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 From:  MFort
446.1 
I just felt like sharing. I feel like I have the turret the way I want, the body still needs work and the cylinder tires are just place holders.
I have no training, I'm still very much in a learning mode.
Any suggestions or tips welcome.

-Matt
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 From:  Michael Gibson
446.2 In reply to 446.1 
Looks good!

Maybe the scale of the body is a little bit off? Somehow it seems like it should be taller or else there wouldn't be much room in there. Either that, or those wheels are really pretty big.

- Michael
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 From:  wibble
446.3 
Yeah. Looks great!.

The wheels look a little simplistic. Mainly because of the sharp edges. But I suspect you know this and they're just place holders, because the detail on that turret suggests you're quite a perfectionist.

It seems MoI is quite popular for designing and building killing machines. I hope you can sleep at night, Michael!!

;)
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 From:  Richard (RUSIRIUS)
446.4 
For someone who is new to this you are doing quite a good job.

Looking forward to seeing future updates.
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 From:  MFort
446.5 
Thanks for the nice comments folks. I worked on the turret for a while. The body and wheels are just rough, trying to get a shape I like.
I hope to work on it today as long as the nasty Ice storm coming allows me to continue to have electricity. Like I have said before, I have tried to become fluent in several programs, none have been as easy to catch onto as MoI. I'm thinking of starting the,"Michael Gibson Fan Club". HeHe

Thanks Again guys
-Matt
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 From:  MFort
446.6 
I tossed the original body and reshaped a new one. I think the scale is a lot better on this one.
The wheels are still just placeholders for an idea of scale.
Much happier with the overall shape of this one.

-Matt
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 From:  Michael Gibson
446.7 In reply to 446.6 
Looks like more realistic proportions. I don't know, maybe still just a tad more height to the body? But I think this is pretty close now.

Seems like this is the kind you're making: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:LAV25-1.jpg

The only other thing that looks a bit odd proportion wise is the close placement of the wheels to one another.

- Michael
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 From:  MFort
446.8 In reply to 446.7 
The LAV-25 was the inspiration. I have had the opportunity to inspect it inside and out a number of times. Even went for a ride. No cannon on it though. It was a converted mortar carrier modified for Police use. They refused my repeated offers to drive though.
I haven't been following plans , just modeling off the top of my head. Sort of an Anti-Tank version.
The wheel well will not stay as open as it is, there will be small skirt on top.
I think the body will look better when I get wheels of the correct proportion in there.
I actually thought the body might be too tall
Wow I just looked at the wiki image, Im doing pretty well from memory..LoL
and there are no skirts!
Thank you as always for your input. More to come.

-Matt
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 From:  MFort
446.9 
Todays update. The wheels aren't finished. I'm hoping the wheel wells look better with some suspension.
Also in the front view you can see that there is an issue with the view-port being off center. I noticed this after the Boolean union.
Is there a way to fix this well after the fact?
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 From:  Richard (RUSIRIUS)
446.10 
Very nice work MFort. You've really fleshing this one out.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
446.11 In reply to 446.9 
> Is there a way to fix this well after the fact?

Yeah, you can get in there and do some work at the individual surface level to repair this. It is a bit involved but here is some explanation.

Check out this post which explains how to do a basic "untrim" which can be used to erase a hole on an object and recover the underlying surface: http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=444.4


What you need to do is first select the surfaces (faces) that make up the protrusion of the view-port from the main body. You do this by doing a second click on the object. Your initial click on an object selects it with "whole object" selection, then after that an additional click will drill-in to a sub-object of either an edge or a face. Edges get precedence so to select a face/surface you need to zoom in a bit until you can grab a spot that is in the middle of it somewhere not close to an edge.

You want to select all the surfaces of the protrusion, and then do an Edit/Separate - this will detach that protrusion from the main body and make it into an independent separate type of assembly. (note - if you do an Edit/separate with the entire object selected it will break into all separate surfaces, but if you have a set of faces selected it will separate that connected set as a sub-assembly, then you can do another separate to break this into individual surfaces if you want).

Now hide that sub-assembly, then you want to go in and erase the hole for where it was - reference the above post for this procedure. You may need to erase some trims on the sub-assembly as well to restore it. Once both of these parts are all restored, center the view-port sub-assembly and reapply it to the main body, by boolean or trimming.

If you want to post the model I can show you some screenshots of this procedure on your actual model.

