Monday, December 31, 2012

Space Shuttle Stack, Mobile Launcher Platform and Crawler

Started this render last night at about 8pm, it finished at around 3am. I've added some of the stairs, light sources and (I think) completed the major pipework on side 1. I'm planning on reducing the power of the light sources on side 1, as it just looks too bright. It also needs more orange in colour, as photos of the MLP at night suggest it.

Next tasks: add safety rails to the MLP, and work on the Crawler.

Note: the blogger app seems to forget about adding images.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Paper VAB

Merry Christmas to one and all. 

One of the Christmas gifts I received this year was a Paper/Card model creator. Not the easiest 3D model to paper/card model on the market, but after 30 minutes I was able to create a layout for the VAB. If you want you can download in the first image.

The VAB itself is a low polygon model that I created a while back. In a later version, I'll be correcting a few 'minor' errors and adding more details. This is my third attempt at create paper/card models so thee maybe error and if you need any help, please leave a comment. My second was the Forward flight deck of the Space Shuttle Orbiter. My first was a botched and rather crude Apollo Command Module, thankfully lost to inaccessible recycle bin.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Mobile Launch Platform - Space Shuttle Era (part 4)

Merry Christmas! I've just downed tools for the night, as there is shin-dig tomorrow later...

I've done a little bit of pipework on the Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP). Its low detail for the moment as I need to make sure the pipework looks right. Then I'll up the polygons by a factor of two.

I'm now seriously thinking about creating this as as real 1:144 model for The Space Shuttle. The minor lights will probably be fibre optics from a simple LED source and two bright focused LEDs onto the Space Shuttle itself. The main section of the MLP will probably be wooden, and the details (e.g. pipework) I might create using a 3D printer. Time and money will tell ;)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Crawler Transporter (Part 5)

A low resolution render I started an hour ago has just completed.... 

Off to bed, hoping that the little ones have a quiet night and wake up at 7am...

Crawler Transporter (Part 4)

The Crawler Transporter is too detailed for the intended use. I've gone on an extreme polygon diet and it still not enough. Currently, the 3D model for the Crawler Transporter stands at 87,386 polygons. I need it to be no more than 15,000, 17,500 absolute maximum, and there still more objects to add...

Here is the full 3D model so far.

[edit] Changed the title from Part 3 to 4, it's late and I'm watching The Bourne Legacy.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Crawler Transporter - Track Shoes (Part 3)

The track shoes are now in place, and it was a pain in the neck getting to fit. However, at this level of detail it's just too many polygons. By my calculations, I need to get down to less than 75 polys per shoe... But it does look Shiny!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Crawler Transporter - Track Shoes (Part 2)

With a little bit of persistence, I've managed to find some drawings on the track shoes for the Crawler:

There are 57 track shoes per track, 2 tracks at each of the 4 corners.... I'll save you the grey cells.... 456 track shoes. The original track shoe had just over 550 polygons, that would mean 250000 polygons just for the track shoes alone. I've reduced the polygon count to 352 per shoe and this gives a total of 160512 polygons. Just to put that into some form of perspective: the Orbiter model in F-Sim Space Shuttle is only a humble 8370 polygons. 

I need to reduce those pesky polygons,.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Crawler Transporter

I've started to form the basic shape NASA's workhorse, the Crawler. I thought it was a simple box with bits sticking out, how wrong was I. The Crawler is a maze of criss-cross I beam girders and thanks to @MDBenson on Twitter, his photos showed how complex the placement for girders, rooms and equipment are. I've also found this paper model of the Crawler on MicroArtwork website, which has given me clues to how the Crawler is assembled.

I'm very attempted to model the Crawler completely, but I'll probably spend to much time online searching for details. Best to keep it simple...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mobile Launch Platform - Space Shuttle Era (part 3)

Bit of plumbing done today on the Mobile Launch Platform. Sound Suppression System modeled and some gantry work done. However, it does look like I'll need to re-scale two of the platforms.
My eyes have now been staring at the screens for many hours today. Time to be only looking at the back of my eye lids. Good night :)

Mobile Launch Platform - Space Shuttle Era (part 2)

After spending many hours on the internet (again), I've not had much success looking for decent, scaled and readable drawing of the MLP for the Space Shuttle era. I could find a lot for the Apollo era, but there's nothing for the Space Shuttle version. There was only a couple that I could use and they were only of the top view.

However, I've downloaded a fair chunk of photographs, usable diagrams and a paper model of the MLP from AXM Paper Space Scale Models. I've also download a Space Shuttle and this should keep me quiet over the Christmas period. I've also found another card model from EDU-Craft Diversions which I'm attempted to buy and build for one of my 1:144 shuttles (yes, I have 3 un-built models). On the forum, a user called roma847 is building this heavy paper model with enhancements. Please follow his efforts here.

