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Yacht Design or graphic art?

Discussion in 'Yacht Renderings & Plans' started by Marmot, Jul 2, 2012.

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  1. Telemachus

    Telemachus Senior Member

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    Speaking as the village idiot here, is there a schism in the design community between these two approaches?

    As a tangent to this topic, have any of you gentlemen had to deal with a client who thought he knew what he was doing and in the process of offering his suggestions, came up with something totally impractical if not impossible to execute? Is the impractical suggestion usually rooted in not understanding design or is it the product of vanity?
  2. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Yeah, that works. The napkin doodle is a conceptual exercise in this context.

    If the concept is to become reality it must pass through a design stage.

    Another way to look at it is that da Vinci conceived a lot of of interesting machines then designed and produced models to see if they would work. He did not design Lisa Gherardini.
  3. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    No schism at all, we are just curious on how many designers work with 3D already from the first line or idea. It seems as most are still in the 2D world, be it on paper or in a computer, until the conceptual design is ready for 3D.

    On impractical suggestions, they are more often from the designers than the clients I am afraid...
  4. Telemachus

    Telemachus Senior Member

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    Pardon me if I'm being too epistemological, but do these two approaches result in profound differences in execution? Obviously, I've never designed a yacht or anything anywhere near as complex as one, but it would seem to me that the two approaches have different skill thresholds and so therefore conceiving, changing and executing might vary, given the medium.
  5. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    If you are a yacht designer, you can use whatever you like to get to the same result. In the old days, you were drawing with a pencil and finalized with ink. This was fine with building wooden boats, where you could make a new drawing for each boat and owner.

    These old drawings can of course be translated into 3D today as all relevant information is there.

    Working in a 2D program as I do, is something in between, with the biggest advantage that I can make changes in seconds instead of hours or days.

    In the past I was trying to work in 3D from scratch, but it was too time consuming for me and therefore also limiting. But perhaps the Nintendo generation find it as easy as with 2D..?

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  6. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Up until the 1960's, when computers started to be used in shipbuilding, half-hull models were often made. It was possible to take dimensions and measurements from the model and transfer them into blueprint drawings for construction. If it looked right, generally it was right.

    These 3D models could give beautiful compound curves and lines that are sometimes sadly missing in computer generated designs.

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  7. Telemachus

    Telemachus Senior Member

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    AMG & Fishtigua,

    Thank you both for your generous answers.

    AMG: I'm too old to be of the Nintendo generation; however, although I never got into video games, I think I'd be a member of the Atari 2600 generation. My classmates were always talking about it.
  8. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    I would have to say if something is being created on the computer, that's one designing something, yes....? Whether it's a that smily face off to the side of the screen, or the latest superyacht.
    I think if a person designs/creates something that fails (depending on the size of failure or fu$kup)... I would call that trial and error. But that also depends on that persons knowledge or lack of in that particular field. But it goes both ways - including nav arch designing pleasure boats that look like ferries, and are in a desperate need of a top deck :rolleyes:.

    To answer the other question, I like to start with a sketch, or series of sketches, get to where I need it to be. Translate the sketch over to the drawing board and scale the yacht up, ink the drawing. That can then be used as the perspective for the client/builder. Then translate that drawing over to the CAD program (Rhino 4.0). I then work with the 4 windows - top, side, front, 3D views. This irons out any bad angles, shapes, or functions of an object, that may or may not work. And would have to say a pen and paper are so important in the office when one needs to tanslate a quick sketch to get his or her point of view across. Cheers

    Far
  9. mwagner1

    mwagner1 Senior Member

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    What a fascinating thread.....I would ask this...when a potential customer with gazillions of Euros comes to you wanting to build his 95m baby, do you whip out your laptop loaded with all of the latest greatest programs and magically produce a 2D and 3D masterpiece, thrilling the owner and then race off to the yard?