- Michael
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 From:  MFort
446.12 
Thanks Rich, and thank you Michael. I read the referenced thread. I'm going to give it a try. If I have any problems I will post the file.

Thanks Again

-Matt
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 From:  MFort
446.13 
I attempted to correct it. The problem I have is originally when I made the view-port, I used some boolean boxes to cut the ports. Instead of doing another subtraction of a smaller cylinder inside the first to clean up the left-over weird angled geometry, I left it and just unioned to the hull.I have no trouble seperating the view-port, but whats left underneath is a nightmare. I'm not going to ask you to fix this. I understand what I've done wrong. No need to take up your valuable time because of my sloppiness.Lesson learned. I did a test on a simple cut-out and I had no problem removing the hole, using the procedure in the above thread.
Thank you all for even looking at this thread.
Michael, what more can I say?
Can I buy stock in Triple Squid?

-Matt
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 From:  MFort
446.14 
I did a quick render in Carrara, just to see how it looked with an olive drab steel shader.

-Matt
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 From:  Michael Gibson
446.15 In reply to 446.13 
Hi Matt, I can certainly take a crack at fixing it up - if you don't want to post the model here you can also e-mail it to me directly at moi@moi3d.com and I will keep it private.

It is actually helpful for me from a testing perspective to spend some time working on other people's models. Don't worry about my time, if it takes too long I'll bail out.

Anyway, the model is looking better and better - it is cool to see the progress!

The rendering looks good but I think the lighting is a bit harsh - if you can get a bit more distributed and indirect illumination it would make it look even more realistic. Possibly use several lights coming from different angles, with each one turned down a bit in intensity.

> Can I buy stock in Triple Squid?

:) I don't really plan to be a public-traded company, just a small regular privately owned company. But thanks for the vote of confidence!

- Michael
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 From:  MFort
446.16 In reply to 446.15 
No problem posting the file. I just didn't want to waste your time. If its helpful it all yours.
There was only the global light in the render, I didn't mess with the settings. I just wanted to see it rendered.
I have learned a tremendous amount from trying to put this together.
I lie awake at night thinking about how to cut geometry.
I have officially lost it.

Be forewarned, its not pretty under there..LoL

For some reason it will not upload. I will e-mail it.
Post it, or any part of it you like
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 From:  Michael Gibson
446.17 In reply to 446.16 
Mini tutorial on object repair techniques.


Matt is building an armored vehicle and only later realized that one part was not centered when it was unioned on to the main body:




This looks like a perfect opportunity to do a mini tutorial on how to use surface-level tools to repair this. I'll try to add various tips and tricks along the way so this may be a bit wordy.

The first step is that we want to detach that assembly and erase the holes it left to reform the main body as it was before the boolean.

Start by selecting all the surfaces of that center view-port assembly. You can select surfaces by doing a second click on an object - the first click on an object selects it as a "whole object". You can then do a second click to drill-in to select a sub-object instead - a sub-object is a face or an edge. Edges get precedence so to select a face you must pick in an area kind of near the center of the face not nearby other edges. Sometimes you may need to zoom in a bit so that face is larger on the screen to make this possible.

Once you select one sub-object, then the selection will switch to that sub-object mode and make it easier to select other sub-objects of just that type. For instance if you select one face, then it you will be in face-selection mode on that object and edges will stop being targeted. Sometimes you can use this as a trick to select faces without needing to zoom in - instead of zooming in, just grab the biggest face that you can see on the screen to select it and go into face-selection mode, then select the actual smaller faces you are interested in, and then deselect that initial big face by clicking on it again. Clicking on an already-selected object will deselect it (except for doing whole-object to sub-object drill down as mentioned before).

Another tip - once you go into a sub-object selection mode you can use area selections to target those sub-objects. So for instance, select one face and then you can drag an area select which will then select faces. Also when you are in sub-object selection mode, Select All or Invert will also operate on that sub-object type for just that object as well.

One note on area selection - if you do an area select starting from the left and dragging towards the right, you will see a solid rectangle - this mode will only capture objects that are completely contained inside the area rectangle. If you drag from right towards the left, you will get a dashed rectangle and this will capture objects that intersect the rectangle in any way, including just partially going through it.

