Maya Training

Introduction to Hard Surface Modeling

Maya Training

Interiors and Furniture Vol 1 & 2 - Modeling & Cloth

Maya Training

Shading, Lighting and Rendering the Bedroom in MR

Maya Training

Robot volume one - Modeling with animation in mind

Maya Training

Spach-Alspaugh House the complete courseware

Maya Training

Burt The Cartoon Dinosaur Vol 01 - Modeling

New Maya Training

Robot Volume 02 - Hybrid Rigging
You are here > Home > SimplyMaya Community Forums
Loading

Welcome to Simply Maya

Please Sign in or Sign up for an account

Member Login

Lost your password?

Not a member yet? Sign Up!

Old 19-07-2006, 03:17 PM   #1
Lt Jim
Subscriber
 
Lt Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Queens, New York City
Posts: 367
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Zeppelin type airship

I've always liked airships. When I took my first Maya class a few years back I tried to model one (it was awful, but it served its purpose). I've learned a few things since then! :-)

Anyway, it's based on the USS Akron/USS Macon type airship from the early/mid 1930s. I lengthened it to a scale 950 feet (the originals were 785 feet long). Right now all I have is the basic hull shape, the tail fins (sans control surfaces), and the control car.

The Akron and Macon (both of which crashed) were designed as aerial aircraft carriers. Specially equipped fighter planes would hook on to a "trapeze" which would then bring them into the hull to be hung on a rack. I hope to duplicate this mechanism on the finished model.

I am NOT looking forward to doing a UV map on the control car! If anyone knows of a plug-in which makes UV mapmaking easier, PLEASE let me know! :-)

Here is a first picture. As always, comments and suggestions welcome!
Attached Thumbnails
 
__________________
"Ad astra per aspera..."
Lt Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2006, 03:19 PM   #2
Lt Jim
Subscriber
 
Lt Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Queens, New York City
Posts: 367
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Here's a close-up of the control car. It still needs some tweaking, and I haven't set the reflection/refraction attributes in the window glass yet (which is why the first picture may look a bit funny)! There are also interior walls in the control car which may make the windows look as if they are distorted...!
Attached Thumbnails
 
__________________
"Ad astra per aspera..."
Lt Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-07-2006, 03:45 PM   #3
Lt Jim
Subscriber
 
Lt Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Queens, New York City
Posts: 367
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

I've done a bit more work. I have the double keel finished as well as the windows and entry hatch in the bow section. I decided to redo the control car. TOO MUCH BEVEL, and I also beveled BEFORE I extruded the windows. BIG mistake!

This explains why the control car windows look funny and jagged!

I am going to try a bevel with one section AFTER I extrude the windows. More pix will follow sometime next week!
__________________
"Ad astra per aspera..."
Lt Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2006, 09:08 AM   #4
mirek03
Subscriber
 
mirek03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,752
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Default

man, i have always loved these machines, something very differant, but dangerous. like 'the boat of the sky'

i would have thought texturing the zepplin itself harder than the control box , but whatever, i suppose it depends if u use a surface or a cloth texture, if yu know what i mean

stick to it
__________________
take it easy and life will be easy
mirek03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2006, 01:15 PM   #5
arran
Registered User
 
arran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 3,708
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
Default

Great choice of vehicle Lt Jim - This should be a fun project.
__________________
arran3D

arran3D blog
arran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2006, 07:59 PM   #6
bobalie
Registered User
 
bobalie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada, British Columbia, Victoria
Posts: 289
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Its great so far, but which colours are you going to apply to this bad boy?
bobalie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2006, 05:06 AM   #7
Lt Jim
Subscriber
 
Lt Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Queens, New York City
Posts: 367
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Thanks for the comments, everybody! I just got back from the in-laws and will finish this beast this week!

A cloth texture is a relatively easy thing to do, I do a canvas texture in Photoshop which (if scaled correctly) approximates the cloth covering of the airship. As for color, it will be an aluminum-like silvery finish. A few color photos of the airship "Hindenburg" exist which give a better idea of what it will look like.

I redid the control car before I left and it already looks 1000 times better. As for the rest of it, it's coming along! Again, more pix to follow! :-)
__________________
"Ad astra per aspera..."
Lt Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2006, 12:32 AM   #8
Lt Jim
Subscriber
 
Lt Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Queens, New York City
Posts: 367
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

I improved the control car. I changed the bevel level down a bit and that simplified everything. Right now, the glass shader I used for the windows is 100% transparent, so I had to add a couple of "walls". When it's time to render it, I will up the reflection and opacity so it better resembles the plastic "cellon" windows used on the original. here's a close-up:
Attached Thumbnails
 
__________________
"Ad astra per aspera..."
Lt Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2006, 12:35 AM   #9
Lt Jim
Subscriber
 
Lt Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Queens, New York City
Posts: 367
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Here's a close-up of the nose. I added the roughly triangular riggers' windows and the nose entry hatch (in gray). Again, it will all be rendered in a slivery metallic finish with appropriate markings!
Attached Thumbnails
 
__________________
"Ad astra per aspera..."
Lt Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2006, 12:37 AM   #10
Lt Jim
Subscriber
 
Lt Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Queens, New York City
Posts: 367
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Finally, a view of the entire hull showing the "double keel" I added. These show as protrusions along the side of the ship and is where the crew's quarters and work facilities were located on the original. You may or may not be able to make it out yet, but it will be more obvious when the windows and engine mounts are added. More in a few days!
Attached Thumbnails
 
__________________
"Ad astra per aspera..."
Lt Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2006, 05:55 AM   #11
Lt Jim
Subscriber
 
Lt Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Queens, New York City
Posts: 367
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Today I was only able to get to the rudder/elevator fins (easy) and the water recovery units (not too hard but tedious). Here are today's shots:

1) The fins
Attached Thumbnails
 
__________________
"Ad astra per aspera..."
Lt Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2006, 05:57 AM   #12
Lt Jim
Subscriber
 
Lt Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Queens, New York City
Posts: 367
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

...and 2) a closeup of the water recovery units (why I did these I don't know. In most distant shots of the original airships, they looked like giant windows. A close-up photo I found revealed their true shape).

FYI these units were put on airships to recover water from fuel exhaust. The idea was to recapture as much of the original weight of the fuel in water so the ship could more easily maintain equilibrium. They look nice, but I doubt I'll have too many close-ups of these. They will eat up render time! :-)

The engines and bracing wires are next up!
Attached Thumbnails
 
__________________
"Ad astra per aspera..."
Lt Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2006, 06:01 AM   #13
mirek03
Subscriber
 
mirek03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,752
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Default

looks great, how big is it in maya's world? Are the demensions and all specs as per the 'real' machine? Can you tell us how you did the cloth?


__________________
take it easy and life will be easy
mirek03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2006, 01:54 PM   #14
Lt Jim
Subscriber
 
Lt Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Queens, New York City
Posts: 367
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Thanks for asking, Mirek! To answer the "cloth" question first...I haven't actually textured it yet (the "canvas" setting in Photoshop's Texturizer scaled way down gives the right effect).

If you're asking how I did the basic shape of the hull, I can certainly answer that! In case you're not aware, airships of this type are NOT "blimps". A blimp is basically a soft balloon with a gondola and motor. The pressure of the gas itself keeps the "shape" of the blimp. The largest blimps ever built were just over 400' in length. Most blimps one sees today (as, for example, at sporting events) are maybe 120 or so feet long (30-35 meters, give or take). What I am doing is an example of a "rigid" airship. These had a rigid framework (aluminum or "duralumin", a stronger aluminum alloy) which determined the basic shape of the craft, and inside were a dozen or more gas bags filled with hydrogen or helium which provided the lift. Rigid airships were huge almost from day one (a WWI era rigid was about 650 feet long; the "Hindenburg", the largest ever built, was 804' long, and plans were made for airships well over 1000' long, though none were ever built).

The hull started as a NURBS sphere with 36 sections along the "z" axis and was scaled to match the basic shape. Isoparms were added as necessary. The NURBS object was then converted to a Poly. Faces were cut vertically as necessary, and then (to get the "look" of the girders under the cloth covering) a bevel was added along the length of the 36 horizontal sections.

As for scale, I used a reference drawing based on US Navy blueprints. The original USS Akron was 785' long and 135' wide at its widest point. I cut the drawing in half and added a section which would make my own version (a fictional lengthened version) approximately 950' by 150'. You can see the gap in the drawing where I added the extra length!
Attached Thumbnails
 
__________________
"Ad astra per aspera..."
Lt Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2006, 01:55 PM   #15
farbtopf
Subscriber
 
farbtopf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: London
Posts: 520
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

wonderful! I love airships too, it must be such a gentle way of flying.
farbtopf is offline   Reply With Quote

A little bit about who we are
Links you might find useful
Catch up with SimplyMaya
SimplyMaya specialises in Maya tutorials. We offer over 1,000 individual Maya training videos, ranging from basic Maya tutorials through to intermediate Maya tutorials. Our tutorials are created by instructors with industry experience and are designed to get you up and running in Maya quickly without making it seem like hard work.

Copyright © 1999-2015 SimplyMaya - vBulletin® Copyright © 2000-2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.