How to model the Oblivion's Bubble Ship engine in 3DS Max 2014?

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  07 July 2013
How to model the Oblivion's Bubble Ship engine in 3DS Max 2014?

Hi, Folks!

That's my first post here and sorry for the newbie question.

I'm trying to model the Bubble Ship of the Oblivion movie (See full image ) in 3D Studio Max 2014 and I'm having an unexpected hard time trying to model the engine. The problem are specifically those vent holes. I've tried with several different techniques but none produced a good result in my opinion.

The question is: How would you model this keeping the lowest number of polygons possible without loosing quality?

  08 August 2013
I'm not very familiar with Max in particular, but in general theory, I think the best way to do it would be to start with a sphere, then use retopo tools to get edge loops where you need them.
  08 August 2013
Hi, Meloncov. Thanks for your reply.

That was my first attempt but I have not been able to create the initial sphere with a topology that allows me to extrude that holes.
  08 August 2013
I'd project a hexagonal star on a sphere and delete the areas I don't need. Then retopo and a TS or MS with 1 or 2 iterations.
  08 August 2013
Hi, scrimski.

You mean, project a spline star in the sphere mesh?
How can I do that?
That would not end with the mesh topology and turn into a mess?

Thank you!


I found out how to cut the mesh with a spline using shapemerge into compound objects group but the question of the result messed up mesh continues. Can I consider this operation as a good practice? Is there some way to do the same model without screwing up topology?

Thanks again!

Last edited by FredZvt : 08 August 2013 at 10:06 PM.
  08 August 2013
Quote: You mean, project a spline star in the sphere mesh?
No, not in the sphere. Onto it.
Quote: How can I do that?
You create a hexagon shape and project it on a sphere using the ShapeMerge command. Try the manual, everything's just there waiting for you.
Quote: That would not end with the mesh topology and turn into a mess?
Very likely, hence I'd retopo it, rebuild it, clean it.
  08 August 2013
Can you show me the way to learn how to do this retopo'ing, rebuilding and cleaning?
What tools or techniques do I have to study in order to learn that?

Sorry again for the newbieness.

Thank you very much!
  08 August 2013
Because of the shape I suggest to create a sphere with 12 or 24 segments. Align the star accordingly, the corners should meet the edges of the spehere's segement.

Retop is basically recreating a shape with quads only, if you are lucky there shouldn't be too many tris or nGons.
You can either try the strips tool or the surface tool from the graphite modelling freeform menu.
  08 August 2013
Thank you very much, Folks!
Now it's up to me... I'm going back to study.

  08 August 2013
another option would be to build the star shape out flat, extrude out to make a plane and (in maya, not sure in max but im sure there's a similar option) use 2 bend deformers (1 in x and 1 in z) to literally curve the whole thing into a ball.

  08 August 2013
Hmmm... that one I haven't tried.

Thanks, mlager8!
  08 August 2013
Sphere with at least 128 sides (hell even go as high as 256 if needed), create star shape, adjust settings to match the reference (round off sharp corners). Select sphere, then compound object, pick shapemerge, select star shape. Collapse to editable poly, start shape should have selected inner faces, delete, now you have the vent opening. Add a shell modifier to give depth.

Finish with detailing (those chamfered circular shapes on the sides) Create new sphere to put inside to fill in the vent area. Done.

Sphere with 128 sides used here...256 would work better if higher res is needed.
  08 August 2013
Hi, Pskyk0!

That was pretty close to the result I had in one of my tries but my problem with it was with the part that I have selected in the picture below that, in the reference photo, you can see that there isn't any separation there. That edge should not exist.

  08 August 2013
In the 3D model u did there are no vents. In the reference pic instead a little sphere is inscribed onto the big sphere and the star, that's why there are visible vents.
  08 August 2013
From a real-world construction point of view that edge does exist. From what I can see on the ref image the outer shell is welded and polished to blend the two surfaces together, but they are not a single component.
You can replicate this in the mesh by simply blending the edge of the outer shell into the inner sphere. One useful trick to give the illusion of two surfaces being one is to move the edge until it is almost touching the surface and then extrude a holding edge a fraction inside the surface. when sub-Ded, this will make it appear that the two surfaces are seamlessly blended together.
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