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Art Topics related to WWI aviation artists, art, aircraft profiles, 3D rendering, etc.

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Old 10 August 2004, 03:06 AM   #1
Mark_Miller
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Hi
I was contracted by the model company Eduard to create some box illustrations for their 1/48 scale Fokker DVII model.
This is a particularly attractive arrangement for me becuase they have already created a 3D model of the aircraft.
So, my primary task is to re-work the model so that it will provide me what i need for the purposes of Illustration.

This 3D model was generated by a team of designers at Eduard using Unigrafics CAD software.
They saved the model in IGES format and mailed it to me on CD.
and much to my surprise - it imported almost perfectly!
There are some surfaces missing and some small corruptions - but I'd say this is the cleanest transfer from one application to another I've ever seen.

As you can see this is a 3D model of a 1.48th scale model kit.
and Eduard will use this model to generate the tooling for the kit
I now want to use this model as a basis to generate my own 3D model similiar to the others I have done.
This will entail deleting all of the kit specific geometry which will decrease the file size tremendously becuase they have modeled the inside and outside of every plastic part.
They have also modeled all the surface detail, this was obviously neccessary for the purpose of creating tooling, but it is not optimal for making illustrations.
This means I will have to remodel most of the major external surfaces so that the small surface detail is handled by a bump map - and most impotantly so that I can apply a map to the entire surface.
But, this should be a relatively easy task considering they have already figured out where everything goes.

The fact that i'm using an engineering tool FINALY pays off :-D
Should be fun
mark

Fokker DVII

Here's a couple of renderings I made from original model - all i did was apply a simple texture map to all surfaces:





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Old 10 August 2004, 03:19 AM   #2
Mark_Miller
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The key to this project is to quickly extract the data i need from the Eduard model so that i can use it to generate surfaces that are suitable to my needs.
And I need to texture map this thing.
That is what drives this whole process.

Engineering 3D models almost never get mapped.
That's not what they are for.
And if you are using Microstation, you need to generate the geometry in a particular way so that the pieces have an even grain amd are not broken up into many smaller pieces.

This series of images shows how i modeled the wing.
I used the splines that defines the bottom of the rib tapes to get my x-sections.

Here's the original wire from Eduard:


and it renders out like this - notice that each bay is a seperate object.
Just imagine trying to texture map that


Here are the elements I created to generate the wing.
If it wasn't foer that subtle dip in the ceneter section i would have been able to get away with just 4 sections - oh well


surfaces out like this - notice the regular grain - and it is all in 3 pieces


renders out like this.
The only correct section is the starboard wing - i just applied that map to the other two surfaces - which is why the center is squished.
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Old 10 August 2004, 03:24 AM   #3
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And here is where i'm at now.
Fuse surfaces are almost all complete and i've made a preliminary pass at all the maps.

still lots to do, but it is getting there B)



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Old 10 August 2004, 04:17 AM   #4
DonnyW
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Looks real good Mark.. makes me realise Ive a long way to go yet. Are you putting in a pilot ?? Im having a bit of grief trying to do one. Got the head geometry done but trying to put a face to it is pot luck.. Ive eyes where ears should be
Is your fabric still "plain" coloured lozenges and "grained" with a bump map or is the texture colour for the lozenges "grained" (Think you will know what I mean) Looking forward to more..
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Old 10 August 2004, 04:28 AM   #5
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Hi DonnyW
The grain is on the texture map.
I'm trying to use the bump to simulate the slight variations in the fabric - and wrinkles.
Still not entirely happy with the wrinkled effect
But - i think i'm making progress with it.

I've tried putting fabric texture into the bump map - but you have to be careful
The fabric weave is pretty small - you don't want to be heavy handed with it. Seems to work better if you just put it on the surface map.

I've attached a piece of the fuse map.

Pilot trouble eh?
If send me your e-mail adress - i might be able to help you out
Mark
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File Type: jpg post-19-1092137337.jpg (17.7 KB, 35 views)
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Old 10 August 2004, 04:57 AM   #6
DonnyW
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Thanks for the offer of a pilot Mark. If I get really stuck I'll take you up on it but Ive spent too many hours already on the face so will persevere a bit longer. He looks OK from the side but straight on looks a bit unnatural, reason is I mucked up on one side so cut it in half and mirrored it. As you know noone has the exact same features both sides. I took some pics off the net of someone famous and pasted their eyes and mouth onto the UV map..fortunately with all the other skin grafts he has had.. noone will recognise him. Ive also almost finished an Avro 504 which Ill post soon but after seeing your textures..well it inspires me to do a bit more work on mine. I have noticed that bump maps can be a bit of a pain. Depending where the lights are..sometimes they look fine ..move the light and a molehill can turn into a mountain. Perhaps its just my software
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Old 10 August 2004, 02:56 PM   #7
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Hi Mark,

Please excuse my ignorance, but what software are you using to do this type of work? I am very interested to know and would appreciate any tips on the best way to begin to do this type of artwork.

Cheers,
Brad
 
Old 10 August 2004, 06:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by BertieLissie@Aug 10 2004, 04:56 PM
[b]Hi Mark,

Please excuse my ignorance, but what software are you using to do this type of work? I am very interested to know and would appreciate any tips on the best way to begin to do this type of artwork.

Cheers,
Brad
Hi Brad
I'm using an old version of a CAD application called Microstation.
It's similiar to autocad.
I put together some tech notes here:
Tech Notes
Still incomplete I'm afraid.

I'm not exactly sure what your goals are, but it is pretty likely that CAD software would not be your best choice.
DonnyW just started modeling recently and he has ramped up pretty quickly - I'd do whatever he did
Check out his wip threads and you might get some ideas.

Post your stuff here and we will try and help B)
Good luck
mark
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Old 10 August 2004, 08:24 PM   #9
BertieLissie
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Thanks Mark for the info. I will look into it.

btw, as a co-incidence I just spoke to someone who says he knows you, my older brother Shane Weier, a 1/48th scale WW1 modelling fanatic. I was contacting him about getting some details (profiles, scans etc.) on a DVII from Jasta 3 and DH-4 from 55 Sqn that were involved in a fight (the Fokker won), as I am commissioning an artist to paint the final battle.

Your WIP post here suddenly became very interesting (and impressive!) to me and I began to wonder how you did it. Obviously there is a ton of work involved, but it surely has piqued my interest.

All the best & I will keep looking into it.

Cheers,
Brad
 
Old 10 August 2004, 09:00 PM   #10
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I always thought the people at Eduard had a good eye for detail and a lot of good business sense. They certainly know the right person to get for their box art. Congrats.

After looking at the early renders made from the parts, I can see why Eduard is famous for it's attention to detail. It also shows me why it cost a model company almost as much money to do the tooling for one kit as it does for a small software company to make a flight simulator. Both cost in the 100,000's of dollars.

When it comes to making pilots for planes I have two approaches. If the model is for a render, and the polygon count can be high, I use figures from the program Poser. If the model is for a flightsim, I'll use a Poser figure as a base, but build a low-poly version over the top of it, deleting the Poser figure when the low-poly version is complete, If I'm in a real hurry I'll use the pilot figure already made by someone else. There are a couple of pilot figures in Gmax and FSDS file format over at the MSFS modeler forums if Mark can't help you out.

I'd be curious to know how much art direction you're getting from the office at Eduard about the box art? Do they have specific instructions about markings ( since the kit will have certain decals) and other details like what other aircraft should be seen and how they should be positioned. I can imagine the marketing people would like to see a British two-seater going down in smoke, but would cringe at the idea of also seeing the observer jumping out all aflame as well. No need for an answer, I'm just thinking out loud.
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