No 3D skills or experience, but I have a project that desperately needs 3D design and animation. So I’m starting with the most basic of questions: Is investigating/learning Blender the right path to take?
The project is to model transit system guideway and animate it to visualize the completed system in the real world.
The basic “bones” of the need is a program that has basic 3D curve sections that can be connected to form interconnecting quideways. Generically, all use the same rules and constraints in vertical and horizontal curves and transitions.
Specifically, a library of “standard” segments needs to be built for specific physical systems. Each “standard” segment based on the generic segment limited with various fixed parameters.
Example: A generic section can change elevation, length, direction. A Straight section only changes length. Position, angle, height, are all controlled by the end point configuration of the preceding section.
Depending on the coding of the segments, segments might be grouped into standard objects. These standard segments and objects would form the building blocks. Add a straight segment, build further, modify that first segments class to a curve later if the inflexibility of the straight class is too restrictive…
Placing and connecting standard and generic segments and objects in 3D space would create the guideway network. The model is then completed by extruding guideway cross-section the length of all paths, support structure connected, and vehicles animated along the same paths.
Each segment would have a maximum speed along the segment defined by the curvatures and transitions and vehicles could be animated at maximum speed along the entire path or at any speed below the maximum along each point in the path.
There is a program that has some small part of the requirements that was produced for model train layouts, 3rd PlanIt (www.trackplanning.com/3pi.htm). If the center line and a couple of parameters could only be exported…
Too much? Too little? Off my rocker?
Just a shout out in the dark with the hope of some guidance.