duplicates to place them in corresponding locations around a revolved surface.

It's a very tough question because it's so incredibly vague. If you're worried about seeing edges close-up, then build those things out of nurbs, but remember, when you build things for real pro work you usually build them for a camera distance. If you know you're going to be hyper close-up, then you need to worry about that, but if you're always going to be at least "arms-length", then you need only ensure smooth rendering at that distance.

Anyways, hope some others can help you out, but 3D progs have a miriad of tools that quite favor inorganic modeling. Now building this in ZBrush, there's a challenge. :)

Nicool
05-21-2004, 12:19 AM
I don't see where the problem is :rolleyes:

If you think the gate hard to be modeled, so don't try to model in in one piece, but in several pieces. And sure, do not smooth.

As peanut said, polys are right enough. For linear area it becomes really near low-polys. Lets bevel some edges if needed.

And as JasonOsipa said, build a mesh relative to its "focusship".

Extra note : I used 3dsmax before switching to maya... And even if the lastest version of 3dsmax features better poly modeling tools, Maya has really better polygons! If you can't afford Maya (or have not find a good worflow to model in Maya PLE and export then), lets try Wings. Wings should enables you to modeling a high egdes-detailed mesh without smoothing in somecase, knowing its tools.

:beer:

Xtrude
05-23-2004, 02:43 AM
I suppose there are several ways to approach this-



I started with a 20 segment cylinder, inset the ends an bridged to get a tube and took it from there, and if your app has tube primitive then that's where I would begin- same same, 20 segments- four segments between each bolt hole- the bolt holes are simply faces extruded out, then front and back faces inset and bridged- I cheaped out here and did not cut/connect and move things out to get a truer circlular shape, but what the heck- hehe, I am lazy- anyway, then I extruded a bit for the bolt ring or whatever you call it, and scaled the tube accordingly to get the shute part :D

Once I created the boxy shape of this shute thing, then I assigned color to the area which I was intending to extrude to make the sheet metal look, then I subdivided the whole thing a few times, and then chose by color, and extruded region out for said sheet metal look- by doing it this way I really didn't have to crease any edges or do any bevels etc to keep the "sheet" in shape- and selecting by color which was earlier assigned really kept things easy- and, afterall, the whole thing was going to have to be subdivided to round out anyways, right ?

then render toon if you have a decent toon rendering app, or in my case here, put render into 2d editor and apply some fx-


I mean you could work this in some areas more than I have, but you should get the general idea here-

I mean it isn't eaxctly as Feng has it, but then again I am no where near the artist Feng is either, and this is but only a hoky attempt to quickly demonstrate an example is all :D

Geez, I just noticed that I could/should have assigned the ring portion a different color as well, oh well, like I said, I'me lazy

Just play around some and try it and let us know how you do :)




http://www.members.shaw.ca/xtrude/images/shutecreation.jpg

word
05-23-2004, 07:23 AM
Hey there,

I've been doing prop modelling for about 7 years now, and 5 years of that has been in feature film production. When I first started out I was stuck on kinda the same problems your having. The way I usually approach it is to study what resources you have to model off, and alot of times this can mean doing some research on the internet with real life related reference, that may fit into what the concept art is depiciting.

Especially for technical and mechanical forms, it's a valuable thing to at least have a basic idea of how things are made and operate. Industrial design and related courses along the same vein of things, can be invaluable, not saying that it's crucial but it always helps.

If your really getting stuck creating some of the surfaces in 3ds max there is a brialliant program called alias studio tools. This is a hell of alot easier than most other packages, it has tools inside the program that make the creation of complex surfaces, ensentually very easy indeed. Maya and lightwave are also good, but not as flexible with keeping the mesh at a sane level. The software choice is really upto you. The learning curve for studio tools is relatively easy. For props my friend seriously consider learning this program, it will really help you out. Maya is amazing for character work, but props is where studio tools shines. Once you know this program it's going to eliminate the need of having to know a 101 ways of constructing technical objects, in other programs.

Study and disect things to the inth degree, it will allow you to tackle any situation. Sorry I didn't touch on the best way to go about it, I could tell you the way I go about it in studio tools. But that will only translate into frustration with max.

chrispy

Xtrude
05-23-2004, 07:45 PM
I think given the original example here, that Texlon is mainly after how to go about creating Industrial like scenes- I dunno if this request is going out all the way to creating product preciseness, but rather just to be able to create scene work.

If this is the case, I don't see the 101 ways to going about this- I mean for my example here I used but only a handful of ops which are found in most every decent set of subd/box modeling tools out there.

primitive creation, extrude, move, inset, bridge, scale, bevel verts, ring select, loop select, color assign and select, subdivide- which is as suggested, only a handful of tools/ops before rendering. very basic.

So while I agree that one really needs to understand just what goes into scenes like this in the way of actual objects one would expect to see in such scenes, I really don't think that creating them is any more than simply understanding what a basic set of decent SDS/poly modeling tools can deliver once you understand how they work.

I suppose that there are other factors involved, such as influence determining radius upon smooth subdividing, along with guaging just how much smooth subdividing will decrease object size, creasing edges even, though we kept away from this last one just to keep things simple- but, this is really all stuff that should be discovered in the very early steps of learning how to-box model -simple objects.

