Castlemania Stage Five: The King Approves the Plans
The big day has arrived. The king is surveying the castle plans and town for the first time. He and the master engineer will review the drawings for the castle and then walk around the castle plan, which has been marked out in full size. The master engineer will record the king’s changes and then ask for his approval for building to begin.
The king’s visit is going to be quick, so he has only brought along the necessities for the group’s needs as they travel to the castle and on to their next destination. The castle and town will provide everything for the group during their stay here.
Wherever the king and his forces go, they rely on their weapons and their shields to keep them safe. Shields are also vital as a direct form of identification. In this Stage we’re going to concentrate on how to make a shield using 3DVIA Shape.
In this stage we’ll look at different ways to move or “Deform” geometry that has already been created. Be sure to watch the video to get a good overview.
There are three Deform Modes which you can access by first selecting the “Deform” tool, then selecting a point, line or shape…
…and then hovering the mouse over the middle blue button.
The Blue (Move) Mode, allows you to move your geometry along the three major axis.
The Green (Modify) Mode, allows you to scale, rotate and push or pull surfaces.
The king and his group enter the town through one of the Town Wall gates. There are lots of knights, lancers and people from the town to greet him. _______________________________________________________________________________
We’re going to start learning about the most interesting Deform Modes. Freeform Deform Mode allows us to create complex curved surfaces and is a lot of fun to use. Using the Freeform Deform Mode requires some practice and patience to create the shape that you want. We’ll do a simple Freeform Deform operation to help make a medieval shield with a curved face. Most of the construction steps use tools that we’ve already learned in previous stages, so this will be good practice for those tools too.
First draw a 4′ x 4′ square so the graphic can be centered on a major grid line. Then add a graphic/texture and center the points on the center of the square. We’re using the texture to also provide a guide for the shape of the shield. Be sure to leave some white space around all of the edges. This will be important later. If you’re using a solid color then just fill the whole square.
Draw a center line on the square. You want to do this after applying the texture so that you don’t have to add two textures and try to match them up.
Then start adding straight line segments like in the red ellipse. Be sure all the lines connect to each other and that the ends of the first and last lines connect to the center line. Draw enough lines to get a reasonable “curve”, but not so many that later on you’ll have too many to connect.
Click on the point at the top of the shield and drag it over until it snaps to the other top point. Now you can see the reason for leaving some green outside of your lines, since the right side of the shield is not exactly the same as the left side.
Next, carefully delete the three center lines.
Pull the line up about 4 inches using the yellow arrow. Notice how the grid lines disappear as the surface deforms. This will be the final shape of the shield, but we need to cut the deformed surface to the outside shape of the shield. To do this, start by drawing a vertical line more than 4 inches long up from the center line. Then zoom in and draw a one inch horizontal line.
Select the shield shape that you created. Copy, paste and click the space bar. Then select the point at the top center of the shape. Drag the shield over until the point snaps to the end of the one inch horizontal line. Now your shape is properly positioned to cut the deformed surface.
Use the “Push n Pull” tool to push the shield shape through the deformed surface. If you look inside the green ellipse in the second picture, you’ll see that there is no black line where the shield form intersects with the deformed surface. A missing black line means that the shield form is not geometrically connected to the deformed surface. This can be easily fixed by drawing a line that connects the two parts, like the one in the red ellipse.
The king is greeted with great delight by the master engineer. While the rest of his group gets settled in, the king and the master engineer will carefully go over the drawings. _______________________________________________________________________________
Delete everything except the deformed shield surface and your original square and graphic. Rotate your view to be sure to delete all of the unneeded surface, including those underneath the shield.
You must add your texture one half at a time because of the center line, which you cannot delete. Add each side and re-size and move/rotate as needed to get them to match. The rotation of textures is limited to 5 degree increments. If you are using a solid color, this step is much easier.
Rotate the entire shield 90 degrees and move it up so you can easily see the whole thing. Select the shield; copy, paste, click the space bar, select the top center point and move the copy about 1/2″ back, aligned with the original.
Select a color and paint all of the edges and back of the shield. You’re done!
There are at least five other ways to make this shield. I discovered two more just as I was writing these instructions. Some are shorter and easier, but this method is still a good one that introduces new concepts and helps reinforce ones that you’ve already learned. You may discover your own way to make your shield. That’s part of the fun of working in 3DVIA Shape and making 3D models.
Have fun and explore!
After looking at the drawings, the king and the master engineer go out to the full size layout. You can see that they are checking to make sure that a group of lancers and an ox-drawn cart will be able to easily move through the spaces provided for them.
At long last; the king has had all of his questions answered, has made his change requirements known to the master engineer and approves the start of building! There is a lot of work ahead, but this critical step has been accomplished at last.
Check out the Castlemania Group!
It has all of the models that are part of the Castlemania 3DVIA Shape Tutorial Series in one easy-to-access place. You can join and add your own models to the group too! _______________________________________________________________________________
Links to other Castlemania Stages: