Eagle Transporter

Finally got some textures on the Eagle that I’m fairly happy with. Must admit though that on the cockpit there are some lines showing, squares I guess where the texture don’t seem to flow smoothly over the surface. It looks to me like the faces are showing, but I have used a level 3 subsurf so I am not sure why the material reacts like it does.

Anyway, I found a place to park the Eagle, outside the local library was about the only place big enough. Pilot’s still at the controls though, just in case a traffic warden gets any ideas about slapping a ticket down.:evilgrin:

Still going to keep working on this and hopefully there won’t be such a big time gap between the next few posts, Blake’s Seven really does suck. :eek:

Faces showing could be because you have edge loops close together, or you may need to sharpen some of the edges - select edges key SHIFT+E and then give a value, 1 is tight, 0 is no effect -1 clears this sharpness. Or you might like to add an Edge Split with the angle set so only tight corners are affected, something like 70 - 90 degrees, make this Mod lower in the list than the Sub-surf. Or you could just need to click the Smooth button on the Tool menu, without seeing the wires, I am guessing… You could show a wireframe here - search “Amaranth” Add-on there are some good tools in there for wireframes, etc.

Keep up the good work!

Cheers, Clock.


Post #127 on my Magnum Opus thread shows wires done like this.

Cheers, clock. I went through all the suggestions you made but nothing seemed to be curing the problem. So I tried unplugging the grunge texture I’m using for roughing up the main material and the faces, or what I thought were faces showing through, disappeared.

So then I got to wondering if it might be something to do with the way I had unwrapped the cockpit, I used smart unwrap with a little margin for the islands. I tried unwrapping again, but this time used projection from view, and the problem went away.

It looks as if the gap between the islands was causing the grunge texture to not line up on the different faces. Simple mistake to make but it’s a new one to me so lesson learned.

Cheers for all the info, it certainly lead me down the path I needed to follow.:cool:

Cool, cool update and render, caz747. First impression was “WOW”.

I have two minor suggestions, though. The environment looks to me like being shot on an overcast day. White sky and no real highlights on the building. Hence I think the shadows below the eagle are too strong.

And I think, although I’m not really sure about that, there is a problem with the vanishing point and camera matching. I have the feeling that the red line, which is the top of the eagle, does not match the lines of the library and that it should be more like the yellow line.

Other than that - great!

Thanks for the comments. minoribus, they’re much appreciated.

You’re right about the shadows. I had added in a sun lamp as I wasn’t sure if the environment lighting was strong enough, it was only after the image had started to render, and about thirty minutes in, that I realised the shadow was too strong. As it was going to take over an hour to finish the render I decided to let the lighting problem go this time. Another lesson learned.

I did not notice the the vanishing point problem, but you are right so thanks for pointing it out. I will have to play around with this scene again to see where it went wrong.

Hello, my friend.

Lovely Eagle you’ve made. I have embarked on a similar journey, though by the look of yours, you are far more skilled than I am. It’s still very much a WIP.

I was wondering how you approached the scaffolding framework that lies along the top of the ship. Especially at the corners, where you get a five-way junction of cylinders, whose diameters are not all the same, and the cylinders emerge at different angles. I’ve been making it with the intention of it resulting in a single object for that whole piece, with sound quad topology. I’ve tried booleans, shrinkwrap modifier, curves - all sorts. I always seem to end up with the same topological nightmare.

The nearest I’ve come to a solution is sliding verts around, but that destorys the cylindrical profile and isn’t really an option. I guess retopology might work, but that seems like a very long-winded way of getting round the problem. Surely there must be a way of dealing with such a situation without compromising the design on the plans of the ship.

How did you get round this problem? It’s driving me crazy!


Hi Gibson.
Thanks for the comment it’s much appreciated.
The scaffold on the top is just a bunch of cylinders set at different angles with different sizes, the only part that is one whole section is the main bar across the top on the left and right, I just extruded out the wider section where they were needed.
It’s been a while since I built the Eagle so I’m not sure if I tried to make the scaffold as one object, but like you say I would imagine it will be a bit of a nightmare to try to do it that way.
Where the cylinders intersect some of them have a wider width than others and this helps to hide the fact that they are separate cylinders.
I will have a look at the scaffold again just to see if I can find a way to do it as one object, I have a few more years Blender experience now.
Hope to see your Eagle posted at the forum, it would be nice to see how it progresses.

caz747, you’re my hero! Thanks for getting back so soon.

