Untitled Capital Ship Project Detour: Dynamic Components

detour1Halfway through working on the Mess Hall and Galley for my starship, I was given the opportunity to work with the Pro version of SketchUp for a period of time so I decided to spend it creating dynamic components for my starship project.

I had never worked on creating dynamic components before so it was a tough go at first. I didn’t seek out to do anything too fancy, just to automate doors for opening and closing with the interact tool, aim weapons, position seating, raise and lower platforms and in one case, I made one of the holoprojectors “functional”. I didn’t know what to do at first so I studied examples of basic animations and the code behind them from example models and models in the SketchUp 3D Warehouse.

detour2I found one method that worked well for what I needed to do and that is pretty much used in every dynamic component I made. Along the way I figured out how to make doors triggered by clicking on the controls I modeled for them, how to make doors lockable, and nested components that trigger with just one click instead of clicking each one of the joints.

The most complex dynamic component is the Heavy Turbolaser Turret. The turret can be rotated and the elevation of the cannons can be raised and lowered, the gunner seat retracts to allow access to the access tube when not in use. Even though the display screen moves with the elevation of the cannons, the image is fixed even though someday I might get it to actually work.

There are 43 dynamic components at last count and hopefully I will be able to create more in the future.

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 22

Since the last update I wrote I have been able to finish the Mess Hall and the Galley as well as finish the design of the Crew Bunk Rooms. I will save the Crew Bunk Rooms for the next update and focus on the Mess Hall and Galley this time. I would have finished this a lot sooner except I took a detour which I will explain later.

A long time ago in a room not so far, far away… I thought up a way to make eating very efficient for crew members on a starship by means of tables using conveyor belts. The idea is that the crew member get’s their food on a tray from the Galley pass-through and they sits down at the nearest available table. The table consists of conveyor belts (for the benches and table top) so when the crew member takes their seat they are slowly moved down the bench towards the end of the table. After 5 to 10 minutes (speed depending on who is in charge) when they reach the end of table, time is up and they must return their tray to the Galley. If they aren’t done eating, they will just have to eat faster the next time. If they aren’t paying attention to the time, they might just find themselves on the floor. How embarrassing… How embarrassing…

Originally I thought I would have the food dispensed at the tables and something to collect the used food trays but that would have made the design too complex and take too long.

After I modeled the tables and laid them out in the space I turned my attention to the ceiling of the Mess Hall. The ceiling design combines the design of a corridor ceiling and a room ceiling because the Mess Hall is part of the ship’s corridor. Once the ceiling was done I modeled light fixtures to be above each table. I matched the aesthetics of the light fixtures with the tables in a linear design ( sort of like the lights above a pool table). The outer “fins” of the lights are intended for soft ambient lighting while the spot lights borrowed from the exam tables in the Medbay would be for direct light on to the table surface.

Next I moved on to the pass-through window where the crew pick up their food. The Galley was initially going to be in its own bulkhead for safety reasons but it just wasn’t practical with how deep the pass-through counter would be so I combined the bulkhead sections instead. The pass-through has the same things you would expect in a cafeteria counter: a counter to slide your tray along as you get served, warmers to hold the cooked grub, heat lamps, a sneeze shield and a lunch lady wearing a hair net.

While working on the pass-through I got distracted and started placing cabinets in the Galley. I started with the cabinets from the Medbay and created upper cabinets by flipping them over, modifying them so they weren’t as deep and slightly shorter. the back wall of the Galley received the L-Shaped bank of cabinets and I made a narrower bank of cabinets for the sidewall near the entrance to the Galley. Next, I created a cook-top with 8 burners with a range hood. The burners and the grates came from my BBQ from the SketchUp 3D Challenge and the rest of the design is based on actual commercial kitchen equipment. The control knobs are the standard knob design from the rest of the ship. Dex Jettster would be proud…

Crew members can’t carry their food with their bare hands and eat with them so I needed to design a tray and utensils. Any Earthly design will do but I made something a little more specialized. The trays have a spot where the utensil snaps in place so not only does it stay attached when not in use, the tray and utensil can be cleaned without being separated. The trays can stack but without nesting so they can be cleaned while being stacked. The eating utensil is a fork on one end and a spoon on the other. Notice there is no knife… Wow, the food must be wonderful if there are no knives!

The food trays needed a place to be stored near the pass-through so I decided on making a cabinet inside the Galley that would be open on the outside. I was going to make it so it would also be the appliance that would wash the trays but later I reduced it to just a cabinet that pierced through the wall with sliding doors on the Galley side. My primary goal with this ship is to finish it because it has taken a long time and I want to move on to something else. Spending time figuring out how to make something this insignificant in the scheme of things seems unnecessary. It seems I have forgotten to make a place for the dirty trays. That’s a problem… I’ll fix it.

