The tug boat Baltimore of Giulio Porta 2006, all rights reserved.

There are distinct advantages in working with 3D modeling and animation software here are a few: 1) The object that you will construct can be rotated and viewed from any angle or point of view. 2) Light and shadow can be generated to look very much the way they would in real life. 3) Muted colors and textures can be applied to the model without altering the model itself. 4) 3D animation is very closely related to real life cinematography, therefore there is a lot to be learned from working with 3D cameras.

The point of this tutorial is to demonstrate a particular modeling strategy employed in building complex models, in particular  models that are made out of several pieces.

Just like in real life where it would not make much sense to build a house, a machine, or an object with moving parts out of one piece, the same holds true in 3D modeling.

The complete model (work in progress)

One of the rendered images (work in progress).
One of my favorite modeling programs is Animation Master, or A:M.

A:M allows you to group each part of your model as a Group and hide the rest of the model.

Each Group can be viewed separately simply by selecting that particular Group, and hiding everything else.

In a sense Groups are very much like Layers in Photoshop

The hull Group

Each Group must be named.

Each component of you model can belong to more than one Group.

There are 2 distinct advantages in working with Groups:

  • Editing
  • Texturing

Editing refers to the ability that a program has in changing an object's shape, design or amount of details.

The deck Group


The lower cabin Group


The rail Group


The upper cabin Group


The chimney Group