I've got a good layout of the top now, just need to work on the sound suppression system. However, that can await as I'm trying to concentrate on what I don't have for the MLP and that is details on the sides. I've done a bit of modelling very late last night and this is what I've achieved so far:

Also, I've messed around with lighting effects, as I would like to do a night scene. Here are my early drafts with night lighting effects:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mobile Launch Platform (Shuttle Era)

Okay Folks, I'm stuck. Over the last week, I've been searching for information on the Transport Crawler and Mobile Launch Platform (MLP). For the Transport Crawler, I've found enough information to start 3D modeling it.

For the MLP, I would like engineering drawings like the two above. I already have the top view. However what interests me is the 4 sides to the MLP, especially the walkways on Side 1 (front). So far, I've got enough information to form the basic shape and the Sound Suppression System, Tail Service Masts. but nothing for the sides.

 If anyone can help I would appreciate if you could leave a comment. Many thanks in advance.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Space Shuttle Orbiter, so far...

Latest render snapshot of the Orbiter's payload bay for mission STS-135.

Objects include LMC (Ammonia Pump Module + Robotic Refueling Mission), MPLM, ROEU, SRMS, OBSS, PSSC-2, ODS and KU-Antenna.

Lightweight Multi-Purpose Equipment Support Structure Carrier (Part 2)

An almost completed LMC. I just need to work a little on the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM), then that little task done.

I've deliberately added both the failed ammonia Pump Module and the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) just for reference.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pico-Satellite Solar Cell Testbed 2 (PSSC-2)

It's a tiny thing 5 inch by 5 inch by 10 inch, however, it was the last satellite to be launch on a Space shuttle mission.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

ISS Low Res Model (Part 3)

Not much happening on this one, mainly the odd hour each week, if that.

I've added details to the Unity Node, grapple fixtures to the PMAs, added details to the Destiny Lab, corrected a mirror error in the JEM Module and created the Cupola Module and the Quest Airlock. The Truss progress is slow, I've got a very basic S0 and P1. The P3/4 section I'm working on, but I've got some very basic drawings for the truss and a lot is 'Best Guess'. However, I'm not in a rush to complete it, yet ;)

Remotely Operated Electrical Umbilical & Lightweight Multi-Purpose Equipment Support Structure Carrier

I've now created a very crude Remotely Operated Electrical Umbilical (ROEU) for the MPLM. I've based it more on photographs, rather than actual drawings and/or diagrams, as I didn't have much time to spend trawling the internet. It only took a couple of hours to get to a model I was happy with. I'll smooth out the edges at a later date.

I've also completed the Lightweight Multi-Purpose Equipment Support Structure Carrier (LMC). I'll model the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) and the returned failed Ammonia Pump Module at a later date

Once I've modeled the RRM and the Ammonia Pump Module, the last object to model will be the PicoSat and launch system. Then, I think, I've got the main elements loaded into the payload bay for STS-135.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB)

A while back, I created a very simplified version of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).

I'll probably do the other surrounding structures at a later date. Maybe LC-39 A/B ;)

Multi-Purpose Logistics Module

I've just knocked together a simplified version of the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM).

I still feel as sick as a dead parrot.....

Friday, November 2, 2012

Atlantis has left the VAB, and OBSS 3D Model


Following both on Twitter and on NASA TV, I've been watching the last movements of Atlantis. I've watched all of the Orbiters transitioning from active role to a retired role, which is sad as I wanted to see at least one launch and landing. But atleast I saw Discovery STS-114 on the pad :)

However, putting a positive spin on this, I thought this is not the end, more of a change of mission. Instead of being a mission of exploration and discovery, it's now a mission to educate and inspire for the future. Another plus I can now see, is that I'll be able to get up close to one (hopefully all) of these wonderful pieces of technology and now history.

Today has been great, tracking comments on Twitter and watching NASA TV. I would like to thank the kind people that have been fundamental of recording these historic moments for the future, both at NASA and the twitters who has relayed much to the world.

Orbiter Boom Sensor System

Now back to the 3D. I've now created the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) and this needed to be perfect as the grapple points must be in the right location for the SRMS. Based on information I've managed to obtain from the internet, I've created a relatively simple 3D model. To see if I got the grapple locations right, I used SRMS positional angles to see where it would align.

I could not believe it, it fit's like a glove. I was almost convinced that somewhere in the 3D model of the SRMS, one or more of my 'Best Guesses' was going to be completely wrong and not align at all. So I'm feeling very pleased with the results.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

KU-Band Antenna

I'm now working on the KU Band Antenna. I've got some basic information and a lot of photographs. So far I'm 90(ish)% happy with it. I need to create some animation reference points, tweak the materials and then the model for the KU-Band Antenna is complete.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Space Shuttle Render with POV-Ray

Started to get to grips with outputting from Wings3D into POV-Ray tonight. After a few hours of playing about with materials and light sources I finally got some good renders.

