NPOWER Software - Advanced Modeling Plugins for 3DSMAX and RHINO

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Feauted Artist: Mark Rademaker
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Welcome All
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Hello nPower enthusiasts, this month one of our favorite nPower artists joins us to talk about his passion, 3d modeling. Please help me welcome Mark Rademake or as you all know him from our forums and chatrooms, Clawhammer.

A true teacher at heart, Mark has so kindly given up his valuable time to share his story and walk us all thru his design modeling workflow. All of us here at nPower would like to thank Mark for his commitment to helping new nPower users, His insightful techniques and most of all for his imagination, creativity and killer style….

If you visit our forum gallery please vote on Mark's images and let him know what you think about his work.

   

Join Mark in the Latest nPower CG Challenge " Future Vehicals" and you could win a free licence of Power NURBS PRO.

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Meet Mark at the nPower booth 303 this years 2007 Siggraph.

 
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Mark shares his modeling workflow on his latest design;
   
  Lunar Serenity Dimensions and technical data:.
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Can you please give us a detailed overview of your design process from start to finish on Lunar Serenity?

Around March this year I wanted to do a yacht. But there also was a small competition on some forum that I wanted to join. ("Create an original universe spaceship design".) So I combined the 2 goals to form a space yacht.

Lunar Serenity is the first model I created with design in mind. I was focusing more on the lines then on the modeling itself. I made some sketches on paper, mostly side and top view, my experience so far is that front views and back views flow naturally out of the top and side view of models. I made a quick concept 2D drawing, and used that as a bases for this space yacht. These sketches are really loose, and I never follow them exactly, things turn out different almost always in 3D, so I try to anticipate that in the modeling process.

From the initial concept. I started to create the main hull top shape with some splines. (Power Sketch tool) I'm lazy so I copied that 2 times, and modified them to conform more like a ship's hull. I skinned the 3 sketches to give me a basic shape. I sketched the most important side line, and made that the endcap of the main hull by joining them. It's one of the quickest methods to get a smooth shape with sharp edges. (That later can be rounded quite easily.)

I then moved on to the superstructure, Once again I used the skin tool and the join tool. I later used some advanced boolean operations and some blends to create the bridge in that area. To create parts that flow with the main lines exactly I use the composite sketch tool. After picking an edge it will create a sketch that can be extended or trimmed. This composite sketch can be converted it to a "normal" sketch. This is a very nice feature that I used for about 70% of the lines. I added the window shapes to the main hull with the detailer tool. After the bigger details where added, I worked my way down to the smaller details, mainly using the more basic features of Powernurbs. In essence once the main shape is set, it's very easy to add details while maintaining the option to go back and change other parts. I certainly enjoyed creating this space yacht, and I learned a lot from it. I'm currently working on Orbital Blue, a 50 meter space yacht, based on Lunar Serenity, but with a slightly more advanced hull.

 
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Mark's Bio
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Mark can you tell us a little about yourself?
   
  My name is Mark Rademaker, I am 27 years old and I live in Silvolde, a small town in the Netherlands. Currently I work as a systems manager at the Graafschap College in the city of Doetinchem. ( A college for higher education.) I got this job for 5 years now and I do like it. My biggest hobby is 3d modeling. Since the end of 2006 it's spinning a bit out of control, it's like having 2 jobs, because 3D is taking away another 30 hours a week. I love it though! :)
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What are some of the current and future projects you are working on?

   
  I'm currently doing 3 projects: For a Dutch Star Trek fan series called Dark Armada I make Starship interiors. Filming is done on green screen, then movie and backgrounds will be mixed. Currently I work on the Captains room. The main engine room and a couple of corridors will follow. I also work for a Star Wars fan film called Threads of Destiny but not as much as I want to. I'm still working on the interior of a prison. Next up is a small corridor for that same prison complex. Since this week I'm working on a short 30 minute demonstration of a yacht. After Siggraph I will start on a new Star Trek ship that will be on Paramount's "Ships of the Line" wall calendar. It seems this year I'm really moving to science fiction.
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What are some of the CG projects you have done in the past?

   
  I did quite a lot of work in the past, most of it where hobby or local projects. I recently started doing larger projects, like an image for Paramount's "Ships of the Line 2008" wall calendar. The last 2 years I hardly finished any projects, most of them are what I would call "half detailed" 3D concepts of star ships and other objects. In general a lot of experimenting, I'm still trying to find a personal style and stick with it.
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What are some of the things that inspire your work?
   
  I get a lot of inspiration from traditional art and modern architecture. For example the drawings and paintings made for Warhammer and the work from mr. Brom. The atmosphere in these paintings is hard to capture in 3D. Music can also influence me. At the moment I like to watch pictures of ships, gunboats, sailing boats, yachts etc. It really depends on what I am creating. I even can get inspiration by watching a vacuum cleaner. I hardly use 3D websites for inspiration, that's like creating a copy of a copy, it's difficult for me then to break away from the model I was inspired by.
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What are some general things you enjoy doing?

