This is my first post on blenderartists.org, so forgive me if I am posting in the wrong place!
I am working on a piece that involves a pier looking out over the ocean. It seems simple, really; I have all of the components necessary to create a very realistic looking model, with everything from various types of boards to pilings…etc. I have been working with Blender for about 2 years, and I feel that the best way to achieve realism in a project is to create things as they are created in the real world (i.e: individual planks for the pier, struts, supports, and so on). This seems simple enough (if not tedious), but I am having a problem: I modeled the pier after a real-life pier, all the way down to the number of planks…which is extremely high given that the pier is 1/6 of a mile in length. This, of course, is no real problem; I can just duplicate the planks as often as I need. However, even when working on a strict size scale, my computer crashes when trying to load all of the duplicated objects…and my file size shoots up to well over 300 MB. I suppose that I am doing something wrong, and, as a programmer, I know how much memory it takes to create 1000’s of objects with all their parameters and such.
Is there anything I can do? I know that certainly there must be a way; I was thinking about creating a single plank (or group of planks) as a parent to many children, if that is legal, but I just don’t know.
Does anyone out there have any ideas?
My specs are:
Dell XPS Studio 16
Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bits
Dual Core P8600 Processor @ 2.4 GHz each.
4 GB DDR3 RAM
Blender 2.49b and Blender 2.5 Alpha 2 (I use both).
My thanks in advance.