Creating your own Custom Transformers

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by TFsound1, May 18, 2020.

  1. TFsound1

    TFsound1 Well-Known Member

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    I take some interest in creating my own Transformers. I'm especially interested in creating my own cassette Transformers if that is at all possible. Does anyone have any ideas of how I can do it? I don't have any background with creating 3D objects and so I'm wondering if I have any skills for this at all?
     
  2. Applejacktimus

    Applejacktimus Likes Alpha Bravo

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    I mean, we can't tell you if you have any skills, given that you have yet to make anything, but if you actually try it, and keep at it, you'll probably improve from where you started. But if you want to do 3D printing, it'd help if you already have experience in modeling. You'd need a 3D printer of your own to do high quality prints too, which would be a huge investment. I think if you really want to get into this, just set aside the printing aspect for a while and learn how to model stuff, then once you're good at it you can move on to producing stuff.
     
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  3. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    And if CG rendering isn't your thing, then your other option is to go old school and learn to build them yourself with hand-sculpting and modelling techniques.

    A good place to start, though, might be getting yourself a good pile of different types of Lego joints and hinges to get a grasp of how engineering these sorts of things might go.

    And taking a further step back, how's your 2D art? If you have a hard time visualizing and conveying your design intentions in 2D, jumping to 3D without those basic skills is just going to be even worse.

    As with anything though, it comes down to practice, practice, practice. Going in blind, you're probably going to have a rough time of your early attempts. Keep learning from past mistakes and keep trying.
     
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  4. TFsound1

    TFsound1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice! How does one learn how to model stuff?
     
  5. Nightstrike

    Nightstrike Closeted. Also a half-Ghoul.

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    Try to visualize different sides of an object. Once you can do that, you should be able to apply depth to the idea, such as positioning of a ball-joint. I'd recommend looking at some of the figures already in existence to get ideas on transformation and articulation. Depending on your resources, you can do quite a lot in a brief amount of time.
     
  6. valguerra

    valguerra Well-Known Member

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    Get fusion 360. Caliper tool. 360 tutorials. Grab a simple object and try to reproduce it in fusion. Once you start getting the hang of it it will become easier. If start with simple design, like tf guns etc. Than work from there.
     
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  7. TFsound1

    TFsound1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation! I see that fusion 360 costs $60 a month. Are there any free alternatives? While I do have interest in creating my own Transformers, I'm not interested enough where I'd be willing to pay $60 rent for this program when I may not have any skills to create any Transformers.
     
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  8. Nightstrike

    Nightstrike Closeted. Also a half-Ghoul.

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    Tinkercad is easier to work with, but many people on here seem to dislike it. It's straightforward, and all it really requires is some mathematical calculation. If you know your trig, you're set!
     
  9. valguerra

    valguerra Well-Known Member

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    Fusion 360 is free for one year. Than every year have to reapply. Look at youtube getting fusion 360 for free.
     
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  10. EpsilonEta

    EpsilonEta Well-Known Member

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    Whether you decide to use 3D software, CAD or even physical parts I would suggest starting your designs on grid paper. It is a much faster way of iterating and getting the general proportions right. It also allow you to conserve the size of parts between robot and alt mode. Finally, it is a lot easier to model something if you have reference images. You can still change proportions once you start modeling but I find it easier to have something to start from.

    My general process (after having a basic idea of transformation) is to sketch both the robot and alt-mode while keeping track of the various parts in both modes. I frequently end up changing the size of parts to make it look good (and work) in both modes.

    Here are a few examples from things I started (but not finished)
    With Grimlock I photoshoped the parts rather then draw them again and Rotorstorm I drew two sizes to see what looked best.

    Good Luck
     

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  11. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    This is exactly what I did yesterday! I downloaded a (very complex) .obj model and I'm attempting to learn how to print stuff, but man it's hard to start with this! Reminds me of the first time I opened up illustrator.
     
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  12. Nightstrike

    Nightstrike Closeted. Also a half-Ghoul.

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    Start with Tinkercad. it's straightforward and allows you to better visualize the object. Then try Fusion.
     
  13. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Is that one also free?
     
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  14. valguerra

    valguerra Well-Known Member

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    Yes
     
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  15. valguerra

    valguerra Well-Known Member

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    It's a start. Take a picture of side view of one of your accessories. Imported to fusion and tey to design it.
     
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  16. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'll try that thanks.
     
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  17. Sweet Smurf

    Sweet Smurf Active Member

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    I was always curious about what the "Un-Animated" set would look like... you know, the cancelled set that gave us Sari made from Windblade's mode (which might have inspired my headcanon that Windblade is literally Inspector Gadget's niece - Penny - as a Transformer in the Animated universe).

    I'm also curious to see what Animated-inspired designs look like in live-action!
     
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  18. TFsound1

    TFsound1 Well-Known Member

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    Good job on the sketching and the 3D modeling! What do you plan to do with it? Do you plan to make your own knock off versions of the Transformers toys? Or do you plan to just create 3D models of them that will only be on the computer? Unfortunately for me, I have terrible drawing skills. I had thoughts of creating a tender for Astrotrain. I have a picture of what I want and I already measured the dimensions of how big it will be. I also know what color I want for it. I'm not fully sure of the transformation, but it will probably be similar to G1 Rodimus Prime's little base.
     

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  19. EpsilonEta

    EpsilonEta Well-Known Member

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    My goal have always been to print them for myself but if a company want to produce them that would be cool.

    You don't need to be good at drawing. Spacial visualization is more useful but computers can help a lot if you lack this (and it can be trained).
    Here is some sketches of Sunstreaker that is mostly straight lines. The goal was just to see where the parts would be in different modes.
    Sun robot.jpg Sun transform.jpg

    If the tender is just going to open up like the trailer you don't really need any early planing and can start modeling it right away. Modeling essentially a box on wheels is probably a good start for learning the software. The picture you have is enough for reference even if it's not straight from the side.

    For more complex projects I spend a lot of time thinking of and sketching different ideas of how the transformation will work. This is probably the hardest part and why many recommend to start modeling weapons and accessories to learn the process.

    Edit:
    I made a simple sketch of how the gun platform could work (just copied G1 Rodimus).
    temp.png
    The next part of the process is kind of like an equation (I like math) The point is to take what you know and use it to find out what you want to know. Like using the size of the train to get the basic size of the tender and using the robot to get the height of the razed gun.
    Knowing this we now have a minimum length of the tender. Alternatively we the could change the fold up mechanism (and gun length) to make a shorter tender. Or if the tender is really long but flat the gun and arm would lay next to each other instead of on top.

    This is what I mean with starting on paper to quicker get the basic design before modeling.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
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  20. TFsound1

    TFsound1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the message! What software would you recommend? I tried using Tinkercad, but it wasn't allowing me to load the JPEG of the tender on to the 3D image. I already know all of the exact dimensions of the tender. If I'm going to use software, I want it to have the exact measurements so if I use a 3D printer to print out the parts, it'll come out the same size as I want them. Thanks for giving me the idea of the gun platform! Strangely enough, I didn't think of it. How would I do the modeling afterward if I can do the modeling right away? Would I use software for the modeling? If so, do you recommend any?
     
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