How to make the canopy (By David Bollinger)

How to make the canopy

Amabilis Forum: User’s Tips: How to make the canopy

andnbsp; By David Bollinger on Thursday, March 15, 2001 – 11:19 pm: andnbsp;

If you saw the rendering of the canopy experiment I did, here’s how I did it.

Use the lathe tool to create a suitable profile. While you’re only going to use about half of it, let the lathe form the full circumference. You’ll most likely have something that looks like a teardrop.

You need to have the fuselage ready, as you’re going to use it to help form the canopy. And, you’ll need severeal copies of the fuselage. You can either use cut-n-paste to make a few copies of it, or add it to the object library.

Fill the canopy object with some contrasting color. You will need to be able to see it clearly against the fuselage.

Make a copy of the fuselage and carefully fit the canopy object to it, scaleing and turning it as needed until you’re pleased with the shape and location. Now, subtract the fuselage from the canopy. Add the resulting canopy object to the object library. You’ll need more copies of it.

Make a copy of the canopy and fill it with a contrasting color. Position it under the original and scale it just a little using the ctrl-drag to scale it in all directions. How much smaller this copy is determines how thick the canopy frame and glass will be. Carefully position the new copy within the original. You may find that wireframe mode lets you see the positioning better. When it’s lined up, subtract the inner canopy from the outer. Repaint the result.

Throughout the next series of moves, keep an untouched copy of the canopy around at all times, both for new copies to use for boolean operations and for fixing your mistakes.

In brief, you’ll build a series of andquot;boltsandquot; to run across the canopy. Work with a side view and a perspective view. When these bolts are complete, they’ll be subtracted from one copy of the canopy to make the canopy frame and intersected with another copy of the canopy to make the glass. Depending upon the shape of the canopy, the worst part will be matching the curve where the canopy meets the fuselage. Extruded shapes are your best chance of getting this to look right. If the shape is more simple, you may be able to get by with slabs made of cube primatives. Get all the bolts made and placed.

Once this is done, move all these parts into the same frame, the canopy and all the cross bolts. Make a copy of these objects and set it aside out of the way. Now, subtract all the cross bolts from the canopy object. This will leave behind a skelletal frame of the canopy.

For the next step, you will need a fresh copy of the entire frame/group for each intersection operation. The intersection removes all parts of the two objects which aren’t shared in space. When you take the intersection of each bolt and the canopy, the remaining part of the canopy will be the glass plate for that part of the canopy. Be sure you re-center each plate on its axis.

Reassemble the plates within the canopy frame. Don’t be annoyed if you can’t get them to line up perfectly. You don’t want them to. The little error in getting them to line up will be seen as the differences in material fitting and will lend realism to the finished object.

Once you’re satisfied everything is positioned as you wish, paint the bits with their final colors and merge them into one object. Position it on the model and you’re all set to render.

andnbsp; By Richard Borsheim (Richard_Borsheim) on Friday, March 16, 2001 – 12:51 pm: andnbsp;

Hi David,

Thanks for the post. It is a good subject for a full tutorial.

In an upcoming release I’ll be adding comments to the POVRay output to simplify this a bit. Also, I’ll be adding more access to POVRay materials from 3DC.

Amabilis Software

andnbsp; By David Bollinger on Friday, March 16, 2001 – 08:01 pm: andnbsp;

The least I could do after all your help. Spring break is about over, but I’ll work on a full-blown html tutorial and get it to you as soon as I can.

…and the release will be available Monday?

andnbsp; By Richard Borsheim (Richard_Borsheim) on Saturday, March 17, 2001 – 12:34 pm: andnbsp;

Ummm. Perhaps not Monday <!– s;) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!– s;) –> Since I haven’t actually started coding it yet!

andnbsp; By David Bollinger on Saturday, March 17, 2001 – 06:10 pm: andnbsp;

Drat! <!– s:-) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":-)" title="Smile" /><!– s:-) –> Oh, well, maybe next week.

BTW, something blew up Win Me on my machine yesterday and I had to do a restore to get it back working correctly. Now, I’ve been real busy this week, as you know, and I’ve installed a bunch of stuff. There’s no telling what did the deed, but I did have quite a few exceptions while I was trying to figure out 3DC and it’s been my experience that exceptions (the blue screen kind) can cause deeper problems. I push this machine hard and the blue screens are my fault, not your software’s, but I thought I’d ask if you’ve had any reports of similar problems with WinMe?

The computer would boot, then seem to hang for upwards of a minute before it’d let me do anything, then behave normally. It’s all squared away now, and I’ll reinstall 3DC and POV and all that. I don’t think 3DC did it, but I thought I should mention it.

Take care, Dave

andnbsp; By Richard Borsheim (Richard_Borsheim) on Saturday, March 17, 2001 – 07:24 pm: andnbsp;

Hmmm. Don’t know what to say about all of that.

As for the POVRay stuff. You MIGHT see comments in the POVRay file in the not too distant future, but the material stuff is a pretty big job. Don’t get your hopes up.


andnbsp; By David Bollinger on Saturday, March 17, 2001 – 09:25 pm: andnbsp;

Believe me, I know what an enormous task you’ve set yourself. Whatever you get done, whenever you get it done, will be fine with me. I’m still just as impressed as I was the first day, more so, in fact. I’m finally living a long-time dream, to do real, quality 3d modelling. I’ve waited a long time for the coincidence of enough machine and the right software. You can’t know how grateful I am, in all seriousness.

I do, however, reserve the right to kid…

Take care, Dave

andnbsp; By Richard Borsheim (Richard_Borsheim) on Saturday, March 17, 2001 – 11:49 pm: andnbsp;

Oh. Okay. I get it now <!– s:-) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":-)" title="Smile" /><!– s:-) –>. Not everyone understands how much effort goes into the littlest of things.

I’m glad things are working out. I found the POVRay issue by the way. It will be in the first alpha release of 3DC 3.4 (and the object name comment also). It was actually a pretty serious issue, and will improve your POVRay exports in a variety of ways.


andnbsp; By David Bollinger on Sunday, March 18, 2001 – 02:20 pm: andnbsp;

Cool! I’ll be looking forward to it!

Take care, Dave

andnbsp; By Les on Saturday, April 21, 2001 – 12:37 pm: andnbsp;

I saw your tutorial on aircraft canopies, and it was fantastic. Just what I needed to get my canopy right. I didn’t use the canopy framework like you did, because I wanted my canopy to appear as one molded piece of glass/plastic. I posted a picture of my ship in the andquot;Models Feedbackandquot; forum, if you would like to see it. The second picture is with the transparent canopy.
Thanks again for the great tutorial.

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