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Old 1st February 2012, 01:05 PM   #1
texasranger
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Default Help with complex fuselage shapes

I'll just throw this out there. I'm working on a version 3 of my Remos GX model. I want to improve the detail and accuracy of the cabin walls. Unfortunately, the Remos is a composite-material aircraft with molded shapes.

I have completed a satisfactory exterior fuselage. My thought was to knife and cutaway the unneeded sections of the exterior fuselage, then copy the resulting shapes as the basis for my cabin interior. I could then scale the model to about 99.9% of the exterior size and begin "molding" the interior cabin walls and the doors. This is proving to be a real challenge for me. There are no flat surfaces anywhere on this airplane!

In the image below, you can see the nicely rounded molded edges around the door opening and starboard window.

Any advice about how to begin creating these molded shapes??
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Old 1st February 2012, 01:59 PM   #2
Stiglr
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Default Re: Help with complex fuselage shapes

My standard advice for an interior pit is to:

1) Copy the exterior fuselage geometries. Delete all the stuff forward and backwards of the cabin.
2) In surface mode, select all the copied surfaces. Make them ONE-SIDED. Then Reverse Normals. This should result in interior-facing surfaces. Give it a new name (e.g., cockpit_interior). You might consider also making the exterior surfaces one-sided as well.
3) Cap the rear bulkhead (if any). You might need to wait a bit before capping the forward bulkhead.
4) Resize the object to 98 - 99% to avoid overlapping with the exterior.
5) Hide the rest of the model, so you don't get visually confused.
6) Use the Knife tool to cut vertical and horizontal sections in the interior that delineate structural columns, ledges, etc. Recombine groups of surfaces where necessary to describe shapes. Then extrude or intrude the surfaces to create the desired shapes and structural elements.
7) Make use of the indent tool to sink or extrude areas to get those formed plastic areas. Or, create new boxes and shapes and just "graft" them to the interiors.
8) For the canopy framing, you'll need to work with the interior and exterior fuselage parts to determine which of the interior and exterior parts should hold the surfaces that describe the "thickness" dimension of the framing. For a flight sim, usually, you'll want those showing in the pit for the player's POV, but do what is necessary to get the best aesthetics from both inside the pit and from outside viewpoints.

If you'd like to go into this in more depth, PM me; we might be able to arrange a Skype session where we can share a screen.
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Last edited by Stiglr; 1st February 2012 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 1st February 2012, 02:38 PM   #3
texasranger
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Default Re: Help with complex fuselage shapes

Thank you, Stiglr, for your very helpful tips!

I have done steps 1 through 4 as you suggest.

I like your idea about creating sub-shapes and grafting them onto the interior skin of the aircraft hull. Obviously, this will take a lot of painstaking detail work with positioning vertices that I was hoping to avoid, but I guess that's just the price to pay for a good-looking model.
Re: the canopy framing and creating the "thickness" of the hull, I can extrude the exterior surfaces inward, but this creates an ugly squared-off edge around the openings (windows, doors). Is it possible to use bevel or indent/outdent to create nicely radiused edges around the openings?

Thanks for the offer of doing some screen-sharing! I'll work with your ideas over the next few days, and I may take you up your offer after that.

Where do these payware companies like Carenado and Heinz get their terrific interior textures from??
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Old 1st February 2012, 04:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help with complex fuselage shapes

It's not necessarily so hard to work with the "subshapes" as you call them.

Just start with the basics, isolate them with rectangular areas, perhaps indent a tiny bit and extrude the "inside" of the area in. You can make the shape a bit more detailed by inserting vertices and moving them to create the shapes.

As I said, this is best demonstrated rather than written in a post. PM me if you'd like to share a screen for a demo.
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