I guess it’s not likely that the whole roof rack is one single object. The reason I’m pursuing this avenue is because it means there will be welds at the pipe junctions which would not be present if they were separate intersecting pipes. To be honest, from the references I’ve been modelling to, it’s difficult to see what’s going on exactly.

By far the biggest headache is where we get the five-way junctions. As you say, their cylinders are not the same diameter, and they do not emerge from the join at ‘convenient’ angles. I’ve been searching for videos that deal with this, but all the ones I’ve found usually go no higher than three or four-way junctions, and they’re usually at right angles and all the same diameter, which I think Icould manage. And to deal with any mess of vertices, they just slide and collapse them; you can get away with this in minor cases, but if you move the vertices around too much, the cylindrical profile breaks.

I suppose it’s an interesting modelling exercise anyway. How would someone model a five (or more) way junction where the cylinders are not equal diameter and meet at awkward angles. Maybe I’m getting too hung up on it, but now that I’ve encountered this puzzle, I feel duty bound to deal with it as the time will surely come when I will hit it again. I’m definitely not finding it easy.

I feel it’s only fair that I share my efforts. I have to admit I feel a little shy as your model looks so good, and there are plenty of places where mine does not stand up to scrutiny. But here’s my blend file anyway if you want to look at it. A lot of it is still not committed geometry, using lots of modifiers so I cound change stuff before making any decisions. And I haven’t finished a lot. Feel free to criticise anything I’ve done, as I obviously have lots to learn, and am prone to making huge mistakes. Learning Blender is an eternal pursuit!

Again, thanks for replying and looking into it.
Eagle Transporter3.blend (3.4 MB)

It’s looking good so far. For me the hardest part to model was the cockpit and although we have taken different approaches to doing it your one looks spot on. Nice work.

The main difference between the models is the vertex count. My finished model has 300,000 verts but your one so far has over 600,000, not that it really matters unless it is planed to animate the model. A lot of the extra verts appear to come from the subsurfs used on the engine.
Here;s an image of how I did it without the need for a subsurf.

I do wonder if the modellers of the original Eagle had the same problem with the intersections on the scaffold and that’s why they made the width of them different just so they could hide the sections one inside the other.
I do know there’s a guy who recently posted a tutorial on building the Eagle so I will have to take a look at it to see if he found a way around the problem.

Just a bit of trivia about the black cross on the landing gear. Apparently it is there as a tribute to the German fighter pilot aces of World War I

That’s a cool piece of trivia. I know one or two Gerry Anderson fans, and I bet they don’t know that!

Thanks for taking a look at my Eagle. I must admit, I hadn’t been aware of the vertex count. I have definitely gone more than a bit subsurf crazy, using a simple one to increase the geometry before using the shrinkwrap, and then throwing on another smooth subsurf afterwards. On many objects too. That was always going to come back and bite me. That’s why there are so many modifiers: I was hoping that when the time comes to finalise the geometry and apply the modifiers, I would have done away with the need for so many subsurfs.

Your rear rocket engines look super. I’ve definitely gone overboard. Note to self: cool it with the subsurfs; they’re only a temporary fix!

I wonder if the original model builders encountered a similar issue too. One thing’s for sure: they didn’t have to worry about edge loops, topology and such 3d modelling challenges. A few cuts, a bit of glue and, I’m sure, a whole lot more. I imagine it’s easier to deal with in real life because positioning joints was not restricted by geometry; in essence tha resolution is down to the atomic level, which is more than adequate.

BlenderBob is the guy who did the tutorial.

This is what started me off. It was actually his tutorial that got me using the shrinkwrap modifier on the cockpit - and just about everywhere else! My original approach was to model it all in one. I used his shrinkwrap method because I liked the idea of being able to alter things later, before committing. Which is just as well because it took me a while to get the cockpit shape to what it is now, and even then I don’t think it;s right. It’s definitely exposed me for the poor modeller I am: this shouldn’t take as long as it has, and I keep hitting brick walls. And BlenderBob says rhis is an easy model!! God, I’ve got so much tearn!

