1. Hearts of Oak

    Quick links for Hearts of Oak
    - Developer Videos (New!)
    - Wiki - FAQ
    - Join the team

  2. New Horizons

    Quick links for PotC: New Horizons
    - Download latest version
    - Wiki - FAQ - Report bugs here
    - ModDB profile

  3. GOF: Eras

    Quick links for AoP2: Gentlemen of Fortune 2
    - Downloads and info
    - TheBlackKnight's Mods and Guides
    - ModDB Profile

  4. Ahoy
    New to the forum?
    Please take a moment to read our Welcome Message and Forum Rules.

HMS Bellona (1760 version)

Discussion in 'Ships' started by Armada, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Admin Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,842
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    I think it's about time to unveil the details of my latest modelling endeavour, which once again is even more ambitious than the last. (I like a challenge :cheeky)
    [​IMG]
    HMS Bellona was launched in 1760, and so fits perfectly into the proposed timespan of the first Hearts of Oak release, as well as the more refined Seven Years' War period for the first storyline. The existing model we have, though, resembles the ship as she looked during the Napoleonic era, so some changes need to be made to modify the ship to look more like she was when launched.

    The goal is for the model to eventually look much like this model at the National Maritime Museum (but without the coppered hull): http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/66299.html

    I started modifying the existing model, made by Pgargon, a couple of weeks ago. However, I soon realised that there were a significant amount of changes required, for reasons of both the accuracy and quality we want for this game.
    So, after quite some consideration, I decided it would actually be easier to rebuild the model from scratch.

    "Are you mad?", I hear some of you ask. Fear not, I have plenty of resources available to ensure the scratch-built model is finished to a very high standard, including large scans from the book Anatomy of the Ship: Bellona. Plus, in the time since I completed the Rossiya, I have picked up some more efficient modelling techniques, thanks to some of Autodesk's Maya tutorials on YouTube, and Helldiver's fantastic hull modelling tutorial.

    Anyway, enough talking; here are some WIP screenshots of the model so far (if you don't mind seeing half a ship):
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    A close-up of the headrails (more detail will be added later):
    [​IMG]

    A close-up of, er, not much yet (the makings of the stern and quarter galleries):
    [​IMG]

    All of my screenshots of the project are in this SkyDrive folder, which will be updated as I go along: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=F6B0C45B54136716&id=F6B0C45B54136716!336

    I'm aiming to make this ship to an even higher standard than the Rossiya, without going into astronomical poly counts, and I hope that is somewhat evident in the above screenshots.

    Watch this space for updates! (And please do let me know if you notice any inaccuracies.) :dance
  2. Captain Armstrong

    Captain Armstrong Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,751
    Gender:
    Male
    Excellent work so far! Already improved from pgargon's version in terms of detail. Are the tutorials you mention on the official Autodesk channel? Sounds like you are working from detailed plans, which is good, the Bellona is a well documented ship.
  3. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Admin Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,842
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    Thanks!
    Yes, I used the official Maya Learning Channel as a reference. SeaNorris has also provided some advice, along with some detailed plans of some interior details.
    The scans I acquired are very detailed, but some are a bit distorted from the scanning process, and it was very hard to line up some of the image planes. And there are some conflicts, particularly around the bow and stern, so once again I've had to improvise in some areas. :rolleyes:
  4. Bava

    Bava Wannabe Shipwright Coordinator QC Advisor 3D Artist Storm Modeller

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    689
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Bavaria
    Good work so far, Armada. Nice edge flow at the stern, but the bow needs some corrections imo. The planks are going to be very narrow if you texture it.

    Bellona_WIP1.jpg

    This is how I´d do it :)
  5. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Admin Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,842
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    True, I never said it was perfect. :wp I still need to play around with the bow to get a smoother shape.
  6. Captain Armstrong

    Captain Armstrong Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,751
    Gender:
    Male
    I'll definitely check out the Maya learning channel then! Lining up scans can be tricky, I almost always have to rotate the image by tiny amounts beforehand to get it straight. And then scaling them right is a whole different story. Good work! I agree with bava about the bow, that would make the curvature of the bow planking look more correct as well. I'll have to make similar improvements to some of my ships.
  7. Post Captain

    Post Captain Rigging Expert Coordinator QC Advisor Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    3,455
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Southern California
    Nice work so far.
  8. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Admin Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,842
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    Here's a small update: I've adjusted the shape of the bow as suggested, and added some subdivisions to smooth the curvature a bit more.

    [​IMG]

    Also added a bit more to the stern, and smoothed out the stern counter (correct me if that's not the right term):

    [​IMG]
  9. Gareth

    Gareth Landlubber

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    15
    Gender:
    Male
    Very nice! It hadn't occurred to me this notion of making half a ship, presumably you can mirror what you've made easily enough and align the parts, essentially halving the modelling time?
  10. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Admin Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,842
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    Well for many complex parts of the ship, building half of it and then mirroring the result is essential.
    Some parts like the keel don't need to be mirrored, though, as that would actually be a waste of polygons.

    What I often do is mirror each part as I go along, but that can be problematic if I change my mind at a later stage. However, I recently found a way to mirror a part and have it 'inherit' any changes made to the original half, so you still only need to work on one side. This way, you can preview the full model without having to fix both sides together until completion.
  11. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Admin Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,842
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    Just a quick note: I have been working on the ship lately, but I've removed all the gunports temporarily so I can perfect the hull shape more easily.
    Mostly this consists of adding and moving edge loops to get a smoother shape; I'll post some screenshots soon.

