The Ship Model Forum

The Ship Modelers Source
It is currently Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:46 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 272 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 14  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:12 pm
Posts: 296
Hello everybody, welcome to the CAD-yard...
This thread will be a place you can share your ideas, techniques, ask questions, and learn from each other. An open forum to show your WIP's, finished CAD models, tutorials, problems, etc., and hopefully learn some new tips & tricks along the way.

I'll start by saying that recently I've become interested in learning Blender, which is free and open source and can be downloaded here http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/.
One of my goals is to really get into the mapping and textures aspect of CAD models, basically to give them that added realism. My current CAD package is SolidWorks 2010, (been using it off and on for some years now) which does a good job modeling wise, but can be limited in some area's, so with using a SW - Blender pipeline, I hope to really improve my current skills and learn much more.

So my first step was to export a SW file into STL format, then import it into Blender, which turned out rather well, no real problems with missing surfaces or geometry. Now from here it's all fairly new to me, I'll be attempting to texture these WIP's as practice, so when I do finish these models, I'll have a clue as to what I'm doing.
I did a quick render with the default settings in Blender, and all that was adjusted was the background color, and also moved the camera and light around, so these pics are my first test results before moving on.

Any crit's, comments or questions are welcome,
Dean


Attachments:
Chickasaw 1.png
Chickasaw 1.png [ 138.69 KiB | Viewed 4348 times ]
USS M.png
USS M.png [ 91.47 KiB | Viewed 4348 times ]
Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:58 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:02 pm
Posts: 272
That is looking sweet! Love the Chickasaw. Could we some wires to see how the geometry came in? I'm thinking you may want to apply the 'Smooth' button to some surfaces, specifically the pilot house and the smoke stack. I can suggest a few tips for a good studio render if you like.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:46 pm
Posts: 187
Great models Dean -- and this thread is an excellent idea. Michael


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:12 pm
Posts: 296
Thanks guys,
this is going to be quite a learning experience for me, so bear with me as I fumble my way through this, and any input is really appreciated.

tea monster wrote:
Could we some wires to see how the geometry came in? I'm thinking you may want to apply the 'Smooth' button to some surfaces, specifically the pilot house and the smoke stack. I can suggest a few tips for a good studio render if you like.

Yeah, now that I'm getting reacquainted with Blender, (just installed it yesterday) I did check out the wire-frames of these models, and it's not pretty. I'm thinking that maybe some of the detailing, like rivets, etc. may be better left out before importing, because they seem to add bunches of triangles around those areas (got to learn some new terminology too) when it seems like it should be much more simplified. I don't know, maybe that's normal, but I'm sure you'll point me in the right direction. (And get a good laugh at my newbie efforts too) :smallsmile:
I'll have a go at trying to smooth out those areas you mentioned, and post some wire pics tomorrow. And any tips you can throw my way is always welcome.

In the mean time, here's one more pic of my first attempt at ship modeling, (only started modelling ships recently) still a WIP and not too scale because of the reference material I used, but I tend to have multiple projects going on a one time, it keeps things interesting, whether it's planes, tanks or now ships, if it has guns on it, I like it.

Dean


Attachments:
CSS Neuse.png
CSS Neuse.png [ 106.32 KiB | Viewed 4322 times ]
Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:12 pm
Posts: 296
Well, since I'm not liking what I see in the wires, I'll try leaving out the details like the rivets, hatches, rails, etc. before I import it into Blender, just using the main body, turrets, tower and smoke stack and see if that smooths things out, I can always add the details later. Not really a problem because I'll just suppress those features in the SolidWorks file before I do a save-as to a STL file. Being a newbie with Blender and all, and still just fumbling my way around, (which means I don't know jack :smallsmile: ) it looks like those details are causing too many unwanted surfaces around those areas, which can't be a good thing.

So if anyone has anything they would like to share or ask, please do. I'd be happy to share any info that I have.

