BEAVeR

Star Wars Regulator
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Everything posted by BEAVeR

  1. You may have encountered it: you built a nice model in LDD, but it looks surreal because it lacks decorations on e.g. the minifigs. This tutorial is here to help you with that. In this little tutorial, I will try to explain how you can enhance the POV-Ray renders of your LDD models with custom decorations. You can design entirely new figures for example, or you can apply the decorations that aren’t available in LDD. My example in this tutorial will be a stormtrooper minifig. This figure lacks all decoration in LDD, and is commonly used in digital Star Wars builds. It gives me the opportunity to explain how to decorate surfaces that aren’t directly accessible in LDD, how to fit custom decals and explain the general principles. This method doesn’t involve any hacking and doesn’t require any sick programming skills (although the custom decorations might need your artistic talents…). And the best of all: all programs I use here are entirely free! I’ll be using Lego Digital Designer, LDD2POV-Ray, POV-Ray and Inkscape. So let’s get started! Decorate the target pieces in LDD LDD2POV-Ray, the program that will eventually place your custom decorations, can only replace already applied decorations. So firstly, you need to give the pieces you want to decorate a replacement decoration in LDD. Make sure to use different decorations for each surface, so that you later can keep track of which filler to replace with which substitute. Also, taking a screenshot for reference is not a bad idea to support your memory. But wait a minute… Some parts don’t allow for any decorations at all in LDD! Minifig torso’s are not a problem at all, but things like helmets are a whole different story. But luckily, there is an easy way to apply decorations that will work in most cases (no guarantees though!). You have to export your .lxf file to the LXFML format (File -> Export Model). This .lxfml file is actually a textual representation of your model. Among others, it contains a list with the placed parts, including their color(s) and decoration(s). To find your part, use the search function (Ctrl + F / Cmd + F) and type in: in which you replace 30408 (the designID of the storm trooper helmet in this example) with the designID of the part you desperately want to decorate. You can find this ID by clicking on the part in LDD and looking at the bottom left corner. If multiple of these parts are available, you can give the specific part a different color and check for the one that says materials=”26” in which you replace 26 with the number of the color you used (you can find this number by hovering over the color in the color menu in LDD). The key part is then to change the part that says decorations=”0,0,0” in which the amount of zeros dictates the amount of surfaces that you can decorate. If the line isn’t present at all, you’re out of luck and won’t be able to decorate your part. Otherwise, replace the zeros with valid decoration ID’s. It’s best to take decorations that are square and detailed (I will explain why later), so I suggest using the decorations of the 2x2 flat tiles. You can find these ID’s by placing some of these decorated tiles in your model, and check in the LXFML file what number is filled in in the decorations line of those parts. To make it easier for you, here are some handy decoration ID’s you can use: 73023, 63708, 99825, 55350, 63404, 601245 Then, save your file, and open it with LDD. You’ll see your parts are looking very ugly with those random decorations, but you’ll be happy to have decorations. You can copy these parts to a ‘normal’ .lxf file, and get rid of the parts you used to find the decoration numbers. Now we can move on to step 2! 2. Open your model with LDD2POV-Ray LDD2POV-Ray is a program that converts your LDD model into a file that can be rendered with POV-Ray, a ray tracer that simulates the behaviour of real light to simulate a realistic effect. You can set lighting etc, but more importantly, you can set your own decorations. To do this, go to the “Decorations” tab, and check the box “Use custom decorations”. A list will appear at the bottom, showing all the decorations you used. Clicking on them will reveal a thumbnail. Now you’ll be happy that you used different decorations to know which is which. You’ll notice that the decorations (unless they are square) are a bit stretched out. That’s because the program only accepts square decorations. So to load your own decorations, you’ll have to make sure they are square. Otherwise, they won’t cover the whole area you intended. If you already have your decorations (you found them on one of the indexes of the customisation forum here, for example), you can skip to step 4. Otherwise, I’ll give a brief account on how to make your own decorations in step 3. 3. Create your own decorations Personally, I make my decorations with Inkscape. It’s an easy to use vector based program. That means you can easily create very clean, smooth and crisp shapes. I’ll leave it to others to educate you in this nice software, but I’ll show you some general strategies to make accurate decorations. When working on complex curved shapes, like the storm trooper helmet, you won’t know for certain how your image will be mapped to the surface. That’s when the screenshot you took comes in handily. Because you have used decorations with a lot of detail (if you’ve been following properly!), you can easily see how the image is deformed and placed on the surface. You can identify the regions where you want your details to come, look to what part of the placed decoration it corresponds, see what it looks like in its flat state (you can see this in the thumbnail in LDD2POV-Ray), and place your detail in the according place. So in the example of the storm trooper helmet, you can see that the mouth should somewhere at the center of the graph. LDD2POV-Ray shows that that graph is a bit above the, so now you know you have to place the mouth around the center of your decal. When you’ve finished your decoration, you have to make sure your decoration is square. This will most certainly occur when you’re designing decorations for minifig torsos. If you leave it in its actual proportions and plug it in LDD2POV-Ray, you’ll see that the image doesn’t fill the whole area, compared to the stretched out decoration you have to replace. So you resize your decoration. In Inkscape, simply go to the top, where you can enter dimensions. Then you go to File -> Export Bitmap and a dialogue box will pop up. Make sure to select ‘from selection’, and that the amount of pixels of your image is high enough. Otherwise it will look pixelated in the render. Finally, chose .png as file format, and remove the background color of your