Help please for a beginner


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Tripp Carter

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I've had a fascination with the Titanic since I was a kid and I've also had a thing for designing homeplan layouts and stuff using those architectural programs you can buy. One evening not too long ago I decided to try my luck and design the grand staircase with one of these programs. Needless to say it's been rather interesting. The more I worked on it the more I expanded, and at this point I've decided to stop right at the end of the 1st class lounge. Since I can only build 3 floors per document, I've built this particular section of the boat deck through B-deck. The problem is, until last night I never really paid attention to the Titanic's original size and now my plans and their renderings appear to be lopsided. I went back and started over on a new document with the ship's correct width. Now the help I'm asking for is if someone could give me as close as possible the correct length (in feet) of the section of diagram I have linked to. Since the program lays everything out in feet (although it could be changed I kinda like to keep Titanic at her original size) I've been trying to stick with that. As far as detailing goes, I'm still mastering the 3D builder's workshop where you can build your own furniture and stuff. Anywho this is kinda like my second post here and I don't want to make it too lengthy. If anyone can help me I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks
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http://img45.photobucket.com/albums/v139/scboi03/b06fa57e.gif
 

Tripp Carter

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Ok I realize I'm starting to ask for too much here but I also need assistance with the windows that would be in that area (see the diagram in the first post). I was wondering if anyone has any diagrams that would show the windows for the Boat Deck, A-Deck, and B-Deck within the 1st Class Grand Staircase area respectively (this also includes the aft area where the Lounge would be and the parlour suites below). From best I can tell I'm looking at 4? different window styles. I think I'm starting to go a little too far too fast but anyone who can help me with this problem and the one above I would greatly greatly greatly appreciate it. Thanks again.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Tripp, I think you mentioned in another thread that you have the THS 'Titanic Collection' set of repro documents? If so, that includes the accommodation plan given to 1st Class passengers. If you're modelling interiors, you'll find that to be a good source for the detailed layout and furnishings, which differed in some respects from the Olympic plans which you have been using.
 

Tripp Carter

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Bob, I've been looking over that accomodation plan for the past few minutes, I'm thinking about getting a magnifying glass (lol) but yeah I can see a pretty good layout of the furniture for the lounge and staircase as well as marks in the walls where windows should be.

Kyrila, I think you're right, I'm in need of updating my book collection. I recall I used to have a copy of Walter Lord's "The Night Lives On" and Charle's Pelligrino's "Her Name, Titanic." They must have been part of the stuff I sent to charity, I don't remember, but again I definitely need to update myself as far as books go. As far as the movie goes (GotA), I plan on getting it on DVD whenever I start back at college this fall, I should have a sizeable amount of money then to afford some upgrades. Thank you both for the help, I greatly appreciate it.
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*edit* Anyone got advice for figuring out that length problem I was having?
 

Bob Godfrey

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According to 'The Shipbuilder', the 1st Class lounge was 59' long, 63' broad and 12'3" high. The reading & writing room was the same height and 41' square. What's the name of the software you are using, by the way?
 

Tripp Carter

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"Punch! Professional Home Designing Suite Platinum"

Like I said in my first post, it's going to sound rather strange. I'm actively searching for a better program that (for my level of knowledge) would help me create a better layout and nicer 3D renderings.

Based on what you told me I'm guestimating that from the end of the 1st Class Lounge to just forward of the 1st Class Grand Staircase was somewhere in the ballpark of 150' to 225'. If you look at that diagram again from the shipbuilder's blueprints you will see the full area I'm talking about (this includes the full 92.5' width of the ship) reconstructing. I really don't think it's going to be possible to come up with an accurate (or close to accurate) length for that area.

By the way, do you think that perhaps the magazine's description of the L and W of the Writing room might be wrong? If you look at that size versus what's on the deckplans and the shipbuilder's blueprints, it doesn't (in my opinion) seem to match up.

Thanks for the additional data though. I'm keeping a text file with all this written down so when I start laying everything out on the computer (hopefully tonight) I'll get everything close to being accurate.