Alas, he didn’t tackle the roofrack in the tutorials - of which there are three. I’m sure he would have done it with no bother as he works for the Canadian VFX studio, Real by Fake, and has worked on many big-name movies. He’s started doing tutorials because the company actually uses Blender in their pipeline. They’re nice tutorials, with great insights.

I was thinking perhaps I should throw this multi-diameter’angle pipe joint problem into the general modelling forum and see what fuss it creates.

After all, why should we have all the fun? :wink:

Once again, thanks for taking the time, and for the feedback. My model definitely needs a lot of work, and there’s plenty of mistakes to be made, and learning to be done.

Pipes.blend (838.9 KB)
I had a go trying to pull all those odd angles out of one mesh. I got somewhere but it’s still not right. So I basically added a cylinder, in edit mode duplicated it and lined the duplicate up so it was at a right angle, top view, to the first one. Then did separate by selection into object mode and used the bool top as a union. Back into edit mode, duplicate one end of the cylinder, extrude it and then set the new cylinder to a 45 angle in top view and a 45 angle in the right view. Then spent quite a lot of time lining it up in the right place. I also have to scale it down a bit to make it fit.
Back into object mode and use the bool tool again.
I then duplicated the angled part in edit mode, used Mesh Mirror and mirrored it on the x axis, lined things up and used auto merge on the vertices and this gave me the right hand side of the mesh.
As you can see from the blend file there’s still a problem with the blunt end on the right hand side but at least it shows it may be possible to model the scaffold in one piece.

I did have a quick look at the BlenderBob tutorial, It’s good stuff. He knows how to make models so they work the correct way for a movie, which I must admit is something I never thought about. And I should have because the Eagle always crashed so well. :grinning:

It’s true, Moonbase Alpha must have had an endless supply of Eagles Gerry Anderson did like to blow things up!

Thanks for the blend file. You’ve had a good go at it. That is essentially the layout. The real problem arises from the fact that some of the pipes are different diameters, and the diagonal ones don’t appear to be at 45 degree angles. The combination of these factors leads to the vertices not lining up at the junctions. They basically end up all over the place, and when you boolean it you end up with one hell of a mess to tidy up. The right-angle junctions aren’t the problem really. They bool fine. Even if one of the pipes is thinner, that can be fixed with an edge loop on either side of the junction and reconnecting the edges to give tidy topology. But when the diagonal pipes are thrown into the mix, things get very complicated and messy. 45 degrees would be easier to deal with, but they don’t appear to be close to that angle. In fact, as you work your way along the scaffold, the same problem crops up with differing angles. It’s a real headache! No wonder they were always crashing! :thinking:

The temptation is to not make it all as one object. But I think on a ‘real’ Eagle, these joints would be welded. Very cleanly of course - after all this is 1999! :wink:

I notice you used the Bsurfaces add on. I’ve never used it, so I’ll have to explore this and find out what magic it does.

At the end of the day, whether or not it turns out that the scaffold has to be treated as one object, the puzzle remains. How would one go about modelling ‘crazy’ junctions such as these, and maintaining the joins (i.e. making all one object); and with clean topology? I’ve no doubt this could be sorted by an external remesh/retopo addon. There seem to be some pretty clever ones out there, But addons essentially automate a series of calculations and processes that give the desired result. Whatever the processes are, they should be able to be performed in vanilla Blender.

God knows what

…And I hit the send button by mistake!

Anyway, enough of my yapping. Thanks for all your help. We’ll get there eventually, I’m sure.

I couldn’t resist throwing it out there.

Tricky pipe joints - Support / Modeling - Blender Artists Community

Wonder what will come back. :slight_smile:

Best of luck with it all, it sounds like one hell of problem to overcome.

Thanks caz747.

The topic has already gathered a few replies. The fall-back option seems to be booleaning then retopo. But there are many leads to investigate.that could yield a result.

And thanks for the feedback on my Eagle attempt. I needed telling off about the subdurfing. I had no idea the geo had got so heavy on the rear rockets. And the way I’d done the cockpit, I could see that getting way out of hand very quicky.

And, I hope you don’t mind, but I will be using your Eagle renders to help me out my model. It looks solid and faithful to the original design, which is hard to come by. If mine comes out looking anywhere near as good as yours, I’ll be very happy indeed! :sunglasses:

If you need any more renders of my Eagle, any specific views, let me know and I will post them here.