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Semester 1/2012 Module 2

VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS Divya Punjabi (548634) Group 8

Final analog model My aim is to convey the water trail formed by a moving sea turtle into my design. As its flippers move upwards and downwards while its body moves forward, this affects the water surrounding the turtle in a particular manner.

The water trail that the turtle leaves behind is simplified in the sketch below, assuming that all factors are constant, i.e. the body is moving forward in a straight direction at a constant speed in still water.

A wave pattern can clearly be observed as the cycle is completed Analog model

Irregularity of wave design explained: • Different forces applied as the flippers move downwards and upwards • Ocean waves affects movement of the turtle’s body •Varying swimming speeds • Swims at different depths

Digitization First attempt: translating the analog wave model onto Rhino

My first attempt at trying to digitalize my design using Rhino was quite disappointing. Based on the analog model, I translated a closed wave shape, as seen in the “top� viewport above and then extruded it straight. However I was not satisfied with the outcome. I realized that my model was too simple and lacked complexity. I still liked the wave shape outline as it conveyed my concept appropriately but the volumetric aspect of it was straight and I decided to make it a bit more complex.

Digitization Second attempt: creating sections and layering the wave shape Using the initial wave design, I adjusted the initial curves with the edit points and created different layers that I would then merge together to make my model more complex and interesting.

I then layered the wave figures with equal spacing between them, as shown in the different viewports below. I also made sure that on one side of the design, the points were aligned so as to have a stable model.

Digitization Lofting

Digitization Different views of digital model

I was fairly satisfied with the outcome of my digital model. However, I noticed several defects such as sudden bumps which break the flow of the design, overly curved surfaces that create inconsistency and an overall lack of fluidity. I wanted to attempt to fix as many of those defects as possible.

Design development Improving the fluidity of the digital model

I used CageEdit to try to make the model more fluid and free flowing.

The model definitely is more free flowing after “softening� it with CageEdit. However it seems to have lost its shape.

I will try to adjust the model in a way that it becomes more fluid without losing its shape.

Design development I adjusted the curves the make the design more smooth and fluid and managed to soften the sudden bumps and make the flow more consistent while maintaining the shape of the model. I used the moveUVN command, and adjusted the U, V, and N settings appropriately.

I adjusted the control points, seen in the images , sometimes a few at a time, sometimes individually. Below are a few of the steps I took using the moveUVN command, with the selected control points illustrated in yellow in the images on the left hand side and the images while the changes are being attempted on the right hand side.

Design development Different views of improved digital design A few of the improvements of the design can be clearly noticed by viewing the design before (smaller images) adjacent to the design after. Other than these, there were countless minor alterations throughout the design that would be difficult to communicate here.

Design development Paneling Experimenting with paneling tools

2D Box

2D Brick

2D Triangle

2D Tribasic, extrude edges

2D Diamond

Wearing the design

Front view

Side view

Prototyping Based on the paneling done on Rhino I attempted a few prototypes from card paper. I also considered other geometrical patterns that would allow my model to hold itself up as stability is a necessity.

My main idea was the triangle one, as it was the one that I found the most interesting during the paneling process. I found it to be the most striking one, and was also more lenient towards it because the triangle is known for its low centre of gravity due to its relatively wide base which means it is very stable. The box or rectangular pattern can collapse much more readily when load applied compared to the triangle pattern. While this makes sense in the physics world, it is also very helpful to have a physical prototype so we can actually see why this is the case. As for the diamond prototype, it was stable but although it has triangular aspects, its centre of gravity is still in the centre which is quite high compared to the triangle.

Final design proposal

I used the triangle paneling feature (left) and then added the Offset Faces Border features to make my model more interesting (below).

Front viewport

Perspective viewport

Final design proposal

Orthogonal and perspective drawings of final design proposal Orthogonal





Analysis of theory and precedents The Pyramids of Egypt The Pyramids of Egypt were built during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods by numerous workers. It is a cultural Egyptian mark and the choice for this shape is for cultural reasons as well as the fact that the pyramid has symbolic meanings in the Egyptian culture. However there are countless other symbolic shapes in this rich culture and hence I believe that it was also chosen for geometrical reasons. Firstly, since a pyramid consists of 4 triangles, a similar concept applies to a triangle pattern and a pyramid structure: • Wide base • Narrow top • Low centre of gravity • High stability It is also commonly said that the Egyptians chose this structure also because of the limited construction facilities and technologies at that time: most of the construction was done at the bottom and as the height of the structure increased, less work was required.

Critical Analysis It is quite difficult to say whether analog design or digital design is more important. From a subjective point of view, it is my first time digitalizing models and I was quite surprised by how different it is from making models by hand. Prior to that, I was of the opinion that it would not be so different given that my digital model would be based on my analog model, and that the only major difference would be that I would be clicking away on Rhino instead of getting my hands messy. However, I have come to realize that digital design environments requires much more effort than I would have ever imagined . This is simply because of the incredible amount of detailing involved. I have also realized the mathematics involved in digital modeling, which we do not experience with analog modeling apart from doing basic measurements.

One great advantage about digital modeling is the facility for “trial and error� within minutes, as opposed to analog modeling whereby it would take much more time, effort, as well as a waste of materials to experiment with so many different options. I have also realized how limited we are when it comes to analog design, and how much digital design has to offer. In my case, I reproduced my exact analog model onto Rhino (first attempt of digitalization) only to realize to what extent it lacked complexity although I was satisfied with my analog model in the first place. I believe that digital modeling allows us to see things that are not apparent in an analog model.

While using Rhino, somehow I was reminded of something I had researched for module 1. One of the natural concepts I was initially exploring being the formation of sand dunes, I came across the Dubai Opera House which is currently under construction, shown below. The architect is Zaha Hadid and her inspiration is sand dunes. Below we can see an analog model of the Dubai Opera House as well as a digital model.

From my experience digitalizing my model, I can imagine the digitalization process for this design. What stands out the most to me is the shape of the dunes, which must have been quite difficult to achieve, as well as the great amount of contouring that must have been required to make this digital model. As for the analog model of the Dubai Opera House it is equally useful for the architect and the rest of the team to communicate their ideas to people.

While the digital model provides much more detail, it is on a screen nevertheless, while the analog model is limited but it is still a physical model we can touch, walk around to admire, and perhaps connect with better.

Divya Punjabi 548634 - module 2  

virtual environments module 2