Monday, December 26, 2011

Modelling - Train

So I have now started modelling my train for my animation. To begin with I had to take pictures of my actual train from the side, front and top - this would be a reference where I could then build my model, relating to the pictures. You have to make sure all the images are in proportion to each other otherwise they will not match up. You put each image in its corresponding window and resize where necessary.

From the images I then started to create primitive polygons, building up the basic shape of my train. To make sure that the whole train was even, I only modeled half of it, then mirrored its geometry in the opposite axis. I also made sure that these sections sat next to each other seamlessly by using the snapping command. After using it a bit more from the truck tutorial I am now a lot quicker using it and am able to achieve what I want.

I used several techniques to re-create some of the shapes from the train. By using the split edge loop tool, I was able to add in extra vertices which I was then able to manipulate in the right manner. This is a very useful tool as you can change the objects shape really easily, which I used a lot when modelling my train. To make certain parts hollow, or to extract areas, I made the shape I needed in the first place, duplicated it, put it in place (most of the time within the object) and used the difference tool under booleans, edit mesh. When doing this I had to make sure that the object I wanted hollowing out was selected first, otherwise I would be left with the duplicated shape if that was selected first.

To create the wheel I had to add in extra edges from which I could extrude certain faces from. I had to ensure that the subdivisions on the cylinder were set to at least 2 otherwise it wouldn't work. Using the split edge tool, I added in the desired amount of edges, and by selecting the faces I wanted, I extruded them out to a certain point. To create the parts on the inside of the wheel, I created one from a cube - changing the vertices. I centred the pivot point and used 'duplicate special', making 11 copies at a rotation of 30 degrees. This is a quick and easy way to create the same object so many times around a certain point.

I have made sure that everything is correctly named under the outliner menu, this makes it easy to locate certain objects and any groupings I have created, if anything needs editing.

The last thing I need to model is the pistons, however I know when it comes to animating that the model needs to be constrained. I will either find out how to do this myself, or wait till I go back to uni to make sure I know the correct way to do it. I also need to add in colour and some UV mapping to my model which shouldn't take me too long. The next thing I need to do is work on my storyboard for my actual animation and see what else I need to model in regards to the trains environment. I will try and keep it simple so that it relates to the train, if I had something really complicated it would be far too time consuming and when the train is within that environment, it wouldn't be suited towards it. I have to take into consideration the style of the train. I will also have to figure out how I will animate it, will it be free moving or will it be constrained to a track? and also think about the 12 principles of animation and how I can incorporate some of these into my train.

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