    I offer this scenario....the customer comes in with a thumb drive loaded with several gigabytes of images of yachts he/she like...yachts from Lurssen, B&V, Nobiskrug, Oceanco, Fincantieri, etc etc etc....does the computer/programming start right away??? I bet at this stage people like Oeino, Nuvolari & Lenard, Disdale, Bannenberg, Freivokh, etc start with something rather primitive....a pen/pencil and sheets of paper with ever developing sketches and ideas based on the future owner's likes/dislikes. As the ideas solidify, I bet then the 2D drawings start to flow....when a design is liked/approved, I bet the 3D renderings come along...right???

    Someday I hope to build my dream baby and I have loads of images saved...images that range from traditional renderings (whether they are from artists/dreamers to actual naval architects) to the fantastic and I am sure that whichever naval engineer I use, we will start with said images....and a pen/pencil and pad of paper....:D

    Cheers,
  10. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    That's a very interesting comment mwagner1, I actually find a lot of Nav Archs are to reliant on the computer programs because they simply can't visualize how the design will look in 3 dimensions.

    If I had zillions of dollars I would start off with an exterior designer (unless a Nav Arch has a good track record), get to a healthy stage of liking the design, approach the builders with either in-house Nav Archs, or contract one out, then approach an interior designer.

    I read a great article about Philippe Briand the other day, he was at a restaurant and started brain storming on a napkin (sketching), I think the boat was Vertigo... he ran out of room on the napkin and started sketching on the table cloth, before he knew it he had pretty much filled the table cloth with sketches of the boat... :D

    And yes, he had to pay for the table cloth as well :rolleyes:

    Far
  11. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    This is one of Dad's boats he designed and built. It started with him and the owner discussing what he wanted from a small cruising yacht and sketched out on a beer mat, then fully fleshed out on the draughtboard by hand.

    We still have the original drawings, with corrections, at home.

    Gimcrack | A Classic Wooden Yacht

    Interesting Trans-Atlantic story in the link.

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  12. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    FISHTIGUA... mate, I thought there was some rule about boat porn on here! :D

    She looks absolutely gorgeous, great sheerline, complements to your dad. If only I had some luck on my side, a bar, a rich guy or lady, some napkins and depending on the size, a table cloth! Cheers

    Far
  13. mwagner1

    mwagner1 Senior Member

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    Good morning, Far...

    Some of my post is tongue & cheek but I would suspect that the folks who have the scratch to build the big boys launched in recent years (unless not counting Abramovich who has built numerous boats) started pretty simple...now, I will candidly admit I do not have/use the numerous 2D and 3D programs mentioned above, so I am not sure how quick a designer/architect can get to doing a 2D/3D drawing when a customer initially comes in (maybe AMG can chime in on this one ;)).

    I would love to know many customers who build a truly bespoke yacht have the yacht done (1) completely rendered as in 2D/3D inside and outside, GA's, etc etc by a naval architect/engineer and then approach various yards with build packages or (2), take their clippings, saved images, etc to their yard of choice and let said yard do it all, since many yards apparently have quality internal naval arch/design staffs...but if option 2 is chosen, then can one then take the finished package to other yards or are you stuck with the yard who did the whole package??

    Unlimited scratch would be fine for option 2 with the most expensive yards (B&V, Lurssen, Feadship) while it might be nice to have a build package to take to as many as one wants??

    Cheers,
  14. sebisebman

    sebisebman New Member

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    What makes me wonder ist the Question about the Hullshape itself. I always thought these things are literally generated straight out of specialized CAD Software in order to get the most efficient Design. Are these made on napkins too? "Ah! This looks nice - let's build it!" or how am I supposed to believe that?

    I always wonder about 2d Drawings. I am absolutly amazed to see AMG's Images come to live (like the Deltapower Boats). He must have a clear Vision of the final product in mind.

    When i try to build something in 3d i find myself often enough in the situation of totally redoing certain aspects because what seemed to be a nice idea in 2d is totally undoable in 3d. Specially interiors are quite hard to get right in the first try.

    If i were a Manufacturer i would always do a full 3d Modell. It is so much easier to try out new designs or variants. It is true that 3d Modells require a lot of work but a real pro can be very quick! (A Friend of mine does 3d Modelling as a hobby. He never saves his designs and always only works for 2 hours on a single model. He can built a almost perfect 3d Modell of any car from just 3 properly aligned Fotos in less than 2 hours - and he does it just for fun with a non pro Application!)