decoration. Because it might look like the right color in Inkscape, but in your render it will look like the decal has a different color than the body, which isn’t what you wanted. So now you have your parts temporarily decorated, and you got your custom decorations ready. So time to replace them and render them. 4. Render your decorated model Firstly, you have to load your new decorations in LDD2POV-Ray. There are multiple ways to do this, but the easiest method is to select the decoration you want to replace and then click on the empty canvas. A window will pop up to allow you to select your decoration. Just select it. Repeat for the other decorations, making sure you replace the right decoration with the right replacement (that screenshot will come in handy now, especially since you can’t have both LDD and LDD2POV-Ray open at the same time at this moment!). Then you can fiddle around with different settings like lighting etc. For test renders I suggest to place in the first tab the slider on the lowest positions: ‘LDD geometry’. This will result in slightly less good, but much faster renders, allowing you to quickly get feedback about your decorations, so that you can adjust placement and proportions. For flat parts this won’t be necessary, but it can help for curved parts. That’s why I included the TIE pilot in the render. You can see the ensignas are slightly deformed. That’s not my intention, but I already predeformed the circles in the decal, so that it looks more or less round on the surface. You’ll have to experiment a lot with these ones. Anyway, when you're satisfied and feel the need for a more glamorous render, you can turn 'render with visible bevels' on in the slider bar, and wait for some time. You'll get something like this. Hopefully now you know all about rendering your custom minifigs, making your models more realistic. I hope to see some around! Anyway: happy rendering of your minifigs! If anyone is interested in downloading the decorations I designed for the stormtrooper (for now without back printing) and the TIE pilot (torso printing already present in LDD), have a look at this page. Hope you've found this useful.
  2. Magical. That's what the House of the Five Senses is to me. [MOC] House of the Five Senses by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr The House of the Five Senses is the entrance to the Efteling theme park, which I have the fondest memories of. I still try to trick my parents into taking me there. We never visited Disneyland or even Legoland () even though I'm a big fan. But still, that was never a problem to me because we would often visit the Efteling, which is such a magical, whimsical, fun and genuine place that it totally made up for not visiting those other theme parks. The mere sight of the Efteling's entrance therefore gives me warm feelings. That made it the perfect fit for the latest (and last) contest on Rebrick, "Architecture faves", which called on builders to recreate a place close to their hearts in Architecture style. That and the fact that it's just a super interesting structure to recreate with a fascinating story: [MOC] House of the Five Senses - Everything you need to know by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr Its distinct visual style and defining compound curves made it very challenging to replicate in bricks though, especially at the Architecture scale. My first instinct was to use many bows, cylinders and cones. Turns out that there is a severe lack of cone pieces in reddish brown (and it's only one single set which provides the brown carrots that work perfectly as the peaks...). I had to resort to using slopes and flat parts, and in the end I'm very glad I had to. Using bow pieces would have been a mistake as the main shape of the surface has a concave surface, while the concave bows would have destroyed the flow of that surface. Moreover, it would have been impossible to hide every single half stud lip of a brick or to align everything perfectly, so the angular bricks make those features look more intentional and part of the creation. So strangely, using slopes instead of bows actually results in a visually smoother build and also gives strong, crisp edges where they need to be. [MOC] House of the Five Senses - Dragon Perspective by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr The downside was that I had to create the surface out of a multitude of small pieces at just the right angle instead of using bigger pieces with inherent curvature. That meant I had to find a lot of compact ways to connect things at funny angles and do my best to fill up all gaps. New parts like all the 1x1 pieces with bars in different configurations were absolute life savers to get it to work. Without them, it also wouldn't have been possible to connect the triangular panels that were the only right part for the job in several places. The disadvantage was that all of the complex connections needed a lot of tweaking just to get the part not to collide with others. This being built with Lego Digital Designer, you can understand the struggle of taking half an hour just to line all of the parts up, just to come to the conclusion that it sticks out too much and you have to figure out a completely new solution, or that the collision box of the part is ill defined so it refuses to put the part in place even though there's no collision in real life... Sure, building digitally has a lot of advantages (and no, I didn't use part-colour combos that don't exist as far as I know), but there are some definite disadvantages like spending ages on lining up parts, wishing you could use the illegal connections everybody uses or struggling to understand compled 3D orientations on a screen... Anyway, the small rant being over , believe it or not, in the end I managed to create the building entirely with legal connections as far as LDD is concerned. [MOC] House of the Five Senses - Leaving perspective... by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr In the end, I'm very happy with the final appearance of the building on its own and the fact that it matches the original building quite closely (look here for some excellent reference pictures). I'm especially happy that I took the extra trouble to angle the four peaks of the main part of the building which makes it both accurate and gives it a very dynamic look for a static piece of architecture. To complement the spiky look of the building, I opted for a presentation on an unconventional base placed at a 45 degree angle which emphasized its corners. It has the extra advantage of representing the triangular square (now that's a funny turn of phrase ) in front of the real building, which features a fishbone pattern in the floor which I tried to replicate with the tiles (until I realized I totally missed the point of the pattern, but