How to make an aircraft template

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I hope the mods bare with me on this one. Not strictly Com. Aviation, but related to. After several requests I'm going to show you a rough guide on how to create the templates I do. Now there are undoubtely plenty of different methods, but this is the way I do it :) First off, the tools I use: Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop Official 3 view line drawings from Boeing.com Step 1. Clean up the 3 view drawing for Boeing, I use just the side elevation view. But there's nothing stopping you from doing this withthe top or front views. The drawings from Boeing mostly have the correct fuselage shape and placement of doors and windows. But they usualy lack finer details like antennae, panel lines and detailed engines. So I add these using photos for reference. On occasion you can find a good drawing from a third party that has lots of detail which you can use for reference. Here is what you should have once the above is completed: http://img126.exs.cx/img126/8163/one014vb.jpg I use illustrator as it deal with vector graphics. Vector are infinately scalable. I know open photoshop and open a document of a fair size. For example, 5000 by 2000 pixels. (For a precision drawing, you can size the drawing so that it will be to scale with the real thing, 1cm equals 1 pixel for example So if the plane is 60 meters long, thats 6000cm which would mean a 6000 pixel wide picture.) Bit by bit I copy and paste the parts of the illustrator file into photoshop so that the outline of the wing, fuselage, engine, etc are on their own layers. Once that is done, the real fun begins. Fleshing the template out. Part 2 coming up when I'm ready. (I'm writing this as I work on the template)
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I've always wondered how to do it! :D Nice one Bmused55. I trust you will be posting Part Two on this thread?
indeed I will
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Part 2 Part 2 Once you have arranged all the layers in photoshop its time to start filling out the layers to give them colour and body. Here is an example of how I arrange my layers: http://img49.exs.cx/img49/5779/two027qs.jpg The 747-400 has 3 types of engine. I'm not illustrating the P&W engines as its not worth the hassle for an engine only the weakminded (UA for example) use. I use layer sets with essentialy is just a folder for the layers within the layer pallet. You can group together layers that belong to each other. As you can see from the picture, I've seperate the GE and RR engine types into their own layers sets. Each see has its own subset as follows Main set: GE engines Subsets: No.1 Engine No.2 Engine Pylons The reason for Pylons being included in the seperate engine sets is because the pylons for GE and RR engines are slightly different. Not by much, but enough to make the RR engines not fit onto the GE pylons in the drawing. OK, lets begin the "fleshing out" I'll demonstrate with Engine No.1 of the GE engines. First the easy bit. With the magic wand tool and the Outline No.1 layer active, select the areas of the engine cowling. We only want the part that is usualy painted at this point. Like so: http://img56.exs.cx/img56/2858/two031ju.jpg Once you have your select, create a new layer and place it below the Outline No.1 layer and fill it with white (or any colour realy, white is best though). The layers should look like so: http://img161.exs.cx/img161/6061/two043wn.jpg Ok, thats the basic fill layer for the cowling. I now rename the layer to Cowling Fill. On that layer I set a gradient of white and grey with a small inner shadow of white to add a "shine" effect to it. http://img215.exs.cx/img215/818/two051vh.jpg Now onto the metal. I suggest you browse website such as PSlover.com for custom gradients that give a metal effect. First off, I create a new layer and make a rectangular selection with the selection tool. I then apply an gradient to this layer: http://img215.exs.cx/img215/4272/two067yy.jpg Now I got to the EDIT menu and choose: Edit > Transform > Distort I now distort this gradient layer into the shape of the engine exhaust nozzle. http://img190.exs.cx/img190/2845/two071nv.jpg Once its distorted and looks ok. I add other layers for detail and doscolouration. Using the various blending modes Photoshop offers. (no time te explain these, check the hand book if you have one). In the end it looks like this: http://img94.exs.cx/img94/2931/two085lz.jpg The leading edge of the cowling is also done in this fashion. Using these same methods, I "flesh" out the Wings, Pylons, horizontal stabiliser and the flap fairing canoes. Part 3 will be how to make the fuselage look 3d with gradients and layer effects.
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Made it into a sticky and just changed the thread title slightly
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Made it into a sticky and just changed the thread title slightly
Thanks webby
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Part 3 How to turn that flat white background into something that resemble a fuselage. This bit gets tricky. The top deck of the 747 makes this a little more complicated than usual. We'll start with the easy bit. We need to create a layer that will block any colours and such appear from outisde of the "fuselage". Its easily done. Click on the layer that contains the outline of the fuselage so that it is active. Use the magic wand tool (in the same way we did in Part 2) and select the area OUTSIDE the fuselage. With the selection still active, create a new layer and place it underneath the fuselage layer like so: http://img131.exs.cx/img131/702/three01b7of.jpg Now, got to Edit > Fill then choose whether to use the foreground or background colour. I chose foreground as it was red and that will help show you what's going on. But normaly I use white. So, now you have a layer filled with a colour that completely covers everything OUTSIDE of the fuselage. A quick and easy way to make your designs stay within the fuselage. http://img131.exs.cx/img131/3680/three033cb.jpg I call this layer BLOCK. As thats what it does, blocks. OK, now that is done lets make the fuselage look a tad more rounded than flat white. Create a new layer direct above the background layer of the photoshop file, like so: http://img222.exs.cx/img222/4173/three013mh.jpg Now onto this layer, drag a gradient, starting from the top of the fuselage to the bottom. Here's the gradient I'm using: http://img129.exs.cx/img129/7357/three027ks.jpg Once you've created that, you should have something like this: http://img34.exs.cx/img34/9672/three048yw.jpg It doesn't look like much now, but it will soon enough. Now, this is the tricky part. I'm still perfecting this myself so bare with me. Click on the fuselage layer and with the magic wand tool select the area inside the fuselage (NOT THE TAIL THOUGH) and the wing root. Go to Select > Modify > Expand. Enter 1 pixel and press ok. This expands the selection so that it overlaps the outline of the fuselage. I'l make the next bit another part or else this part will be far too long.