Regards,
Dean


Attachments:
C Wire 5.jpg
C Wire 5.jpg [ 148.46 KiB | Viewed 4301 times ]
C Wire 4.png
C Wire 4.png [ 131.63 KiB | Viewed 4301 times ]
C Wire 3.jpg
C Wire 3.jpg [ 130.25 KiB | Viewed 4301 times ]


Last edited by Roscoe on Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:21 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:46 am
Posts: 2172
Location: Hoboken, NJ
Nice work. I particularly like the the Chickasaw, too. Always wanted to do a large scale model of her.

_________________
We like our history sanitized and theme-parked and self-congratulatory, not bloody and angry and unflattering. - Jonathan Yardley


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:12 pm
Posts: 296
Thanks, it's been a little tough finding good info on the Chickasaw though, especially on the deck details. If you do decide to build one, I could make up some drawings for you when I'm done if you'd like. It would be well worth it to see you do your magic building it.

Dean


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:02 pm
Posts: 272
That does look a bit of a mess. The model is great, but you are going to have no-end of headaches with that mesh. One thing you could do, is to separate the mesh before you export it. You could export the basic turret shape and hull shape as separate objects, then send out the rivets and hatches as a separate object. Then, when you bring them into Blender, they should sit on top of each other in place, but they won't all be one mesh. There may even be a check-mark box that will allow you to send out the different objects as separate geometry.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:25 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:46 am
Posts: 2172
Location: Hoboken, NJ
Roscoe wrote:
Thanks, it's been a little tough finding good info on the Chickasaw though, especially on the deck details. If you do decide to build one, I could make up some drawings for you when I'm done if you'd like. It would be well worth it to see you do your magic building it.

Dean


Dean,

That would be great. It'll be a while before I am able to tackle her, but she's on my short list of ironclads to build: Carondelet (in-progress), Tecumseh, Onondaga, Casco, Lafayette and Chickasaw.

I believe there are some detail drawings in Canney's "Old Steam Navy" ironclad volume, but there a bit small and hard to make out.

Thanks!

-Devin

_________________
We like our history sanitized and theme-parked and self-congratulatory, not bloody and angry and unflattering. - Jonathan Yardley


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:12 pm
Posts: 296
tea monster wrote:
That does look a bit of a mess. The model is great, but you are going to have no-end of headaches with that mesh. One thing you could do, is to separate the mesh before you export it. You could export the basic turret shape and hull shape as separate objects, then send out the rivets and hatches as a separate object. Then, when you bring them into Blender, they should sit on top of each other in place, but they won't all be one mesh. There may even be a check-mark box that will allow you to send out the different objects as separate geometry.


Yep, a little more than a bit of a mess :smallsmile: ... Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about bringing it in piece by piece (I already started working on it). If I can get the deck, turrets (without rivets), tower and stack cleanly into Blender, I can work on making some decent texture maps with some details. After those are made, I can just jump back to SolidWorks and use them. With the bigger surfaces being the most obvious, I really want them to look good, and with the smaller stuff I'll just use the textures and materials within SW. And I'm sure I'll have a few questions for you when I get to that point.


Devon,
Sounds like you have a full plate, no problem, I'll have some drawings for you when your ready.

Dean


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:22 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:01 am
Posts: 1108
Location: Corvallis, Oregon, USA
In my work I often end up the middle man between a bunch of different CAD programs, so I got pretty good at translating file formats. In many cases the imports were less than perfect, often a mess of surfaces/facets.

I found that it is often much faster to use the imported objects as templates and just trace over them on a new layer. This has the virtue that all of the dimensions are correct (at least as correct as the original drawing). This method is usually much faster and easier than trying to repair the original import.

So maybe it would be best to create the entire model in Solidworks, rivets and all, where you have very good control over dimensions, positions, etc. Then just trace over the imported model in Blender and then discard the import. It sounds like a lot of work at first, but take another look at the line images in the Blender imports. How long will it take you to clean up this stuff?

In the program I use, DesignCAD, we have a gravity snap function (right mouse click) that moves the cursor to the nearest point (midpoint, line end, etc.). Gravity snap works in all functions, at any time, so it makes quick work of tracing over an existing drawing. Using this I could trace over your entire drawing in an hour or less.

This method has the virtue that you can also just leave out some of the unnecessary clutter. Think of it as an intelligent file conversion.