it still looked good enough ). The very new 2x2 triangular tiles in the end enabled my vision of an angled base, but sadly I had to use some loose parts to fill in some funny gaps. Still, I think it was totally worth it for the presentation. Finally, it was very fun to add all of the little elements like the trees, hedges, lightposts and flowers that breathe some life and colour into the scene like the seasoning in a dish. [MOC] House of the Five Senses - Group perspective by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr In the end, I'm very happy with the visual result. Also with the fact that I pushed myself to tackle such a challenging topic and persisted through the entire building process which took an entire month even though the model only counts eight to nine hundred pieces (I often went days with only placing ten bricks or something like that...), because through it I learned some new techniques and part combinations (triangular flag element + 1x1 round place with bar at the bottom = total win!) which will certainly be handy in the future. And what made it truly special was the feedback I got. I has already been very fun to see Efteling fans react to my model. And I am very grateful that the judges of the Rebrick competition liked it enough to designate me as a runner up winner... The House of the Five Senses certainly has worked his magic on me once more! If it only puts a little bit more magic on your day as well, that'd be just perfect. So I hope you enjoy it, and don't forget to keep your eyes open to see magical things! ____________ So, I mentioned this was built with LDD, which means that I can also easily share the file with you, just in case you're interested in the techniques or would like to try to build your own. As I said, all the parts (at least the most important ones I checked) are available in the colours I used, and everything is connected, although I don't promise it will be a creation you can swoosh around - if that is something you'd want to do with a building. However, the design presented in the renders isn't horribly practical. The base, for example, would take in more depth than needed on a shelf, limiting the display options. The angled base also requires some loose parts and the new 2x2 triangular tile in grey, which have only appeared in the roller coaster set so are on the rare side. That's why I've also designed a version with a rectangular base, which should be a lot easier to build and manage in real life. It doesn't have the tirangular square in front, but it does have more vegetation in a corner. I also got rid of the loose white jumper plates at the base of the back tower. I couldn't find a solution during the time frame of the contest, but after a lot of thinking I've now designed an alternative with car doors which are all firmly attached. Both versions of the model are included in the file below, so you can check out the one that suits you best. Have fun with it, and if somebody does succeed in building it in real life, be sure to send me a picture, and don't hesitate to ask questions because I still have some designer notes! The LDD file: https://bricksafe.com/files/BEAVeR/digital-models/efteling_buildable.lxf
  3. There was a time that a big piece of brightly colored plastic with some lights on it, gently rocking back and forth, could make us so happy. Coin operated rides are something you grow out of, though, so it has been a long time ago that I enjoyed riding on one of these. Luckily, it turns out that building one is definitely a joyous activity! [MOC] To Space and Back for 50 Cents! by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr The motivation behind this build was the LEGO Ideas "Moments in Space" contest. The objective was to build a small creation in the theme of space. It had to be in the same vein as those small promotional sets you get for free when you spend enough in the LEGO Store or at Shop at Home. I tried to follow this guideline as well as I could, really trying to design a promotional set. One thing I wanted to include, was some kind of mechanical play function. I recently acquired the nutcracker promotional set, and I found myself really enjoying fiddling around with it, endlessly actuating the lever: motion just fascinates me. My mind immediately jumped to the concept of a coin operated kiddie ride, as it moves so hypnotically and since it fills me with warm memories. I started by creating a mechanism that creates a smooth and somewhat realistic motion with a compact mechanism, to keep the build somewhat in proportion with minifigs. In the end, I'm pretty happy with how nice the motion looks, and I'm sure I would play with this endlessly! This motion is made possible with a bar mechanism attached to the sun-shaped dial. I spent most of my time tweaking the positions of the joints to make the motion as realistic as possible. I also used friction pins in the hinges so you can leave it in any position and it will stay in place, so you have more options for display. [MOC] To Space and Back for 50 Cents! - On the Operation of Rockets by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr I also tried to make it as displayable as possible by first of all making it look like an actual kiddie ride such that it should be right at home in a Town layout outside some big store or in a mall. So the rocket got a shape that would be appealing to children nicely fat and round with an interesting shape of the nose (for those who were wondering, the rounded tip of the nose cone is one of those pieces that are the lower half of a balloon), nice lights, a steering wheel that does absolutely nothing but makes all of the difference to children, the typical slanted coin slot and stairs at the back to at least give some explication how that kid got up there. To make it more attractive, I made the base entirely in the space theme. The mechanism isn't actuated by some obvious crank, but by what looks like a sun, which totally blends into the base. All other planets in our solar system have been included as well, with colors and sizes as close as I could get them and a fun little combination of parts to create Saturn. With all of those touches, I hope it looks convincing enough that children would beg their parents for a coin to have a ride on this thing! [MOC] To Space and Back for 50 Cents! - Please, Mummy, Please, Please! by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr That's it! I hope you like it and brought back some wonderful childhood memories! It certainly brought back the same level of enthusiasm for space as when I was a child. Maybe the Falcon heavy launch had something to do with that as well... Anyway, check out all of the contest entries for more spacey fun in a tiny package! ________ The LDD file for this build can be found here.
  4. BEAVeR