    There have been a couple of instances of Maya crashing on me at inconvenient times (though I have regular Auto-save enabled so no work is lost), possibly because of my PC being unable to cope with the load. I'm waiting for a new laptop to arrive over the next few days, though, so hopefully I can enjoy improved performance and reliability soon. :D
    Captain Armstrong likes this.
  12. Post Captain

    Post Captain Rigging Expert Coordinator QC Advisor Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    3,455
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Southern California
    Good to know progress is being made. I'll do a vessel profile for Bellona on ModDB next week. I'm really, really, busy this week. And yet I've still found the time to make five decorative knife lanyards for my two rigging knives. Go figure.
  13. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Admin Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,842
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    It's been too long since my last update... for a while, I went through a phase where I began to doubt my ability to make this ship properly, and things ground to a halt.
    I took a step back and returned to working on the stock corvette for a bit; believe it or not, I have another upgrade almost ready, which improves on my first attempt. :rolleyes:
    Anyhow, that boosted my confidence enough to continue the Bellona, so for the past week or so, I've been doing just that.

    So, here's how she's looking now!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    First thing you'll notice is the gunports are gone. This was a conscious decision, because I've heavily tweaked the hull since the last update, and it was easier to do without gunports.
    The hull itself is now much more smooth, thanks to the addition of several more edge loops.

    Other than that, my main focus has been the stern components. It looks very conservative at the moment, but I'll add more detail once the windows are in place.
    The lattice panels on the balcony were made by using the Create Polygons tool, and cutting several triangles out of the main face before committing the shape.
    The resulting face was simply extruded (and will obviously be triangulated eventually).

    I've mapped the outer hull to get the right planking shape; the upper texture is courtesy of Bava, and I'll tweak the colours later on.
    More on the way soon!
    Bava, Captain Armstrong and philipjn like this.
  14. Captain Armstrong

    Captain Armstrong Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,751
    Gender:
    Male
    Excellent work! I'm glad you decided to revisit other projects and take it slow. If this update is any indication, the end result will be better for it! Seriosly looks great, the hull shape is very nicely done, as are the UVs. Though like you say the stern is fairly simple at the moment, it is shaping up well! I really like the lattice work, it looks exactly as it should.:)
  15. Hylie Pistof

    Hylie Pistof Curmudgeon Staff Member Admin Creative Support Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    9,593
    Gender:
    Male
    OT, but how far along are you with the stock corvette, and what type of updates are you doing? I am asking because I recently updated the sails on the Indiaman and have been thinking about doing it to the corvette too. Perhaps we could combine our efforts.
  16. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Admin Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,842
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset, England
  17. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Admin Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,842
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    Finally, with the new Corvette finished, I've been able to return to this lovely lady over the past couple of days. :dance
    So here I give you a small update... I've massively improved the headrails with a higher poly count for extra detail (no cheating this time!) and smoother curvature, and given the outer hull some much needed colour.
    [​IMG]
    You'll also notice the stern has the window outlines cut, but there's nothing else to show off there yet.
    The textures aren't necessarily final quality; particularly the blue texture will hopefully have some beautiful gold decorations added eventually (see the model photo in the first post for reference).
    The yellow planking is a recoloured version of Bava's texture used on one of his models.

    A related improvement in Maya 2014 is that I can now use a DX11 renderer to showcase the WIP model, before it's ready for renders like those featuring the Rossiya.
    I don't use it when modelling, because of the slight lag, but it's much better for showing off a crystal clear image like the one above, no?

    I also have to thank Captain Armstrong again for the photos of the NMM Bellona model on his Flikr sets. Very useful for checking details at many different angles! :cheers
  18. Captain Armstrong

    Captain Armstrong Corsair Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,751
    Gender:
    Male
    Looks wonderful! :)The added detail on the headrails is a huge improvement! the textures look nice, and she is shaping up very well. I'm glad the photos I took of the NMM model are proving helpful! that seems like a neat feature of maya 2014, I should probably upgrade to it.
    Alex Connor likes this.
  19. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Admin Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,842
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    Alex Connor likes this.
  20. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Admin Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,842
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    I've been very busy working on the stern lately, tackling some of THE MOST frustrating geometrical challenges I've come across so far.
    And fighting with Maya's random crashes every now and then; new versions are always bugged at first. If it weren't for the Autosave feature, I'd be screwed. :facepalm

    Nevertheless, I finally have something worth presenting to you guys:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Quick disclaimer; the textures and UV mapping are still not final quality, and the uppermost part of the stern gallery is incomplete.
    So, all windows (or lights) are in place, along with the pilasters between them. And the lattice work... boy, that gave me a headache or two.
    Hopefully all that perseverance was worth it, eh? :cheeky

    I've also started putting the decks in place, using a copy of the hull for a Boolean difference to shape the edges.
    It was a nightmare to get that to work properly (how was I supposed to know what "non-manifold geometry" was?*), but when it finally did, it was highly useful.

    *Top tip for other modellers wanting to use Booleans - make sure your meshes adhere to these guidelines:
    1) Do not include border edges in the region of intersection (see Display > Polygons > Border Edges).
    2) Ensure all edges connect to at least two faces, and the mesh is one complete closed structure. This makes sure it isn't non-manifold.
    3) Check that the normals are consistently pointing outwards on all faces.
    4) Merge any overlapping vertices before using the operation.

Share This Page