    Greetings from Hamburg
  15. mwagner1

    mwagner1 Senior Member

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    Howdy!!

    Others will have to chime in, but I know that Oceanco can offer some pre-designed hulls to speed up the build process for those who do not necessarily need/want a bespoke yacht...otherwise, don't newly designed hulls need physical models for tank testing?? Do yards like Oceanco and Lurssen (amongst others) have facilities for tank testing?? Does tank testing need to occur for every new hull design that comes from a naval engineer or designer?

    Cheers,
  16. pavel59

    pavel59 New Member

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    Is this Art vs. Design vs. Engineering ? or a mix of all ?

    Hello to you all Guys.
    I'd been reading this interesting forum for a while, and - actually being far awy from it for a while as well.
    I think I can say something on this thread since I personally come from the industrial design experience, quite a long one, and I'm using 3D modeling quite intensively since the late eighties (1986).
    I'm not using AutoCAD (last time I'd used it was rel. 2.5) and I learned true surface modeling on the old ComputerVision and Intergraph workstations in those years. Which was quite challenging but very formative.

    I believe that experience contributed a lot to make me thinking in true 3D, in my head. I can manipulate 3D curves in space and - as some fiends tested behind my back - they usually turns to be pretty accurate.

    Everything is due to exercise and application. You can learn anything.
    There's nothing you can do just out of the box.

    Someone correctly pointed out that the yacht design process should start from free hand sketches, and very often this happens during a brainstorm with the designer and the customer discussing something, drinking a coffee, a beer or having a lunch together. So far napkins are fundamental tools for a designer.

    I always have my pencil with me in my pocket, just as essential as the wallet (when full). :)

    After that, there're several approaches available today.

    Personally, I work together with a team or - at least - with the most important of my team members, a good friend, a wiz of waterlines.
    He comes from the classic school and his magic develops on paper and vellum, the old way. Some beautiful drawings. Something no computer will ever generate.

    Then, from his early sketches, I usually take a few lines (if he didn't already generate a working 3D hull for me), to quickly develop an acceptable 3D hull shape, on which I start designing the exterior surfaces.

    I'm simplifying the process here. It should be mentioned that - very often - an interior layout has been already defined on the 2D hand sketches. Quite accurate.

    in 3D, I can have several approaches, all of them are good and functional for me. I'm not sure they would equally work well for anyone.

    I can follow the 2D drawings (I previously positioned in the background) and build the surfaces as close as possible to the sketches, or I can just use them as basic guidelines, on which I trace quick curves and build clean surfaces which I then trim, fillet, blend and transform, until I get something I like.
    This is - usually - my preferred creative approach.

    To sculpt volumes in 3D and then refining until happy.

    Then we can do ourselves, or have someone else in the team, to accurately develop the 3D surfaces in details.

    I don't like to show the customers poorly detailed images.
    If you go for photo-realistic renderings, that means that they should actually represent the final product, with all tiny details on it. Very accurate.
    Which means several hours of work.

    Artistic sketches work fine as well. They don't need to be very accurate, since they leave room to imagination, to complete the full picture.
    However that means "artwork" and not poor sketches. There should be a good and skilled technique behind that.

    AMG 2D sketches and illustrations are an excellent representation of that "art work".
    Sometimes I also use 2D artworks, but more Photoshop than Freehand or Illustrator.

    Here we come where 3D is actually better and more accurate than 2D.

    It's due to the fact that - if you fully develop an accurate 3D model, with all components truly represented in 3D and correctly dimensioned, you'll end with a virtual representation of the reality.

    It will be much easier to check for interferences between components and structures, you'll be able to understand if the shaft pass-thru hole will keep enough material on the bulkheads and stringers, you'll have a chance to seat the number of guests around a table and see if they fit.

    You can even weight and balance your yacht, and predict all the static and dynamic results. You can enlist a full Bill of Materials and even estimate the material supplies and working hours.