    [MOC] To Space and Back for 50 Cents!

    Yeah, other people have pointed that out to me as well, but I hadn't heard about that set before posting my entry, probably because it's so obscure. Too bad there are no instructions to be found from that set, as I'd love to know how it moves. By the way, this similarity wouldn't have been a problem in the contest as the grand prize winning entry of the Ideas "Moments in space" contest is in fact also a rocket ride. Not mine, but at least I had a "winning idea" if you look at it from the right angle Now it's hoping they make that design a reality as a gift with purchase set, so we finally have a working and freely available version. Also thanks to everyone for the support and for voting on my entry, putting me in the 30th place with 116 votes, just 15 votes shy of the top 25, which would have meant progressing to the judging phase. I feel incredibly honored and thank you all!
  5. BEAVeR

    [MOC] To Space and Back for 50 Cents!

    Thank you all very much for your kind words and the support. I'm glad that it gives you some joy . For those of you that are further interested in the mechanism, you can find the LDD file here so you can look at it in more detail. As a bonus, the file also contains an extra mechanism that achieves a similar motion but didn't make it into the final model because it was difficult to build the rocket around it. I hope you find it useful, and I'd love to see what rides you come up with!
  6. BEAVeR

    [Ep. XVII] [Empire] [Week 6] Rebels Sighted

    A great start to your stormtrooper career, DarthsDonuts54! I think that the plains terrain is the most difficult one to work with, but you managed to make a very exciting scene out of it. That's because you realised that when the environment is only pretty basic, you need some serious action to still create a compelling build, and you managed to pull that off perfectly. I'm totally immersed into the action of your scene. Every single figure is in motion - especially that storm trooper flying up into the air with some really awesome posing - and all of them have a unique personality. There are ones that prefer to take precise shots from a covered place and other ones just go all in! I think it could have been even more intense if you depicted some figures that have already fallen to make it extra clear that they not playing a game of paintball here Your landscape has some great parts to it. I like the fact that you have a raised area, although I feel like the slope could have been a bit more gradual to make it look more natural, or else it could have been part of a ditch with some water flowing through to serve as the perfect place for an ambush. You have a puddle of water that is great to break up the expanse of green, but the strange thing is that it actually seems to sit on a somewhat elevated part of the plain, which is not really something water would do in reality. But still, you managed to make the shape of the puddle look really good, and the path of mud around it is a nice touch. I'm not too big a fan of the expanse in the middle though, but as I said before, the plain terrain is definitely the trickiest in this contest. It should be flat and relatively empty, but still it should look interesting. You have a lot of interesting landscape elements to break up the monotony, but none of them in the middle portion of the build. I think a piece of rock or maybe even a fallen tree would have made it more interesting there. Also, instead of making the plain part a straight stroke in the middle of you square base, it could have been at an angle with respect to your base to create a more dynamic composition. Also, I think there can be a better way to use all of those stalk pieces. Of course you can't cover the entire plain with them, but having them spread out like that makes the plain look unnatural to me. It's hard to explain and maybe it might even be personal preference, but I think that it's most of the time better to group parts together to make an interesting structure instead of spreading them out (compare it to your rock: you have a single big one instead of little pieces of rock throughout your scene, which makes for a distinctive element in your scene and makes it look more like you really built something instead of spread parts out). So in this case, you could have made patches of the stalks, with maybe some kind of natural path between them (maybe for the animals that go drink in the puddle of water or something like that). It's fine to have some stalks a little bit removed from the patch to have some kind of gradual transition and the patch doesn't just abruptly stop in an unnatural fashion. Those are some of my musings that are hopefully a bit helpful to you. And you might help me a bit too: how was that round tree constructed? It could be a great technique to create architectural columns with... That's just one of the many things that transform your build from a boring plain of grass to an interesting and exciting scene with various highlights! A great entry on your Imperial CV.
  7. Wow, Elementary, that's really good! The collection of bricks on display is modest, but the result is quite something. I can hardly believe this is your first MOC, because you do a lot of thing right that more experienced builders can still get wrong! For example, you did a great job to make the scene feel natural. The trees are not to blocky and not too round, but are something in between and have a great deal of texture as well: SNOTting them was an awesome decision. The danger is that the transition between the rough trunk and the smooth branches could have been too jarring, but I'm very impressed by how you solve it: on some faces (it could have been more though), you don't end the plated part at the same height to avoid an abrupt cutoff of the texture, and you even use a tile on the left tree to get a mix of the shape of the SNOT part but the texture of the smooth branches. It shows that you really think hard about textures to have such subtle things in you MOC like that. Putting the tree at an angle also makes it feel more natural. Really, the only thing lacking on the trees (apart from the fact that's its a bit of a pity that they are cut off at the top) is the bases. Now they just shoot out of the ground instead of being rooted in it. Some brown plates on the ground would have been enough, and the picture also accidentally shows a nice solution: if you would have placed that brown Y-shaped carrot top piece towards the back just a stud closer to the tree, it would have been an effective and novel way to depict a root that rises a bit from the ground. It's also nice how you made your rocks so smooth yet faceted . That way they both look like they've been smoothed by the water over time, and stand out against all of the studded textures in the rest of the build such that you have some great variation. The beach looks great because it doesn't look like a single plate but has a lot of relief in it. What could have been better, is that all of your light tan plates could have been on a bit of a higher level than the dark tan plates to create an upward slope, because now the right part of the beach looks a little bit weird because it goes back down again, but that's only a small nitpick. I have a bigger issue with the transition between the beach and the grass: suddenly it becomes very flat with you only using big plates there. It's especially weird that you have one green plate overhanging the other with vertical gap between them. You seem to have a floating bit of grass. If that's because you don't have enough green plates, no problem, but maybe you could have put the topmost green plate at an angle then (not with hinges, just by connecting it loosely at one side and pressing it down), which would have made things even more organic then. Really, this creation looks terrific. The nature looks natural and the nicely spread textures and colors make it easy to look at. Even your figure placement has some gems with that lovely image of the soldier playfully sitting on the rock to rest (it would have even been better if your other figures would sit against a tree or something like that as well such that it looks like all of your characters are really engaging with each other instead of ignoring each other). My biggest advice for you now would be to think a little bit more about how things would physically work (the gap between the plates, the weird relief in the beach, that strange vertical brown bar floating in the tree...) so that you have no things that pull the viewer out of the immersion. Because I'd love to be immersed in that wonderful piece of nature of yours... Keep up the great work!
  8. BEAVeR