Another tip - you can use sub-object selection combined with Reset on the view controls panel at the bottom of the viewport, to more easily zoom in on a small region of the model. When you push that reset button, it will fit the selected object to take up the whole view. You can push reset a second time to fit the view to everything including unselected stuff. One frequent technique is to fit to a sub-object selection, but then zoom out slightly to see a bit more - the reason for doing it this way is to make rotation work properly in the 3D view. The fit-to-selected-object also places the view rotation pivot at the center of that selected object, so when you zoom out a bit from there your view rotations will happen anchored around that spot. You can also set your view rotation pivot by using the area zoom - the center point you pick there becomes the rotation pivot.

Ok, did I mention this would be a bit wordy? But this is a good opportunity for me to mention these various techniques in a real world application.


Ok, back to the model - first we want to separate that view-port assembly from the main model. To do this we need to select only those faces. Start by selecting the entire model with one initial click, then doing a second click on the fairly large top face to go into face selection mode.

In this case it looks like the easiest way to select the rest is to go to the front view, and drag an area selection from left to right to capture all these parts:



Note that this also grabbed the narrow fillet surfaces on the left side as well - fix this by going in the 3D view and clicking on those fillet surfaces to deselect them. Sometimes it is quicker to select just a little bit too much and then deselect the extra stuff.

In this case there aren't any small surfaces on the back side of the model from the part we're working on - if there was then you would probably need to select them first and hide them, before doing the area zoom on the front. You can hide selected sub-objects to get them out of the way temporarily and help you focus on and select specific parts.



Now that all the faces of this sub-assembly are selected, you can use Edit/Separate to break it off from the main assembly as a separate object, leaving holes in the main object where it used to be attached.

When you do Edit/Separate on a group of faces, it will separate that group from the main object but keep the group itself still connected together. If you do an Edit/Separate on something that is selected as a whole object, or has all every single face selected, then it will break it into completely separate individual surfaces.

Also, if you are interested in doing a more major re-build of this part instead of just re-positioning it, you may just delete the selected faces instead of separating them.


Oh, another note - if you make a mistake when selecting things, like click off somewhere and lose your selection you've just spent a bunch of time building up, do an undo and it will restore your previous selection. You can't use undo to step through multiple selections (this would be tedious and get in the way of regular object-change undo too much), it is just a one-shot thing to save you from your last selection mistake.


Now hide the view-port assembly, exposing the hole in the main object:




At this point it is a good idea to rotate around a bit in the 3D view and make sure that everything is as expected - if there are any unexpected extra pieces missing from the main body it probably means you accidentally grabbed a few extra surfaces when you separated.


Now we want to erase this hole - you can erase a hole by selecting edges that are not attached to anything and hitting delete - this will remove trim curves from a surface and restore the original underlying surface.

But there is a bit of a complication right now - you can only erase a hole if you select all the edges that make up the entire boundary on a single surface for the hole. There are 2 holes here which are completely self-contained and easy to erase - a little tiny one in the middle, and the bottom one - the edges for these can be selected and deleted right away:




The remaining hole is a lot trickier - it is pretty deceptive because you're not actually seeeing the entire hole ( the "whole" hole ) there - the actual entire hole on the main angled surface looks like this:

…[Message Truncated]

View full message.

EDITED: 3 Mar 2007 by MICHAEL GIBSON


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 From:  Michael Gibson
446.18 In reply to 446.16 
Hi Matt, thanks for sending the model through e-mail. This was a good opportunity for me to give a tutorial on low-level object repair and reconstruction techniques.

Let me know if you get stuck on any spot - I think the most complex area is that the hole on the slanted face is a lot bigger than it seems because it includes the spot underneath the panel. That's the part that is different in this case than in the previous simple architectural window sample.

Someday maybe I can make the untrimmer smarter so that it could work without needing the entire boundary for the hole selected, but it is fairly difficult work to do that so it will be a whlie.

- Michael
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 From:  MFort
446.19 In reply to 446.18 
Thank you so much Michael. That was a fantastic explanation, as well as a few things I had no idea about.
The only part thats still seems a little tricky is the armor panel repair on the left, like you said, I will remove and mirror the other.
I will also make another view-port, I wanted it a bit less prominent anyway.

Thank You Again

-Matt
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 From:  Michael Gibson
446.20 In reply to 446.16 
Hey Matt, one other question - you emailed me a couple bug reports on some fillet/save related crashes from an earlier beta.

How has the newest beta been behaving, have you seen any crashes or unstable behavior with the newest beta while building your vehicle?

- Michael
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