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Old Mar 15, 2011, 01:43 PM
free flight or micro RC ???
g_kandylakis's Avatar
Greece, Central Macedonia, Thessalonika
Joined May 2006
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Help!
photographs to 3-views ? Help

Hi all,

I have a rather difficult problem and I am looking for advice or suggestions that can help me with it.

In the past I have had a pretty good involvement with CAD, having worked on Pro/E since 1995, but for the last years I haven't followed up on recent developments. Although the issue here is "reverse 3D modelling".

I have a liking for some rather obscure and unusual airplanes, which I would like to model.

The problem is, there are no 3-view drawings available for them, since they were mostly one-offs from the early aviation days.

I have been able to locate various pictures of them and am trying to create a drawing of my own based on them. I have done this before, in a manual sort of way, so this is not an entirely new issue. But it is time consuming and the accuracy is questionable.

About 15-20 years ago there was even a software available, from WW1 Aero magazine, which I purchased for that purpose, with mixed results. More automated but also not 100% correct, mainly because of poor input data.

After having spent a good number of hours on one picture, with vanishing points, perspective grids etc. I came up with an initial sketch side view. But, since I need to repeat the process for 3-4 pictures, I was wondering if there is any more modern software available, that might deal with such an issue.

A second question, in order to verify the 3-view drawings, I am considering re-constructing the airplane and then viewing it in perspective, similar to the original pictures to check for discrepancies. In Pro/E I am afraid I have little control on the perspective parameters. Do I stand a better chance with Rhino?

Any suggestions are more than welcome...

George
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 10:37 PM
Jim C Patrick
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My suggestion is to look at SketchUp, which unlike most other software, was intended to be a design tool. A 3D sketch modeler, SketchUp has a very capable free version and can import images to trace from.

For your purpose, more important is the capability to define lighting and shadows, camera viewpoints or angles, and field of view. Cameras are easily set to height above ground —useful for matching photograph camera height— and the lens easily adjusted in FOV degrees or lens mm. These settings (any number of them) can be saved as 'scenes' of a model. This makes matching both perspective and focal point of a model to a photo extremely accurate .

SketchUp will probably not satisfy the need for finished documentation, although a slew of plugins extend its capabilities far past design. But with SU the basic framework can be constructed, then exported to a modeler like ProE, Catia, SWX, or Rhino if NURBS or CNC molds are needed; or to Turbocad, Autocad, or similar if flat-cad drawings are all that is required.
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Old Mar 16, 2011, 09:33 AM
G_T
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Use of Rhino along with T-Splines, plus perhaps a renderer, may do what you want, but is also a bit pricy combination for modelers and has a learning curve. I do not have enough experience with them yet, but I have them. My purpose is for mould generation. I'd be inclined to try the suggested SketchUp first, and see if it will do what you want.

Gerald
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Old Mar 16, 2011, 10:48 AM
Jim C Patrick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g_kandylakis View Post
...I have a liking for some rather obscure and unusual airplanes, which I would like to model. ... I have been able to locate various pictures of them and am trying to create a drawing of my own based on them. ...
What are you trying to get, IOW what is the end result you want? Make 3-view drawings Create your own perspective pictures based on different views? Make rendered 'photo-real' pictures? Produce working construction drawings? .. and if so, what methods of construction?

All of these have different approaches and may require very different software. My recommendation above is based on (my interpretation of your question) creating a 3D model from perspective photos, and then proceeding to make 3-views or construction documents. But if you want renderings, or want to produce machined wing and fuselage molds, then that is probably not the way to go.

Details like these make a big difference; and so does your available time and your budget.
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Old Mar 16, 2011, 11:02 AM
free flight or micro RC ???
g_kandylakis's Avatar
Greece, Central Macedonia, Thessalonika
Joined May 2006
460 Posts
Thanks for the replies...

My main and biggest problem is how to create "accurate" 3-view drawings, based on one or more real photographs. The term " to model" is indeed confusing in this forum, my apologies... I intend to build actual flying models of them, if I can draw a decent 3-view...

No molds, no rendering and no complex shapes either. Mainly pre-1920 airplanes...
For example
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...52&postcount=2

I might only need, as a second step, the ability to "model" in 3D, based on the created 3-view, so that I can verify the accuracy of the 3-view drawing, by recreating the view angle and perspective of the original picture and comparing them, before commiting to a "real" construction...

George
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Old Mar 18, 2011, 11:46 AM
Jim C Patrick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g_kandylakis View Post
... I intend to build actual flying models of them, if I can draw a decent 3-view... No molds, no rendering and no complex shapes either. Mainly pre-1920 airplanes...
If that is the case, try download SketchUp for a trial. It is free, and so are most learning resources. Go through their built-in tutorials and pay attention, you will become competent faster that way. There are online videos, so start with the the "New to..." series.

The down side of SketchUp is that it is intended for architectural work —houses, buildings and cities— and it doesn't deal well with very small parts. So draw the plane at full scale. When you want to make a scaled model, copy the file and scale the 3D model to 'model size'.

The program is deceptively simple and intuitive, yet subtly complex and different. It is not CAD in the usual sense. There is no 'mirror' command; mirroring is -1 scaling. Copy, serial array and inverse array are all variations on 'Move'. Most people become competent with SketchUp in about 8 hours, my pre-teen kids use SketchUp instead of 'Paint' to draw.

