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Thread: Pitts S1

  1. #1
    Member zavigny's Avatar
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    Pitts S1

    Hi All,

    This is my first completed Blender model. It was made with Blender 2.55 without using the compositor (Heck, I don't know how to use it yet ..) or any post processing. It's all straight Blender renderer. It looks pretty good to me, but fire away if you see where it can be improved. I'm not very skilled yet, so be gentle..ok?

    I'd made tons of little tests, but had never really tried to make a complete project. But blundering away for two weeks now has brought me to here. I learned so many new things along the way (in fact, and much to my chagrin, just yesterday I discovered the crease tool! Wow, that would have made things MUCH easier!).

    I started to learn Blender with 2.49, but the change to 2.5 made the learning curve so steep, I thought I was going backwards! I originally learned 3D with an old Mac based NURBS modeler, which is quite different then the Poly modeling in Blender, but I think I've finally got a grip on basic modeling, and I'm fumbling ahead with lighting at the moment.


    I've been lurking on this forum for a bit, and it's helped me tremendously… so I just want to say thanks a bunch folks, you've made the transition to polys a lot easier for an old fart like me.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I am two with nature.
    Pitts S1



  2. #2
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    Looks very nice. Great job on the modeling and rendering.



  3. #3
    Luscious red! It looks almost good enough to eat.



  4. #4
    Member MAR71N's Avatar
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    It's pretty good. Excellent work.
    These planes are new and are stored in a old hangar. I think they are a drug dealer and he hides them here.



  5. #5
    Member zavigny's Avatar
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    @WombatCombat - "I advise students on the subject of color as follows: If it looks good enough to eat, use it." (artist Abe Ajay)

    That's my thought exactly. Sometimes I see colors that stir up hungers and thoughts of delicious foods and I'm invariably drawn toward them. Maybe that's why eating before going shopping makes one a bit more resistant to the power of marketing and colorful packaging.

    @MAR71N - I don't know how effective a bright red airplane would be if the dealer wanted to remain hidden. After all, you gotta take it out and fly it once in a while.

    I grew up around old airfields in the 50's, and always loved the shiny and bright aircraft juxtaposed against the weathered and grimy hangers and equipment. It emphasized the "specialness" of aircraft very strongly.
    I am two with nature.
    Pitts S1



  6. #6
    Member callmeishmael's Avatar
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    Your hundreds of experiments paid off big time. Excellent modeling. I'm particularly impressed by the graphics on the aircraft: getting things like that to look right on a complex shape (Like the wheel pants) can be a chore. The weathering on the hangar exterior and the oil drums is excellent.

    I'm an old fart as well (62) so you're not alone!
    "The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty-- you know you're an artist."
    --David Hockney



  7. #7
    Member zavigny's Avatar
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    Well, you've got me beat. At 61 I thought I'd be the oldest around! Man, time sure funs when you're having flies, don't it?

    The graphics on the plane were the most fun of the whole project, which surprised me. I hadn't done UV mapping before, and thought I'd really muck it up, but it was surprisingly easy. Did them all with one Illustrator file with the all the UV's arranged in a 25% transparent layer overlaid on top of the base Red color. Then did the white/black striping and text on top of the Red layer. The same UV file was used for the bump map, with a 50% neutral gray layer underneath. Going lighter or darker from the neutral gray would raise or lower the surface. Using gradient fills would make the underlying structure, like the ribs, appear to gradually press up against the aircraft fabric and then gradually dive back under where it met the harder surface pieces. When you looked at it REAL close, you could see slight lines, probably caused by the .PNG indexed color "stair-stepping". A little Gaussian Blur helped, but it never disappeared completely. But the real problem was that the bump effects are so subtle that its very hard to see them unless you rake a strong light across them. That's where I need do a lot of learning... the lights!

    I am two with nature.
    Pitts S1



  8. #8
    This is really, really impressive (not that I'm an expert). You need some dirt on the aircraft and bump mapping on the concrete. And a higher resolution texture for the ground as well. Also, some DOF, particularly for the inside shots.
    A superb piece of work.



  9. #9
    Very nice compositions, I am drawn to these same types of building with "texture". At only 55 years old, you guys make me feel young;P



  10. #10
    Member zavigny's Avatar
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    I'm not an expert either, and I seriously doubt that I ever will be, so I value any advice.

    The higher resolution and bumped concrete? Nutz!..of course! I just didn't see that issue after a while. Too focused on the aircraft I guess... I've fixed it now and it looks *much* better. Thanks a lot friend!

    Dirt on the aircraft? Blasphemous! Two things: (1) I don't mind wear and tear which I have on the propeller, or some scratches and stuff... but dirt... hmmmm.. I dunno...maybe around the Landing gear, maybe some dust, but...but dirt on my shiny new airplane?...ouch! -- and (2), I haven't learned how to do dirt yet. Ha! But I will explore this avenue of learning and see what comes of it. Thanks again.

