Aftermath: Getting back into things

In Late 2018 I finally made the transition from Solidworks to Fusion 360, with the intent on finally mastering Detailed Rendering, including lighting mechanics. So to do this my first Major Project in Fusion was to design a Photo-realistic Space themed Corridor. In this Post I detail how I went about this.

I first started with a single cuboid shape, I gave it rough dimensions of 200x60x200mm (I’m working on a 1/100th Scale). From here I started to carve a shape into the main design, I was unfamiliar with the interface of Fusion, so it took a large amount of effort to get to the desired Shape. I split the cuboid shape in half and gave it a chamfer; this created the basic outline I was looking for.

From here I started designing a futuristic pattern into what would become the floor. I only designed the left side as my plan was to mirror the body. I took inspiration from reference images I found online, and after a lot of tinkering I came up with this:

This component of the design changed several times throughout the design process – however it stayed in essence the same. Once I This part of my design changed several times throughout the whole process, each iteration improving on the previous attempt, however the core body and shape stayed the same throughout. Once I was happy with the design I finally settled on, I duplicated the body and aligned them to to start to create the final shape.

However after duplicating the bodies I came to the conclusion that I needed to break up the design a bit. This is when I started to work on an alternative design for the floor, the Idea was that the alternative design would be used every couple of rows – this should help to break up the repetitive design.
After another few hours of playing with the various designs and ideas that I had I settled on this – At this point I was still very new to Fusion 360’s Material Library, and I was yet to use the full rendering engine. So once I completed the overall design to a spec After a few hours of playing with various designs and ideas. I eventually settled on a design which allowed me to create indents and a futuristic pattern by mirroring the design. Whilst developing this I taught myself how to give bodies and faces textures and appearances, which was one of the hardest elements of this project, mostly due to the fact that when I was developing this project Fusion 360’s material library was very limited, this meant that a large amount of the materials I used for this project were custom, something that I had little experience with at the time. Before I transitioned to Fusion 360 I had only used Solidworks and Autodesk 3Ds Max Rendering engines before, so I was fairly in-experienced in how to actually make the renders look good, however I endured and eventually figured out how to develop the designs and textures to a format that I would be happy with.

Once I was happy with both of the designs I’d come up with for the floor I started work on the other details of the corridor.
I started by drawing multiple circles and a basic outline for it, from this point I then extruded the whole thing out by 60mm (the depth of the individual segments), from this I was left with 7 Solid tubes and a cover hiding them all. However, because I intended for the tubes to be used for lighting, the cover needed to only cover either end of the tubes, so to do this I created a midplane and extruded the tube cover forward and backwards 20mm, this gave me a 40mm gap in the middle.
Once I had the tube holder in place I started to develop the textures for the tubes, at first I indeed on giving the three back tubes a coloured light, however due to my in-experience I didn’t understand how to change the colour emitted by the lights, so instead I created gave the three back tubes a generic white light, and then gave the two front tubes a yellow glass texture, this meant that I was able to colour the light – this isn’t a good way of doing it however at the time I thought It would work.
Once I was happy with the design for the floors and ceiling I started to add detail to the wall, I decided to keep it simple and add a single extrude cut, this enabled me to add a texture to the wall when repeated.
The completed Assembly – This was repeated twice for the final render. Once I was complete with this assembly I realized that in order to get the render that I wanted I would have to make and ‘End Cap’ design to put on the end – this makes it look like it could actually be a part of a futuristic corridor.
Once I was happy with the design of the corridor I developed an end cap, this just gave the design a final piece to hold it all together, I also added a textured image to the background so that in the final render it would look like the corridor is in space. At the time I was unaware you could add custom sky-boxes so this was the solution I came up with
From this Point I just needed to add some small details for the final render to focus on, I used previously modeled assets, from previous projects for this.
The Helmet, that I modeled in Solidworks 2015, and then exported as a .DWG file, I was then able to give the visor the material of bronze and the main white element is a matte plastic.
The Railgun that I have modeled in Solidworks 2018, off of a friends Concept art – I then exported that as a .SLDASM and was able to import it into Solidworks. This import also kept all of the previously assigned materials from Solidworks, meaning that I didn’t need to re-texture it.
After a lot of fiddling with positions, I was able to get the position of the final helmet and Railgun correct, after that I was able to start the render. One of the key reasons I moved from Solidworks to Fusion was the ability to Cloud render, this was vital as at the time of my move I was only able to use a laptop to model the whole thing – this meant that to render in Solidworks it would have taken days, instead in Fusion I was able to produce a high quality render in a matter of minutes.
After hours of learning a brand new interface and re-learning texturing and rendering techniques I was able to achieve this. I’m happy with the final result although their is a few things that I’d to if I were to go back, first off I’d change the top chamfer lighting techniques, mostly due to now having the knowledge of how to change lighting and brightness values- I’d also add more detail into the walls, and re-do my end-plate as that lacks quite a lot of small details (although I was able to hide most of this in the render).

All in all I think this was an excellent project for teaching me how to use Fusion 360 and all of its quirks – I gained a lot from this experience, and have certainly gained a lot of knowledge since.

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