Phil

_________________
A collision at sea will ruin your entire day. Aristotle


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:53 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:02 pm
Posts: 272
Just an example from my model. I found that the rivets and stack were on two different levels, so it came out like this:
Image

So it should work for you!

You could remake some of it, but I'm thinking to try the separate objects trick first. It depends on what you are doing with the Blender model. If you are happy with Solidworks and you just want to do some renders in Blender, then as long as the mesh is workable, then you should be good to go. I use a sub-surf modifier with mine and put in a few vertices and have the sub-surface modifier create the smooth curve between the two points by 'filling in the blanks'. That makes everything easier to edit and work with. But I'm building my model in Blender, you are just rendering yours. If you want to get the basics correct in Solidworks, then export to Blender to add mesh detail, then DrPR has it down.

I've got say something here that I put in my Tecumseh thread, Blender is NOT CAD software. I'm not saying that to bash Blender, but to say that it has a different focus and a different way of working. If you want a CAD model of your ironclad, then you are best sticking with Solidworks as your primary 'construction site' and exporting to Blender for renders. If you just want a display model and are more comfortable creating in your CAD software, then I'd recommend the other route as it will make further construction and any alterations MUCH easier. The only other thing I'd add to this is that Blender's modelling tools are in the starting gate of getting a much-required revamp. You may find it easier to create things (like the rivets in smoke-stacks for example) in your CAD software.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:33 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:02 pm
Posts: 272
I'm putting this in a separate post so it's easier to follow.

Here is my 'Quick and Dirty' Rendering Tut. It should get you up and running in creating something other than a standard render in Blender.
I've linked to the screens, rather than posting them in-line as I tried reducing them and found out that they were nearly unreadable when they got reduced down to 900 pixels or so for the forum. I'm taking it that you are going to be raytracing your model. It is possible to set up your lights and stuff and get much quicker renders without that, but I'm going to concentrate on raytracing what is called a 'studio' render here.

1. First off is the World screen.
Here is your Ambient Occlusion settings and your background render colour. You can click on the 'texture' tab after this tab to add a background image to your render. I recommend a good colour that ISN'T the strange cyan that comes standard with Blender as a background colour. White or black will work great. When you get a bit more adept, you can add a model of a cyclorama behind your model and an HDRI image for fill lighting.

Make sure Ambient Occlusion is set to Raytrace and the samples are between 15 and 20 (I use 20). This prevents graininess on your render. You can set the ambo to Approximate, but I find that it can have errors on certain types of objects. AO will hit your render times, so turn it off for quick test renders.

2. Next up is the Light panel.
I use Area lights with raytracing as they give a nice even illumination. Make sure they are set to Raytrace and that the size is such that it will illuminate your model without dark spots. You can scale-up the lights, but I think it is better to directly size them using the size panel. One more thing. Adjust the strength of the lights way down, to .2 or .3 strength. They recently adjusted how the lights functioned and the old presets will give a very washed-out image. I've put the samples up on my lights. To be honest, I'm not sure if it actually does anything you'd notice!

3. Render tab.
Not much needs adjustment here. Make sure 'Raytracing' is checked. I've put on 'Color Management' but that is your choice depending on your workflow. It just applies a balance for gamma adjustment on textures and lighting. Hit 'Render Image'. The image will pop up in your 3D window and the icon will change to a Image Editor icon. When the render finishes, go to 'Image' and save your render out. You can save as a PNG or as an EXR if you want to do some funky tone-mapping afterwards. To get your 3D window back, just hit 'Esc' a few times.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:01 am 
Actually guys, looking back, I really wasn't too clear with my earlier posts about what I was trying to accomplish. Since I started this model, I was looking for a way to make some good textures for it, not just grabbing freebies off the web and fiddling with them to fit the model in Solidworks, like I've done in the past, with less than stellar results. So that's where Blender came in, and since I've been meaning for awhile now to learn it anyways, I figured in the process I could get to know how to use the unwrapping capabilities for making textures, which Solidworks really doesn't have. So basically, while getting up to speed in Blender, I'd try taking parts of the model, throw them into Blender, unwrap the surfaces I wanted and make some textures, then take those and use them in Solidworks. Easier said than done, and a typical Blender newbie mistake :smallsmile: . But I like a challenge, so I'll keep trying a few things to get that done.