There needed to be more space for cooking so I made a griddle to go next to the cook-top I made earlier. The design matches the look of the cook-top and features a grease trap and side panels to prevent spills just like the real thing in a restaurant.

Next I worked on the sinks in the Galley. First, there needed to be a sink for washing pots, pans, food trays and everything else. I modeled the sink to have a built-in drain board along with a pre-wash sprayer. Secondly, I modeled a three basin prep sink based on the design of the wash basin. Although not reflected in the pictures, I moved the sinks to the side wall in the corner of the Galley to make room for the wall ovens.

Speaking of the wall ovens… I figure people on a ship like this would appreciate baked goods and perhaps roast beast on occasion so I modeled a quad wall oven. The Empire outlawed quad turbolaser cannons but, they didn’t say anything about quad wall ovens. Once Lord Vader hears of a starship with fresh-baked goods he’s going to have a fit. “Cronuts??? You are part of the Dominique Ansel Bakery, and a baker… take her away!”

The middle of the Galley was empty and, being that there was the lack of a proper prep area, I created a gigantic butcher block island. above the surface of the butcher block I modeled some simple light fixtures to light it up.

Lastly, I worked on the storage room and the walk-in cooler. There is really not much to see here. The walk-in cooler has the typical looking door and shelves inside for storing uncooked food. The storage room uses the same shelves as the cooler and is used for storing dry and preserved goods.

What’s next? I will write about the Crew Bunk Rooms and about the little detour I took before working on that.

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 21

Since the last update, I haven’t done anything to the model because I am behind on writing updates on the project. The Brig and the Armory are now done and I am happy with the results. After this, there is not much left to do until I consider the ship complete. I still don’t have a name for the ship but I will think about it eventually.

The Brig is reminiscent of Detention Block AA-23 on the Death Star where Princess Leia was being held prior to her self-assisted rescue by the less than tall enough Stormtrooper and the scruffy looking nerf herder. It’s not nearly as big as the detention block nor does it have a smelly Wookiee resistant trash chute but it gets the job done. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 20

Just like last time, I moved on to the next part of the ship without first writing about what I had just finished.

Anyway, this post is about the Medbay. I had done some preliminary work in the Medbay back when I was calling it the infirmary but I left it a blank room with just the bacta tanks borrowed from the last ship I made.

Instead of making it one huge open room, I decided to add an office for the supervising physician on the main level as well as three recovery suites on the upper floor. There are four exam/operating tables, a waiting area, storage area and a small laboratory in addition to the bacta tanks. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 19

This post covers the final work done on the Briefing Room. I have since finished the Medbay (formerly the Infirmary) and I will cover that in the next update. This was a rather simple room to finish because all it was missing were the railing on the upper level, a large tactical holoprolector, seating for the lower level and the ceiling design for the room.

First off I decided to make the opening of the upper floor circular instead of square as I had left it before. Making it round would give the crew an equal vantage point for viewing the holoprojection from the upper floor during the briefings. Around the circle there are four other openings in the floor for no real purpose other than aesthetics. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 18

In the last update I wrote I said I would be working on the interior of the ship so that’s what I have been doing. I started by finishing off all of the corridors by designing the floors and ceilings and adding materials to the walls. That part of it was very monotonous and took some time but it was pretty easy. The last thing I did was to create the interior space for the Heavy Turbolaser Turret in the middle of the hull.

The first task since I wrote the last update was to add the materials to the walls of the corridors. It was a very repetitive task but it needed to be done. I also made simple designs for the floors that I repeated throughout the corridors. I didn’t take any screen captures of all that because there isn’t much to see. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 17

Since my last update I have focused on adding details to the exterior of the ship. Some of the details added are just cosmetic but others are essential to the operation of the vessel.

I Added:

  • Vents below Tactical Bridge
  • More Detail to the Dorsal Ridge
  • Auxiliary Thrusters
  • More Medium Turbolaser Cannons
  • More Landing Struts to the Stern Section
  • Vertical panels to various parts of the ship
  • Shield Generators
  • Proton Torpedo Tubes
  • Maneuvering Thrusters
  • Horizontal Heat Sinks along edges of ‘Wings’ and other edges of the same design Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 16

Since the last update, I decided it was time to work on the Observation Deck which has been left neglected for far too long. At the time of this writing I have decided to rename the Observation Deck to the Tactical Bridge to better suit its purpose.

The purpose of the Tactical Bridge is mostly for strategizing during battles and the rest of the time it is used for observation. It gives a better view of the ship from more angles than it is possible from the Main Bridge. Since it is focused on battles, the inside of the Tactical Bridge is equipped with only a limited amount of controls unlike the Main Bridge that is set up to control all of the ship’s functions. Continue reading