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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:30 pm 
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It is looking good.

I have a question about rendering with water. Can you generate sunlight reflections off the water? I'm not talking about reflections of the object on the water - the turrets and funnel in your picture are doing that. But can you get reflections of the light source from the water onto the hull surfaces?

When the movie "Titanic" came out everyone was raving about the computer generated images - and they were very good. But I immediately knew that they weren't realistic. I had to view it again before I realized why. The spots of reflected sunlight from the water onto the hull were missing. And in a video these spots would be flashing over the hull surface, moving continuously. They weren't there and it gave the images a cartoon-like quality, especially the pictures of the ship pulling away from the pier.

In a photo of a real monitor on the water there would be a slight mottling in the shadow areas on the vertical sides of the hull and turrets created by reflections of the sun off the water.

Can any of the common renderering programs do this?

Phil

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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:13 pm 
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Thanks guys.

Will do Owen, and that high pass filter does work great, nice call. Still more to do on details and textures before I call it finished.

Phil,
Giving the water a high reflective property may bounce the light back onto the ship like your talking about, I'll give it a try. But I'm pretty sure a better rendering program will, I remember seeing that done before, maybe Owen can chime in more about that.

Dean


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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:06 pm 
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Phil, as Dean said, you can set up a 'dome' light around your scene with most rendering packages now. You can put a sun in the sky or have it generate one for you. There are even web-sites with downloadable 'locales' that you can use in your rendering package. Using ray-tracing (physically calculating how light bounces around the scene), you can get the light to bounce off the reflective sea and onto the hull of the ship. I've made one here to show you. The mat on the Tecumseh isn't very shiny so I bumped up the gloss on the boat so you could see it.

Image

Dean - glad that worked for you!

Owen


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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:50 pm 
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Owen,

That looks really nice. Thanks.

Phil

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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:57 am 
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Dean,

I've been offline for a while. Your renders of Chickasaw look great! I like the water much better in the second attempt, it fixed the scale issue that was playing on my eyes.

About the color scheme: do you have documentation of the stack stripes and red details, or are those items you just made your own call on?

While at the Mariner's Museum I asked to see whatever they had on the Milwaukee class and there was only one photo. It is the original of this photo, very small, so no new details to be unearthed.

-Devin

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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:24 pm 
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Hey Devin, welcome back.
Yeah, I scaled down the water even more since that last pic, and no, don't have any solid info on whether the stack was all black or not, or even if the red parts were actually red, black or what. So I added the white stripes and red bits for a little contrast, probably not historically accurate, but it's hard to tell what's what from the old blurry photos, and no mention in any book I have. I wish there was more documentation because I'd like it to be as accurate as possible, but without actual drawings or good pics, it's pretty tough getting it right. If you have any thoughts on color or whatever, I'd like to hear them.

Thanks for asking the museum about that,
Dean


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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:35 pm 
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Here's a quick update, just a couple more items to add, like flags, etc. (colors may change a bit) and I think I'll call it done. Input on anything is most welcome. Then after that I'm thinking of doing a short flyby video, we'll see.

Dean

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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:20 pm 
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Dean,

Beautiful work. I really like the texture on the iron and the wood grain effects.

As far as colors go, I'm not sure I'd have much more insight than you would. My personal preferences based on photos and readings is to paint pretty much everything, so if I were doing a model I'd paint the boats (you can see boats of several different shades and schemes in this photo of Onondonga). Basically, in the Navy they want to paint everything as paint is a preservative. That being said, though, I'm sure there were unpainted boats out there.

I am not aware of any specific color codings for the Milwaukee class, but I'm sure there were. The Passaic and Canonicus class were painted in all sorts of varying schemes to tell them apart, so I'm sure they did for the Milwaukee's, but I'm not aware of what those would be.

Really stellar work. Now you should do a USS Onondonga!

-Devin

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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:45 pm 
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Dean, Wow!

That rocks! I think it's amazing! :D

There are only a few things. I tend to think that they would paint the boats as well, but I think it looks cool the way you have them. I think that there should be some kind of detail on the pilot house, even if it is a plate bump map or something. Don't go overboard and cover it in rivets, but it needs something to break up that smooth expanse. If not that, then try applying the bump map you applied to the turret, but very fine, so it is just noticeable. Or instead of a bump map, apply it as a specular map. The only other thing I'd suggest is some plate detail on the top of the turret. One last thing, I'd take the shiny silver off the deck fittings at the bow. I'd either make them a dull gray or at least take the shine off.

I'd seen the contemporary drawings and the blurry photos and had never really got a good handle on what these Eads ships were like. Your model and render is the first real depiction of them that I've seen. It's literally an eye-opener on these ships. They really are nothing like the Ericsson ships. That hadn't come across to me before I saw your model.

Excellent job on the turret mats and the planking on the fore cabins.

Owen


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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Thanks guys...