Phil,
I too have been down that road in my line of work, and it's a bumpy one at that. There's been many a day I've spent taking iges, dxf, etc. files and using what you can to make something usable from them, meanwhile the boss is asking " is it done yet" :heh: . So I know where your coming from. Many thanks for the input, and why not jump in on the fun, get Blender installed and join me on this journey, I could use the company. :big_grin:


Tea,
You da man, I really appreciate your tut and input. I'll definitely be using that tut, but until I get better with Blender, I might as well finish this project in SW. After that I will start one in Blender (which I'm sure there will be a few chuckles for you). But please don't stop sharing your knowledge, it'll only help me and others.
Oh, one more thing, SW does have a render-er, two actually, one built in (Photoworks) and a separate one (Photoview 360) that's a stripped down version of the one in Modo.


Many thanks guys,
Dean


Report this post
Top
  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:12 pm
Posts: 296
Sorry guys, the post above was me, for some reason I wasn't logged in...DOH....

Dean


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:02 pm
Posts: 272
I could do a texturing tutorial, but there are better ones on the web.

Katsbits is a Blender game-modelling site, but they have some good tuts on retopologizing (what DrPR is talking about) and on UV Unwrapping.

A good general Blender 'Getting Started' series is here:

and here.

There are some ready-made materials here at the Blender Materials repository (including a few iron ones :cool_2: )

For general texturing, there are a number of good tuts out there.

Stefan Morrell's Hard Surface Tut

Racer 445 (again, game-related, but it's all good!)

Philip Klevestav

Here are some texture sites where you can download different examples of photos of different materials for using in texturing.

Mayangs

CGTextures

EDIT: a lot of the tutorials say to use either Photoshop or Z-Brush in a few instances. There are free, or Open Source alternatives to each of these applications if you don't have either of these apps. Sculptris is a free sculpting app (free at the moment, but this may change) from the same people who made Z-Brush. Blender is also useable as a basic sculpting app. GIMP is a free image-editing program. For plating and other line-art work, I recommend Inkscape as a good, free Illustrator replacement.


Last edited by tea monster on Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:12 pm
Posts: 296
Thanks, that's some great stuff. Should keep me busy for awhile...

Dean


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:11 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:02 pm
Posts: 272
No problem, I think we are all looking forward to seeing some HQ renders of that Chickasaw!


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:12 pm
Posts: 296
Hi guys,
not much to show on the Chickasaw, been attending to some other projects. But I did play around making a deck plate texture though, and did a quick try out on the model to see how it looks. And since there is not a lot of detail pics to go by, if you guys have any thoughts or input, I'd like to here it.

Here's a couple quick pics of the deck, and some of the reference pics I'm using. Of course, even in the same class of monitor, there's multiple differences in the details, and I still need to adjust some things on the model.

Regards,
Dean


Attachments:
USS Chickasaw 7 (2).jpg
USS Chickasaw 7 (2).jpg [ 149.98 KiB | Viewed 4214 times ]
USS C1 (1).jpg
USS C1 (1).jpg [ 121.39 KiB | Viewed 4214 times ]
milwaukee1a.jpg
milwaukee1a.jpg [ 111.65 KiB | Viewed 4214 times ]
USSChickasaw (2).jpg
USSChickasaw (2).jpg [ 39.87 KiB | Viewed 4214 times ]
h46129.jpg
h46129.jpg [ 82.82 KiB | Viewed 4214 times ]
Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The CAD-yard
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:02 pm
Posts: 272
That is looking nice! I like the colour scheme. I'm not sure if they were that colour, but the LOOK good :D

The only real thing I'd say is to check that deck tile. It has that bright bit at the back that keeps turning up and obviously 'tiling'. One thing I do in Photoshop is to apply a 'high-pass' filter to the texture. This will really screw it up, but it will remove most of the artifacts you will get with ambient light. I remove any further obvious tiled items with the clone brush. Then I'll add a colour layer in Photoshop and multiply it on top.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 272 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 14  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You can post new topics in this forum
You can reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group