Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TUTORIAL: The perfect stadium corner section!

I apologise for the title.

Truth be told, there is no such thing as a perfect stadium corner. Next time you're at the game - take a look at the corner sections. There are seats sticking out in every direction. It's unavoidable. But for a modeller, who often will not include representations of a crowd which mask this effect, it's ghastly. So I am going to show you a few techniques to make it look slightly less bad.

I recently received another request to write this tutorial. The individual brought up an old model of mine from 5 years ago - and the corner section uploaded here. How can one make a smooth corner like that?

First, I will start by teaching you how to make the corner section like that in the link above. Start by making the section shown on the left in the above image. There are two key factors to making this effect work here. Firstly, you need to maintain a constant row depth - it looks disjointed otherwise. Secondly, you need to make sure that the length of each row is EQUAL to the row in front of it plus the length of a seat. In this example, row 1 is 0.5m wide, row 2 is 1m wide, row 5 is 2.5m wide and so on, for a 0.5m seat. It sounds really more complex than it is.

Repeat this process for the entire length of the section. In this example, this section runs as an extension to the main stand - you'll see an example of what I mean later. Next, repeat the process on the other side of the corner, as shown on the right in the above image. This will produce a mirror image on the other side. Now, just connect the two sections you have at the moment to make the central section, and the basis of your corner is complete. Check your model looks something like what is shown below.
 OK, so now we start adding the seats. Once you get the hang of it, you can add the seats at the same time but for this tutorial it is better to repeat the process and learn it. Start by placing one seat in row 1 of the left section.
 On the next row back, two seats.
 And repeat until you reach the back of the stand.
 Repeat on the other side.
 Now we fill in the central section. The key here is to ensure that you centre the seats so that there is a bit of a gap on either side. For example, if you can fit 9 seats in a row, the middle of the fifth seat should sit on the midpoint of the row. In this example though, my stadium features n-1 seats per row, where n is the row number. That means that on row 1, there are no seats, row 2 has 1 seat, row 10 has 9 seats. You may find this works for you, but in most cases it wont.
 A top-down view of the stand.
 It's far more likely that you will end up with something looking like this image above when you make corners. It's ghastly, yes. So here are two tricks that help mask it.
 Firstly, where there is a lot of space between seats in the corner, straighten out the corner and add an extra seat there. As you'll see above, I positioned a seat in the corner and extended the row behind it to line up with the back of the seat.
 You'll see several examples in the image above. Better already.
 This next technique is time-consuming but realistic and produces good results. For this tutorial I did only a few rows and coloured the seats yellow so you can see what I did. To do this, work out the distance between the edge of the seat next to the step there, and the corner. In the example above, the seats are 0.5m wide, there are 4 seats and the distance is 2.154m. Delete all the seats in the row except the one next to the stairs. Now, get the calculator out and divide that distance by the number of seats in the row. For this example, it is 0.538. Select the seat that is still remaining, and hit the shift key and move it along the row 0.538m, before hitting x3 and enter to create 3 additional copies (remember this technique?). Repeat the process for each additional row.
A view of how it looks zoomed out, in comparison  to how it looked before.

Making corner sections pains many modellers - some even go out of their way to avoid using them. But with some practice, you can make them look reasonably good.

Happy modelling!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Bankstown Hockey Stadium

My apologies for another long delay between posts. Unfortunately I have been very busy lately. However, here is one of my 1 hour projects, Bankstown Hockey Stadium. It seats 2260.

More stuff will be coming soon, so please remain patient.