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Modeling a Viking ship with splines

By Karl Stocker
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Date Added: 30th December 2010
Software used:
LightWave

1446_tid_gokstad4.jpg
1446_tid_Image4-1.jpg
1. The worst is behind us, I think. It's time to put some of the pieces together. Again, I will concentrate on the hull with oar-ports. Open ship_tute9.lwo. There is one more thing that can be done while working with a quarter ship: ribs. Go to the Polygon Statistic window and use the Surf: function to select the Hull_In2 and Deck2.

1446_tid_Image4-2.jpg
2. Copy and paste them to layer 6. Just had a thought - it happens. Go to layer 6 and select Deck2 and cut it (x) and then paste it into layer 7. Then select layers 6 & 7 together.

3. In the side and top view, just like when we made the cuts in Part 3, you will now cut the hull and deck into thin strips. Go to CONSTRUCT/Knife and cut where I show you. Don't worry about them being exactly even or in the exact place where mine are. Just get reasonably close. I highlighted the cuts.

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4. Now delete everything that is not a cut, and you'll be left with something like this:

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5. In the sideview select the points and slide them such that all slices are about the same width. Then go to layer 7, what was the copy of Deck2. Select all of the slices and go to MULTIPLY/Extrude and pull them up a little and there are your deck ribs. Select all of the polygons, magnify to see if they need to be flipped. Mine did.

6. In Layer 5 do the same, but extrude toward the inside of the hull section, since the ribs that are visible above the deck will be near vertical. Extrude horizontally and flip polys if necessary.

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7. Paste them into a single layer and name them Ribs. Go to the surface Editor and copy and paste the default color, but reduce the smoothing to 30 degrees. Cut and paste the ribs into layer 5. Here's what you should have:


8. After selecting layer 4 & 5 and mirroring the content, I just about pulled the plug on this project. Subsequently, I spent a lot of time tugging the points at the merging edge, until the hull looked smooth. You are welcome to play with this, but, if all else fails, you can of course download the .lwo file, which I painstakingly corrected to the best of my limited ability. you can readily see where the center is not integrating very smoothly.

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9. Save your file as ship_tute10.lwo, go to the Point Edit mode and select these points. The objective is to get a smooth transition established. After that, attack the oar-ports. I found this task to be the toughest so far. Have fun.

10. Now the oar ports. You can see the before and after, here:

1446_tid_Image4-10.jpg 1446_tid_Image4-11.jpg

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11. On second thought, I think we want to flatten the whole midsection in a little. Select these points and then with (t), while holding down (Ctrl), give it all a little push to the top of the screen.

12. There, this is way, way better. Now I'm getting happy again.

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13. After all is said and done, and you've sweated appropriately over your creation, you should have a reasonably smooth joint and are ready to mirror everything in the necessary axis (Z in my case). What we have is one nice looking Gokstad Viking vessel. Whew! Save your file as ship_tute13.lwo

14. Looking at the photo at the top of the page, I see that a small cover is applied over the upper part of the ends. To do something similar (keep in mind, as I already said before, each Viking vessel was a one-off construct and uniquely built by one shipwright to the specifications of the local Viking land owner, who had the wherewithal to afford a raiding or trading vessel. So barring some real weird stuff, we are never wrong.). Select the points as I showed in the end-on view. When you do that, and hit (p) to create your polygon, you will immediate discover that you are also selecting the points on the opposite end of the ship. Set your views up as I did, then delete the opposite number. Also, you may want to do a point-merge ((m)) first on those points you intend to connect with a polygon. I found that to be very helpful. I named the polys "endcap". For efficiency sake, select the points twice and delete one side, make your poly, select them again, delete the other side, and make the second poly on the opposite end of the ship, and so on. I will go only four polys down.

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