The problem is that if I already knew where the lumps where, I wouldn’t be looking for a tool to enable me to check for lumps.
This may be a problem with different experiences between Blender artists and boatbuilders. If I tell a boatbuilder I want a lofting tool to get my curves fair, he’ll know exactly what I mean straight away. Yes, I have actually drawn plans for real boats, and built them, so I know how boatbuilders think.
Since boat/ship design software is optimised for that use, it contains specific tools to make the job easier. The idea is to give yourself a exaggerated graphic representation of rate of change of surface curvature, so that you can easily pick out areas where the curve is isn’t “fair”, in boatbuilding terms. These are discrepancies that are easy to miss when working on scaled down plans, but likely to become obvious at full scale.
There are various Blender tutorials that illustrate ship-hull modeling:
As well as various tutorials at Blender Cookie.
Ok, cool. I’ll have a look through those.
A common technique … also illustrated in Blender documentation … is to create a profile curve of the hull at various points, then stitch those curves together to form a three-dimensional surface. Mathematical surfaces, properly constructed, ought not to have “lumps.” And they can, through the use of various node-types in a Bezier curve or surface, describe some “odd” shapes. (But, do ship’s hulls normally have “odd shapes?”)
Yes I was thinking I’d probably have to set up Beziers or NURBS on the stations, waterlines, buttocks and diagonals and go from there. It’s likely to be a messy process.
Without wanting to get into an argument over trivia, it’s quite possible for mathematically defined shaped to have “lumps”. And yes, ship hulls can have some very weird shapes in places.
@Eppo: Thanks for the gifs. I can see those tools being useful.