    [MOD] 75202 V-4X-D Ski Speeder

    Please stick to English only, that all of us enjoy your comment As for the creation, I like it! You should give yourself some more credit though: you didn't just play around with the proportions,but also made the guns beneath the cockpit look more accurate, for example. It looks great while still very much looking like a real Lego set, so this would benright at home in most people's collections! Some small tips to maybe improve the model further: I'm a bit confused by your choice of colors for the brackets at the nose of the cockpit. Making both brackets holding the front 2x2 round tile in the same color could give ita more realistic appearance. Also,you have the opporrtunity to capture a detail in your model that I haven't seenin any other MOC of the ski speeder: the detail of the triangular pattern on the sides of the central body. To me, it looks a bit like the pattern of the windows of a Star Destroyer bridge, and it so happens that set 75055 contains a 1x4 light grey tile with exactly that pattern on it (it could just be a sticker, though) covering the bridge. It would be super easy to integreate that part in your build. Keep up the great work!
  9. Hi elementary! It certainly is still possible to join, as the episode is far from over. All you have to do is post here: - whether you want to be a Rebel or an Imperial (for your information, rumor has it that the Rebels are outnumbered in this fight, but of course you can choose the faction you want!) - whether you want to be a trooper or a pilot (doesn't really afect the game, sopick what you prefer) - either post a small picture of your character (in correspondence to the faction and the specialization you chose above) or say that we have to use the default avatar for you (see the first post of this topic) This episode also requires quite some coordination with your team members, which happens in a hiden group mesage. To use the messenger functionality of Eurobricks, you need to have 10 posts however. To get to 10 posts, the best way is to write some comments (try to write full sentences to give some constructive feedback instead of simply saying "cool!" or something like that). After all of that, welcome to SoNE! I bet this was your New Year's resolution... more people should have that one!
  10. We don't discriminate against any official LEGO pieces, so BURPs are perfectly fine. If you really want to go crazy and include official LEGO watches, notebooks or ice cube trays in your MOC,go ahead an try it. As long as it's officially made by LEGO you're fine, you'll just have to find away to make it work to get a nice qualitative entry.
  11. The ideal Christmas tree doesn't have to be very big or ornate, but has to be a beacon that brings people together in peace, no matter their differences. That's why I created a scene based on the Christmas Truce in the First World War, where Christmas inspired people to see the human in the person that made their lives a misery throughout the year. It must have been a magical moment, and looking at pictures and reading stories about it is just heart warming. Sadly, the Christmas Truce didn't last long, and in the years following 1914, more and more punishments went into effect to prevent soldiers from uniting with the enemy again during Christmas. But the spark was there, and it might inspire all of us to maintain a Christmas Truce all year round. I wish you all peaceful holidays! Note about the build: the black and white effect is achieved in camera: the entire build just uses LBG, DBG and black bricks. The pine tree design is 95% Ecclesiastes'.
  12. Hi TheRyan, and welcome to Eurobricks! To keep our subforum from flooding with lots of topics with questions like yours, we created this topic to group them all, so that's why I moved your topic here. I hope you'll find some helpful advice here.
  13. BEAVeR

    Lambda Shuttle and Star Destroyer MOCs

    Well, you already know how I feel on your Imperial Shuttle (glad you like it!), so I won't elaborate on that. But I do want to declare my love for that Jedha city stand you created for the Star Destroyer. You're such a great builder that even your stands are more interesting than others' UCS creations! You manage to scale the scene so perfectly, that the forced perspective pictures look exactly like they would come straight out of a movie thanks to your own "special brick effects". One of those effects is using some pretty small offsets of those slopes to replicate the "merlons" and "buttresses" of the city walls that give it a subtle texture with a regularity that sets it apart from the more random rocks underneath such that you don't actually need the color difference between the city and the rocks: in that first picture they're pretty close in color, but your texturing keeps it perfectly understandable. I wonder whether the level difference between the buttresses and the intermediate walls wouldn't be even more subtle if you'd offset the slope bricks in the vertical direction rather than the horizontal one given the steep angle of the slope that reduced the effect. To me, the most mind-boggling of your special effects is how you scale details. A mindset of "more details everywhere will make it look bigger" looks valid at first, but you saw an even better option. You restrained yourself in inserting small details: just look at all of the big pieces used in the middle section of the build. You could have easily gone for more smaller pieces to get more texture, but you saw that the result of that would be that the middle section of the rock wouldn't stand apart from the bottom section anymore. All of it would just be uniformly detailed, while in reality there's definitely more intricate detail to be seen at the bottom than in the middle with all of the multifaceted smaller rocks compared to smoother, big rock faces. Your approach of using bigger pieces in the middle section, on the other hand,contrasts with the fine detail at the bottom, tricking you into thinking the details in the former section are just too small to see. I love it how you even went through quite a bit of trouble to hide most of the lips at the bases of the slope bricks forming the city walls by covering them up with the rock pieces in a way that's so seamless. That's one less small detail to see that increases the strength of the illusion. In short, you manage to maintain the relative sizes of the textures by restraining the amount of detail to really get a scaled, proportionate version of the original. You even use it in the other pieces of landscaping as can be seen in the first shot: rocks nearby have multiple levels, more jagged edgers, while those in the background have less detail that can be made it. I've never seen this technique used in any other creation, but you show how much it adds to the creation. Including less detail to make something look bigger. Only a genius like you can come up with something like that! It's always difficult to judge somebody's skill when they've built something big like you often do, because the fact that it's big is enough to make it impressive. But now that I know that you can completely blow me away with such a small creation, you've only become more of a legend in my eyes! Blogged!
  14. BEAVeR

