FLYING SAUCERS 101
INTRO STEPS: | setup | start modelling | moving around | materials | lathing | extruding | ray guns |
RENDERING PICTURES: scenes | lighting | rendering | cameras |
tips | polycount | evaluation

Exercises: Blueprint | Flying Saucer Poster | Flying Saucer Movie | Spaceship | Pumpkin


LATHING

Creating more sophisticated shapes
1. NAME your OBJECTS
  • Use SETTINGS | OBJECT and name your saucer "Saucer".
    (Name any objects you create in your Flying Saucer file from now on)

2. CREATE a NEW OBJECT
  • Use OBJECT | NEW to create a blank screen for your ROCKET
    (multiple objects can be stored in the same AN8 file - just keep them named appropriately!)

3. From the SIDE view, DRAW a PATH
  • Choose the SIDE view (Key-4)
  • Set the OPTIONS | GRID | SNAP to GRID option to ENABLE
  • Use a CURVED PATH tool Anim8or_Curved_Path_Tool.png and draw as follows
    • Starting left side right on the Z-Axis, click and drag to draw the "nose" of the rocket
    • Continue dragging the little red square to establish the next points; try to draw the rough outline shown here using just six points

This curved path is called a "SPLINE"
Anim8or_Spline03b.png
4. REFINE the SPLINE
  • Perfect the End Points
    • Click on an end point and you can move it so it lands PRECISELY on the Z-Axis
  • Make some corners
    • Choose a point like the tip of the tail and double click it
    • The "Knot Editor" lets you make it a CORNER rather than smooth point - Click OK
    • Make all the other points corner points EXCEPT the one on the "back" to give your object a more classic rocket like profile
  • Tighten the curve
    • Click on the curved point on the back of the rocket spline, and adjust the green "handles" to shorten the curve. Less curve can reduce the polycount
Anim8or-Lathe01.gif
5. BUILD - LATHE
  • Use BUILD | LATHE and select the Z-Axis
  • Both the START and END should be closed
  • Click OK
    • If it looks like a mess, you probably didn't draw your rocket from the SIDE view. You can adapt by hitting UNDOAnim8or_Button_Undo.png
    • Try the LATHE command again, this time set the axis for the one that DOESN'T appear in the legend in the lower left of the screen
Anim8or-Lathe02.gif
6. APPLY MATERIALS
  • Use OBJECT EDIT to paint the entire rocket a uniform colour
  • BE SURE to NAME your materials appropriately, or they can be lost when you add the rocket to the saucer.

  • To colour individual faces of the rocket you can use POINT EDIT mode, but first you'll find you need to flip the normals

HAVING PROBLEMS SELECTING FACES?
If you have problems selecting faces after lathing, your model may have been lathed INSIDE OUT.
  • Choose the WIREFRAME view - can you see the faces being selected now? Are they yellow on the INSIDE?
  • Here's how to "FLIP the NORMALS" to turn your object right-way out.
    • Go back to OBJECT EDIT mode
    • Select the object
    • Use EDIT - FLIP NORMALS
Anim8or-Lathe04.gif
7. COPY to the SAUCER
  • Use "QUAD" view by tapping the DEL key in the lower right corner of your keyboard
  • COPY the rocket object, and PASTE it into the Saucer Object window
  • MOVE Anim8or_Move_Tool.gif and SCALE Anim8or_Scale_Tool.gif the rocket to fit properly
  • Is the rocket facing the wrong way?
    • ROTATE Anim8or_Rotate_Tool.gif, Using only the RIGHT mousebutton when you rotate an object - it rotates it more intuitively on only ONE axis on your screen.
Anim8or-Lathe06.gif
8. POSITION and MIRROR
  • Select the rocket and use BUILD | MIRROR (X-Axis Mirror) to create a symmetrical duplicate on the other side of the saucer.
Anim8or-Lathe08.gif

NEXT: Create a stylish FIN using the EXTRUDE Tool