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Int Dragon class

3D model of the famed international Dragon class sailing yacht.

#@hanno; 20 sep 2012 Back »

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International Dragon class sailboat

On the internet linesplans of the International Dragon class are hard to find. The lines are available for a considerable sum at the class organization. This price tag is acceptable when you want to build a competition hull.
So I made a new linesplan from the 1950 and 1962 lines I could find on the internet (after considerable effort) and made a smooth 3D model from which you can see the linesplan below and some renderings.
The objective of this webpage is to share the joy of designing, drafting and rendering in 3D. So enjoy and maybe learn from what I have done.

Video of rendering: and better resolution:

Dragon's rendering, Autodesk 3D studio Max

Finally the rendering in 3d Max, the results of a 3 (4) step proces, which starts with the lines drawing and ends with real life texturing. Here some results.

Dragon's rendering, Rhinoceros 3D Flamingo raytrace

With the model finished the rendering can start, practice has learnt that once you start rendering the model will also have to be adapted. Rhinoceros 3D has its own rendering engine Flamingo which produces fine results. As we intended the model to be rendered in 3D studio Max no effort was invested in texturing the surfaces. Rendering resulat are pretty nice particularly with teh Flaminga raytracer. Some examples below.

Dragon's parts modelling

The modelling of the various components is demonstrated below, obviously the modeling is too detailed for efficient rendering, in the changeover to 3D studio Max, the meshes have consequently been chosen relatively coarse. The sails were cut in such a way that the overlapping cloth could be texture mapped differently. The inside strengthening members were added as they are visible from the outside from most eleveated angles. From this image it can be seen the curved part between the hull and keel has been difficult to model.
With the curry clamps we modelled a bit too detailed.

Dragon's bodyplan

A lot of energy went into making a smooth linesplan based on the drawings I could find on the internet. Anyone who has ever made one knows how much work that is.
The energy investment was necessary because this drawing is meant to be used to make either an radio controlled model (1,5m) or to make a sit inside variation (3m) and the lines had to conform the original design.

You might think that using a NURBS drawing program like Rhinoceros 3D would reduce the work. In reality reproducing an existing plan of a highly curved yacht, like the International Dragon class, takes about as much tweaking in 3D on the PC, as on paper by hand. This is caused by still having to match the cross-sectional intersections of stations, verticals, waterlines and sent. Secondly it is very difficult to make highly curved and still smooth line.
Only when drawing your own design, can you exploit to the full, the phantastic possibilities programs like Rhinoceros 3D offer, and then design time is minimized.

Dragon's bodyplan analysis tools

Just as an example, below you can have a look at some of the analysis tools I used making the body plan. Luckily Rhinoceros 3D has some, although I would have liked some more tools ;-)

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