    Republic Gunship

    The Republic Gunship was probably the set I wanted most when I was a kid, and now this creation is probably what I want to build most right now! You did an amazing job recreating the heavy and powerful feeling of the ship. i think that's because you managed to accentuate how filled it is, with those beautiful curves near the bottom almost suggesting like the ship is sagging through because of all of the weight inside. At the same time you incorporate all of that masterfully in the rest of the model with hardly any seem in sight, indicating that even though the ship is loaded, it won't be failing any time soon. This is no accident as you did exactly the same thing with the front cannons, making sure the huge impact of them is properly absorbed through that wonderful ring, and with the great integration of the engines in the body instead of them just precariously balancing on the top of the ship. And I love how you angled the hind of the ship instead of doing it with slope bricks to keep it so smooth. Incredible how you concentrated on those curves and their integration to truly capture the spirit of the ship: that's a great eye you have! Not that you neglected the other aspects of the ship though: I love the texturing achieved with the half plate offsets, the great use of that Technic curved piece in the front and surprisingly accurate color patterns to give some subtle but very welcome variation to all of the smoothness. My favorite has to be the door panel in the back though. All of it makes for a creation that's spot on despite its modest size. Especially the front view looks like the real thing where your curves really get to shine! I don't think there are a lot of improvements possible on this model that has both the looks and the playability (I just love how neatly an seemingly strongly everything comes together in the LDD model!) with even the detail of having different controls in the different cockpits. I just think that the shape of the doors could be a bit more accurate by extending the hindmost part with a stud to the top. It looks like you have the space to do it and the model would be more accurate and interesting for it. And while I couldn't find a good reference picture of it so I can't say anything about accuracy, changing the smooth tube of the missiles to something with some more ridges like a Technic axle connector (which you could connect with a 1x1 round plate with bar on top) could give the missiles a more interesting texture so that it's more in tune with the other technical components with great textures like the back of the engines. And maybe replacing the cockpit pieces with something like part 84954 would allow you to embed the cockpits more as well just like the rest of the ship and make it stand out even more from the other iterations, but I fear that would be a lot of reworking and might destroy some of the loveliness of the current creation. So, brilliant job, and thinks for bringing the child in me back! Blogged!
  15. Great creation, insideLego! Where most creations only capture the spirit of the source material, you also managed to capture the charm of a Lego set! It's wonderful that you capture the perfect balance such that your creation looks and feels like the very best sets out there. I love it how you incorporate many Lego tropes but put a small twist on them to make them work as an AFOL creation. For example, you leave a lot of studs exposed just like in the set, but I don't really mind it because you have plenty of smooth sections else where to create an interesting dynamic on the hull that looks intentional. Especially from a distance, they almost make it look like there's a small color variation in the grays, which is even more noticeable in the black and white picture you posted. You also throw some actual new colors in, just like the blue on the good old TIEs, but make it sand blue to keep the effect subtle enough. Even then, it's not random, just to add some variations. Because when you look closely at certain shots of the ship, it sure does look like some parts have this sand blue quality. So amazing work on incorporating that subtle variation so well! You also don't shy away from using big elements like the cylinders of the engines or the octogonal plate in the back, but you manage to incorporate them smoothly into the rest of the body (I just love the geometry this creates in the engine section!). Add some nice greebles and seamless angle work (great use of that hinge for securely attaching the central ridge of the hull by the way), and you get a creation that looks just like a Lego set but only better! As for suggestions, I love the use of the pentagonal tile for filling out the corners of the wings, but the sharp transition between the black wedge plate and that piece make it loose its effect a bit. I'm pretty sure there's a way to use different wedge plates to make that transition smoother. No worries if it makes the shape look a bit polygonal, as that's a feature of the original ship anyway! Also, I think the spring loaded shooters are a bit of a missed opportunity. I don't mind their inclusion just because of the Lego charm, but even in a lot of Lego sets they really get incorporated into the model instead of being put in full sight. However, I understand your choice, as on the original ships there actually are some boxlike structures on the hull that could perfectly be represented by the shooters, but I think you need to flesh it out more to make it look like a detail instead of just a spring loaded shooter. Some 1x4 panels alongside the shooters would be perfectly possible and give it something extra already that ties it to the rest of the model better. Or you could try something with cheese slopes, although you'd have to be careful not to make things too bulky. Yes, it are little things, but you don't expect that there would be big flaws with such an awesome creation! Blogged!
  16. BEAVeR

    Thrawn's Office

    Hi Spongebob456, and congratulations on starting on your MOCcing journey here on Eurobricks ! First of all, I love it that what you lack in amount of bricks, you make up by a nice concept. It's fun to have an interesting looking box that almost looks like a vault, that you can't wait to open to see what's inside. It gives an extra twist to what otherwise would just be an interior on a plate, but now makes you feel like you're peaking into the lives of some minifigs, so well done. Also, nice door: the door rails (I'm surprised they can hold the door in place!) offer some nice texture to the wall and make the transition between the wall and the door not too jarring. Maybe it would even be better if you would also have some relief next to the door to make an entire door frame around it to achieve that effect even more. Inside, I like the simple way you constructed the desk, although it might benefit from tiling and maybe a small slope to depict a monitor so that it really looks like an executive desk. The piece behind Thrawn looks interesting as well, although I can't quite tell because it's not very visible in the pictures. Finally, what impresses me is how you arranged the bricks in the walls by stacking them straight on top of each other instead of staggering them. That way, you're wall doesn't look like it's made of actual clay bricks, but of metal panels because you have those bigger surfaces that are separated by subtle seams. That effect is really nice! As for building advice, I'd try some sideways building (SNOT) on the floor (just build a wall and lay it flat on its side and find a way to attach it to the rest) to give it a smooth look, which will begin to make it look more professional. I'd make it another (preferably darker, so black would do) color for a bit of contrast to the walls, because otherwise everything will just blend together: it's important that the viewer immediately understands the general shape of what he's looking at. Talking about the viewer, let's talk photography. All in all, everything is nice and sharp which is already a good beginning, but next time try to get rid of the shadow you or your camera cast. Just try adding some other light sources at other angles or take your picture outside on a cloudy day for nice even lighting, even though you'd probably still need some light source in order to give it that artificial look. Also, try to adjust your exposure settings so that you don't have over exposed areas in your picture, like the clone helmet (actually, the reflections of that one look nicer) or Thrawn's outfit. Than there's nothing to distract people from enjoying your build. Good luck with your further MOCcing career! I'm curious to see where it will go! PS: It's always better to show pictures in your topic instead of linking to them, because it's easier to discuss them that way, and experience tells that people often simply don't take the trouble of clicking through. I see you're using Flick to host your pictures, which is a solid choice in the AFOL community. Embedding a picture of Flickr in your topic is really easy: just go to the photo you want, click on the curved arrow right next to the star you use to favorite pictures, select the "BBCode" tab, choose your size from the dropdown menu (never go above 1024px to stay conform the Site Guidelines, and for smaller builds it's generally better to pick something around 800px wide instead as I already did for you), copy the code from the box and simply paste it into your topic. Nothing will show up in the topic at first, but just hit the preview button to see how it will look. Try it by adding more pictures to your post above,and then you'll know everything you need to know to make your topics as good as possible!
  17. BEAVeR