Like take a wine glass, or chess piece for instance. There are a lot of people who will suggest that Spline tools, is the way to go, and don't even bother with boxing out such objects.

I disagree- I mean once you have learned how the various methods work, then sure, use splines, or whatever, and pump out those scene objects using whatever is the quickest result to what you are after- for sure- but- the idea behind making these simple objects via box modeling is, they are good practice for better understanding just what building a mesh from scratch is all about.

Most any basic modeling app with edge tools will do.

Box modeling 101 at first, then proceed to extrude where no person has extruded before :D

JDex
05-23-2004, 08:19 PM
I do this kind of modelling all the time in Wings3D... it's all about understanding how things are constructed in RL and duplicating the visible results of that construction in CG.

Break down each component of the Prop/Set and tackle it as it's own little psuedo project. Then assembling the pieces is like putting together a Testor's Model... easy.

WINGS4ME3D
05-24-2004, 01:04 AM
this was my attempt, it took 1 hour in wings3d. i modelled every piece as a seperate entity. im sure there is many easier ways, but this was fun to try with only one view for a referance. http://img1.photobucket.com/albums/1003/bootsrmade4stompin/WINGS/techscreen.jpg http://img1.photobucket.com/albums/1003/bootsrmade4stompin/WINGS/techno.jpg
original referance http://69.44.60.9/artbyfeng.com/sets/set_14.jpg

word
05-24-2004, 03:57 AM
Xtrude,

It's all good, I was just venting out my many years of frustration when it came to finding a good solution to creating technical stuff. That's why I was probabbly pushing studio tools, like I was saying in my previous message. The software choice is upto the individual, I was just labouring my side of it a little to much I think. My apologies for getting too carried away.

chrispy

MRAY
05-24-2004, 08:12 PM
Does StudioTools have a demo LE?
it says they do on the site but i can't find it.

-Mray-

word
05-26-2004, 05:57 AM
Mray,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, have been flatout at work too even check my emails. As far as I know there should be a fully working version. I was fortunate enough to learn the software on the job.
I would do a search on the internet for demo version of alias studio tools, Aliaswavefronts website does have abit of info on the product, you may come across a demo of it there also.

Hope this helps you in some way, sorry I can't be of more assistance to you. You could also try getting a program called kazaa and doing a search for alias studio tools, that may offer you a downloadable version for you to learn from. As far as I know Kazaa is now a legal software search engine, correct me if I'm wrong.

word

WINGS4ME3D
05-26-2004, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by word
Mray,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, have been flatout at work too even check my emails. As far as I know there should be a fully working version. I was fortunate enough to learn the software on the job.
I would do a search on the internet for demo version of alias studio tools, Aliaswavefronts website does have abit of info on the product, you may come across a demo of it there also.

Hope this helps you in some way, sorry I can't be of more assistance to you. You could also try getting a program called kazaa and doing a search for alias studio tools, that may offer you a downloadable version for you to learn from. As far as I know Kazaa is now a legal software search engine, correct me if I'm wrong.

word
Kazaa is free, not completely legal though. you can face severe fines if you are caught, and it is very easy nowadays for them to catch you. they do not accept the excuse that you were only trying out a program before you buy it, or just learning it first etc. not only that, but when you download it you automatically agree to allowing adware to be installed on your comp. if you do use it be aware that bulldog antivirus that comes with it will not do much of anything. it is more of a....placebo for lack of better terms. unless you have a good firewall you can expect some nasty viruses and incredibley annoying pop ups. when i use to use it i would run task manager and close all peer to peer and point manager tasks and you wont get pop ups(maybe) when not using kazaa. if its icon is in your task bar then it is running and your comp is open to anybody with your ip address.

Lyr
05-26-2004, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by MRAY
Does StudioTools have a demo LE?
it says they do on the site but i can't find it.

-Mray-

There is no download. You have to pay $20 for the PLE (it includes a training DVD) or you can get a copy from an alias reseller (how I got mine).

csven
05-26-2004, 06:20 PM
for mechanical stuff i use a regular old CAD program. programs like SolidWorks and Pro/Engineer are not that expensive anymore (edit: either can be had for about $4000). but the workflow is very, very different. there are probably other CAD apps that cost less. making complex, organic shapes easily is often painful in them, but anything inorganic can be modeled very quickly.

csven
05-26-2004, 08:40 PM
felt like playing in CAD. took longer than expected - about 50 minutes. didn't build it very smart either. oh well. but what's cool is pretty much anything can be changed by inserting myself into it's history and mucking around. everything updates if it's thought through properly. and if you group features, you can pattern all sorts of parametric geometry; those holes i show a close-up on should have been patterned, but i didn't think to make it too variable.

this kind of stuff makes for nice normal maps. and faster than Maya or StudioTools. at least for mechanicals.

http://www.geocities.com/csvenjohnson/setpiece.html - a few pics here.

http://www.rebang.com/csven/orifice-whole.jpg

[*edit: image added]

MRAY
05-26-2004, 11:38 PM
Thanks guys!
think i'm gonna shell out the 20 for the PLE :)

-Mray-

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