*edit* I was just configured a base layout of where I should place walls for the Lounge using the dimensions you gave me and when rendered in the 3D view it looks huge (I like it btw
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). My next question is involving the uptake casings running up through the ship to the funnels. Any idea how big they are in L and W? I'm holding off on putting any definitive walls in until I can get the full specs I'm looking for.
 

Bob Godfrey

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All packages of that kind tend to be a bit limited in the quality of the renders, but they're much easier to use than other forms of 3D design software, and if Punch allows you to design the furniture rather than choose it from a standard library that's a big advantage. I'd never thought of using that route to visualise ship interiors, and I reckon you're onto a good idea.

At a quick glance the dimensions look about right to me, but you could make a scale ruler based on the known width of the deck and take your measurements directly from the plan with that. You really need to be working from a paper plan, as computer screens often have a certain degree of distortion.
 

Tripp Carter

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The render quality depends on how long you're willing to wait for it to complete. Punch gives you several options in quality and lists whether it's fast, really fast, slow, and so on. As far as building furniture goes, their selection of fabrics, colors, and textures in my opinion is limited and you also need to have some experience with CAD to figure out the whole furniture shindig. They do however have a small library of items and a wizard that lets you build cabinets. The thing about the cabinets though is that it's generally the same style each time, you can just alter the color and or wood choice.

Ok this is what I'm doing for now until I can get order a more extensive set of plans. I'm going to use my paper copy of the "plan of first class accomodations." Based on the dimensions you gave me for the lounge I've done a little math here and there and gained an estimate about the size of the walls that extended out onto the promenade deck. Could you possibly e-mail me the instructions on how to make a scale ruler? I haven't the slightest clue how to make one, much less understand the whole scale thing itself. It's really sad actually. Btw, I below I posted some renders of what I've started now and a caption for each one. This is just the "framing" phase. I could have turned on the "completed" phase, but then all you'd see is walls and a floor.

http://img45.photobucket.com/albums/v139/scboi03/347ee7a7.gif This picture is of the interior of A-Deck looking aft towards where I'm about to build the Lounge.

http://img45.photobucket.com/albums/v139/scboi03/37f379cc.gif This picture shows you all 3 decks I'm working on (Boat, A, and B Decks). At this angle you see the width of the ship (which is set in the program at 92.5').

http://img45.photobucket.com/albums/v139/scboi03/d4779fdb.gif This picture shows you a side view of the 3 decks. It looks pretty empty right now because I haven't put anything up. The exterior wall that surrounds the Boat Deck will come down as I begin to build the rooms that were on board there.

A friend of mine referred me to a design program called "Chief Architect" and as soon as I have time to download the Trialware, I'm going to be testing it out. I've heard it's supposed to be pretty good, but if all else fails, Better Homes and Gardens put out a nice professional program that has an extensive library in it. Only bad thing is I don't think they have a trial version so I'd have to buy it.
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Lee Gilliland

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Tripp, please beware that the import objects in that program will allow you to get the proper textures on the walls - you just have to replay with them to get just the right sizing - Photoshop does an OK job on it, but I'd strongly recommend Deneba Canvas, I've had much better results with that. (For a bit I was an Interior Designer before going into graphics, feel free to contact me off line and we can talk).
 

Bob Godfrey

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Tripp, the Chief Architect software is designed for professional use and is very good indeed, including ray-traced rendering capability of a very high standard. Unfortunately it's also very expensive! The Better Homes and Gardens package is actually a cut-down version of CA for home use, with less features and a great deal cheaper. The Pro version of BH&G comes somewhere between the two.
 

Tripp Carter

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Lee, I think I've tired the import before and couldn't get it to work properly. I was replicating the floor of the grand staircase foyer. Since then I've somewhat abandoned doing any kind of textures on the walls with the exception of the paneling feature (which I think they could have given you more choices for paneling styles).

You're the first person I've heard talk about the Chief Architect program. I actually found it by accident while doing a google search. I think that's how I found the BH&G program too. Price wise they are both pretty way outta my ballpark but I think if I can find a trialware, I can at least try it out and see how I like it.
 

Mike McMillan

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> Really? I thought the interiors of their ship were very exquisite.