Devin,
It's kinda hard to see in those pics, but I did put wood grain on the rest of the wood too, I just didn't zoom in enough to see it. And the pic you referenced shows how I planned on doing the rowboats, with overlapping planks instead of just the wood texture. I've been meaning to adjust the shape anyway, so may as well add the planks, then I can "paint" them white instead of that bare wood texture.
Ah, the Onondonga, it is on the list, but I still have the CSS Palmetto State waiting to be finished and was thinking of starting the USS Keokuk in Blender, so it's only a matter of time :smallsmile: .

Owen,
Yeah, you & Devin have convinced me to change the rowboats :thumbs_up_1: . Originally I did have a mottled finish on the pilot house and smoke stack, don't remember why I changed it but I'll change it back.
The top of the turrets do have the same texture as the rest, hard to see in the pics, but I think your right, it could use some plate detail to help it stand out. And I also noticed I missed the deck fittings and a couple others... oops :smallsmile: .
As much as I complained about SW, it does have a few decent material textures like the cast iron for the turrets, and those wood planks (actually it's wood flooring, shhh :big_grin: ).
Next pics will have everything changed for the better... I hope.

Again, thank you guys for all your help and input, it's really been invaluable.

Dean


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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:59 am 
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Dean,

I am not familiar with these ships so I can't offer advice, but I was wondering if they were actually painted black? In most of the pictures that have been posted here they appear to be gray (of course they are grayscale pictures, so the ships could have been bright red for all you can tell from the photos). I know from some things I have read that they were very warm inside. Black decks would just exacerbate that problem in summer.

Did they have any sort of non-functional decorations? Many of the earlier sailing ships had elaborate carvings and such. The reason I ask is that if there were no non-functional decorations everything was probably painted with whatever color was available - and I mean everything. And it would likely all be the same color.

Just some thoughts to consider.

Phil

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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:24 am 
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Phil,
You make a very good point, and honestly the only info about color I could find is from a few paintings/prints that portray it mostly black (artistic freedom?) or written documents that mention it (like in the link posted earlier, Damned Black Hulk). Now whether it was painted all black or not is a good question, but it makes sense that they would paint everything for preservation purposes. I admit that I did take some liberties in the color scheme (and some details too), but with so little to go on besides other monitors, it's hard to say for sure what colors they painted what.
Your right about it being very hot below deck, and why they would paint them black to add to that misery is somewhat of a mystery to me, it's mentioned in a couple stories that it could reach well over 120 deg F. on a good day. The only reason I can think of for wanting it black would be for visibility reasons in night bombardment on the confederate forts, which is depicted in some paintings/prints and mentioned in stories, other than that I have no idea.
Thanks for the input.

On another note, if you guys don't already know of this site, it's a great source of free PDF books the likes of Profile Morskie, Warship Profiles and Anatomy of the Ship books, limited to one every half hour if you don't want to pay for a subscription. The search box is at the bottom of the page.
http://military-machine.blogspot.com/search/label/Warship.


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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:09 am 
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In reference to color I just looked through chapter 6 in Modeling Civil War Ironclad Ships hoping to find something on the Milwaukee class colors, but there was nothing. You can tell from that chapter, though, that there were many different variations of the Passaic and Canonicus class colors. I'm not sure as to all of the sources they used, but my research on the Weehawken agrees with their color plate (except for the black band at the top, I did not find anything on that) and their Saugus scheme matches photos of her.

One thing to remember is that the color schemes changed, also. You can look at images of Onondaga and see that she at times was in white or gray and at other times in black. Photos of Carondelet show this as well. I imagine that the "from the yard" finish was black, and then the ship's commanders modified as they saw fit and as their war experience dictated changes (like going to lighter colors during southern summers, etc.)

Dean, let me know if you go with Keokuk. I have some drawings/plans that I'd be willing to loan you.

-Devin

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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:00 pm 
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Devin,
Very good points, and makes perfect sense about changing colors for the season. And now that you mentioned it, the same can be found with other military vehicles, such as tanks, planes etc, going with the colors that best suit the environment they are in. Hmm, now why didn't I think of that :scratch: :big_grin: Good call...

Many thanks for your offer on the Keokuk, that would be fantastic, I'll send you my e-mail address.

Dean


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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:02 pm 
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The Keokuk would be storming :D She didn't have a very illustrious service, but she looked cool. The Onondaga would be good to have as a counter-point to the Chickasaw. I've found this link on the Yahoo mailing group list. I have no idea as to it's accuracy ("USS Chicksaw" (sic)), but it might give you some ideas. They mention some sources as to where they got the colour info from, which sounds like it might be true. I've got no idea why it would be black either. The captain sounds like an ornery old git. Maybe he deliberately did it so that people would be afraid of his ship.

Have you UV Mapped your Palmetto State? I think the iron texture is all it really needs (maybe a bit of weathering here and there, but hey).