    Finally, someone mentioned tank testing.

    Yes, hulls should be properly designed in order to reach or outperform the design. It' snot fantasy. It's a technical job.
    Actually, it's a mix. A kind of magic with hi-tech and exotic formulas.

    We almost always test our boats in the tank.
    And the results are usually paying for it.

    We were able to bring a semi-displacement hull, originally designed for 18 Kn to reach 29 kn in the tank and actually performing 27/28 kn at 3/4 of throttle at full load in the sea, keeping the originally planned 2x220 HP Yanmar engines.
    We achieved this after an - apparently - terrible performance on the first tank test, working on the collected data and modifying the surfaces in the stern area, by only 2,5cm on a 12m hull.
    The modification on the 1:9 model was almost invisible, only 3mm on a limited area.
    But on the next test she ran smoothly and evenly up to 29kn.
    And so she does in the sea.
    It took a very hard work for two weeks. The modification was evident on the stern, but the full surface was accurately redesigned and cleaned, looking for the best curvature without a hitch.

    Accurate 3D modeling work will also be very effective in producing great results in the building of manufacturing tools (moulds) and even for the interior fit-out.

    Some (several) boat yards think that an accurate design will cost too much. So far they prefer to do it just to the average level, even if they're manufacturing the entire package by CNC.
    Then, the result is that the finished fit-out will still require approx. 6 months of manual work, because "it would have been too long to design it accurately". That's stupid.

    Even a one-off will benefit from an accurate design job.

    Last considerations:

    Someone here mentioned hull performance coming straight out from specialized 3D software. That's a big bull****.
    Yes, it's true that Maxsurf, DelftShip, Orca3D and others can do an excellent job in defining standard hulls straight out the maths.
    But look at those results.

    They're just basic shapes, performing pretty well in a limited (selected) range of conditions, mostly for pre-defined standard rules like IMS, but could you actually call them a "beautiful design" ? Of course not.

    Those software should be used to analyze and validate a design concept, not to a-critically generate a new hull.
    The problem is not the SW. The problem is the Engineer or the Naval Architect, using the sw as a surrogate of his poor imagination, creativity and lack of skills.

    A skilled designer knows where to manipulate and "distort" reality, to achieve those extra performances which are not defined in the rules. Most of the time they stay on the edge of the boundaries [of the rule]. That's what makes the difference between a good project and an average one.

    The knowledge of the basic rules of naval design, together with experience and some magic art will do the difference between the wiz and the middle-man.

    Finally, this is also true about the software. Some people in the industry think that you need High-End and very expensive software tools to achieve some outstanding results.
    This is not always true.
    Like that one saying that Rhino was not accurate enough and had to rebuild everything in Catia.

    Well, I'd been using High-End software for a while and I'm using Rhino. I'm also one of the most critical users of Rhino, just because I love it so much and I can understand its potentials, and I can't stand for poor excuses when it lacks on some features, still, after so many years.
    But I will never say it's not capable of high quality surfaces.

    Again. it's not the software, it's the guy.

    I agree if someone say that shelling in Rhino is a pain and that by using a parametric modeler for a detailed engineering work on a hull will make it more productive. True.

    But I also have to say - and I'm certified Catia V5 - that when I was designing tail lamps (manufacturing tools) for the major Car makers in Europe, so many times I had to rework the surfaces coming from the Design Offices of BMW, Bugatti, VW or Audi to say a few, because they were a mess.
    They were usually generated in Catia V4 (at that time the Automakers didn't certify Catia V5 for production yet).

    And I'm talking about intricate optical surfaces, lens and reflectors, for the new LED tail-lamps.

    I reworked them in Rhino and we always got the required accuracy and tolerance by design. I personally generated the CNC programs from my surfaces and the tools produced what we expected.

    So far, Rhino can be Accurate. It's just the way you use it.

    I don't want to teach anything to anyone, just to offer another point of view, coming from an all-round experience.

    Do not trust "professors", be curious, be hungry, be fool but - more than anything else - enjoy what you're doing and keep improving it.
    Don't get enough and be always critical with your own job, because - you know - you can do it better.