Tripp -- hi -- I really enjoyed the Cyberflix game and the great reproductions, too. Very inspiring to me as a would-be 3D modeller of Titanic. I don't know how they did all that they did! But the point is that when doing your own reconstruction, you might want to rely more heavily on original pictures and other info, than on something second-hand. As amazing as all the enviornments in Adventure Out of Time were, and as much fun as I had "learning my way around" Titanic, they had to take shortcuts, simplify things, improvise, and just plain make some stuff up that isn't right. If you want to know what something looked like (and are going to go to all the extreme hassles to reconstruct it), go to originals (reprinted in books) as much as possible, not someone else's artistic interpretation.

> Ok this is what I'm doing for now until I can get order a more extensive set of plans.

I would like to recommend Bruce Beveridge's new General Arrangement Plans:
http://titanic-model.com/ga-plans/
Shows all the furniture positions, heaters, etc. There is even layouts of all the window types (since those were asked about recently).

Good luck with your computer modelling. An ambitious undertaking to do such large areas! Is it necessary to use a home design type program? I should think that would limit you in some respects. You probably can't model your own objects in most cases. You have to use the choices they give you, and those are too modern, etc. Of course, it is quite a mess having to make everything yourself from scratch, too. There was a guy at TRMA for awhile who was using a 3D gaming engine [Half-life?] where he could create whole decks that you could explore at will in real time (if you had the Half-life game), and he was getting some pretty nice results. He showed us a cabin with all the furniture in it. Basic, but amazing, considering the enormity of the work involved. Hope he's still at it, because that would be fantastic to actually wander around wherever you wanted, and it renders on the fly. Not as detailed as the static renders, to be sure.

Here's a view of part of my uncompleted computer model of Cabin W on the Boat Deck. Just behind the far wall there is where the Grand Staircase foyer was located.

87710.jpg


This was done in an old DOS 3D program called Autodesk 3D Studio (Release 3) I got for a small fortune in 1994. Some of these have very steep learning curves, which is why I've not switched to something more up to date (that, and steep prices).

Keep us informed of your progress!

--Mike Mc
 

Tripp Carter

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Mike -

Actually Bruce's accomodation plan is the one I'm looking into buying. I ran across it a while back before joining here, and it was referred to me a few days back, and again I was highly amazed at the quality of the plan so I think when I can get around to it (probably not til August when I'm sneaking stuff into my college budget) I'm going to get a copy.

You're right about the pictures, I've been surfing the net and everytime I find a picture that I don't think I've seen or have saved on my hard drive, I copy it into a special folder that I have subdvided by room. It's been helpful so far. As far as the programs go, I believe I've heard of Autodesk 3D before, actually I think there was a copy in our library shortly before I graduated from high school. I didn't mess around with it a whole lot it looked confusing to me, but if it can creat something as amazing as that image you've shown me, then I might inquire about the program.

The main reason why I've been using the homeplan programs is because I also draft plans for houses. The only program that I've seen that has an extensive library is the BH&G program. The program I use by Punch! has a nice 3D builder's workshop that lets you build things, but as it stands right now I'm not very good with CAD related stuff and you have to know your way with that before you can do anything worthwhile with the workshop. Btw, what does TRMA stand for? I don't believe I've heard of that site. If that guy still has the Titanic set up, I'd love to see it, yours too.

*edit* I did a quick surf around the net looking for that version of Auto Desk and it doesn't look like it's available anymore
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I think I went to their homepage too, I don't remember.
 

Tripp Carter

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Thanks Bob, the pictures are still loading (due to me uploading pictures of my own) but I'll take a minute to check them out tonight before I depart for Charleston. I also hope to post more of my pictures by then too, if not I'll do it when I get there.
 

