Today my first video animation of my 3d house. The rendering is all Sketchup as I have not yet learned how to animate with Kerkythea—so isn't too realistic. It does, however, show the layout of the house and what I am working toward.
As the video shows, several additions have been made since the last frame was captured. These include a fireplace in the parlor, and windows. These two additions required a lot of work in order to incorporate them. The first floor is already trimmed, so pulling out a wall for the fireplace meant having to redo the baseboard and crown molding trim. The windows were also sometimes tricky. My model is very complex now, and Sketchup is exhibiting strange little symptoms. Sometimes the guide lines disappear because of the viewing angle, meaning I can't draw a line where I want it. The "intersect with model" many times doesn't work correctly and I end up with strange faces that Sketchup thinks are all connected. This makes punching holes for windows difficult. Despite these quirks I can still model just fine and the house is coming along. Next is highly realistic animation. This is my first YouTube video, and I used the service because I've been putting off learning how to make streamable video forever now. So it's time to start somewhere.
This angle of the house is standing in the living room looking toward the stairs. The door on the right leads to the kitchen, and the open arch on the left leads to the parlor. Updates include adding several new picture frame so there are no longer repeats, and several Persian rugs. While I have plenty of pictures to fill picture frames, patterns for Persian rugs I lack. So all of those textures were found from various rug vendors on the Internet. The image is 190 iterations, but took only 40 hours to render. Prehaps the faster rendering time was due to the large flat surfaces in the image, as opposed to some of the previous frame which contain a good deal of fine detail. I am pretty happy with the rugs, and during the rendering I already started enhancements to the model.
A little snowman! We were suppose to take a cross-county night flight this evening, but on pre-flight we found the landing light wasn't turning on. The Jet Center (who owns the plane) happened to have a replacement bulb so we tried installing that. Again, no landing light. Not sure what the problem is, but flying at night without a landing light isn't my idea of a good practice. So when asked what I would like to do I said we would skip it. This is either attempt number 3 or 4 for a night flight that has been canceled—the others due to poor weather.
Today I present a 28 iteration front room. I increased the amount of light, and added several picture frames. I also added the missing staircase trim and did some adjustments to the Tiffany lamp and bowl. This shot is a much wider view of the hall area. Visible on the right is the door leading to the first floor bathroom, which as this point has no fixtures. The purple walls are not likely to stay—the Victorian houses often used dark earthy tones, but I don't believe dark purple would qualify. The shot is taken from the dining room, and at the lower right the dining room arch trim is visible. The picture frames are very easy to create. Draw a square, draw the profile of trim on the edge, select the square, and hit the "follow me" tool on the trim profile. Just like that, you have a picture frame. I used several photos I took, aging them and centering them in the frames. Then it was just a matter of putting the frame around the scene. I've repeated a few frame, but I was more interested in filling the walls then having all the pictures unique. I've decided I don't really like the crown molding above the doors, and I may or may not fix this. I did fix the trim texture as it didn't repeat correctly. I also raised and rotated all the wall lamps—they should be correct now.
It has taken a couple weeks of work, but I have enough of my new model complete to start sharing the rendered results. My original model room was just a hallway. Now I am working on a full house. I don't plan to complete this model—this is just an other test platform—but this model will be more complete then the hallway. One item I wanted to model with was my staircase I had begun in early November. I wanted to model the staircase in a more complete form back then, but I didn't have enough items to dress the picture. Since then I have drawn several items to help fill the scene. I ended up redrawing the staircase from the bottom up. There were several reasons, but among them was the fact I had made a small mistake and the total rise of the staircase was 10 feet, 2 inches—2 inches more then what I had to have. I also wanted different trim on the edges of the stairs, and I wanted to try a idea I had for creating the railing. I completed the stairs a couple days ago, and have been working on the other elements. Trim is a big item. Victorian era trim takes a long time to put into a scene if for no other reason then there is a lot of it. After trimming the first floor, I added my Tiffany lamp, table, and a glass bowl I modeled sometime ago. I needed lights, so I added my generic wall lamps all over. Then it was off to Kerkythea for rendering. Most of the materials were recycled from the hallway model. After a few trial runs I had everything setup for a large rendering. This image is 153 iterations of Metropolis Light Transport in 2816x2112 resolution. It took my 2.6 GHz quad-core 73 hours—3 days—to do this, and is my longest rendering yet. The results show a lot of detail. You can see the wallpaper texture when looking in the bottom right wall. And a good deal of the staircase detail can be seen. The glass bowl didn't quite light up as I wanted, the Tiffany lamp's shade is still wrong, and the staircase is missing trim on the first two steps. The scene needs to be dressed more—the walls are very empty. All of the lights are upside down. And there isn't a single window in the house yet. But I think the rendering is a pretty good start.