I'm not overall happy with the metallic effect on the radiator, that's because of me being a complete novice. Also, I need to work on the shadows, making them softer will improve the quality of the image.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

SRMS Elbow and End Effector CCTV Cameras

Now that I've got a basic model of the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS), I've added the End Effector and Elbow CCTV Cameras to SRMS and compared them to photos taken from various STS missions.

After researching for more reference data, I now know that the CCTV Camera on the Elbow Joint appears to be at a different angle to what I expected it to be. Currently, I've modeled it so that it's in-line with the SRMS. However, this is wrong and it appears to be at an odd angle, leaning into the Payload Bay when the SRMS is deployed. When comparing the 3D model to the below photograph, I'm now assuming that this angle is around a 30° lean towards the Payload Bay. Once again 'Best Guess'.

The End Effector CCTV Camera, like the Elbow CCTV Camera, I thought was in line with the SRMS, but this too appears to be at an angle. Looking at the picture above, it appears to be level to the Payload bay when the SRMS is deployed. I'm assuming from a pre-1981 Space Shuttle Program document that this deployed angle for the SRMS is leaning 15° away from the Payload Bay. When the SRMS is stowed, it's leaning towards the Payload Bay by 15°. However, I'd love to get this confirmed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Orbiter's Payload 3D Model (Part 2)

I've now got a 'Good' model of the payload bay complete with cameras, Aft and Forward bulkhead hand rails and I've even got a half decent Orbiter Docking System modelled. I'm now working on the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System, which I've got minimum information to work with. Too much of it is 'best guess' with little, obsolete or incomplete drawings. The best source has been a document called "Space Shuttle Technical Conference, part 2". It's given me enough to create something that I can perfect at a later date. I think I've done all right with the lack of real data.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Orbiter's Payload 3D Model

Managed to get a hour to model the Orbiter Docking System. A bit more detail needs to be added. Then I'll move onto the camera system.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Projects to date...

Just had the evening to myself to find out how far along my current projects have progressed. So far I have the current projects in 'live' status.

  • Project <Blank> - 1 out of 4 models complete. Texturing in progress on that first 3D model. Two other 3D models will be adaptions of the first 3D model. Interior model complete, but needs to go through a polygon reduction process. The forth model is a different 3D model and that is a work in progress. No interior model required for the time being.
  • Shuttle project - External model complete and textured. Payload now being modelled with configurable options. Flight deck almost complete and awaiting the UV map to be created for the textures. Both the old (CRT) and new (MEDS) cockpit configurations will be done. Mid-deck model and textures completed. The 3D models for the External Tanks and SRBs complete. Creating the UV maps for Texturing has started.
  • International Space Station - Halfway through 3D modelling the modules. One third complete on the Truss sections. Not started on the textures.
  • SCA - very basic 3D model completed. Will add details to it later.
  • Kennedy Space Center - VAB fully complete. LC-39 drawings and information obtained, and modelling to start soon(ish). Crawler and MLP started, but at a very basic phase. All these models will be low polygon 3D models.
Projects on indefinite hold:

  • F-35 A, B and C - On hold due to lack of information, mainly good reference drawings. Also Project <blank>, Shuttle and ISS projects have taken priority.
  • WASP Carrier - Project <blank>, Shuttle and ISS projects have taken priority.
  • Alien dropship UD-4L - sadly left in a neglected state. Interior needs to be modelled, but there is no good reference drawings to get a 'good' model of the cockpit and APC bay. No textures created, but I aim to create various camouflage types.
  • Aliens APC - As with all movies models, I find that the interior rarely fits in the exterior. So placed on the project on hold.
Projects complete:


Saturday, September 15, 2012

"Open the cargo bay doors, HAL!"

I've started to work on the Orbiter's payload bay. In the previous 3D Model, this was not required for F-Sim Shuttle, as it was just a landing simulator.
Now, I have to stress, this is purely a test model to see how little (or much) I've got to modify the current 3D model to make the payload bay 'fit'. So far, the payload bay and test objects such ad ISS Modules fit perfectly.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ISS Low Res Model (Part 2)

I've managed to get a couple of free lunch breaks to work on the ISS. The Truss structure is a complex thing to simplify. What do I keep, what do I delete? I've got an idea...
The JEM Module is complete. Destiny Lab, Nodes and Columbus just need arm grapple points, the Orbiter Grapple Trunnions and Astronaut Handles adding