    Paolo Velcich
    Product and Yacht Designer
    Dubai (U.A.E.)
  17. sebisebman

    sebisebman New Member

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    Thank you Paolo for your insights!

    Do large yacht Companies reuse their basic hull shapes? If i were a manufacturer i would create a basic hull (a least the underwater part) - test and refine it as much as possible und try to make use of it as good as possible...

    But as Paolo already mentioned - small details have large effect. So just stretching a hull to the desired overall length might not work very well...

    Sebastian
  18. pavel59

    pavel59 New Member

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    Yes, as already mentioned above (Oceanco as an example) that's a quite common practice especially for large vessels.

    On Maxi and Mega Yachts, it's quite usual to select a well tested hull, give the specs to the concept designer, and then to the interior designer.
    The shipyard will do most of the technical/engineering work.

    Some times modifications are allowed, and it's quite trendy to open portions of the hull to give access to garages and to open balconies and platforms.
    It still requires a lot of engineering work, but that's handled by the shipyard Design Office.

    And yes, it's also possible to stretch some existing hulls, but there're limits.
    I worked on a transformation from 86 to 102' hull for a well known builder.

    This is usually easier to achieve on motor yachts than on sailing ones. However, some boat yards like Southern Wind successfully developed what they call "modular molds" for their sailing yachts.

    Some materials are better than other for one-offs and I'm, personally, a big fan of the composite wood for boats up to 100' or even longer.
    A wonderful material.
    We achieved great savings in weight, compared to GRP, with equal or better stiffness and performances. Not to speak about thermal and acoustic insulation. Something you cannot compare at all.
    Wood will always be the winner.

    We used networks of strain-gauges on the hull, to check the performances on live, at the sea. And the results were great.

    With composite wood you work with an inexpensive re-usable or disposable plug.
  19. Chapstick

    Chapstick Member

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    I can't speak for every student/teacher/university, but I'm currently a NA student, and I'd say no, there is no move to truly design in 3D without doing it in 2D first.

    Because the core calculations we are taught are are based on 2D planes, the line plans are what we concentrate on first.
    Even if you wanted to start in 3D, to extrude a 3D shape in CAD you have to draw 2D shapes on planes in the CAD program anyway....

    3D is definitely useful, but it doesn't happen until after 2D.
  20. pavel59

    pavel59 New Member

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    Chapstick, I would kindly suggest you to keep studying before sentencing, at least before posting such a definitive sentence.

    What you said is not completely wrong but it definitely shows that you're missing the point.

    Sketching a 2D shape on a plane in the 3D design process doesn't mean you're doing the 2D first: if correctly planned that's just pure 3D and the 2D sketching is only part of the process.

    "2D first and 3D as the development of the 2D concept" is a totally different story. It means thinking and drawing a full set of 2D projections - doesn't matter if on paper (better) rather than directly on a CAD (limiting).
    It's the result of a menthal development and usually ends in an accurate and fully developed set of drawings.

    True 3D design means starting from the scratch (almost) and develop the whole thing (almost) in 3D, no matter of how many "2D Sketches on planes" you will require.

    Where I agree on your statement is that it's usually much better to start from a preliminary 2D study, on paper, since it's much less constraining and limiting. And you'll easily get the whole picture. Which is very important.

    The virtual space of your monitor is much more limiting that you could imagine and often drives you to miss the whole picture, by focusing too much on insignificant details. That's where the good old school hand sketching wins . (2D or 3D doesn't matter, yes good and accurate 3D handsketching is also possible)

    Do not forget, a good design is always well balanced and in full harmony.
    An old rule says:
    What's nice and mathematically accurate will also play (musically) well.
    Anything mathematically true and musically good will also be a beautyful object.
    And whatever musically good and beautifully looking will result being mathematically true.

    Keep your mind open and flexible, stay well away from definitive statements.
    Do not necessarily fight your teachers, but keep a door in your mind open to doubts, and persist in searching.
    That's the way to understand and to learn.

    Paolo