Shawn Blanch (blanchsb)

215 replies · posted

Backhoe Contribution - Blanchsb - Exterior Loader Arms and Interior Chair

Progress, Questions, and Comments for Loader Arms and Interior Chair on the DOG 434E Backhoe Loader posted here:

  • Just been looking through the CGCookie Live Stream back catalogue found this you might be interested in

    https://cgcookie.com/live_streams/anatomy-of-cg-cookie-course-production

    It's 2 years old but I'm sure it will still be of use.

  • Well no modeling progress today but I got my hands dirty on Jeep repairs. Replacing my entire cooling system from the radiator and pump and thermostat housing all the way down to the hoses and everything in between

    Figured I can post that as an accomplishment today lol.



    i only broke 1 seized bolt and was able to retrieve it successfully (whew, bullet dodged!)

    i’ll have it done tomorrow and hopefully back into modeling.

  • Just finished up with water system replacement on the Jeep over the weekend and got the garage all cleaned up today.

    Looks and works beautifully. And I saved a bunch doing it myself (I keep telling myself that anyway  🤣)

    I actually got some modeling time in again, huzzah! I cleaned up some loose ends on my file and deleted most of my helper objects. I am leaving a couple of helper empties til the end of this section and will apply mirror mods when no mo changes be needed.

    I also added some materials for a render update and posted the render on my Forum Header section. I used the color scheme of  spikeyxxx to stay consistent. It’s not final but just for the render.

    It really has come a long way. Everyone’s assembly has!

    • crew

      Seeing your neighborhood in the background took me right back to Texas! I don't think I've responded about our connection there yet.

      The wife and I lived in Dallas for 3 years (early 2011 through late 2013). 2 years I working at Reel FX in Deep Ellum, which is what brought us there, and the 3rd year was my first working remotely for CGC. Those were golden years for us. We loved the city, made lasting friendships, and developed some Texas pride. Ultimately we moved back to Virginia to start our family where we grew up and our extended families still reside. We hope to visit Dallas again in the near future. blanchsb Perhaps you'd be close enough to grab coffee in that event.

    • Woah, Deep Ellum is where all the cool kids hang. That is sweet. 


      Once a Texan, always a Texan.

      Everything is 'bout an hour away in Texas, so of course I would be close enough. I wouldn't want to impose but would definitely be up to grabbing a drink if you have free time during your visit. (I don't drink coffee but there's plenty of drink options so that's not an issue for me). I work in DeSoto which is a half hour from Dallas airports and I can cut out from work for a bit if it would be during the week.. I am in a role where I can come and go when I want.

    • crew

      Everything is 'bout an hour away in Texas

      Haha so true. Lets aim for drinks! I don't have concrete plans to visit at the moment but when we do I'll ping you.

    • What a small world we live in..... I live in the UK. I know, to far to meet up.

      But my Sister-in-law and Niece and family live in Virginia and my Wife's Cousins live in Texas.

      I know it's a big place, Texas is probably bigger than the whole of the UK, but small world all the same.

    • crew

      That's wild adrian2301! Funny how often small-world stuff like this happens. If your relatives are close enough to Richmond, VA and you're in for a visit, send me a message 🤜🤛

    • I would be extremely honoured theluthier . Wow, They were living in Richmond, but I think about a year or so ago moved closer to Washington. We have talked about a trip, but probably wont happen for a few years yet. Perhaps when we do I can also stop by and see my mate blanchsb on the way to Houston, TX. on our road trip. 

    • That would be sweet.

    • crew

      Haha road trip! Count me in 🚙🗺️

  • I figured I would post some of my seat progress here. I got the lower portion blocked and some decent smoothing going on. The back rest still has some work to do, but the block-out is a good start. Just using this top down for reference on the location moreso than the design. I have other reference images for our actual seat.

    • crew

      Looking good so far blanchsb 🤘

    • I think I have the bottom cushion mostly done now. The organics in this seat is way different than my loader arms haha.

