Wk 4: Ideas for the Hard-Surface Model…

I realise that it is probably far too early to be thinking about the hard-surface model but I had some ideas. Firstly, I think that I would like a make a steampunk style vehicle for the following reasons:

  • The aesthetic is interesting
  • It would be a hard surface model (due to the materials used)
  • I could make interesting moveable parts
  • It would allow me to do some really interesting texturing

A (mostly) hard-surface vehicle I find particularly interesting is the cutter (ship), probably the most basically designed pirate ship. I like the idea of a flying, mechanical cutter. I think this be very interesting and fun to create.

DCF 1.0

Sourced from: http://www.modelships.de/Kutter_Sharke/fg34.jpg

However, this might be very complicated and/or not fit the requirements for the assignment. Therefore, my second choice would be a dirigible.


Sourced from: http://www.elpais.com.uy/vida-actual/dirigible-medio-transporte.html

With a dirigible I could (hopefully) create something like this:

airship1 (1)

Steampunk dirigible design. Sourced from: https://overland.org.au/2012/06/mad-scientists-airships-and-class-the-politics-of-steampunk/

However, at the moment my priority is of course the treasure chest model.


Wk 8: Design

So, a couple of changes to my idea. Firstly, I was previously thinking of doing a ‘pirate’ ship. However, the model needs to be low-poly and also I do not think I have those modelling skills quite yet. I had previously talked about creating a dirigible or at least merging it into the model. For example, something like this:


Dirigible merged with pirate ship. Sourced from:


Or, of course, the World of Warcraft Zepplin. Sourced from: http://www.wowwiki.com/Zeppelin?file=Zeppelin2.JPG

I believe that this would be an excellent idea as the sails on any ship are both complicated (lots of polys) and also a soft material (so not according to the assessment guidelines). However, the pirate ship is still a little complicated so I have a different idea: a Viking ship. They are super awesome and a much simpler design.


Drawing of a Viking ship. Sourced from: http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/14200/14248/viking-ship_14248_lg.gif

In addition to this there are blueprint designs which I can base my own design off.


Viking Longship blueprints. Sourced from: http://www.uh.edu/engines/gokstadschematic.jpg

The combination with a dirigible (thus making it a flying Viking ship) is science-fiction and I think that I could adjust to suit as a bomber quite easily. I will double check all of this in class tomorrow but, at the moment, things are looking pretty good.

Wk 9: Design

So, at this point I have a more concrete idea for my design. After multiple concept drawings, I decided I would like something like the design shown below. However, I understand that this may not be possible with my skills and limited amount of polys.


The dragon head on the front of the ship, for example, will be simplified to the more square design (seen right). 

In terms of animation, I would like the animate the flippers to paddle in  a sine wave and also would animate the propeller at the back of the zeppelin.

In addition to this, I have done some blueprint sketches:



Wk 9: Modelling the Basics

This week I began modelling my hard-surface game asset. I began by putting my blueprint into 3dsMax by flipping the normals of a box, deleting the unnecessary polys and applying the blueprints as a standard texture with a bitmap fit. This worked really well as I allows me to get the correct shapes and scaling.


The blueprints of the front, side and top view. 


For the body of the zeppelin I started with the capsule primitive. 


By setting the object to see-through I was able to shape it easily to the blueprint by manipulating vertices, and edge rings. 

The zeppelin body was very simple and quick to model, much easier than the boat. With the boat I used similar techniques but also included a symmetry modifier. This time, I started with a chamfered cylinder because it gave the best possible shape with a flat end.


Starting the main body of the boat. 

The modelling of the boat involved a lot of vertex and edge modifying and the deletion of extraneous polys. To prepare for the wood detailing (shown in red on the blueprints) I chamfered the bottom so that the boat has a loop of flat polys running lengthwise.


Boat with one shield. At this point the boat has no thickness to it.

To give the boat a realistic thickness I cloned it, re-sized it appropriately and then bridged the two borders. This worked very well and makes the boat much more solid.


Wk 10: Finishing the Modelling

Over the past week I have been working on the modelling. I completed the model of the boat by adding seats and decoration on the front and back. I initially included the seats and used the Boolean tool to carefully make sure that the boat and the seats did not overlap but rather sat against each other. Later, I was told that this was less effective so I extended the seats a fraction.


In addition to this, I created final details like the propeller, flippers, shields and zeppelin. The flipper took the longest time to model as it was difficult to get the shape right. In addition to this, the flipper was initially relatively high-poly, so I cut many polys from the back, where it is flat and there is less detail.


Finally, I assembled all the components together. I used the spacing tool in order to align the seats, shields and flippers.



Shown in consistent colours as my computer could not handle the shading. 

The last thing I did to my model was add some ropes (using spline lines) to connect the zeppelin and boat together. I am relatively happy with my model as it is. It is very basic but I hope to texture it in detail.

rsz_a rsz_b

I also look forward to animating it. I am planing on making the propeller will spin and the flippers paddle in a synchronized wave. At the moment, I think that it should be flying through clouds and a blizzard. This would look awesome and would also give me experience with some of the particle systems.

Wk 11 & 12: UV Mapping

I have realised how little I actually knew about UV mapping: this week as been a steep learning curve. Luckily, it will be extremely helpful for future modelling. I now have a much better understanding of breaks, seams, the relax tool and the peel tool. Now I can kind of see if an object will need to be broken up into smaller pieces or can be mapped as a whole.

The objects that took me the longest time to unwrap were the boat and the zeppelin. In retrospect I can see that these objects weren’t that hard. It just took me an extremely long time to remember how to unwrap, work out what technique or tools to use and get used to the new tools.


Now, I also understand when texture seams will be manageable. For example, I have a seam visible on the inside of the boat between the sides and the central strip. However, as I was going to texture that as a separate piece of wood the seam will be unnoticeable.


With the flippers and shields it was much more time efficient to unwrap one of each, delete the others and then just redo all the spacing and symmetry modifiers.


Finally I managed to Tetris them all together. Here is the final UV maps for my model: