Designing Cardmodels - Paragon Style

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Paragon, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

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    This is how I designed the J-29 Tunnan model. Hopefully this can provide some insight into the process I used, and help others interested in designing their own models.

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    We start with three views of the aircraft to be used. In Photoshop, I have them each in different layers, and I've removed the white from the image, leaving just the black lines on a transparent background.

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    Next, I made a copy of the side view in a new layer, and erased the cockpit.

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    Because of the odd shape of the rear of this fighter's fuselage, I decided to take a different approach than usual. I drew a line across from the top of the fuselage to the top of the engine, because I decided to make the tail boom a seperate part.

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    Next, I erase the tail boom from this copy of the side view.

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    I then copy the fuselages from both the top and bottom views in their own layers. Layers are your friend when designing like this.

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    The bottom of the fuselage is where I generally prefer to make the model connect, so I cut the bottom view of the fuselage in half right down the center.

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    I found what I considered the first important angles in the fuselage, and seperated that part from each of the three views.

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    Using the top view as an anchor, I rotated the side view on top of it, matching the features of each as best I could.

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    I then did the same thing with the bottom view.

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    Then, I erased the overlapping edges and any conflicting features.

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    Then I "reinforced" the border lines and added tabs to the back of the nose.

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    After merging those layers, I duplicated the resulting layer, and flipped it vertical.

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    Then I erase the overlapping edges again, and add the tab that connects the nose to itself.

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    Then we pull those layers back up, and find the next instance of extreme angle, and cut them there.

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    Then I rotated the parts again, just as I did with the nose parts.

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    Just like before, get rid of the overlap.

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    Add the tabs, duplicate the layer, and flip verticle.

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    The same with the rear fuselage.

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    More of the same.

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    Next, make copies of one wing and one elevator from each view, plus the tail. Normally, I simply use the vertical stabilizer, but like I said, the boom on the J-29 makes it necssary to design the tail a different way.

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    Take the two views of the wing, and flip one horizontal. Stick them together along the straightest edge possible. I also stretched them a little to make them thicker, to account for the curve of the wing when assembled.

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    I took this part of the fuselage to add to the wing, for connection.

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    I attached that part (after trimming it). It will help secure the wing to the fuselage.

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    The same thing I did with the wing, I do with the horizontal stabilizers. Make sure to duplicate each and flip them, for the other side.

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    I removed the little fin and did the same thing for it. I also cut off the vertical stabilizer of the tail. Then I stretched the boom to make it wider.

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    Then I mirrored the boom. This will be bent and attach to the top of the fuselage during construction.

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    The vertical stabilizer gets the same treatment as the wings and elevators.

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    Then I just arrange them. I realized at this point that I'd forgotten the tabs on the elevators. Whoops.

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    The last part is the cockpit. I copied the cockpit and made it much wider.

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    Then I cut off the back and moved it back some, attaching the parts with tabs.

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    Here's the final layout of the parts.

    Here are some images of the final product:

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    Feel free to ask questions, post comments, etc. Let me know if some of this confuses you. I made this thread for all of you.
  2. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

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    Also, let me know if you all want me to do this again, to see some of the different ways I design different shapes.
  3. Dragos

    Dragos Active Member

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    Thanks Paragon for sharing your technique . sign1sign1sign1
  4. Panzerbeto

    Panzerbeto New Member

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    You are a genius Paragon

    That has been a whole revelation.

    I will have a go to designing some more simple shapes. I have been intimidated by all the 3D stuff and mesh and redrawing, but your way is just what suits more for non 3D experts. I handle 2D quite comfortably.

    Keep the good job, You have a great stile.
  5. Nexus9

    Nexus9 Member

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    Very cool, Paragon. Do you use this method to create all of your models? I have Lightwave, but it doesn't lend itself to paper modeling very well: huge numbers of polys that Pepakura won't deal with. I'm going to use your tutorial to try and build a few models. It would be easy to texture something like this in Photoshop as well. Thanks very much.
  6. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

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    So that's how cardmodels are designed without CAD... Awesome tutorial to any designer out there!
  7. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

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    A few things that weren't included in the design process of this particular model (but may be necessary for other models).

    1 - If you don't have clear enough 3-view drawings, take out your line tool and simply trace the model. Merge the lines together into one layer, but make sure not to merge them with the image you used as a guide. To get a good symmetrical shape, you don't have to trace both wings of an aircraft, or for other models, anything that is the same on another side, you can simply duplicate that shape and flip it.

    2 - Sometimes you will run into shapes that you can't figure out how to transfer to paper. This happens to me fairly often. Chances are, someone else already has figured out how to do this. Take a look through the cardmodels you've downloaded, search for models that will have a very similar shape to the one giving you trouble. Once you find one, feel free to trace it, stretch it, make it the right shape for your model.

    3 - When coloring models, I typically make sure to save them to a new file, keeping the uncolored versions as well. Once I have colored all the parts, I lay the uncolored parts over the top, to reinforce the detail in the texture, since some tools like the paintbucket can degrade the texture detail.

    4 - Test the models. Print them out and build them. Most of the time I miss a few things when I design a model at first. After building the prototype, this becomes apparent to me, and I can fix those things in Photoshop. Printing them out before coloring also saves a lot of ink.

    Anyway, I'll try to include some more tutorials on some of the other methods I use, like tracing the shapes of designs that aren't suitable for use themselves, and coloring techniques.
  8. NOBI

    NOBI Active Member

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    Hi There,

    Rare to see a design technic without any help from CAD program...Great job
  9. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

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    Ingenius and resourceful technique! :thumb:
  10. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

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    Sorry about that. Construction should follow a certain order;

    1 - Construct fuselage.
    2 - Attach boom and tail.
    3 - Attach wings.
    4 - Attach canopy.

    It has to go in that order, because the wings get in the way of the tail boom if attached first, and the canopy gets in the way of the wing anchors, which go beneath the rear of the canopy.

    Attached Files:

  11. edi

    edi Member

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    Paragon,
    would be great, if you´ll do it again on a really simple example, the Tunnan isn`t one. I don`t use photoshop, it`s too expensive, I use the free gimp which is working similar, so, for example I`m able to use the layers now.

    Hope, I don`t steal some of your time
  12. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

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    You mean you'd like me to create another tutorial on a simpler model?
  13. edi

    edi Member

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    yes, would be nice; I think I`ve understood your way and method, but to get sure it would be very good.
  14. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    I am going to get this into the WIKI as an article too and into downloads for tutorials if you are ok with that Paragon.
    Chris
  15. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

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    Sounds fine to me. If you print it to a PDF, I'd also like to include a copy on my website.
  16. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Will do :)
    Chris
  17. davis4559

    davis4559 Member

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    Really great tutorial. I have started searching the net for 3-view drawings, simple ones just to get my feet wet. Alot of the drawings online tend not to have a bottom view. Only top front side. Is there a way to apply this technique without a bottom view?


    Best
    John
  18. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

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    When I don't have a bottom view, I just make my own. I basically take the outline of the top view, and start tracing lines from the bottom of the side view onto it. For wings and other control surfaces, I just use the top twice. Its not incredibly accurate, but for models like mine, it suffices.
  19. davis4559

    davis4559 Member

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    Thanks for the reply Paragon and the advice. By the way your models are amazing
  20. davis4559

    davis4559 Member

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    hey Paragon,


    I am really intrigued by this method of design. I really makes designing an easier process. It knocks off a few steps in traditional design (using 3d, unfolding and paint apps). I was wondering if you could post another example of how you do this type of design? maybe another model one a little simpler?


    Have a great night
    John