    [MOC] Temse Skyline

    It wasn't until I went to university and only came home in the weekends, I realized how much I love the sight of my hometown of Temse in Belgium. I always try to have a seat to the left of the train, near a big window, especially near sunset. Because when my train crosses the Temse Bridge over the Schelde river, the view is just magnificent and then I know I'm home. [MOC] Temse Skyline by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr You can imagine that on reading the assignment of Rebrick's "Dream Skylines" competition, "Build a Skyline of somewhere close to your heart", I didn't hesitate for a moment on what to build. But I think that choice might have been the only easy part about this contest! Since the creation has to be in the style of the existing LEGO Architecture skylines, I had to come up with several ways to add enough detail and texture at the small scale, and at the same time had to adhere to the maximum size requirements that didn't allow for any overhang. Personally, I also wanted to create something that's completely buildable in real life with solid connections and only existing part/color combinations - because who knows, maybe one day my town will be interested to have one of these for real? - which caused me a lot of headaches. All of that made for a build time of nearly a month for this seemingly small creation (that still contains close to 800 bricks). After all that building, I managed to cram in most (though not everything) of what I wanted to represent. From left to right, you have the Boelwerf Crane, the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Church, the Old Town Hall and the Temse Bridge. If you're interested in more information about those individual buildings, just keep reading! [MOC] Temse Skyline - Onze Lieve Vrouwe Church by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr The Onze Lieve Vrouwe Church is the defining building of the Temse skyline, and rightfully so. The original dates back to the 770's, erected by the holy Amelberga, the patron saint of the parish. It is believed that she fled her suitor, a powerful man, because she wanted to dedicate her life to God. And when she was cut of by the Schelde river, a giant sturgeon appeared from the water to lead her safely to the other side, where she erected the church out of gratitude. To this day, we have a yearly procession to celebrate her. Of course the church was rebuilt several times, and I depicted it as it appears today,the way I know her inside and out because this is the building where I go to mass and have gotten to know a lot of wonderful people. I love this building so much that I actually tried to build it several times before this contest. However, i always got stuck on the iconic but hard to capture shape of the clocktower. However, having to work at this small scale forced a certain size of the tower on me, which enabled me to have a more focused problem. When eventually I found out that the classic medieval helmet worked perfectly to capture the bell shape of the bottom part of the roof, and that's what really kicked of this entire creation. Since I couldn't connect anything to the helmet, I had to work with an external support, but luckily it doesn't get in the way of appreciating the creation too much. I also had a lot of variations for the rest of the tower, but in the end this version with the notches nicely corresponding to features on the actual building made it, also thanks to the input of my family on this issue! From there on, it was mostly a lot of complicated SNOT work to let the windows and the buttresses work, but it gave a nicely textured result. To top it all of, I included the statue of the Blessed Priest Poppe, who is also a central figure in our community. [MOC] Temse Skyline - Old Town Hall by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr Up until a couple of years ago, this was the administrative heart of Temse, but now everything apart from some ceremonies has moved to the new administrative center in a modern building for which I didn't have enough space to include... Still, it's a beautiful building from the beginning of the twentieth century that actually stands on the place where once the home of my ancestors stood. One of the ceremonies being held here, is the memorial of two of my ancestors, who became famous after allegedly dying in each other's arms during the first World War, becoming a symbol for love between brothers. This year, it was exactly 100 years ago that happened, so there was a ceremony on this very fitting location, where my sister and I also read some poems one of the two brothers wrote. Truly a special experience! Building this also was a special experience if you can call it like that, because of all of the tricky SNOT fitted into a really tiny package. I'm really happy with how the roof turned out. And while it's a pity that the spires of the main tower have to be held in place by a rubber band, at least the official LEGO rubber band with the right size had the right color as well. [MOC] Temse Skyline - Boelwerf Crane by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr I was born just half a year too late... If I would have been born sooner, I would have seen the Boelwerf working with my own eyes. It was a big shipyard along the Schelde river just outside of the town which was the economic heart of Temse for quite some time, with the biggest ship of the world at that time being build there. My grandfather was one of the employees there working among the docks, the cranes, the machine shops... Whenever I see pictures of those periods, I begin drooling and dreaming about that time that I sadly never knew. Because right now, where once the Boelwerf was, now a lot of new apartment buildings, houses, shops like my hairdresser and the new administrative building stand. The only thing that remembers the glory days is a beautiful and huge crane that never actually belonged to the Boelwerf but became an essential part of our skyline, and a couple of poles in the water and a hidden dry dock. Building this one actually went surprisingly easy when compared to the previous two buildings, and I'm pretty satisfied with how I managed to maintain the spindly look of the construction and the realistic angles of the supports, realized by putting technic pints over minifig antennas. The difficult part about this build actually was keeping it within the prescribed size limits of the build without overhang. That's why I had to sacrifice one of the three wrenches in the back, but luckily it isn't as noticeable. And nice to know: the crane can actually swivel around! [MOC] Temse Skyline - Back of the Box by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr I really had a lot of fun making