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anchorbay
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Rendering a ship or boat hull

Feb 6, 2013 1:41 PM

Does anyone kow of a good way to shade or render a ship or boat hull? I have tried to use gradient mesh, but am not happy with the results. I am relatively new to Illustrator and am still learning. I am a marine artist switching from airbrush and pen to computer graphic illustrations. I am using the latest version of Illustrator. Thanks! Karl

 
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    Feb 6, 2013 2:10 PM   in reply to anchorbay

    I think you should send us a screen shot of what you are trying to achieve.

    A rendering of a boat hull is a bit vague. For example do you mean a naturalistic rendering or a schematic one?

     
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    Feb 6, 2013 2:11 PM   in reply to anchorbay

    The gradient mesh is a fairly advanced tool. If you want to have better control, take a look at the plug-in Mesh Tormentor (it's free). And take a look at this, it will give a good introduction in how meshes work: http://vectorboom.com/load/articles/web_roundups/mesh_tormentor_plugin _complete_guide/13-1-0-18

     

    On top of it all, you should be prepared that you might need more than one object to render the hull. That means stacking of (semi)transparent objects, usaga of masks and blend modes to achieve your result.

     
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    Feb 6, 2013 3:29 PM   in reply to anchorbay

    Karl,

     

    If you are working with (inner) paths that reflect the shapes, you may consider blends (Object>Blend>Make). If relevant, you should try to have matching Anchor Points, and in Object>Blend>Blend Options, you may use Smooth Color or Specified Steps and Align to Path.

     
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    Feb 6, 2013 11:32 PM   in reply to anchorbay

    Blends and/or gradients are what you are looking for. Jacob’s way is probably simplest.

    Gradient meshes, with or without clipping masks, are another alternative but like Monika says, they take a bit of practice.

     
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    Feb 7, 2013 2:35 AM   in reply to anchorbay

    The hull in that image is a simple radial gradient with its centre way outside the shape(s).

     

    Then some applications as separate objects in front of it.

     
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    Feb 7, 2013 3:43 AM   in reply to Monika Gause

    The hull in that image is a simple radial gradient with its centre way outside the shape(s).

    That’s what I thought at first glance but on second thoughts I am not sure.

    Notice how the shadow at the boat’s stern blends more quickly than that at the bow.

     
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    Feb 7, 2013 7:08 AM   in reply to Monika Gause

    Monika Gause wrote:

     

    On top of it all, you should be prepared that you might need more than one object to render the hull. That means stacking of (semi)transparent objects, usaga of masks and blend modes to achieve your result.

     

    That is basically the thecnique I used to create the drawing below; a rendering for a client's approval. I also come from an airbrush background, so that is how I thought of it; one layer laid over another; build the shadows in one direction, then, with another pass (layer) build from another direction (I hope I'm being clear). In any case, check out transparencies and blending modes.

     

    It will take time, and practice, but you will get there.

     

    Chili.jpg

     
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    Feb 7, 2013 9:16 AM   in reply to anchorbay

    Just my opinion, but I think you're right on. I always find it easier to merge layers I later decide I don't need, than to take a layer full of complex elements and try to separate them into layers later.

     

    It would be interesting to see your final result, if you care to post back when finished.

     

    Good luck.

     

    --OB

     
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    Feb 21, 2013 12:14 PM   in reply to OldBob1957

    Savidge.jpg

    Hi Bob, Monika, Steve & Jacob

     

    Well, I finally finished my schooner drawing. 83 layers later before flattening.  These sailing vessels can be a real pain to do. I am not completely satisfied with my shading results, but it's a start. It's going to take time as I tend to be real nit picky on these historical projects. Thanks all for your help.

     

    Karl

     
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    Feb 21, 2013 12:38 PM   in reply to mariner41

    You're welcome.

     

    Really nice illustration. Thanks for sharing.

     
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    Feb 21, 2013 1:46 PM   in reply to mariner41

    A very nice bit of work. Congratulations!

     
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    Feb 21, 2013 2:26 PM   in reply to mariner41

    Very nice, Karl.

     

    Do you feel different today (anchorbay turned mariner)?

     

    You might consider continuing the water level hinting in front of the bow and behind the stern to show it all the way in front of the schooner, keeping it at a low Transparency>Opacity (all the way). thus revealing the (wavy) waterline (not the Plimsoll/load line).

     
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    Feb 21, 2013 4:53 PM   in reply to Jacob Bugge

    Jacob,

     

    I did have the waterline ahead and astern of  the boat. I'm a little confused here, did you mean to bring the waterline to the front so that it shows along the whole length of the hull? I  tried that but I thought it looked weird. I also had a 'bone in her teeth' (bow wave). Maybe I need to revisit this detail.

     

    Started a new boat today, a shipwrecked steamer fron 1865. There have been approximately 9000 wrecks on the lakes since 1659 ( La Salle's GRIFFON) so I guess I have a lot of work to do.

     

    Anchor Bay Boat Works is my un official organization name. I also produce model ship fittings on a limited basis and do custom work.

     

    Regards,

    Karl

     

    Just curious, where are you guys located?

     
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    Feb 22, 2013 2:37 AM   in reply to mariner41

    Karl,

     

    did you mean to bring the waterline to the front so that it shows along the whole length of the hull?

     

    I did, with a very low opacity so the hull shows through, just hinting the waterline to give an impression of how the boat floats.

     

    I believe Bob is somewhere over there. For the rest of us, you can even see pictures (over) here:

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/3297767#3297767

     
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    Feb 22, 2013 11:06 AM   in reply to mariner41

    Very nice, mariner41. I like it.

     

    As to not being totally satisfied with it. I can understand. I don't know as I've ever done any project where I haven't wanted to tweek it 'Just a bit more'. Something I learned years ago in oil painting; sometimes you just have to know when to say 'It's done!' and step back.

     

    Very, very nice!

     

    --OB

     
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