An other flight today to do solo work. Since my steep-turns went so well last time I wanted to check and see they were still good. I decided I would also do some landing work. I started with a soft-field landing, trying to work on a high flare and holding it throughout the landing. I didn't need the high flare for the soft field landing, but I it would be useful to practice it for short field landings. I rules out actually trying any short field landings due to the runway having patches of packed snow, and I just didn't want to risk sliding out of control. My first landing was uneventful. I decided to do a soft-field takeoff, lowered the flaps one notch, and hit the power. Light on her feet 63L felt like she was sliding all over the runway. I got off the ground just fine, but I decided scrub further soft-field takeoffs—I can try more some other time. After a couple landings, I asked to depart the pattern to the north. I usually go west to practice turns, but I wanted a change of scenery. I circled around Janesville, then flew east for awhile while climbing to 3,000. Once there I did my clearing turns, and then several steep turns. Again, all my turns were pretty good. One one had any significant altitude change, but it was still within 100'. My biggest problem was overshooting my target by a few degrees. The higher G-force I discovered in my early turns isn't so present when I execute the turn correctly. This is likely due to not pulling back on the yoke to correct for lost altitude. My flight ended up around Delavan by the time I turned back. I pushed the throttle up and climbed to 4,500 for the return trip holding around 120 knots of airspeed. My ground speed was around 100 knots due to the headwind. About 10 miles out I called Tower to get into the pattern. I had hopped to fly south enough to avoid getting a right traffic pattern, but I got one anyway. After a couple landings in the pattern, I checked to see if I could get a crosswind runway. I was given runway 36. There was only 6 knots of wind from 270 (west), so landing on 36 gave me all of the wind as a crosswind. Runway 18/36 is a skinny runway—75 feet vs the 150 feet of the the other runways. I had only ever taken off from 18, never landed. Beloit's runway is even skinnier, so I have landed on smaller runways. So I was excited about getting some practice on this runway. On my first approach I could see there was a line of packed snow along the center line of 36 extending about 1/3 the length of the runway. I was a little concerned by this, but decided to see how things would go. Turns out the crosswind was hardly noticeable. I had a slight crab to the right, but by the time I was over the runway I didn't really have to decrab as I was already flying straight. Once on the ground, I felt a some sliding from the packed snow. As I took off, I was actually left of the center line to avoid the packed snow. The runway was plenty long, so I decided for my next landing to just land past the snow. As I was climbing out, I started my turn to the left to come around and land again. Tower requested I make right traffic. I knew there was a plane landing on 32, so I wasn't sure why they wanted me on right traffic. After I finished my turn to downwind, Tower alerted me to the landing traffic and asked me to extend my downwind. When he asked if I had the traffic I had not yet spotted it, but as I was answering I found it. I was a good deal higher, already at pattern altitude, and the traffic was turning finial so probably a good 500 feet lower. All of my landings on 36 were mediocre, and a felt a little uncomfortable because of the packed snow. So I decided to call it a day. Perhaps it was because I was unnerved, or maybe because I had never landed on 36, but the Tower taxi instructions back to the Jet Center just were not making sense. I had to rummage through my paper to find my airport map to figure out what I was doing. Generally I think I do pretty good with ATC, but once on the ground I didn't look very professional today. I think the next time the runways are completely clear I will try some crosswind landings crabbed to the right. Crabbed to the left seemed to work quite well for me, so I want to make sure I can do it to the right as well. Then I would like to try runway 18/36 again just to get use to the smaller runway.
My flight today started with more steep turns, and I'm finally starting to get the hang of them. All but one of my turns were good, with altitude, speed, and roll-out all staying within limits. The flight started with a very cold pre-flight. I had gloves this time which helped, but there is no protection from the wind. Pre-flight doesn't take long, and in short order I was in the cockpit out of the wind. Winds were at 10 knots from 310 degree, so runway 32 would have a tinny crosswind. A couple days ago we had our first snow and the runway and taxi areas were covered in patches of packed snow. I wanted to see how this effected landing so I would begin the day with a touch-and-go. I found 63L very light on her feet, and even just with the light packed snow on the taxi way I could feel a bit of slide as we taxied. Takeoff was quick, and with wind directly in front of us 63L climbed quickly. We were at the pattern altitude of 1,800 feet before I finished my turn downwind. My landing was like any other although I did notice with the packed snow it felt a little different. After my touch-and-go I departed to the west to practice. Around Orfordville I turned south, did some clearing turns to look for traffic, and went right into steep-turns. My practice had paid off as I started out good. Most of my turns today were within limits and my biggest problem was overshooting the turn. After doing several good turns, I found myself right Lake Summerset. I felt I should work on some other items, so I decided to turn a box turn around the little town. I then did a few S-turns, and then headed into Beloit. Over Beloit at 2,500 feet I flew along the river toward the airport. My 10 knot wind had slowed to 8 knots, but still plenty for some crosswind work. Tower put me on runway 32 for my initial approach. During the flight to the airport I stuck the camera to the window and snapped some shots of Burwood Park—the Garage's subdivision. In the picture for today, the Garage is directly in the center of the shot. After a normal touch-and-go on 32, I asked Tower if I could get a runway from crosswind work and took 22. This gave me a crosswind of 90 degrees to the right. My first approach was pretty normal. On finial I had established a good crab into the wind to compensate for the crosswind. As I crossed the runway threshold I dropped my power to idle, ruddered out of my crab and dropped the right wing. I got each of these steps correct, but I landed about 30 feet left of center. So in the subsequent landings I worked on getting the landing closer to being on the center line. By my last landing of the day it was looking really good. It was a really nice day for flying. Bumpy in places around 2,500 feet, but the skies were clear blue and the land covered in a blanket of snow. Everything is really pretty right now, and it is great to be seeing the world form the air.