the renders for this creation, trying to match the box art from the official skyline sets as well as possible, and I'm very happy with the results that accomplish my goal. Just ask if you want to know more about the rendering process. This is also a place to discuss the final building: the Temse Bridge on the far right. Although it doesn't look like it from the build, this was with its 365 meter for a long time the longest bridge over water in Belgium, and also one of the prettiest, in my opinion! The original actually was designed by Gustave Eiffel (yes, thát Eiffel!), but that one was deliberately blown up during the second World War. In 2009, a second bridge next to it opened to allow for more traffic to pass because it was getting a bit problematic. That bridge is actually nine meters longer than the original one, so in Temse we have just one, but the two longest bridges over water in Belgium! Giving the bridge the skeletal look was impossible to do on this scale, but the bottom of the plates actually still gives a nice texture to it. I couldn't make it as long as I wanted, and I had to place it at an angle, just to stay within the size requirements, so in reality it is of course way longer. Also, the 2009 bridge didn't fit on even though I created a model for it. But then again, that bridge pales in comparison to the older one. In the end, I'm very pleased with the result, so it was worth all of the work. It gives me the same feeling as when I see the real skyline from the train on a Friday evening, the feeling of coming home. Which is really nice that I'm on a two month internship in South-Korea! Thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoy your home as much as I do! _________________ The digital file (LDD)
  18. When I used this software to render, I sometimes even had renders that failed when they got to the transparent parts. The only option I had then, was to take an LDD screenshot with the transparent parts, then color them solid (preferably in a bright color that doesn't appear elsewhere in the render), then render that, and then composite the two images together, maybe adding some more advanced transparency effects yourself. As long as the transparent pieces (and what's behind them) aren't the focal element, you could get away with it. If you can't afford this, you either have to take the long render times or switch rendering softwares as far as I know.
  19. Thank you very much, Philo! I've updated the model and the post to include the right part. I didn't re-render it though as that would take a lot of time for just a small change.
  20. SylvainLS answered most of your questions already clealy, but allow me to ad a couple more remarks. In order to use the colors that you can't reach, the only option I can think of is to download a model from the internet which has those colors in it, copy a brick in the color you need and use the colorpicker (eyedroper) tool to select that piece so you can paint other bricks with that color. It's a workaround, but I have no idea how you could fix your display. Also note that you probably won't find the legacy colors when you're not in extended mode. Something else you could try, would be flipping the image on your screen to the side (I believe it's AltGr + left or right arrow key) since the color box will have more room at the botom then. It will be awkward though (resettin your monitor to the upright configuration happens with AltGr + up arrow). As for rotating tricky assemblies with floating parts, the only option is not to use the hinge tool. You simply have to figure out where you can connect the selection you want to rotate to an external piece like a peg. Then you rotate that external peg with some temporary construction. Then you select what you want to rotate and drag it so that it snaps with the external peg. Then your selection will have rotated to fit the connection, free floating parts thzt you selected included. Hope this helps to bring your epic looking model to life!
  21. 10241 - Maersk Line Triple-E – Sculptures 2014 Download 10241 - Maersk Line Triple E.mpd (OMR compliant), built with LDCad 1.5 Known errors: Missing stickers Part 90395 (lifeboat) not available in LDraw, replaced by 30304 (binoculars) Unofficial parts used: Part 62885 (gun) Part 47404 (boat bow)
  22. 10183 - Hobby Train (P model) – Factory 2007 - German Standard Electric Locomotive 2 Download 10183 - Hobby Train - 16.mpd (OMR compliant), built with LDCad 1.5 Known errors: None 10183 - Hobby Train (Q model) – Factory 2007 - Switcher Download 10183 - Hobby Train - 17.mpd (OMR compliant), built with LDCad 1.5 Known errors: None 10183 - Hobby Train (R model) – Factory 2007 - Tram 2 Download 10183 - Hobby Train - 18.mpd (OMR compliant), built with LDCad 1.5 Known errors: None 10183 - Hobby Train (S model) – Factory 2007 - Pig's Nose Train Download 10183 - Hobby Train - 19.mpd (OMR compliant), built with LDCad 1.5 Known errors: None 10183 - Hobby Train (T model) – Factory 2007 - Switcher 2 Download 10183 - Hobby Train - 20.mpd (OMR compliant), built with LDCad 1.5 Known errors: None These and all of the previous models can be found in my Brickshelf folder. _____________________ It's been a while since my last batch, but now we have 20 of the 30 models this set offers done. I love discovering all of the different designs and looking them up to give them a correct name, although I'm getting a little bit tired of building the wheel assemblies time after time again, each time just a little bit different than before...
  23. BEAVeR

    May 2017: Star Wars Thrawn Contest

    The rules say you can get creative when you don't own the Thrawn minifig. So using a blue minifig, possibly only shooting it from the back to hide the wrong decorations, would definitely be allowed!
  24. Awesome work! That denoiser function indeedseems like a lot of fun. Actually there already exist two programs to import LDraw models in Blender directly. The most recent one with the most features and best performance is ImportLDraw by Toby Nelson on github: https://github.com/TobyLobster/ImportLDraw It's easy to use and gices awesome results. See my Flickr for some examples, and also my entries in the official sets recreated in LDraw topic (the renders in that topic take about ten minutes to setup, so it can happen really fast) . I'd love to do a series on how to render Lego in Blender one day, but I don't have time to do that. As for rendering times, without the denoiser the renders for the official sets take less than ten minutes to render, but the resolution isn't very high and you can spot some noise. The renders on my Flickr take about four hours to render on average on my GPU.
  25. BEAVeR

    Shadows of Nar Eurbrikka

    Tags, cover images... for the SoNE episodes