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Part 4 Part 4 Adding body to the fuselage. First, make sure the Fuselage layer is active. (The layer that contains the outline of the fuselage) With the Magic Wand tool, select the inside of the fuselage, including the wingroot fairing if you have drawn it. Here is an example, the green is what I selected: http://img14.exs.cx/img14/9959/four017gu.jpg With the selection active, create a new layer and place it above the one with the gradient that was created in part 3 and fill it with white. We will call this the Fuselage Shape Layer for reference. Now, so we can see whats happening create another new layer below that and fill it with blue. you layer pallet should look like this: http://img174.exs.cx/img174/444/three053ka.jpg Doubleclick the fuselage shape layer in the layer pallet to open up the layer styles control panel. In Blending options set the Fill opacity to Zero as shown, then click on Bevel and Emboss as the arrow shows: http://i160.exs.cx/img160/1584/four025lc.jpg Now this is the difficult bit. There no way to instruct on how to get the perfect settings. It a matter of playing with these settings untill you get a result that looks right to you: http://img10.exs.cx/img10/5143/four032xv.jpg You aiming for something that resembles a highlighted and shadowed fuselage, like so: http://img15.exs.cx/img15/5347/four041oo.jpg Repeat these steps for the Wingroot fairing and any over curved features. Next part I'll show you how to draw windows, doors and panel lines.
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Very much thank you! Now at least I have a chance of doing something with that 727... ;)
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[QUOTE=Bmused55]First off, the tools I use: Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop Official 3 view line drawings from Boeing.com[QUOTE=Bmused55] Is there any particular versions of Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop or can we use any version number. Cheers
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Thanks Matthew
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Matthews templates are very very good, comparable to the illustrations Airliner World use from time to time. Mine are no where near as detailed, I call mine representaional if anything.
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Part 5 Part 5 Windows and doors Anyone who knows photoshop should probably get this very easily. Firstly, make the layer with the outline of the windows visable. (You should have copied and pasted from illustrator). I like to reduce the opacity to 50% so its easier to see what I'm doing. Now, choose the Pen tool http://img212.exs.cx/img212/7789/five011pa.jpg Now its a case of tracing round the guidelines for the flightdeck window. First, draw one complete shape around the window lines, this will be the window frame: http://img59.exs.cx/img59/7914/five024my.jpg You can draw seperate frames if you want. Once you have drawn them, apply what ever style you want to the frame untill it looks good to you. Then make it invisable. Now repeat the procedure for each flight deck window. There are styles available at www.pslover.com and other such websites that will offer you fairly realistic looking windows. Here's what it looks like when finished: http://img199.exs.cx/img199/6289/five033mv.jpg Note each window is seperate. The Passenger cabin windows are probably the easiest thing to do. You simply use the shape tool to drawn rounded off rectangles and place them in the correct positions. Same goes for the doors, but for those you merely use a stroke, no fill. the panel lines are optional but realy only consist of the line tool at 1px width. Like so: http://img105.exs.cx/img105/162/five040ba.jpg Once finished set the layers containing your lines to arounf 20% opacity. TIP: In order to draw all the lines on one layer, make sure you select the following button while the layer is active and you have the line tool selected: http://img164.exs.cx/img164/5213/five054jm.jpg To draw absolute straight lines hold down SHIFT before you click and drag with the tool ;) And thats it realy. I'm sure you now know your way about well enough to add things like pitots and door hinges (simply black lines). Enjoy
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The finished article. Time from draging first line to final save of project: 13 hrs http://img111.exs.cx/img111/4026/7470ml.jpg
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If anyone actualy uses these instructions, I'd be interested in seeing the results :D
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This is all fascinating, Sandy, although I will never partake. I don't have the patience. There is one statement that was unacceptable, however.
I'm not illustrating the P&W engines as its not worth the hassle for an engine only the weakminded (UA for example) use.
How dare you!! :eek:
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This is all fascinating, Sandy, although I will never partake. I don't have the patience. There is one statement that was unacceptable, however. How dare you!! :eek:
LOL There has to be a reason why so few use them ;)
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Like GD1, I dont have the patience nor the desire to make my own aircraft template, however, what a fantastic thread for anyone wanting to do this. So good that people can put this much time into the forum, brilliant work Sandy. 5 Stars :)
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Like GD1, I dont have the patience nor the desire to make my own aircraft template, however, what a fantastic thread for anyone wanting to do this. So good that people can put this much time into the forum, brilliant work Sandy. 5 Stars :)
It was a pleasure
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Does Airbus offer comarable 3 view drawings ? And I will do my own templates following your instructions. My own tries were too bad.
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Does Airbus offer comarable 3 view drawings ? And I will do my own templates following your instructions. My own tries were too bad.
they do indeed, in the media section.
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Can you give us a exact link to the Boeing and Airbus drawings ? plz