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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Making Disney & Sir Pleamo's 3D Design System

The main thing I'm always asked by other Playmobil fans is how do I build my houses, either how do I design it or how do I put it together. So here's a post about my latest and biggest design a Disney Hotel.

Back in February I was asked if it was possible to build Disney's Hotel and theme park entrance and was given several photos. I was asked if I could build it with just 2 of the pink floors and not to make it too long if possible.

When I first look at a real building to see if it can be copied I look at the type of wall used and the number of windows. This building obviously would have to be made from System X parts as it would give me the square windows and archways needed. I could then work out the size by copying the number of windows across. Normally I draw things out on a bit of paper then mock up a basic design but I had 2 problems with this. One it might be a bit hard for my client to understand my plans ( I can't draw very well) and two I didn't have enough parts or the right type in my own collection to build this.
If I'm making a totally new design for some one I like to show them some sort of mock up of the building so they can see what it might look like and I can get a sense of the parts, time and costs involved before we agree to go ahead with a commission. Luckily I'm a member of Playmofriends forum where I had heard of Sir Pleamo's and his friends work on a 3D design system for Playmobil. So I thought it was time I gave it a go.

Sir Pleamo's 3D design system.

Now I can't give enough credit to this guys hard work in undertaking such a massive and well done project. Basically Sir Pleamo and friends are trying to create every piece of Playmobil built, as a virtual 3D object that can be used to create anything you can think of  using Google's Sketch Up program. So far there are over 1700 parts already done. I'm quite good with computers and I design all my own wallpaper on it but I've had no experience with 3D cad design before and can't believe how well they've done everything. It is truly amazing the work involved. I am in total awe of it all and I just wanted everyone who admires my Disney Hotel to know that the original idea was made possible using this system.

Thank you Sir Pleamo!

So this was my first version of the hotel, not as stunning as the Sketch Up designs I've seen before but it was my first attempt and it was enough for me to see what would work and what wouldn't.

This is a window by window copy of the left half of the building with the centre column / entrance on the far right. I only worked on one side as the other would be a mirror image. I always start a copy of a real building like this as it's easier to cut down the size than have to enlarge a design. As you can see although this would be very true to the original hotel it would be a huge building and with the other side added on far to big.

From this design above I had to cut a few things down, I ditched the square ends and the larger tower,  what was the small tower would became the larger of the 2 towers and I designed an even smaller tower to add in it's place.

So this was my 3D design which let me work out the sort of parts I would need and let my client have a good idea of might be possible to build. I say might because until you have the actual parts in your hand you don't know what will work and what wont but it gave me a very good starting point.

OK this post has gotten very big so I'm going to transfer it onto a page instead. Please click on the link to continue reading.


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