    • crew

      The rump cushion looks spot on. Heh it's funny how different organic shapes and boxy shapes are to create. The benefit of relying on global X, Y, and Z axes is soooo convenient.

    • Spent a good portion of the day on something that won't get a lotta detailed screen time in the demo reel but IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT because it was a topology challenge to make stuff happen along an angled surface and still look good.

      I did the base plate and cover and support structure working my way up to the rump cushion. We are gonna use the air-ride seat assembly. It's the pricier of the two options for our DOG but I think we can all agree it will be worth it.


      Once the rump part is done I will go to work on the seat back. and supporting hardware.

  • Continued onto the next major piece before the rubber boot.

    • Finalizing the shape and moving into the internal assembly.

    • I think I am going to call it a night. I got some really good progress done on stuff that will obviously never be seen but I wanted the experience and I ended up learning even more about curve properties through this exercise. I'll try to share more in another video. Suffice it to say that turning on wireframe on a curve with Bevel depth leads to some great learning content when adjusting curve options in the properties panel under the Geometry section.

      The is the inside of the Air-Ride assembly and is the lower portion. Going to be working on the scissor lift part of the assembly next.

    • I like these details and the organic shapes 👍😀!

    • duerer thanks for the kind words. It helps with the motivation! Yeah these parts actually make the chair assembly come to life for me.

    • I'm just contemplating and seeing these parts moving in front of my inner eye 😀.

    • Got a little progress done to half of the scissor lift.

    • crew

      Geez blanchsb! Those base mechanical pieces are begging for an exploded-view render 🤩

    • Hope I am not being too detailed here. I probably won't do every piece inside but there are just sooo many challenges I keep telling myself: "I wanna try modeling that" or "I wonder how I would go about using modifiers for that" or "I could use a curve here for this and a solidy for that" and the next thing I know I am sucked in!

    • Who would have thought that scissors would give me such trouble???

      The transition from the straight to the curved got me again. There is a slight amount of pinching/pulling where they meet but I'm going to have to keep moving cause I spent over an hour trying to fix it. I'm sure@spikeyxxx has an elegant solution. I bet I need more geometry or just a different angle on the cylinder to mate up to. I lined everything up perfectly and I think I created needless poles because of that.

      I'm calling them good enough for now. I have some major pieces to tackle this week still.

    • crew

      Hope I am not being too detailed here

      If you've got the time and the motivation go for it! The final DOG can only benefit from your efforts. But if you grow short on time / motivation you're welcome to omit the hidden parts 👍

  • Here's cover plate #1

  • Got the internals mostly done for the suspension and air ride assembly:
    I need to make a couple of cuts in the lifter plate (green) and join the piston pin (green pin). Then I will be moving onto the Swivel hardware for the chair.

    • crew

      This looks way more like a CAD model than a Blender model. Which is a big compliment!

    • I was able to get Lonestar Work-Lappy up and running finally. Definitely not a workhorse like my Lonestar Lenovo but it'll do. At least it can connect to my high res monitors at home. But I had to turn off cavity and other viewport settings to help me move around the scene easier.

      I finished up adding bolt holes and cuts on various pieces of the Air-Ride assembly: All of these pieces are definitely less symmetrical which means I have committed to their shapes. Getting some of these complex shapes has definitely been an exercise in creativity.


       I need to do some more work on the air-ride compressor then I'm on to making all the bolts and fasteners and details that connect to these frames.

    • Was able to get some more of the form done on the air compressor. Need to work out the power cable and hoses to the 2 pistons next.

    • I can't say this is my proudest work but joining circular details together on curved surfaces is super tricky for lo poly geometry. Always comes back to bit me in rear haha...
      This detail cutout on the end piece is going to act as the wire tray for the compressor. Gonna finish up on this part hopefully tomorrow and runs the wires and pneumatic lines to the air cylinders.

