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Modeling a Viking ship with splines

By Karl Stocker
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Software used:

This is a model that was on display at the amazing Roskilde Fjord Vikingship museum, near Copenhagen. Some of the rigging is visible. Off to the right you can just make out the dark hulk of the assembled and mounted wreckage of one of the six Viking ships that had been recovered from the silt of the Fjord.

1. Open file ship_tute18.lwo and select an empty layer with the yard in the background and put down these points and connect them with an Open Curve.

2. Continue to create points until you reach the center of the yard (Y axis). Connect them with an Open Curve as well.

3. Copy all of the points halfway down the mast. Straighten them out (Set Value), and then copy them again to about where I show them.

4. There, you now have created half the points for the sail. Go ahead and connect them with Open Curves the same way you did the top row of points. Then connect them all vertically. After that you will shape the sail a bit, to make it appear as if it were slightly filled by wind.

5. Just in case this happened to YOU, select all points, go to Set Value ((Ctrl)(v)) and set all points to ZERO in the X axis. Piece of cake.

6. Go to the side view and drag the center row of points forward.

7. Now select just the bottom row and slide the points (holding down (Ctrl)) as shown. Next, select the center row of points and sort of follow the bottom row. When done, IF you were to mirror the polygons, it would look like the image on the right. It's about the look I was after.

8. Now you can start patching the sail(Ctrl)(f). Use 1 and 5 as the number of rows and columns. Let's see how that works. Looks ok to me. Continue until the entire sail has been patched. After you're finished, mirror the whole thing (polygons
please) in the Z axis, and you're looking at a passable sail, IMO. Select it, hit (Q) and name it Sail. Make the color double-sided. Sometime, in the next part, you'll be texturing it anyway. Save file as ship_tute19.lwo

9. Rigging! We will now add the necessary lines to the ship and if you want to get any more into it. I will leave that to each individual. We'll need four lines to keep the mast up. Two in front and two in back. We will also need four lines to control the sail, all leading to the back.

Open an empty layer and have the mast and sail in the background. Create these points. Select the end points and move them. Then go to DISPLAY/Select Inverse and copy and slide the other points as shown.

10. Go to MODIFY/Drag and move the points and I did. Connect the dots with a Closed Curve.

11. Go to an empty layer, keeping the curve in the background and create this disc.

12. Rail Extrude it, and call the result "Sail Holder". We now created the rope that holds the corners of the sail and keeps the sail and hoops from bunching up. Mirror the Sail Holder and color it the same as the Hoops.

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