spikeyxxx

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CGC Challenge Juli 2019, Vehicle WIP

After (or actually still during) Jonathan's 30 Days of Modelling, There are two major things I learned that will be helpful in this months challenge:

Not to feel so pressured to get things perfect.

And to speed up;)

So, I am still doing the 30 Days, but finished today's entry. Decided to get started (is that too early?) and, although I won't be able to design a vehicle from scratch (at least not in one month!), I will try and give it something of a personal touch.

I am going for a sort of insect-based flying machine, thinking of 'Lexx' (those 'little bug flyers').

Here is my first block out, using (sometimes slightly modified )primitives:

The idea is, to first get the basic shape this way and then retopologize...



  • Lol, you said July in Dutch in your topic. Guess you miss being here 😛

    I allow the early start 😉 I already like the model in it’s  blockout stage, looks like a fun vehicle!

    I’ll be around your thread to cheer you on mate, you are going all the way to the finish line this time!

  • Is making a thread like this one required for the challenge, or would it be okay for me to just put my entry in my polybook?

  • Spend most of my day working on the 'grand final' of 30 Days of..

    I am still figuring out, what I want to make.

    For me the first thing is not to get reference, but to get to know , what to make (this also includes looking at reference pictures, of course, but not to see how what you want to make looks like, but to hope for inspiration...).

    Maybe I'll stay closer to the insect, perhaps a bee? Then I can imagine a gigantic spaceship with beehive-like docking stations...

    I don't know yet, might end up with something completely different. Just 'brainstorming'...


  • Today I tried making the bat-like wing, because I really like the way it looks:

    It was fun and I am happy with the way it turned out so far, but I am still not sure if I want to continue this.

    Tomorrow I will get started on the bee-hicle.

    I actually like that idea a lot better. Just see how that is going to work. It's very open to interpretation and I don't know yet what direction it will take me when I start modelling...

    We'll see tomorrow, when I've got something started.


  • Made a new block-out and I like where this is going:

    Now I have to decide if I want this made out of metal and so, like shown here, or if I want to make it more organic. Those would require completely different ways of modelling, so the decision needs to be made before proceeding. This means I will take a 'short' break and re-watch some LEXX, hoping to get an idea of how to continue...

    The idea with this model is that, from front to back , we have the cockpit, the engine compartment, where the wings and feet/landing gear are attached and the storage/luggage room.

    I'll report back later today.


  • crew

    Wonderful details in the bat wing spikeyxxx . Very interested to see what kind you come up with.

  • I decided to go for the mechanical version, one: because it is easier and two: because there will be a lot more room for interesting details.

    For today I will stop now and look at it again tomorrow, to see if I'm happy with the general shape (it's always a good idea in my experience, to look at it with 'fresh' eyes).

    I am not going for perfect bee proportions, but just want something that is pleasing to the (/my) eye...

    Wings and feet aren't done yet, I don't know how I want to do them, so I just put some placeholders there, so at least I know, where they will be.

    The final model will get a very basic rig, so that I can pose it to look more interesting.


  • Mainly focused on the 'legs' today and I like the way the blocked out version looks.

    But now I'll have to make the 'body' less round to be more consistent in the design.

    In this early stage, I'm doing way more thinking (and searching for reference) than actual modelling;)

    Still, I am convinced that the result will be worth it.

    I am already looking forward to texturing and shading this!

  • You wouldn't believe how long it took me to get some clean holes in the 'machine room';)

    Still not sure about the shape of it though...

    It either needs to be more 'square-ish', or the landing gear needs to be more round.

    If I decide to keep the shape more or less as it is now, it will definitely have to get some more detailing.

    I'll have to sleep on that;)


  • Didn't have an internet connection for a few days, But did make some progress. Thursday I decided to get settled on the shape, otherwise I'll never finish in time;)

    Designed the 'engine room'. (This is something I have never done before, only ever modelled after some reference...)

    Then on Friday I made the tail and started on the head. That didn't go well at all: the cockpit/cabin/head took me two and a half days!

    Still not perfect, but it'll have to do (at least for now).

    This morning I spend on making my internet work again and now I'll have to make the legs. Hope I'll get them finished by tonight, but no guarantee...

    So, one more coffee, catching up on the Forum and then off to making some sexy legs (hopefully)!

  • Trying the landing gear. This is the sixth version, but I think this is going to work. Been concentrating on a shape that would fit in and on how the segments are connected and supposed to move...

    Not much yet to show, but I think I have the hardest part done, so I'll sleep over it and expect to be 'finishing' the feet tomorrow.

  • Wow , this is coming on really nicely :) I can't wait to see it finished . Great work!

  • Not a very fruitful day; managed to get a halfway decent leg done, but I need to rig it in order to see if everything is working as it should and that is taking me way too long;)

    Got it mostly ready, but also somehow messed up the placement of the pistons, through the rig. I'll just re-do them tomorrow, as they were just placeholders anyway.

    This was just one of those days, when things don't work out and hardly any progress is made.

    Luckily, those are usually followed by a really productive day (hopefully I didn't jinx that by saying it...).

    I hope to finish the basic modelling (legs, wings and inside of the head) by the end of the week, so that I can start doing the details and got  texturing and shading done before the end of next week, because then I will still have a lot of work making a scene out of it!

    I can already feel the deadline approaching;)


  • Didn't do a lot of modelling the last two days, but tried to make sure everything is 'working'; like, for instance, that the landing gear is able to move in the holes (that was a nightmare for me. I felt so clumsy. There must be an 'easy' way to do that, but with all these curved surfaces and strange angles, I had a really hard time.).

    Still have no clue as to how the wings will be constructed ( I know how airplane wings work, but these are 'flapping' wings...), so tomorrow I will block out the interior of the cockpit and if time allows, take a look at the wings.