Tripp Carter

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Ok, here's the latest pictures. Please note that I haven't done any interior decorating yet, although I have added a few windows in the Reading/Writing room just to get an idea of what I'm going to do. I had a problem with the curved wall tool so I ended up having to do a "bay" window like the Lounge windows, instead of the curved.

http://us.f1.yahoofs.com/users/3f91ff7e_13d35/bc/6a22/__sr_/d6cf.jpg?phXSi4ABn9uUEEKg
This picture is looking aft on A Deck behind the Grand Staircase. The wall you see in front of it includes the foyer as well as the forward wall of the uptake casing.

http://us.f1.yahoofs.com/users/3f91ff7e_13d35/bc/6a22/__sr_/140d.jpg?phXSi4ABcM2gZl32
This picture is on the port side of the A Deck promenade looking forward. You can see some of the window placements I mentioned as well as the "bay" window.

http://us.f1.yahoofs.com/users/3f91ff7e_13d35/bc/6a22/__sr_/c365.jpg?phXSi4AB669rdViO
This is also on the port side promenade of A Deck. It's looking aft towards the Lounge.

http://us.f1.yahoofs.com/users/3f91ff7e_13d35/bc/6a22/__sr_/5246.jpg?phvbi4ABbtomk5or
This is an aft view of the Boat Deck. As you can see, I haven't raised the roof of the Lounge and Reading/Writing rooms yet so it's sitting in between the walls. You can also see partial frames of both the 2nd and 3rd uptake casings in this picture. I haven't built anything else on this level yet, just increased the height of the walls on A Deck so that they stick through the Boat Deck as pictured.

http://us.f1.yahoofs.com/users/3f91ff7e_13d35/bc/6a22/__sr_/1686.jpg?phvbi4ABjE8TPYV0
This is the first "complete" render that I've posted. This of course is the Reading/Writing room and you can see in the background the wall I mentioned having trouble with. I have several pictures depicting different angles of the room and from what I gathered there was a nice arch seperating a smaller area from the larger part of the room. Also in those pictures were the circular windows you see. The only downside to the windows I've installed is that I cannot add the grid pattern to the circular windows as seen in some pictures. As far as the grid pattern goes on the windows currently installed, I tried to follow the patterns I saw in the pictures, however the most bars that can be added to a window is 5 down and 5 across. I think I counted 6 on Titanic's windows.
 

Mike McMillan

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> I believe I've heard of Autodesk 3D before, actually I think there was a copy in our library shortly before I graduated from high school.

Hi Tripp,

Might have been AutoCAD, or one of their other projects. The company is still around and still is into CAD and similar things, but they long ago stopped making 3D Studio.

> I didn't mess around with it a whole lot it looked confusing to me...

No wonder -- the User's Manual is 2" thick!

> ...I might inquire about the program.

Amazingly, the thing comes on 8 uncompressed floppies, and most of that is just tutorial images and samples! It was meant to run on a 486 with 16 megs of RAM in DOS, but it is very powerful and versatile in what it can do. It was serious business when it was new 10 years ago, and cost several grand, so it has a hardware lock. I don't know what happened to all the copies of it "out there", but as you have discovered -- you can't find one anywhere. I've bought some phone-book sized 3rd party manuals for it off ebay, but you never see the program itself being sold.

Its successor is 3D Studio MAX, which is owned by a different company, not Autodesk. That is readily available, fairly high-end, and is very widely used today. I suppose it is good, but I don't know anything about it. Probably has a steep learning curve, too. A lot of 3D modellers use Lightwave. A cheaper program might be Carrara. I don't know how suitable/user-friendly any of those would be for modelling whole decks of the Titanic.

Bob -- thanks for the links to Kevin's great renderings. Got them bookmarked now. Hope he's still working on that exciting project.

--Mike Mc
 

Tripp Carter

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Michael, the links are working for me, but if you still can't get to them then try this. http://photos.yahoo.com/scboi03 and click on the album labeled "Titanic."

Mike, I regret not taking the opportunity to copy that program onto some CD's before graduating. It was sitting inside the circulation desk collecting dust and I imagine it's been thrown in the trash by now and carried off to a recycling plant or somewhere else.

Construction wise, I've limited myself to 190' (I had to guestimate that) of the Boat, A, and B decks. It's just large enough for me to encompas the grand staircase, lifts, lounge, parlour suites, gym, and a few staterooms. I might look into 3D Stuiod Max and Carrara. I still haven't completed my trial download of Chief Architect so I don't know anything about it as of yet.
 
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