    I've tried using DOF, but I must be screwing up somewhere. I can't seem to make it do anything at all. It's not documented very clearly. In fact, I've found that if you assign an object to be the center of the focal plane, it becomes permanent... you can't delete it from then on! Is this normal? Further testing ahoy!

    [Edit:] I just searched for DOF tutorials and found a different Blender Wiki page then the one I originally looked at. It seems you have to use the compositor to achieve DOF, so ignore what I said above. I have much more to learn...
    I am two with nature.
    Pitts S1



  11. #11
    Member zavigny's Avatar
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    Thanks Steven. BTW, I looked at your "Maps and Static Machines" - *Wow*... you have skills my friend! Also, I wonder what the average age of Blender users are? Might make an interesting survey.
    I am two with nature.
    Pitts S1



  12. #12
    Member callmeishmael's Avatar
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    zavigny, stevenhorton, I've done fine art (pen-and-ink, colored pencil) for nearly fifty years. Moving to 3D has been a lot of fun and art is one endeavor where age doesn't matter. While the younger people have energy, enthusiasm and good eyesight, we old gators have patience, willingness to take direction, and no qualms about reading the manual. It's all good.
    "The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty-- you know you're an artist."
    --David Hockney



  13. #13
    Member vapsman88's Avatar
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    Zavigny,

    Great job on the Pitts S1!

    I used to see some Pitts when I used to do the air show circuit in Socal.
    The textures are especially nice on the Hangar building.

    I have been an aircraft nut since I was little, I ended up working for McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing for 20+ years and have been around most every aircraft they produced.
    I used to do 3d modeling with Multigen for a Flight simulator and have been out of that for about 10 years. I just started using Blender with the new 2.5x version, and I am working on
    a model of the Gee-Bee.

    Great job and hope to see more of your work.

    ~John



  14. #14
    Great post!!!
    I love the colors, excellent render. Good job on modeling. *5



  15. #15
    Member vapsman88's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zavigny View Post
    Also, I wonder what the average age of Blender users are? Might make an interesting survey.
    Check out Andrew Price's video from the Blender 2010 Conference where he did a survey about Blender.
    The survey starts at about 3:29
    Go to Vimeo dot com and search for "The Big Issues" and it should be the second video.

    ~John



  16. #16
    Member zavigny's Avatar
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    @vapsman88

    Thanks for the comments. I appreciate them greatly.

    It seems we have some things in common:
    1) Obviously, I too am an aircraft aficionado. It you scrape my skin, Zinc Chromate shows through.
    2) I've been connected with MCD/Boeing most of my life. Can't say more.
    3) I started working on a Gee-Bee a month or two ago (fuse and cowl only), but the sirens call of a shiny red Pitts took me away and I put it aside. But that short stubby airframe and that massive Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial just cries out for a loving hand. I anxiously await your model!

    The hanger and 55 gal. drum texturing is entirely due to a terrific article on "Hard Surface Textures" on the CGSociety website forum written by Stephan-Morell. I bow in his general direction. Don't miss it!

    http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=373024

    And the results of Andrew Price's survey that you pointed me toward were quite illuminating. I would not have guessed that the number of 50+ yrs. old Blender users was only 5%. I would have thought it to be 10% to 15% at least. Whadda ya know….
    I am two with nature.
    Pitts S1



  17. #17
    Member zavigny's Avatar
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    @ michalis

    Whenever I put my stuff out in front of the public, it's always felt like I'm handing people my heart…and a knife, 'cause you never really know which way it's going to go. So believe me, my heart thanks you for your kind words!
    I am two with nature.
    Pitts S1



  18. #18
    Donating Member Alvaro's Avatar
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    hi

    that's an excellent model. Can you show wires please?



  19. #19
    Member zavigny's Avatar
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    I mentioned in my first post that I wasn't very skilled, and now you want to see a wireframe view to prove it? Great… OK, here it is in all its ruinous glory.

    Please remember that I was very determined to just finish my first complete model, to actually take something to the very end, so mistakes and stupid errors that I only realized were mistakes later on in the process were left just as they were. No going back to fix them or re-do them unless they were near-fatal screw-ups that would seriously effect the final outcome. So you'll see many areas where it would have been better to have been done in a different way, but I just ignored those issue areas and bumbled ahead to get something finished. The results from using Booleans for the Ailerons and Elevator Trim Tab were far worse then anything I did anyway, so it's probably a wash…

    (And Alvaro, I've now looked at your aircraft stuff over on CGSociety, and it makes me feel pretty silly even putting my image up before guys like you. You have a great depth of modeling experience and I learned a lot reading through your construction workflow. Thanks!).


    Last edited by zavigny; 03-Dec-10 at 19:06.
    I am two with nature.
    Pitts S1



  20. #20
    Member vapsman88's Avatar
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    Repeat post, please delete.

    ~John
    Last edited by vapsman88; 05-Dec-10 at 01:51.



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