Fiddlers Green

Designing a model in the Murph method
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Author:  Azguy [ Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Designing a model in the Murph method

Keep an eye on here. I am going to attempt to show how I go about designing a model in Rhino3D, from blank screen, to hopefully a free download link at the end.

It's going to be a simple model, not to be offered by FG, and maybe even not an aircraft :shock:

First off, we must pick the subject. I'll be back in an hour after browsing my stockpile of 3 views.

Author:  cdwheatley [ Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:23 am ]
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Now this is something I've been waiting for :D.

Author:  possm_23 [ Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:52 am ]
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i am ready...go for it murph!!!!!!!!..... :D :D :D :D

Author:  Azguy [ Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:40 pm ]
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Okay, so it took a bit longer than an hour. I got a lot of 3-views


Step 1: Pick your nos...I mean subject

Usually you go with your mostest favoritest yet leastest available model.
In this case, I'm going with something easy.

I have randomly selected the Blohm and Voss P.215

Why? Cause.

Okay, okay.

Usually, when designing a model, you have to hunt high and low for pictures, drawings and 3 views, often times begging and pleading with friends, coworkers and complete strangers who might have easy access to said plane in real life to get pictures from any and all angles, so you know what shape to make it.

Sometimes, however, you stumble across a reference source that practically gives you the model. For instance:

This is the important page. Why? Formers. These are very important when trying to make the shape of an aircraft model. without them, you have to basicaly guess at the shape.

Okay, step 2 requires photoshop, or some form of image editing software that uses layers. For those who don't have any, go get it. Now.

Author:  willygoat [ Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:42 pm ]
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Are those from a balsa kit?

Author:  Azguy [ Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:46 pm ]
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It's from a balsa flying rocket kit. I found it online a while ago.

Author:  Azguy [ Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:42 pm ]
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Time for Step 2.

Using your favorite image editing software of choice, you should open your 3-view.

Then, using the selection/lasoo tool, select one of the views, and press control X to cut it out.

Then press Ctrl-N for a new sheet, and ctrl-P to paste.

Then you want to flatten the image.
Flatten is usually under the layers menu

Next, you want to convert the background into an active layer.
Do this by doubleclicking the background image in the layers menu

Now make a new layer, then make the new layer the new background, by selecting "Make new background from layer"

Next, invert the image. In photoshop elements, invert is in the effects menu. in Photoshop Cs3, it is in the image>adjustments menu

It should now look like this. We don't want this though.

go to Opacity in the layers menu, and change it to 50%, then flatten the image again.

Now you're done. Save it as a .BMP using the appropriate name (Top, Side, Front) and rinse and repeat for the remaining angles, 1 at a time.
If you're lucky enough to have section views or formers included, put them on the front view.

The reason we have to make it the gray color is because this is the background color for Rhino3D, and helps the lines show up best.

For step 3, you need Rhino3D, which you can get at
I'm using the free demo version, which only has 25 saves before you're unable to save anymore.

Author:  Tim_in_Winnipeg [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:31 am ]
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So what do you do when you can't save any more?

Author:  Azguy [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:31 am ]
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Then, I usually draw the model in one step, don't close Rhino until it's done, and pray my PC doesn't crash.

It also helps to ration the saves. I save once I have the model finished to where I like it.

Author:  Tim_in_Winnipeg [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:35 am ]
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But how do you save it when you cant save it....just to a screen-grab?

Author:  WII [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:50 pm ]
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hmm... this shall be very useful, wonder if this method can be used in blender. cant use Rhino, since it's not Mac compatible

Author:  Azguy [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:51 pm ]
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I haven't figured out how to export the files to photoshop, so Once I get everything unrolled, I do a screengrab, and paste it into Photoshop. Then I trace over everything and head on from there.

Sure it's twice the effort, but if anybody knows a better way, please tell me, pleeeeeease.

Author:  Azguy [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:00 pm ]
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Ooookay, on to step 3. Cha-cha-cha

Now we place those 3 views into Rhino

First, when you open it, it gives you a choice of measurements. I always choose small objects= inches.

Then go to View>Background Bitmap>Place

Which opens the open window. Go to the folder you saved the three views in, and select one. I always start with the top view.

Click in the viewport labelled "Top" and drag the box to an appropriate size. It doesn't matter what, we'll fix it later.

Do this for all three views, clicking on the appropriate viewport before doing so. One thing I forgot to mention in step 2, is you always want the side view to be the left side of the plane. so do an image flip if necessary. If done right, you should have this:

Now, we need to get everything lined up and scaled to the same size.
First, decide on what the common point in the model will be. In this instance, I chose the very bottom of the fuselage. On complicated aircraft, I usually use the main wheels, if shown.

Go to View>Background Bitmap>Move, and click on this point. Then drag the image up so the crosshairs rest on the red line. then do it again, but center the picture on the green Line. Or in the case of the side view, have the nose touch the green line.

And you should end up with this:

Now to get the three views to the same size.

Go back to View>Background Bitmap>Scale, and click on one of the views. I usually leave the side view as is, and scale the top view to it. In this case using the fuselage as the reference. Just click on the nose, then the tail, and drag until the crosshairs touch the tail of the side view.

Rinse and repeat for the other view, this time using the wing of the front view to resize the front view.

And you should end up with this.

At this point, you want to use a save, so you don't lose the file.

And we're done with Step 3. Step 4 deals with actual drawing. On to the fun stuff :D

Author:  possm_23 [ Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:06 am ]
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there goes my stored brain power.....i been drained.... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Author:  rocketfighter163 [ Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Designing by the Murph Method - Rhino 3D Tutorial

Excellent and informative tutorial! It answers a lot of questions. I'm hoping that there is going to be more to come in the future. Do you know of any design software that these techniques are transferrable to, or easily adapted?

"A helicopter doesn't fly - it beats the air into submission." My instructor at Ft. Rucker, Alabama

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