    • crew

      joining circular details together on curved surfaces is super tricky for lo poly geometry

      The eternal rival of 3D modelers! It's always going to be a little imperfect without up-resing. Which feels like a waste for a modeler used to fabricating clean, lo-res base meshes...

      You handled it well though!

    • I had this problem on my rear axle's gearbox too, although I wouldn't call my model low-poly 😉😁.

    • Glad I am not alone haha. I just need to remind myself to maybe make a lo poly copy and then apply sub-d level 1 if needed for more detailed geometry requirements.


      the back side on the smaller circle extrusion makes a little flat spot. But I’m aware of how it can be improved. Learning the lessons qualifies as experience for me.

    • As an important side note: Today is a big day for me. I finally made it onto the top 10 Big Cookies list. I have to admit I noticed I was climbing the ranks over a month ago and it has been another motivating factor for me to keep going. Today it finally paid off!


    • Finished up the compressor housing inner and outer transition and I ran some wire. Need to work on the other side and the pneumatics and I'll call this part done.

    • crew

      Congrats for making TOP 10 on the XP leaderboard! It's well deserved. An accurate sign that you're an engaged, communicative member of the community. We all know how true that it 👏

    • Looking good blanchsb 

      Well done for top ten, I'll join you soon I hope, currently 28. Didn't realise I had jump up so high.

    • It is a side benefit from joining The Pound. Kent wasn’t kidding when he said copious amounts of XP were up for grabs.

    • Excellent work, blanchsb, this is really a CG jewel and a feast for the eyes 💎🥇! I often come back to see your work and just enjoy what I'm seeing 😊. Congrats for entering the TOP 10 on theXP leaderbord 👍! I'm currently not far away on 27 😉.


      PS: Maybe  joining circular details together on curved surfaces could be a candidate for a demonstration in the next livestream or a tutorial video?

    • Thanks so much for the kind words everyone!

      duerer I have a couple of youtube videos I reference a lot for this kind of work. One of the most crazy is the set of topology case studies by masterxeon where he joins two curved objects together and then does cleanup. I don't have the link handy but I can take a look around tomorrow and see if I can dig it up.


      Okay as far as the updates go. I got more of the compressor done and I think I am ready to move on the lines going to everything else. Will attempt that tomorrow hopefully.

    • Here's a playlist with many topology studies by Masterxeon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz4w6QXpuDo&list=PL0RqAjByAphH9emGFNAcha1prKi1P_I3n&index=2

      Also a great resource on (CG) topology is Josh Gambrell. He even has a topology 'handbook' (series of videos) that you can get for free: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDKMpni8HsI

      And of course. congrats Shawn! Well deserved! You've come a long way these past months!

    • @spikexxx for the win as always. Yes. Josh and Masterxeon really nail these topics well. I have downloaded Josh's content but haven't gone through all of it . Though I just purchased their Mech course where they cover using Hard Ops/BoxCutter/DecalMachine/etc. in a workflow and it is super interesting to watch already. I own all of these add-ons and have been itching to learn a better flow with them. I have used a little bit of boxcutter on some pieces to start out on our DOG. It's just such a fun add-on to use. I want to use it better though.


      Thanks for the kind words spikeyxxx and for sharing the links I spoke of.


    • This must be a week of accomplishments for me. I just reached Level 10 today! Man, such a cool feeling.

    • spikeyxxx I love that box cutter in that first video link you gave. I cannot believe it can bevel edges & corners. I am now looking at the extended tutorial of a box cutter by Masterxeon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXVCnd4-NCg  

      Manuel for Boxcutter 713 https://boxcutter-manual.readthedocs.io/en/latest/getstarted/ 

    • It's a dangerously fun tool to use rritag but understanding topology makes it even more powerful in my opinion.

    • Indeed blanchsb

      rritag whenever you are working with Booleans in hard-surface modelling, (whether you are using BoxCutter, HardOps,or other tools or not, you will probably have to do some manual topology cleanup at some point ( to avoid shading issues) and that is mainly a matter of practicing and getting better at it each time (it's actually a lot of fun, I think, especially if you like 'puzzles').