Once you are comfortable using the program, look at the directions for Match Photo on how to create 3D models to match photographs.
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcpatrick View Post
Once you are comfortable using the program, look at the directions for Match Photo to create 3D models to match photographs.
I was going to offer that most good 3D modelers have the ability to import a 'picture' like a jpeg file or a scan from paper document dwg.The image resides as a background layer & you then 'draw' on top its native modeler format & develop 3D from there. That gives you pretty good control, but you ideally need the various views or a good understanding in your mind to fill in the blanks in the absence of a view.

Rhino examples
http://www.suurland.com/tutorials_blueprint_rhino.htm
http://www.hydraulicdesign.net/fvs2-...vs2_sample.htm

Solidworks example
Solidworks Car Tutorial : How To Model a Car In SolidWorks (5 min 5 sec)


But that MatchPhoto link appears to take it another step, very cool!

And there are some neat camera trick ones that utilize various 2D perspectives to generate 3D (I think?) but that assumes you are in proximity to the real thing.
http://www.3dsom.com/
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Old Mar 22, 2011, 04:35 PM
mcg
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Here are some links that might be useful. I also remembered Leonard Opdyke's program and went looking for modern versions, as you did. It seems to be an active technology useful in several fields, notably architecture and forensics. Most of the software is expensive but as JC Patrick has pointed out, Sketchup is free. It is among the programs listed in one of these references.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photogrammetry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Photosynth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_data...reconstruction

The Microsoft photosynth software link is illustrated with some aviation subjects.
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Old Mar 22, 2011, 04:55 PM
free flight or micro RC ???
g_kandylakis's Avatar
Greece, Central Macedonia, Thessalonika
Joined May 2006
460 Posts
thank you all for the replies...

Plenty of things to look into.

Regarding the first step, I am searching a little more into the WW1 Aero software, trying to find the correct vanishing points, to see if it works accurately.

As for the second, I have downloaded the Rhino evaluation version and going through the tutorials to see if it suits me. Sketch-up is next...

George
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Old Mar 22, 2011, 09:07 PM
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There IS a downloadable verison of "PhotoModeler" out there...

Dear George:

The PIPE Here...just got finished watching my favorite NHL Boston Bruins ice hockey team finish off the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on TV earlier this Tuesday evening over here...

...if you head for

http://photomodeler.soft-ware.net/download.asp

there HAPPENS to be a freebie "lite" version of the Canadian EOS Systems' PhotoModeler software available to check out.

The full-version PhotoModeler's page is out there, too, but its price...way up at $1,145 USD (about 808 Euros!) for the "full" version, is just a bit TOO much for most of us, including yours truly.

The WW I AERO "P3V" (photo-to-3view) software you might have been thinking about USED to be available for about $100 US some 20 years ago, and (gasp!) was DOS-based, so I'm not too sure if you could even get it any longer, or if you would even want to use it in today's Windows Vista and Win-7 world of computing...I DO have Leo Opdycke's contact info if you'd like, but I'd also have to ask him if he still had any copies of it still around.

Just thought I'd let you about THAT freebie version of the PhotoModeler software to give it a try, if you'd like.

Hope this helps...

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE....!!
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Old Mar 23, 2011, 03:01 PM
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United States, PA, Beaver
Joined Sep 2001
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I've been using SU for a while now. It is dead easy to trace an imported drawing/picture/etc. Some things are no brainer easy, but others take some getting used to. I think a lot of it, for me anyway, is I know how to do something in AutoCAD 2D, and SU is 3D all the time, and has it's, sometimes, quirky way of doing things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcpatrick View Post
The down side of SketchUp is that it is intended for architectural work —houses, buildings and cities— and it doesn't deal well with very small parts. So draw the plane at full scale. When you want to make a scaled model, copy the file and scale the 3D model to 'model size'.
Actually you can make a template that lets you work "smaller" so to speak. I forget exactly where that setting is and I'm not in front of a SU machine now, but it was easy enough to figure out. I routinely design stuff down to 1mm with no problems. You can also work in mixed units ( something most CAD programs hate) For example I can draw in imperial, but when adding tabs/slots on a plane designed for FFF, I can enter 6mm as a tab height and it accepts it just fine.


The Downside I see with SU ( and a lot of CAD programs) is printing. I hear it is a bear.... I use my files on my CNC machine so I really haven't had to print anything yet.
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Old Mar 30, 2011, 02:28 PM
free flight or micro RC ???
g_kandylakis's Avatar
Greece, Central Macedonia, Thessalonika
Joined May 2006
460 Posts
Hello,

sorry for the rather late reply...

"The PIPE", thanks for the Photomodeller suggestion, sounds interesting, I need to test it. I already downloaded the lite version, the full (also downloaded) allows some tutorials work and there might be a limited-time trial version for free too. So now I need time to learn and try both...

The P3V software was indeed worth 100$, (back then !), it was developed by Frank Van Dalen from the Netherlands. It was DOS based and came in a 3 1/2" and a 5 1/4" floppy disk ..

But I should better say, it is, because it works OK even with the modern computers. Much faster of course.

I have tested it and it seems to work well, especially after I re-read the instruction manual and did some testing. The biggest obstacle is the correct definition of the 3 perspective vanishing points. A little off on any of them and you get a distorted result. Also, it would be good if there was immediate feedback. The way it is you have to save the DXF file, run the program, open the output DXF result and make changes to the original, then repeat the process...

Anyway, more will follow...

George
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