"Rhino" is my favourite 3D modelling program.
Note: a lot of my renders are done on "Maxwell" while modelling,
then in "Vue Infinite" when finally importing & texturing for art renders.

2010 WORK


Building one of the smaller ships from te fantasy space setting for D&D :)

All done!

Wings given a translucent material to test difference #58. I think non-translucent, #57 is better, but we'll see when I do art renders :)

Altered the panels on railing, and material on the "Knees" and"thighs" of the legs between #54 and #55.

#51 to #53
messing around trying to find what material, including dirtied textures and/or procedural dirt shader looked best for the hull. Also added intricate bump for the two large golden "border" planks around hull.

For realism ALWAYS make textures dirty/worn etc on important objects! hence my "dirt map material" for Vue.

Adding name plate texture

made 16 bit bump map for wings, as 8 bit produces visible pixellation


Working on railing textures

Wear/scratches added to enclosure of the stairs
Note pixellation showing on wings bump, due to the limits of using 8 bit texture! Modellers beware

Adding scratch/wear to cargo hatches


Wing texture made


UVMapped and Imported into Vue

Line Art version made with "Penguin" renderer, demo version

I like rendering in "glass" as it's a great way to show off the inside of the ships and to get a good "feel" of how it all fits together.

Now that modelling is basically complete, I make a "beauty" image (#34)



I ended up leaving off the intricate hinges I built on the cargo hatches on final model, again, because of way too many polygons, and at a later stage rebuilt them using much simpler shapes with chamfers. Oh well, least they look beautiful here! ;)

Note the detail work on the straps that cross the cargo hatches. Again, these proved to have vastly too many polygons when exported, so yet again, I had to go back and rebuild them, GAH!! I rebuilt them using simpler shapes with chamfers, and hexagonal bolts. But I added rings where ropes or padlocks would secure the hatches.

So, the final ship has less detail than these shots show, such is life!

Since I made the door locks usign chamfers, they were ok to export.

Note: After doing a lot of booleans etc on an object, using the MERGE ALL FACES command after each bollean or such, can help clean the many surfaces up. this really can help when doing complex objects and tends to help prevent failing booleans. I, of course, being an idiot, tend to forget to do that... ;)


Please note the amount of "filleting" work. This gives roudned, or flat ("chamfered") edges to objects depending on which type you chose to apply. This is VITAL for realism! real objects cannot ever the have infinitely thin, perfect edges that computers create, there's always some rounding.

When modelling AND rendering scenes in a specific package, say, everything done in Lightwave or Maya, you can use subdivision and other such ways to get more rounded edges, but when you model for exporting to obj etc to packages that cannot added filleting, you MUST build in the fillets. This greatly increases the polygon count, but for close up realism, is essential.

Note in #27 you can see how I modelled planks INTO the cargo hatch itself for realism. However as I later found out, using "filleting" produced way too many damned polygons when I went to export it! Grr! So I later went back and re-built and only used "chamfer" which produces a flatter edge, liek using a chisel to slice off a thin strip, rather than sand it down round like a "fillet" comamnd does, and thus chamfers make less polygons as they are flatter. Chamfers still produce visible highlights and are much more realsitic than a an edge so perfect ti literally ha snot hickness and thus no highlights, it's the lack of highlights that kills the illusion of realism.

Always ALWAYS keep every damn original object and curve you make, if even only on a previous saved file or such. If you screw up, or want to change things, you can thus go back to the original to start again. This is extremely important when doing booleans!


Since my main app, Vue Infinite,cannot assign textures on a "Per polygon basis" only on seperate objects , I have to model everything in pieces.
Note I make panels in individual pieces, so I can texture, remove, alter each one in a scene.

A "Beauty" shot to check how it all looks

Note it has taken me several variations by trial and error, to get the joint between wing and hull to follow the hull AND wing curve neatly.
I use a surface, rotate to angle I think is good in 3D, to split the lumpy projection on hull surface to leave a neat oval shape, this Ithen "blend" surface to the "metal collar" I built for the wing to slot into.

The "chin" piece is an elbaorate boolean. I start with the original hull surface, increase size and especially length, boolean it in half with a cube. Then a smaller duplicated version of the ovoid is booleaned out from the chin to leave it as a sort of "half egg shell". It now has thickness, a "real" object. I then use curves projected into a surface to boolean out the intricate "fin-lobe" shape. Then use small curves projected into surfaces to boolean out the small carvings.
Then I used "cage edit" to pull the "fin-lobe" out and away in a small curve




The wings are built using "sweep to rails" then a metal collar buil from the end curve of the wing, using "rail revolve" which is damn tricky to do in a 3d non-planar shape.

Adding decorations on side of hull/ Easy way to make them follow the hull's shape is to take a long extruded solid of the shape of the "H" curve I made, duplicate original hull surface and move it out slightly, then bollean that off the "h" object, to leave the "h" just standing proud a set amount, then booleaning the original hull surface to cut off the back of the "h". leaving a nice solid exactly following the hull's curve!


The outer "metal" hull part, is built from a copy of the ovoid surface of the original hull. Stretched and then "rebuild" to give more points. A lot of work is done on the points, then booleaning to finish it.







I initially did a "sweep to 2 rails" for the tail, but this was messy and I didn'tliek the way it would be. It's usually best to keep shapes as simple and with as few neat surfaces as possible. So I merely extruded a curve straight. then used "cage edit" to thin and pull down the tail section.




I used the original deckplans of the ship to try and stay as true as possible to the size and concept of the ship.
However I know from previous such builds, that the ship's exterior artwork, and interior deckplans rarely match up, and often have flaws I have to fix, or things I can see to improve as I have the luxury of a 3D build to exact sizes! ;)


Initial start #1




All original art, writing on this site, copyright of Steven James, "Silverblade the Enchanter" ©2012