    Then I can have a fun weekend detailing!

  • Back to modelling.

    Some minor fixes and a start with the cockpit interior.

    I'm beginning to get an idea on how to make the wings. That's for tomorrow, And then immediately on to detailing!

    • spikeyxxx How do you make those lines and panels without messing up the topology?

    • williamatics Hi William, I use a 'mould', for instance, I have a 'head_shape' mesh. Then I use snapping to surface and a shrinkwrap modifier to make the topology I want. Now I can, for instance create edges, where I want a separation of panels. What I did was, I made a vertex group called Solidify and assigned those edges to it. Made a solidify modifier after the shrinkwrap and used the Solidify vertex group ( with settings to 'Fill Rim' and 'Only Rim'). Use CTRL B with a number of three on those edges and select the middle one.

      Now comes the genius part: I select those edges and press 'V' and my panels appear!

      I know this is not a very clear explanation ( not like Jake Korosi's!), but if this is not clear to you, I will try to explain it better, with some screenshots.

      Just let me know if you want that.

  • Only managed the wings and how they are connected to the body so far.

    This took so much of my energy, that I'll have to take a break now. Maybe later I will be able to get some more done, but I'm not sure about that...

    Funny how sometimes something small can take forever to solve!

    I used a UV Sphere as the end of the wing and it turned into an oblong shape as soon as I used a Subsurf on it: not round but oval!

    Tried to solve that for hours and still don't know why that happened. Used an Icosphere instead and everything was normal.

    This is a mystery that will keep bugging me;)


  • This is enough to drive me crazy!

    • spikeyxxx Maybe it’s a bug..?

    • smurfmier1985 I don't think so. I've tried this in a new file and it didn't behave like this.

      But it's not the first time that Open Subdiv has strange quirks, at least with me...

    • spikeyxxx It's nothing to do with the good ol' apply scale is it? Probably an obvious one for someone as experienced with Blender as yourself , but the amount of times I've pulled my hair out over weird happenings due to the scale being off is unreal

    • frikkr In this case it wasn't that. 

      I don't know how I could have been so stupid...

      The thing is, I used a UV Sphere with 6 segments and 12 rings. Because of the 6 segments it can look round or oval, depending on the viewing angle. If you look at it from the top you can clearly see, that, in this case, it is smaller along the X than along the Y-axis:

      Because it has twice as many rings, those 'angles need less rounding' than the angles from the 'hexagon' when subdivided. Hence the 'squeezing'.

      It's just a topology thing: it consists completely of stretched rectangles; that's asking for trouble;)

  • This is going way to slowly! I will need some speed. Sorry, I mean that I will need to speed up. 

    Today I only put some screws on the air vent

    and made the back door openable:

    Not too happy about the result either, but it'll have to do for now.

    I give myself two more days to do the details and then I'll start the shading. 

    If time allows I can always refine and add more details later...

    Already thinking about posing and scene; I would like to have several of them, mostly flying, but then I would need pilots! (Or at least one...)

  • After Miranda's fabulous suggestion, I just had to try out some composition:

    Not too sure about it, but something like this should work.

    I will worry about the environment and posing later, I just tried to get a general idea of the composition here.

    Just the bees, not the environment obviously...

    Please help me here; what's wrong with this, how can I improve this?  Be harsh, I can take it;)

    • spikeyxxx They look like they're just flying around randomly.  They should be doing something.

    • spikeyxxx 


      - It’s too busy in the wrong place. Too many wasp planes surrounding your main focus (the big wasp up front). Try moving the busyness to the upper right (and make them look a bit farther away so the big wasp attracts most focus)

      - Look for leading lines to guide the viewers eye through your composition. The main wasp plane is now looking down while your action is happening on the air. If you turn your big wasp plane to be more like the pose I suggested, it will look up and guide the viewers eye to the wasps flying away.

      - Make sure your main subject is completely in the frame, with a bit of empty space around it. Doesn’t have to be much, but it needs a bit of breathing room. It’s okay to have a wasp plane flying out of view in the top right (as in being cropped out at the border of the picture), but do make that one smaller so it’s really flying far away (really give it the feeling it’s flying out of view because it’s too far away to see completely). I would suggest to have at least one in the top right that is completely in view, I think that would give it a nice view.


      That would be my suggestions for improving the composition. The main idea is there though 😊👍🏻


    • williamatics Doing something? Like what? I'm sorry, I just don't understand what you mean;)

    • smurfmier1985 Excellent points! Thank you!

      I would like to have one seen from below like the one you crossed out, but I do agree, that the way it is now is not working at all.

      And the main one needs to be closer to the camera and turned like you said, I think.

      Maybe I should just  forget about the 'bottom view one',  like you suggested. If it doesn't work...

      I'll try again tomorrow, but I think your suggestions should make it a lot better.

    • spikeyxxx To tell a compelling story you sometimes have to sacrifice things to make it better 😊

      However, if you want to show of details, nothing is stopping you from adding a few beauty shots from different angles, some closeups pictures and maybe a turntable as addition to your main render 😉 

    • spikeyxxx They don't look like they're accomplishing any sort of goal.

    • smurfmier1985 To tell a compelling story you sometimes have to sacrifice things to make it better 😊

      You're absolutely right, of course!

      An d thank you for the suggestion, I wasn't sure if we were allowed to put in some extra shots; I was about to ask that;)

    • williamatics They are flying machines. Machines don't have goals.

      But joking aside, I think you mean that they don't seem to go anywhere specific.

      I was looking at bee swarm references and they appear very random. So I tried to encompass that in the composition, but you are right, that that doesn't make any sense.

      Thanks for pointing that out! It can be hard to see the big picture, when working on something for some time in close-up...

  • Maybe more something like this: