Ever heard of the 80-20 rule? It’s a concept I first heard about in my engineering courses, but it’s applicable to many, many fields. In our particular case it states that when reaching a 80% completion of a project, the remaining 20% require 80% of the work. The more I think I’m “almost finished”, the longer the remaining work takes.
I’ve been riveting the Boeing 247D for WEEKS. Admittedly, one reason why it takes so long is the fact that I tend to procrastinate when things become too tedious. The process of placing tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of rivets on the model takes the cake of tedium!
I already outlined the process in a previous blog post, so if you’re interested, click here and have a read.
The good news is that I am finally finished with it! At least I think I am. One of the most time-consuming parts in getting those rivets placed is to check each individual strip of rivets to check that none of the heads is cut of or otherwise misaligned on the UV sheet. It is quite possible that I will spot misaligned rivets over the next few weeks which then need to be fixed. And fixing them means that I have to render a fresh UV map (which usually takes around 2 hours, during which I can’t really use my computer for anything else) and then rebuild the texture sheet of the affected part(s). Needless to say, I really, really hope I found all the problems and won’t have to go through this again.
To get an idea of the amount of manually placed rivets, have a look at the image below. It’s the Boeing 247 in Blender, with all layers but the rivets disabled. With that, I ended up with a cloud of rivets in the shape of the aircraft, which I think looks pretty cool and also highlights the amount of labor that already went into this model.
Meanwhile, I also finished up some smaller things. I added the geometry for the spinning propellers, added more detail to the engines, continued the work on the escape hatch in the cockpit, added some wear and tear (grime) to the textures in the cabin, finished up some missing controls, added the battery bank to the wing.
We’re still far from Release. There’s some more modelling needed in the cockpit, and the windows need some curtains. After that I’ll set the focus on the animation and coding while we develop the flight model.
I hope to meet you soon in the sky!