Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The mighty Greek Trireme!

In continuing my exploration of the world of 3D Studio Max, I decided to delve back into the depths of NURBs modelling as well. Instead of manipulating polygonal objects (i.e., objects with polygon faces composed of vertices connected via straight line edges), I would be using NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational Basic Splines) objects. These are basically objects that are constructed through mathematical curves, like Bezier splines, instead of flat-faced polygons. Recalling an Egyptian galley that I modelled using NURBS geometry in my early foray into Maya modelling, I decided to model a Greek Trireme in 3DS Max!

What resulted is perhaps the most complicated model I've ever created to date. As with the original ship, there are 170 oars divided into three rows (hence the "Tri" in "Trireme") on each side of the ship. Of course, there are also 170 corresponding seats, portal holes, seat braces, et al. as well as a seemingly endless array of internal scaffolding. Using a large variety of source imagery (as well as written research), I attempted to model the ship as historically accurate as possible. I'm happy with the amount of detail that I was able to capture within the moderately high 30,544 polygon range. I credit the low poly number with 3DS Max's spline/surface system, whereby I have complete control of the creation of my mesh through various spline controls.

Here's a nice view of the starboard side. In particular the oars and bronze ram can be seen.

Here's a shot of the bow with another view of the ram. Rams were used to cut large gashes in the hulls of enemy ships as well as snap the oars along one side, effectively disabling them. The three rows of oars can also be seen in this view.
Here's a view of the port side, revealing the rigging behind the dual masts, the steering rudders and the captain's chair.
Here's a view of the stern/aft, revealing a close up of the stylized "fish tail" forming the rear of the craft. This same basic form was also used in the Egyptian galley.

Here's an interior view in which the seats of the top two rowers (i.e., Eretai) can be seen: 31 Thranitai sit along the outer edge of each side and 27 Zygitai sit staggered below them on each side for a total of 116 Eretai on this upper level of the ship. The Thranitai are named after "Thranos," the Greek word for "Deck," and refers to the Parexeiresia railing which hangs over the outer edge of the ship through which the Thranitai's oars are mounted. The Zygitai, on the other hand, are named after "Zygoi," the Greek word for the crossbeams on which their seats are mounted.
Here's a view of the bottom Hold (i.e., Thalamos) of the ship. Here, 27 Thalamitai sit staggered below their brethren on either side of the ship in this least desirable of places. Being on the bottom means that the Thalamitai are both targets for anything falling (or dripping) from the upper deck as well as potential victims of flooding because they are so close to the water line.


andrewQuintiliani said...

Seriously, this is really impressive! Some textures on the oars or thehull would go a long way to make this into a very portfolio worthy piece.

Yusuke Sato said...

i can see it on discovery channel.

Heather Berry said...

This is very nice. You put a lot of work into this...I can't believe you actually did the interior!

wimPcheeSe said...

fucking rocks! lol i can't spell it for you in vietnamese, but if i could...hell yea.

stankarp said...

Love your work. Are you interested in making it available. I could vertainly use it in a project I am doing now which I would discuss with you privately.

Stan Karpinski.