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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_Image7-34.jpg
13. Now select and copy one of the center Hoops. Rotate it as shown in the left image. Save file as ship_tute19.lwo

1446_tid_Image7-33.jpg
14. Create a 20 mm disc, and Lathe it.

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15. Copy the loops and place them as illustrated.

16. Now on to the mast lines. It doesn't get much easier than this. Put both mast and ship in the background of an empty layer. Create a disc, and then stretch that baby all the way to near the end of the ship.

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17. Grab the end points and swing them toward the railing (gunwhale?). After you finished that, mirror the line across the Z-axis.

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18. Mirror both lines on the X axis and adjust the endpoints at both ends. You want the ones at the hull to be touching the railing, and the ones at the mast to be immersed in the mast Loops.

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19. Take the upper line, in the top view, copy it, and rotate it as shown. Grab the points at the yard end and pull them into the end of the yard.

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20. To "terminate" it on the yard, copy one of the yard Hoops, slide it to the end of the yard, and rotate it in the side view toward the Rig 2 line. Next, in the Top View, rotate the hoop to align it with the line as shown. To make it a little better, select the end points of the line and move them into the hoop.

1446_tid_Image7-47.jpg 1446_tid_Image7-46.jpg

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21. Here you see the result of that bit of detail work. If you want to be more correct, and it is your work, after all, you could conceivably bring the hoop to more of a point and then make a thick connection (a tiny ball) to simulate a knot.

22. Mirror that stuff in the Z-axis, and grab the end points of the upper line, and pull it down to where the arrow is. Then select that last bunch of lines and call them Rig2. Save file as ship_tute19.lwo

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23. Now to the final set of lines. Put all you see in the previous illustration into the background of an empty layer. You'll use it as a guide for the next set of lines (Rig3). Now expand the top view and create a set of points. Spacing is somewhat arbitrary at this point. Next you will have to rotate the row of points, to have the left-most point just above the shadow image of the sail tip. I am showing you a magnified view of this. The arrow points at the tip of the sail, the final destination. Connect the points with an Open Curve, and mirror the line in Z.

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24. Here you will have to slide the new set of points, until they form a reasonably straight line from the corner to the ends of the first line. Anyway, look and you'll see what I mean. NOTICE: I did not select the first point at the sail, because I don't want to move it. After some fiddling about, this is what you should have:

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25. You realize that the reason for the points is that these lines will be curved, just to make things look a little more interesting. Now go to the sideview, grab all of the points and create a good approximation of a slightly curved line. Yes, I know, the left view is where you start out, but this (right) is where you should end up. By now I hope I don't have to hand-hold you through yet another Rail Extrude evolution. This is what you need to do:

1. Copy one of the lines to an empty layer.
2. In another empty layer, with one of the lines in the background, create an 8-sided 20 mm (2 dimensional disc).
3. Make sure you position the disc at the beginning (Diamond symbol) of the curve (the "rail"). Rotate and move it so that the center of the disc points down the rail.
4. Go to MULTIPLY/Rail Extrude and let it rip on "automatic".

You'll have a nice curved line from the lower corner of the sail to the left side of the railing. Repeat the process for the other curve.

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26. Just a few short minutes later, this is what you've got:

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Save your file as ship_tute20.lwoHere are two renders. One in the attack mode, with the sail down and the mast in the bottom of the boat, and one under sail. The keel is not sub-d'ed in the renders. The earlier .zip had the keel "tabbed". I changed that in the most recent .zip.

You can either fill it with LW Vikings (I want to see the tutorial), or you can build Poser Vikings and equip them with gear from Renderosity. Lots of free Poser downloads there. Anyway, I hope you like it, and you considered it useful. Let me add a comment here. These are largely the same bits and pieces I have used on my own Viking ship. I only opted to extend the keel into some spiral design and as of tonight added some shields and minor modifications (I flattened some of the sea chest tops to mix flat- and round - topped ones. What you do with this is up to you and your imagination. You supply the labor and the skill. Oh, and feel free to send me advice on the texturing of the hull. Everything else is pretty easy, from what I can tell.

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