Owen


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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:19 pm 
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Owen,
Yeah, very short history on the Keokuk, but very cool looking beast. I figured it would be a good project to get my Blender legs, not too complicated and fairly simple lines, just what I need for a first Blender model. And for some reason I tend to favor those odd looking ones... maybe because they match my personality :smallsmile: .

Good link, now I may have more to change, thanks for that :heh: ...just kidding.

Man, you guys really want the Onondaga don't you :big_grin: , maybe I should put that ahead of the Palmetto...any others you guys want while I'm at it :faint: .

Speaking of the Palmetto State, I'm still in the early modelling stage, so nothing much to speak of yet, just the basic shape so far. Remember, I'm still new to all that UV, texture, bump mapping stuff, everything I've used so far were textures I've downloaded off the net, or the ones included in SW, well maybe making little mods in gimp, but nothing I'd call my own. And as for adding weathering, never did it before, but that is another thing I want to learn.

Dean


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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:55 pm 
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I have a full set of Onondaga plans, too...

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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:49 pm 
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Roscoe wrote:
Owen,
... Man, you guys really want the Onondaga don't you :big_grin: , maybe I should put that ahead of the Palmetto...any others you guys want while I'm at it ...


I was just thinking that, with the Chickasaw, and the Tecumseh, we really need a Hartford to complete the set... :joker:

Hey, for the Onondaga, you already have the turrets! :D

Owen


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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:05 pm 
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Devin wrote:
I have a full set of Onondaga plans, too...


Ohh nooooo.... :big_grin: well, it looks like the Palmetto State just went on the back burner... man, now I don't know what to do. Devin, your like a guy behind the candy counter telling a kid, take whatever you want :eyes_spinning: .


Owen,
I keep forgetting you haven't used SW, it's somewhat different than Blender in how you model and add materials and textures. Here's a couple screens as an example of how I'm used to adding textures/materials, in a round about way there's similarities, but it's limited in that you don't/can't unwrap surfaces to make your own maps, just add/apply them from presets or imported pics.

First I'll select either a body, surface or a feature (extrude,loft,revolve,etc.) add appearances, which brings up the appearance column on the right side of the screen with a list of presets.
Image

Then either use a preset or browse to a pic
Image

Once it's picked, adjust the options and that's pretty much it.
Image

Then there's materials, which can only be applied to individual bodies or the whole part.
Pretty simple compared to what can be done in Blender, taking surfaces and making your own Bump, normal, whatever maps.
Image

Just wanted to show how basic it is compared to Blender, hope I didn't bore you too much :smallsmile: .

Dean

Edit: Owen, you do the Hartford and I'll do the Onondaga, what do you think? Then we'll have the fleet...He he


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 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:24 am 
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Dean,
Thanks for the quick tour! I found it quite interesting really. It looks on the face of it that you have most of the same controls in there to do stuff with, it's just buried under a lot of presets. I think they are just assuming that most of the people using it are not digital artists but engineers. It seems like it's quite a good renderer as well. If you can define texture slots or edit the presets and save them as something else, I would say you have most of what you need there. The big bug-bear is going to be UV mapping, which is unwrapping models to send over to Photoshop for texturing. I saw a tab for it, but it depends on how many tools you have to do that with. UV mapping tends to be a PitA.

Image

Blender's renderer is kind of out-dated (it can't do light bounces, colour bleeding or caustics). It's currently in the middle of a re-vamp, and looks pretty promising, but its at a pretty alpha stage right now. The basic texture slots work like this. You can define a basic material type, based on various material types. They tend to be be pretty basic, and then you have the ability to change it's transparency and shininess. Most of your 'materialness' is defined by several 'slots'.

Diffuse, which is the basic colour coat.
Bump/Normal - The bumpiness of a material. The grain in wood, the graininess in cast iron, all that stuff.
Specular - The shininess of a material.
Transparency - how see-through a material is.

Blender doesn't come with any pre-sets, but it does have a range of good generic patterns that can be used to overlay on top of each other. Using transparency, bump and specular, and also using different textures to amplify and subtract from each other, you can get some amazing effects from Blender's simple procedural textures. It tends to take a lot of fiddling, though, and I tend to prefer to use photo-sourced textures and create my different maps that way. I find it faster and more realistic in the long run.

I use Yafaray, which is a free open-source raytracer. It's relatively fast and sits as a plug-in in Blender so it behaves as though it was part of Blender. You can get fast and dirty 'direct lighting' renders and you can use either Path Tracing or Photon Mapping for photo-real rendering (but be prepared to wait a few hours). Recently I've been investigating LuxRender, which is another free renderer. It's 'physically accurate' which means it looks photo-real, but as it calculates EVERYTHING, it can take forever (36 hours!!!!) to render a picture. Recently though, they've got GPU acceleration on board and the situation has greatly improved to where it's pretty much usable as a standard renderer.

Owen


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