   
  Beside 3D I enjoy 2D sketching, the sketches look like these of a 5 year old, but I can combine them with the picture I have in my head, and get a decent result later in 3D. If I have time left I work on custom radio controlled cars, like the Hebridean Black monstertruck. See the project over here: http://myrcmt.com/review/hebdr/index.html I designed most of the parts for it myself and had them Lasercut out of aluminium and titanium. I also like to read books, cycle, and multiplayer gaming.
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Favorite Movies:

   
  I hardly watch movies. (Don't hit me!) The last movie I have seen was Die Hard 4.0. My favorite is a trilogy: The lord of the Rings. Respect for the vast amount of work that went into it and the epic feeling it gives people when watching it. Same goes for the Harry Potter movies. I would volunteer to model for the 6th movie! (I see a challenge coming up...) Anyway I also watch movies like "Boondock Saints", "From Dusk till Dawn" and "Pulp Fiction", very entertaining.
   
Favorite Artists:
   
 

Andrew Probert, a traditional concept artist who worked on Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Tron etc. He also designed the car from Back to the Future. http://www.probertdesigns.com

Neil Blevins, walking 3ds knowledge base and a pioneer in certain areas, his images always carry a certain feeling. A big inspiration for me. Working for Pixar and Blur, this is almost an Idol. :) http://www.neilblevins.com

   
Current system:
   
  AMD 5200+ with 8gb of ram, and 2 8800gtx cards in SLI. I run on windows XP 64, my screen is a 30" TFT with a native resolution of 2560X1600. I love it! The system can handle my models without a problem. My next starship might push it though. http://www.ewe-squad.com/dell30.jpg
   
Software used:
   
 

Currently I use 3DS max 9 (64) with the Npowersoftware Powernurbs plug-in as my main modeling tool. I use Mental Ray to render, but when Splutterfish Brazil 64bit is being released I will switch to that again.

For post process I use Photoshop. I also worked with Truespace, and if I need some obscure texture every now and then I might use TS 6.5 to render it out for me. Some great mosaic shader in there.

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Our questions to Mark about Power NURBS
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How did you find out about Power NURBS?

 

I think I was looking for a good Boolean tool, and then read about the Beta of Powernurbs.

How long have you been working with Power NURBS?
  I work with Power Nurbs since the Beta was released mid 2005.

What are some of the reasons you selected Power NURBS for your design process?

 

Early 2005 I was looking for a way to make the production of a large spaceship in 3ds max easier and especially faster/cleaner. I also was thinking about HDTV taking over in the future, so probably models had to be more detailed and look more "constructed".  So I signed up for the Beta, and installed it on my laptop, in my summer holiday I created a artillery cannon with it.

What has been your experience with the Power NURBS learning curve and how long did it take you to start incorporating Power NURBS into your design process?

 

It's like there are a couple of learning curves. The basic usage took me about 3 weeks. I could create a fantasy "Howitzer" cannon after that. Then it took me about 1 year to get into the more advanced parts of Powernurbs. 3D is a hobby for me and not (yet) my day job, so I had to do everything in the weekends or in the hours after work. I'm still learning the most advanced features. This autumn I hope to get some time to create a car with the help of Eric Pinkel's car tutorial. A light sports car with the engine in the back.

What has been your experience with the nPower community and Forums?

  Well it's a great website, I do not visit the forum as often as I like too, but I now and then help some people out, or they help me out. So far it's a great community, in essence it's surrounding me with professionals from all kind of industry sectors.

What has been your experience been with nPower Customer service and support?

 

That's not a fair question, I have been SPOILED by them! For me it is more than customer service!

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Marks Top 5 Links.
 

 

scifi-meshes.com > A 3d modeling site, focusing on science fiction. Love it!
scn.nov-net.com > I visit this website a lot, it's a Star Trek discussion board, it has a small artwork and design forum. This is probably my "home" on the web
.colani.ch > site of top designer Luigi Colani, his style is wonderful!
wikipedia.com > unlimited resource of knowledge!
google.com > because it changed the web
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Name: Mark Rademaker
Location: Netherlands
Software: Power NURBS
Render: Mental Ray
URL: PowerGraphics.nl
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Quick Links:
Meet Mark At Siggraph 07

Join Mark in our Future Vehicles Competition

Marks bio
Marks Design Workflow
Mark thoughts on modeling with Power NURBS
Marks top 5 links
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Works in Progress:
 
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Check out Some of our other nPower Artists.
Check out all of our galleries here!
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