"Providing specialized books and resources for modelers of every genre."

From DREAM ... to DRAWING ... to REALITY!

2D Tools for 3D Artists

With this volume as your guide, you’ll learn powerful techniques and concepts that can help you with just about any 3D project.

For example, did you know 2D drawings can be valuable for many 3D modeling tasks? You can extract a great deal of information from a set of blueprints that will aid you in building not only the overall form of your 3D model, but also the individual parts. This is particularly true if you are into "hard surface" or "hardware" subjects such as vehicles, buildings, etc.

Before you begin, you may need to determine one or more of the following:

  • What is the correct size and shape of my subject?
  • Can I determine the cross section(s) I need to build?
  • How long and how wide should it be?
  • Do I have the correct proportions?

When you’re working on a 3D project, these are just a few of the questions a good set of 2D plans can help you answer. Remember, you always need a starting point. This is true even when you are creating something entirely in virtual space.

A great example is the locomotive model* seen on the front cover of this book. This was built in 3D and then rendered to create the cover illustration. Using the techniques demonstrated in this volume made it possible to complete such a complex 3D model in only a few days. As you will see, this type of project can sometimes be much easier when 2D plans are used as a starting point.

"Do you build physical models you can hold in your hand or 3D models that exist only inside the computer? Perhaps you are interested in both kinds of modeling. No matter what type or genre of modeling you prefer, this book was written for you."

Written by a modeler specifically for modelers, craftsmen, and hobbyists, the MODEL DESIGN & BLUEPRINTING HANDBOOK, Volume 1, takes you through the entire design and blueprinting process step by step. With an easy-to-follow format and numerous, detailed illustrations to help all along the way, you’ll quickly learn the basics of creating multi-view drawings. Then, you will see step by step how to extract accurate outlines, templates and profiles from your 2D plans. The chapter on cross sections in particular can be invaluable for many 3D modelers.

As a bonus, some of the concepts and techniques covered here can also prove helpful when making precision texture maps for your 3D models such as "virtual decals" or other markings. By the time you've read through this book, you will know exactly how to turn your reference material into workable plans that you can use to quickly and easily build your next 3D project.

*The 3D locomotive model is fully detailed with actual geometry and no texture maps. Every surface and part -- whether visible or not -- has a "real-world" thickness. The finished model contains more than 120 Megabytes of data. Volume 2 of this series will go into more detail on how to build 3D models like this one.

Author Charles Adams (founder of the popular StarshipBuilder.com site and now AirshipModeler.com) is an artist, designer, and writer with 23 years' experience in both drafting and technical illustration. Charles is currently working as a professional model designer. He has created conceptual designs and has built special effects miniatures for both film and television productions.

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