To keep pushing back against ZModeler, today I wanted to model something mechanical again, so decided to do a skateboard. Or well, I tried to model a skateboard. I was aiming for a sort of Pennyboard, with Independent Trucks.
But as I went along I hit a couple of bumps in the road, and ran out of time, so had to cut it short and left out the actual board, which might be for the better.
I think these trucks are another good candidate for my category of #difficultMechanicalShapes.
I started out polyModeling the block on the bottom, also called the baseplate. This went pretty fast and smooth, and continued blocking in some shapes for the main axle shape, or the hanger.
The hanger turned out to be more difficult to model, so I hacked around this by creating a rough 3d reference with DynaMesh and just sculpting in the general shapes.
Then I used the reference to block in some basic lowres geometry. Through a combination of extrusions and qMesh I fused the objects together to form the hanger. Along the way I got stuck a couple of times, and trashed it.
In it’s best moments ZModeler is super magical, like the speed at which I modeled the baseplate was incredible, but then I get stuck with the hanger, and it feels like the most frustrating piece of kit in the world.
So I ran into another problem today with ZModeler. At some point I was editing the inside of my nut, trying to qmesh some polies, but it wouldn’t select or do anything!
I tried adding and removing the ZIntensity, removing the RGB and the M. It took me a while to realise it was actually throwing me the smallest error message in the world: “Non Symmetrical. Operation cancelled”
Naturally turning off my symmetry fixed the problem.
Sliding and Extruding Edges
Then I found this awesome thing, that I have absolutely no use for… or at least not yet. I was trying to move an edgeloop to the inside along an axis. If I knew of a way to select the edgeloop, I could have used transpose. So then I tried slide, but that tries to hug the original shape too much, which is not what I wanted.
Then I tried the Move Brush by Radius with Edgeloop Complete while holding SHIFT. Watch how the edgeloop slipslides across the surface, creating sort of a fluid uneven loop. Totally not sure what to use this for, but it looks super fancy, and haven’t seen this anywhere else before.
Finally I found you can Extrude edgeloops, by doing the Extrude with Edgeloop Complete and holding CTRL with it. It will extrude/move your edgeloop along it’s polyNormal.
Move Brush on LowPolyMesh
Today I found a great way to use the Move and Smooth brushes on my Low-res cage. I was trying to create the bushings where the hanger digs into the baseplate. I kind of created a shitty polygon tube, and put it roughly in the hole where the two metal pieces met.
Did a quick mirror weld, turned on symmetry and use the move tool to sculpt the rubber into position. This was super fast, easy and simple. Moving those verts or edges in any other way would have taken so much longer, and might have created something a bit too perfect.
Even though it was a bit of a frustrating process, I’m really happy with the quality level I’m hitting with ZModeler now. Hopefully in time I’ll be able to get much faster, and remove all this frustration, so it will be a dream to model with.