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View Full Version : Advice: Splines or sub patch



petkusj
03-11-2005, 12:40 AM
Hello, I'd like a little advice on how to create this starship design. I used subpatches to work out the general shape in LW, then started doing detailed orthographics in Illustrator. Now I'm ready to start creating the shape in earnest in LW. But I was hoping to get some suggestions on what would be the best method to create something like this:

1. Create the rough shape in subpatch, freeze it, then carve it up with booleans for things like shuttlebays, deflector dish, etc.

2. Create every little detail with subpatches until my eyes bleed.

3. Create rough shape with spline patches, freeze it, then carve it up with booleans for things like shuttlebays, deflector dish, etc.

4. Create every little detail with spline patches until my eyes bleed.

Thanks,

Jennifer

Celshader
03-11-2005, 12:54 AM
Consider roughing out your subpatch cage with splines, freeze it, then add fine details afterwards. I'm not kidding -- splines are great for roughing out otherwise-tricky subpatch cages. That's how I built the body of this violin (http://www.celshader.com/gallery/violin/). Everything else was built with primitives/Seashell/subpatches, but the subpatch body was roughed out with splines, then frozen and booleaned.

Larry Shultz has a free online tutorial showing how to rough out a subpatch cage with splines here:
http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/support/spline_tutorial.mov

petkusj
03-11-2005, 01:11 AM
Consider roughing out your subpatch cage with splines, freeze it, then add fine details afterwards. I'm not kidding -- splines are great for roughing out otherwise-tricky subpatch cages. That's how I built the body of this violin (http://www.celshader.com/gallery/violin/). Everything else was built with primitives/Seashell/subpatches, but the subpatch body was roughed out with splines, then frozen and booleaned.

Let me see if I understand. You roughed out a shape with spline curves, created a spline patch from that, hit tab to sub patch it, fiddled with it some more as a subpatch, but when you wanted to created the F-holes, for instance, you froze it then did a boolean?

I've seen the WhiteStar tutorial where the entire ship is done with spline patches, including the openings. Of course, a WhiteStar is a pretty organic shape, not a lot of hatches, hangar bays and other greeblies. I've been going crazy with this ship, trying the WhiteStar approach. BTW, I did see the Larry Shultz tutorial.

I guess my problem with the Boolean route is that once you freeze it, you're stuck with the polygon count (unless you want smoothing errors when you up it. But leave it as subpatch and you can always change your mind.

Thanks,

Jennifer

PS I am probably going to take the create it as a spline patch then boolean the thing to death approach. I can't quite nail down the shape using subpatches, as you mentioned.

Celshader
03-11-2005, 01:17 AM
Let me see if I understand. You roughed out a shape with spline curves, created a spline patch from that, hit tab to sub patch it, fiddled with it some more as a subpatch, but when you wanted to created the F-holes, for instance, you froze it then did a boolean?

You got it. I built that violin back in LightWave 5.6 with MetaNURBS, so it had to get frozen anyway. I held off on freezing it until the last possible moment, though.

Today I would still have frozen just the panel of the body that I needed to boolean, but everything else that I did NOT need to boolean would probably have been left as subpatches.

SplineGod
03-12-2005, 02:33 PM
I agree with Jen. Use the tools where each is best suited. Theres many ways to use splines and patching is one way. Everything in LW is geared towards creating polys. Splines are basically a layout tool. As such theyre great. For detailing they cause bleeding from the eyes. Once you have the basic polygon cage created turn on subpatches and start detailing. At a certain point freeze your work and use booleans etc for other details. I might do the saucer section and the back part with splines but do the nacelles and pylons with subpatches.
Save your spline cage and your subpatch object if you need to go back.
Theres no reason to leave something like a ship in subpatch mode unless it has to be deformed with bones, morphs etc.
Also the better your reference is the easier it will be to layout with splines. :)
I also have a new video out on using splines in Lightwave. Its almost 4 hrs of material. :)