Author Topic: 15 miles on the Erie Canal  (Read 8818 times)

Offline Danny

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2018, 01:47:12 AM »
Mimic Hannes, This reminds me of Ulco's work. That's a goood Thing

Offline Oshyan

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2018, 01:52:13 AM »
Hah, I have come to identify "flat land and waterways" a Dune/Ulco signature style. So this looks very Dune-like to me - but that's a compliment!

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Offline N-drju

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2018, 08:45:10 PM »
Fantastic panoramic view, I like your style. The shores of the canal could use a bit more realism perhaps in the form of diversity and reeds. But anyway, a nice, clean, bright render.
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Offline sboerner

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2018, 12:58:30 PM »
Quote
Fantastic panoramic view, I like your style. The shores of the canal could use a bit more realism perhaps in the form of diversity and reeds.

Good advice, thanks. I'm focused now on building all the models to populate the scene. But once that's done I'll turn my attention back to the trees and other vegetation. The scene could use a lot more biodiversity!

New rendering. The lift bridge model is finished and placed, shown in the raised position. Not yet shaded.


Online bobbystahr

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2018, 01:27:08 PM »
Once again, particularly awesome. Great modeling on that bridge, can't wait to see it shaded.
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Online archonforest

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2018, 02:02:42 PM »
Great bridge! Well done on the modelling. ;)

Offline luvsmuzik

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2018, 03:06:22 PM »
Love those iron bridges! Does this bridge still stand? I see this is a pedestrian bridge. Where I am from the Winona interurban line was in great use back in the day. Many many rivers, creeks and streams with lots of bridges! I have a couple b/w photos of family on such bridges from the early 1900s, your modeling is spot on!  :)

Offline Dune

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2018, 03:51:49 PM »
This is going to be a real beauty!

Offline sboerner

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2018, 06:23:25 PM »
Thanks! I've been planning this project for months, so it's nice to finally be working on it.

The bridge is still there. It was originally built in 1913, and a few years ago (at a cost of several million dollars) was completely refurbished. As far as I can tell all of the renovations hewed to the original plans. The technical name for it is a Warren Pony Truss Towerless Lift Bridge. There are several nearly identical bridges along this stretch of the canal, apparently designed by state employees with no professional engineering experience. Their solution to the problem of raising the four corners of the bridge simultaneously is simple and ingenious. The lifting machinery is housed below the roadway at both ends of the bridge, but everything is powered by two 12-horsepower electric motors from the southern end. Counterweights and an equalizing rope system handle most of the heavy lifting, so to speak.

The model is based on publicly available drawings, photos and a few direct measurements. It's accurate to within a few inches, I think. The rest of the objects won't get this much care and attention. But this was the "hero" object and the whole point of doing the scene. Learned a lot in the process.

Online bobbystahr

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2018, 08:16:22 PM »
"Learned a lot in the process."
no doubt heh heh.
I once measured and built digitally, my Mom's house down to the floorboards and 1900's window trim; inside and out. Then I got broken into and lost everything from 13 years learning 3D as they took back up drives and all...I now disconnect the back ups and hide them when I go out for more than a short while but I still know how to do it again should I be so insanely driven as I own the house.
something borrowed,
something Blue.
Ring out the Old.
Bring in the New

bobbystahr

Offline sboerner

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2018, 09:02:02 PM »
Quote
Then I got broken into and lost everything from 13 years learning 3D as they took back up drives and all...

Oh, man, that's like everyone's worst nightmare. Sorry to hear about that. I'm pretty good about backups WIPs are stored on Dropbox as well as two local drives plus external backups, then also backed up to optical disk at important benchmarks. But losing the main workstation and external drives would be a real blow, no question.

Your mom's house sounds cool. Those turn-of-the-century homes can be real gems.

Offline ajcgi

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2018, 10:41:02 AM »
Then I got broken into and lost everything from 13 years learning 3D as they took back up drives and all...I now disconnect the back ups and hide them when I go out for more than a short while but I still know how to do it again should I be so insanely driven as I own the house.

Eeee Bobby that must have been horrible.  :-\

Online bobbystahr

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2018, 03:14:28 PM »
Then I got broken into and lost everything from 13 years learning 3D as they took back up drives and all...I now disconnect the back ups and hide them when I go out for more than a short while but I still know how to do it again should I be so insanely driven as I own the house.

Eeee Bobby that must have been horrible.  :-\


It was paralyzing for a while. Fortunately all the music I'd been writing in Melody Assistant had been shared with a friend so the truely original stuff was safe. And I had backed up some stuff to cd(pre dvd) so my massive texture image directory was safe and Andy(I think) sent me a whole whack of stuff as well.
something borrowed,
something Blue.
Ring out the Old.
Bring in the New

bobbystahr

Offline sboerner

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2018, 07:39:35 PM »
Work on the models is continuing but I took a break this week to start gathering trees and other flora needed for the scene. First step was to catalog all the plant models that I've collected over the years and then cross-reference them with an online database of local plants. Next step will be to winnow this set down to one appropriate to this location. I know nothing about botany but am getting the hang of the Latin nomenclature and other terminology. It's interesting.

Turns out that I already have a nice assortment of models on hand that will work. There are some gaps, especially among the shrubs and other undergrowth needed for a convincing scene. I'm planning to build these and should have most of the work done by the time spring arrives and I can check the site. (Right now everything is under 12-15 inches of snow.)

Tools are the Xfrog Maya plugin (Version 4, running in an older version of Maya; Version 5.5 for new versions of Maya appears to be broken) and a brilliant little iPad app called TreeSketch. Creating trees with touch gestures is fun, and the way the app works you set the tree parameters and then make it "grow" yields natural shapes that can be easily modified to create as many variations as you like.

Here's a quick test showing Silver Maple saplings in various stages of growth:

79675-0

And a first stab at Maple Leaved Viburnum, very common in these parts:

79677-1

(Sadly, TreeSketch is no longer available on the App Store. The lead developer, Steven Longay, created it as a PhD candidate. He's since moved on to Weta Digital, which probably explains why development has stopped.)

I've looked into SpeedTree and PlantFactory but they're both way beyond my current needs and budget. Anyone know of other Mac-compatible plant-building tools that I should look into?

Some useful resources for plant builders:

Leafsnap is an electronic field guide that identifies plants by matching iPad photos that you take with an online database. I haven't tried it in the field yet, but the database is impressive and can be downloaded: http://leafsnap.com.

The Northern Forest Atlas is a searchable online database of plants found in, well, North America's northern forest. The photos are very high quality and free for noncommercial use: http://northernforestatlas.org.

Finally, asileFX has reduced the price of its Nature Bundle of leaf, bark, and stone textures. Nice assortment, well organized, with transparency, bump, normal, and displacement maps: http://www.asilefx.net/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=80&products_id=141.

Offline Dune

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Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2018, 06:14:44 AM »
Thank you, Steve, for your explanation of your work, and the links. Especially the leafsnap is interesting (for me). XFrog also has a lot of free trees/shrubs. Speedtree stuff can't be traded, I'm afraid. I think there's a Lighwave plugin too, but don't know any specifics.

 

anything