• Welcome to the new COTI server. We've moved the Citizens to a new server. Please let us know in the COTI Website issue forum if you find any problems.

Deckplans and 3D Thoughts


I originally posted this message to the Yahoo Deckplans Group last year, but did not get much feedback. :( Re-posting it here for anyone that is interested.

Here's what I have done to try and fit a regular deckplan into an external view. First I load a desckplan into a 3D program by mapping it onto a flat plane. I then add a series of boxes, 2 units high on all of the staterooms and other internal spaces. These I group together to stop them getting accidentally moved. Next I delete the
plane with the deckplan on it and then repeat the procedure for each additional deck. Once each 'deck' is constucted you can line them up vertically and join them together. Now you have a solid box structure representing the interior of the ship.
Now for the 'fun' part. If this is a standard ship, compare what you have with the published external view. Guess what, in most cases there is no way it will fit and keep anything like the streamlined shape shown in the external views.

Here's the deckplan/gearhead part. In most cases it will be necessary to slope or curve some external walls to make them fit within the ships outer hull. On most wedge or cylindrical hulls I have found that, on average, you usually end up sloping the top or bottom cube of each square by about 45 degrees.
As a general rule then: each dton that is adjacent to a streamlined hull will loose about 1/4 of it's volume due to the slope or curvature of the outer hull. Of course, this also depends on the actual shape of the hull. For example I would assume that on a 3 deck wedge the middle deck has normal vertical walls. The savings of .25 dtons is not much, but on most ships this will give you a couple of tons at least. It's also more realistic than assuming that all staterooms etc. are all just boxes.
Originally posted by Marvo:
That's the way I do mine. I use 3D Studio MAX, although I usually try and squeeze as much of the interior space into the exterior hull as possible, fudging backwards and forwards between the two to get it right.
MAX also has a volume measuring tool for closed geometry, so you can do away with the half-ton squares and just make the thing up as you go.

I love my job.

I'm in the throes of an MA in landscape architecture, which means having to learn 3D Studio MAX (they don't actually teach anything on an MA course). Guess what I'll be doing with the program to practice over Summer. Not designing public spaces, I can tell you ...

Although I suppose a subsidised liner's passenger deck could be described as a public space. ;)
Originally posted by Bromgrev:

Although I suppose a subsidised liner's passenger deck could be described as a public space. ;)
Only if you have paid your passage ticket! I am using ship design to learn how to program Excel so why not use actual deck plans as a way to learn 2D & 3D rendering programs? Hope you have fun while you learn!
Sorry everyone, been away on vacation.

For the question about what software I use it's usually Bryce. But I also use Vue D'Esprit, Poser, Terragen, Daz Studio and am just getting started with Amapi. Wish I could afford 3DMax, but that's well out of my 'hobby' price range. I hope the people learning it will want to share some of their creations

Here's a tip. If you have Celestia, with all the add-ons, installed, go to the extras folder and you will find all the ship models in standard .3ds format. Most programs can open these.

If you need the Celestia plugins you can find them at Celestia Motherlode
Hey, another Brycer!

I've ended up doing stuff the wrong way round.

I build the 3D model, come up with a size based on the docking hatch, then try and figure out the tonnage.

Fitting the tonnage into the model can be real hard, especially with cylindrical cross sections - thank goodness 'allowable leeway'...