    • Ok, Shawn Blanch (blanchsb)  and spikeyxxx , I take your words. 



  • I had to go back and do some repair work on the scissor lift and other parts because the assembly was too squatty. Took longer than I expected but I have one residual problem with the center lift. I am not sure how the frame piece interfaces with that lift and when I "actuate" the scissor lift dynamically that green center support tilts with the scissor............ Not sure how all of that goes and there isn't a whole lot of reference so I am left to my imagination. If I can't figure it out I am afraid I'll need to move on because I have plenty of other pieces to build still. I'm still working on the pneumatic lines but I at least have them going where I want them to go. Just need to make there length and shape make sense (curves are sooooo handy for this)


    I was able to successfully make a nice shiny new accordion boot.

  •                                         "I think it's a bit of a Masterpiece...."

  • Working on the top rotation base that connects to the sliding mount (which is where the rump cushion mounts to........getting closer to working my way to the finish line.


    It was a rough week but I am back at it now.

    • Got the ball bearings and race made and spent most of the morning figuring out how the upper assembly works. I now have a really good understanding how these sliding and rotating chairs work.


      Still got to work the top rotation base then will work on the sliding mount.

    • blanchsb This is definitively more than "just" a technical piece, this is an artwork 👍👍👍!!! Always a pleasure to see what you've created 👀😀!!!

    • I can't tear my eyes away from this artwork 👀👀👀!!!

    • This deserves an exploded view all it's own, excellent blanchsb 

    • Love the kind motivational words. It adds fuel to the fire. Thanks all.

      More to come on the purple monstrosity. Rotation Latch/Lever (pink) and Fwd-Rev Slider Latch/Lever (teal and orange pieces) are complete now. The handles will push against these to allow the seat to rotate or slide forward.
      Getting close to creating and attaching the hand levers in the front of the seat. They go with the sliding assembly.

    • crew

      Dude...blanchsb. This is fantastic, meticulous work. You should totally rig this to scratch that itch you've talked about!

    • And always when I think that this can't be topped, blanchsb, you prove the opposite 👍👍👍!!!

    • I hope I can make to the finish line it in time for the stream. So many people with high hopes! I feel like I'm on an episode of Sci Fi Blitz lol.

      I just got some bad news and some good news from the Costco Concierge service:

      Lonestar Lenovo was returned unrepaired. The repair parts got misplaced in shipping and management decided to give me a full refund. So, I went computer shopping today and decided to go for an upgrade and double down my Kaballa Dolla (Killer Bunnies reference) haha.

      Decided to buy one with an NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super Max-Q to hopefully make use of some of the new blender features. (I want a laptop so I can travel and still model on work or vacay). This was the pick of the litter on Costco.com with NVIDIA graphics.



      Here's what I paid top dollar for. It was a little pricey but I think it will be worth it. And of course I got the extended warrantee. I only paid half that price since Lonestar Lenovo was refunded in full. Now I gotta pay myself back until January (my own personal budget goals haha). Better to take a loan from myself than from a bank.


      I'll have more modeling updates tomorrow hopefully, and luck willing my Micro LoneStar Intl. will be here to carry me to the finish line!

      Rest In Peace Lonestar Lenovo. You brought me this far.......

    • I agree with the theluthier , you should definitely rig this.

      Nice purchase, I'm sure it will get plenty of use and pay for itself in no time.

    • crew

      That lappy looks like a hoss! You should have no problems with your Blender projects for a while 👌

      Now...to fend off my jealousy..I don't need a new laptop. I DON'T NEED A NEW LAPTOP

    • I don't need a new laptop, too. I DON'T NEED A NEW LAPTOP, TOO 😉!


      blanchsb I hope that you're aware of the fact that you raise high expectations with your new lappy* 😉! Good choice 👍!

      * Thank you, theluthier, for this new expression!


