18th Century Man-of-War

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Old 11 November 2012   #16
Thanks Andrzej for the kind words! You guys are definitely convincing me that I need to make some still images of it under sail and on the water. I think Ill leave it under studio lighting while I'm working on the model, but as soon as it done, Ill start getting it staged for a hero shot.

I could use some feedback on my sail attempt. This is about my 15th attempt at this, and I think I may finally have it. I just want to make sure everything is well before I make the other 30 sails. I want the folds and wrinkles to be in the geometry, so I made the mesh pretty high resolution. There's also a bunch of ropes that attach to the edge and middle of the sail, so I don't think I can get away with a displacement map.

(click to enlarge)
3 different frames from my cached simulation.

Main reference.

My Maya scene. The white map is the bend resistance.
Old 12 December 2012   #17
Hey guys,
I've taken a break from the rigging and sails, and have been working on the figurehead. Would anyone be willing to offer some feedback on my progress? I'm using the vitruvian man as reference for the body proportions, and various Greek and Roman statues for the face. I'm going to pose it based on a photograph of a model of a figurehead.

My plan for the beard is to model the large clumps as separate objects, and then eventually merge everything into one object. Once I've got that, Ill try to cut everything into a seamless mesh, and then weld it into the face. For the pose, I'm thinking ill build a basic FK rig with locators, and do a rough skin weight to that. Once I've got the arms bent, Ill try to tweak the mesh to make the pose believable. I dont have any plans to do any Zbrushing right now, but if anyone has any thoughts on my workflow, I would greatly appropriate the input.

Thanks again for having a look.


Click for full size

Click for full size

Last edited by AJ1 : 12 December 2012 at 11:43 AM.
Old 12 December 2012   #18
Originally Posted by PKD: Looks good, but a little too clean (texture) in my opinion.

But the model isn't textured O_o
Old 12 December 2012   #19
AJ1, the model is absolutely superb. It's the kind of model I'd expect to be given to texture on a Hollywood film - your attention to detail is incredible, you've done such a great job on this.

My only concern is your concept - I think it'd be a waste to do this up like a museum piece. This puppy should be out sailing on the wild ocean.

Anyway, you deserve some attention, so I'm plugging this on the front page.
Old 12 December 2012   #20
Originally Posted by leigh: My only concern is your concept - I think it'd be a waste to do this up like a museum piece. This puppy should be out sailing on the wild ocean.

Anyway, you deserve some attention, so I'm plugging this on the front page.

why not do both?
Michael Goldfarb
Old 12 December 2012   #21
Wow Leigh! I'm lost for words. I can't think of any nouns, verbs or adjectives to demonstrate my appreciation.

When I first posted the model, It was sort of half textured, and that's what PDK was refering to. I ended up replacing the renders with simple grey shaded ones. I was getting a bit ahead of myself, and I'm trying to get the model completely finished before I move on to the texturing.

Thanks again!
Old 12 December 2012   #22
Aaah, I was wondering if perhaps he'd accidentally posted in the wrong thread (it happens sometimes). Now it makes sense.

Looking forward to seeing this finished!
Old 12 December 2012   #23
Originally Posted by arctor: why not do both?

I think my current plan is to get the model finished in a neutral pose will all of the sails and rigging deployed. Ill then crank out a few museum style renders that just show the model, with some close ups on the carvings and other important areas.

After that's done, Ill start to get my composition worked out for a hero shot on the sea. I've got a few paintings to use as reference, and It shouldn't be to much work to pose the sails if I rig them correctly. But I really don't want to get ahead of myself, I really need to get the model done.

Thanks for the reply arctor, and welcome back to the WIP forum, Leigh.

Old 12 December 2012   #24
Superb work! I am posting to show my interest because I'm in the vol. 15 of the Aubrey-Maturin Series (Master and Commander, ring a bell?). I am devoted corps et âme to anything related to Napoleonic Naval Warfare and even had thoughts about modeling the HMS Surprise myself.

I would gladly stand behind your desk as acting steward, keeping the coffee pot ready until you finish that colossal task! I wish you all the luck in the world on your endeavour and will come back to see the progress with avid interest.

@Leigh: Excellent!
So long and thanks for all the fish
Old 12 December 2012   #25
AJ1, out of curiosity, have you ever seen a proper old warship like this in real life? Not a replica, but a real original one? I've been to see the Vasa ship in Stockholm and I must say, if you ever get the chance, you have to go see it yourself. The Vasa ship is a bit older than the one you're modelling but it's no less spectacular. I was absolutely in awe of it when I went to see it. It's huge.
Old 12 December 2012   #26
The Vasa ship is like something from The Goonies, it looks like a set!

HMS Victory is quite a sight too.

I also think anything less than a rolling ocean and ominous skies wouldn't do this justice AJ.

Last edited by Mattoo : 12 December 2012 at 12:11 AM.
Old 12 December 2012   #27
This is fantastic, well done and do finish this beast!
Old 12 December 2012   #28
Hey Leigh,

I have not. I live out in corn country in Indiana, and I don't make it out to the coast very often.

I've seen some pictures of the Vasa in my research (I've actually recommended another member to check out some photos of it to help with his project). Its absolutely stunning the condition its in after 350 years. I'm pretty jealous you got to go see it.

Most of my reference photos are of the HMS Victory in Portsmouth. I've probably got around 500 images that I've mined from google images, everything from ship models, drawings, paintings, photos of real ships, and even a few 3D models that others have made.

This ship itself is from around 1790, and was the last generation of the all wooden ships before they started using iron. I was compelled to model it because it was the ultimate expression of what a wooden ship could be. I thought the triple deckers like the Victory looked too tall and vulgar, and that the single deck frigates like Surprise looked a bit weak, so I went with the double decker as a compromise. If you compare this ship to something like the Vasa or the Mary Rose, it looks really sleek and high tech. Although it doesn't have the hull decoration of the Vasa, it still would have some pretty detailed carving work that I haven't finished yet. I don't think my art skills are quite strong enough to tackle the carvings just yet though. I don't have any exact reference on them, so I kind of have to design and fill in the blanks.

I don't have much reference material on the 74 gun ships like this one, so most of the detail is interpolated from other sources, like the Victory, Surprise, and various models and drawings I've found. I've been using 3 books about rigging to help me along with that. So basically this whole model has been one giant puzzle.

@Thanks for the kind words Thierry! If you looking to tackle the Surprise, you cant do with out this book.
It shows every single rope on a late 18th century English frigate, and has been a huge help on my project.

@Thanks Matt! I read that ILM used the Vasa as reference for many of the ships in POTC.

@Thanks conbom! I only get between 10-20 hours per week to work on it, so I'm defiantly more than a year a way from getting it done. Ill keep at it though.

Thanks again to everyone for the feedback! I've done some major detail work on the head rails to get ready for the new figurehead installation, and Ill post my results from that in a week or two.

Old 12 December 2012   #29
I'm going to embark on a similar project to this in the near future so i'm watching this very very closely. Your work so far is breathtaking. Hope to see more soon!

Old 12 December 2012   #30
Hey Nick,

Thanks man, I really appreciate it!

I've got a pretty big pile of research on these types of boats. If you need any help, I'm more than happy to share.

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