      PS: Did I already mention, that I don't need a new laptop?!

      PS2: Did I already mention, that my laptop has a backlit keyboard?!

    • If I knew how the scissor lift truly worked I would be more excited to rig it haha. Honestly I have no idea how the interaction between a few of the critical scissor supporting parts works.

      Lol theluthier that's why it was good/bad news. I hate shopping for PC's because I keep talking myself up higher and higher in price haha. The truth is my last PC was great, just had a couple of problems. I told myself I wanted the RTX so I could test out the viewport denoising. It's still only 8GB Graphics so it's not like Linux Luke, but I am totally okay with that.

      So far my workflow has been held up nicely with what I had. I just wanted to take advantage of my refund and take an opportunity to improve the specs to what I felt was missing. I'm a little nervous going with MSI because it won't have the numbpad on the keyboard BUT I rarely use the laptop keyboard at my home office and have a nice mouse and keyboard setup with my monitors so it's really only going to bother me when I am traveling.........a worthy sacrifice because it is the only model laptop with the specs I wanted that also had Thunderbolt 3. I realized how nice these docking stations are and wanted to upgrade that feature as well. Ain't no better time to upgrade than when a refund comes in hand.

      My PC has shipped and I'm excited to say it should hopefully be here late tomorrow, maybe Thursday.
      Guesses on what is getting installed first?

      I need to give it a name so I'll be thinking on that over the next day while I wait.

  • Got the sliding support started. Hopefully will finish it tomorrow and add the handles......

  • Today I was able to complete the sliding support and start a little on the handles. Still more to go but I'm getting pretty excited for the results.


    Did some more work to the rump side to flatten out the bottom. The assembly looks more like this when unhiding the cushions:

    • Was able to make the second slider but this one may just stay as a rough draft without the details.......will see. 

      You may be asking why there are two seat sliders (the lower blue/purple combo and the upper gray combo) and I admit I did too, but I have the answer.

      The lower one is to position the whole seat forward or aft. The upper one is only for the Rump/Back adjustment. Kinda funny I didn't put that together in my head until just now but it makes sense.



      We wanna pamper our driver for this DOG while he eats his Doritos. Only a double sliding seat will do.

    • Funny thing is that front handle on the rump cushion is actually a padding adjustor. The sliding adjustor for the rump cushion is on the side. I'll make it next.


      Just basic block out for each of the handles for now. I want to get the major supporting seat cushion shapes donezo first then they will probably be the finishing touches to the assembly.

    • I worked finer details on the top two handles. for the rump-side cushion. The lower two handles still need more work.
      Then I need to work the arm-rests and then the back cushion support. Then I will probably be outta time.


    • Oh man! Getting down to the wire.........

      Got some good progress done on the backrest and transitional pieces that connect it all.

      Also got some basic arm rests in place for reference:



    • crew

      The exploded animation on this is going to be 💯

    • theluthier It's late but I am as far as I can go with this submission: She's glorious but if I had more time I would make her better. It'll have to do. rritag this one's for you.



    • Does it have a recliner function for the back support?? It looks super comfy I could sleep on it. Great work blanchsb , I'm impressed with your commitment to this chair, with so much detail it would be easy to settle for less, but no, not you.



    • adrian2301 of course it has the recliner function. it’s the red handle lever near the backrest.


      it has two sliding seat adjusters, a rump spring adjuster, a rotation lever, and a recliner lever. There was one back-pressure padding support knob that I left off but if I had more time I would add it and some of the more fine details to the upper assembly, like the arm rest recliners, and the air ride adjuster.


      I’m happy with it but not satisfied as a whole. It’s a bittersweet melody she sings! But she’s beautiful all the same.

  • I am afraid I am not advanced as Shawn Blanch (blanchsb) with the chair.  Mine is not as complete as his. It is not rigged. 

    My file link here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lgs_xiu9lKzq_rkgcKpy6OY2BHEYZhfc/view?usp=sharing 

    Well done, Shawn.