Designing the Porter 0-4-0 Locomotive

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by thewoodengraver, Feb 23, 2007.

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  1. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    I have refrained from design and build threads mainly for 1 reason, my brain doesn't work right and communication is sometimes impossible for me. Many TBI's (Traumatic Brain Injury) like myself struggle with word finding. We mean to say "cat" or "dog" but it comes out as "West Covina"...we are even convinced that "West Covina" and "dog" mean the same thing...until we think about it for a little while.

    It is also difficult for me to explain how I do some of the things I do, because I basically have NO IDEA myself!

    I am COMPLETELY convinced that some sort of Creative Intelligence or Higher Power has taken control of my body because I really don't believe I can do what I do.

    So, now that you have a little more background on me, I will do my best to share with you how I designed this model, if you will bear with me and be gentle with me, I'm sure you may enjoy the process.

    I will be using Paint Shop Pro 6 to design this model.
    This process is really easy to do, and any software that supports transparencies, layers, and multiple file formats should do the trick.

    I use a pixel painting point to point method of design ( magnify the image until you can easily see each individual pixel, then paint following the X and Y coordinates), unless I can get away with a preset shape, then I will use the shapes tool.

    I start with a line drawing, CAD or artwork really does not matter as long as it is close to origional.

    The first step is to resize the line drawing to the size you want your model to be. Since your model and your reference are not standard, I dont have to tell you how to do it...(thank god).

    The next step is to create a transparent layer on top of the line drawing.
    I draw my part, then either copy the part and paste as new image, or delete the background.

    The following is an example of how I drew the front of the firebox. The lettering came later and all the parts, of course, were seperate.
    To design the firebox itself just measure the diameter of the front and multiply by PI (3.14). OR you could use the unpatented TWE DORK method...cut a strip of paper, roll in a circle the size of the firebox shown on screen, make marks where the paper overlaps, straighten out and draw a line that length. Dumbass method sure enough! But it works.
    This method came in quite handy when drawing the water tank.
    More to come...

    Attached Files:

  2. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    This promises to be quite interesting Phil! I'm always fascinated by you folks that can design stuff!

  3. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Looks like a very promising and informative thread! Always enjoy your posts, Woodengraver!

    Looks like your model of an 0-4-0 West Covina is off to a great start! ;-)
  4. Bluenoser

    Bluenoser Member

    I am also looking forward to this detailed explaination of how it done.
  5. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    I knew it, smelled it coming for MILES! Using my own humor huh?
    That's GOOD! It shows you are paying attention.

    Thanx guys for the very kind words, it helps alot.

    Before I move on, I want to backtrack slightly, to tell you that the image I will be tracing is fit to page at 300dpi.
    If you are creating a .gif format model, you could get away with 72 or 150 dpi. My opinion is that 300dpi is bare minimum for a decent printing because TWE don't use no 256 colors, he uses SIXTEEN MILLION colors baybee!
    I would quadruple that dpi if my current cpu could handle it. The default resolution on my computer is 300dpi. What I mean by that is, when I create a "new" file with PSP, it will always be 300dpi and transparent.

    More on pixel painting.
    As I have previously stated, if the shape I want to draw is basic, I will generally use the preset shapes tool. The preset shapes tool has a rectangle, square, circle etc. You can also define custom preset shapes.
    Using this tool is a no brainer and needs little explaination.

    What I want to cover is, painting that same square shape using the point to point method.

    Let's say I want a square part that measures 1/2".
    First, this part may confuse you a little...bear with me.
    I ALWAYS start drawing my part 10 pixels from the top and 10 pixels from the edge. This way I can quickly and easily select the part when I am finished drawing it, to copy and paste elsewhere. Selecting an area, starting from the x-y axis of 0-0 is sometimes very difficult. My method just gives me more room to play.

    So, I first select the paintbrush tool. I want the color to be black. I want the shape of the brush to be square, at 2 pixels, and completely visible.

    The x and y coordinates are as follows;
    x= the distance (in pixels) from the left edge.
    y= the distance (in pixels) from the top.

    I move my mouse to the x-y coordinate of 10-10 and left click once.
    before I move any further, I will take a pencil and scrap paper and draw a square, then I will write down each coordinate I need to remember as I draw. I next move my mouse to the 160-10 coordinate( if the image is 300dpi, and I want a half inch part drawn 10 pixels from the edge=160), hold the shift key, then left click the mouse. This completes my first line.

    I continue to draw the square this way; click, check coordinates, shift-click. Heres what my sketch might look like;
    That was the first reason to pixel paint point to point(4P's). The next reason is as follows.
    If I want to draw a part that is unusual, I must either MASTER bezier drawing(editable nodes), or use the 4P's.
    If I was a good artist with a lot of patience, I could simply use the mouse and "draw" my part. This has many drawbacks however.
    If I make a mistake and want to undo, I have to undo everything I drew, unless I make many very short lines. This is why the point to point method works so well. The area being painted by each step is so small, that it is easy to undo and redo.
    Here is an example of a part I drew by hand. Not too shabby, but it could be lots better. You can actually draw, what looks like, a "perfect" circle, using the point to point method.
    more coming...
  6. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    My last example turned horribly I redrew it,freehand along with an example of point to point. I did a rush job on both drawings, it does not matter, I already drew the part I am using for this example, but I think you will notice a great difference. Which part do you like better?
    Please say you like the drawing on the right.
    Here is an animation I made showing my technique step-by-step.
    The animation file is large...about 1.68 mb. If you cannot see a red line being drawn around the entire part, right-click the image and choose view image. It will load in it's own window. Then click back on your browser and the pic should be loaded in the post.

    You may notice the straighter lines use a further distance between clicks
    ( about 6-10 pixels), while the radius lines are much shorter
    ( about 3-5 pixels). This will vary according to your file size, resolution and magnification. You are the artist, use your eyes.

    Have I completely confused anyone yet?
  7. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    You may be wondering which part I actually started with. Any guesses?
    Whoever said the frame is correct!
    Lets draw the frame...

    You have your reference, with a transparent layer on top. Before I stated you can delete the background after drawing your part. This ONLY applies if you have only one part to draw from your reference. If you are drawing several parts from the same reference, use this method.

    Let's start with the length.
    Find your point of origin and check the x-y coordinates BEFORE, DURING and AFTER you click to make ABSOLUTELY SURE the coordinates did not change during the process of lowering your finger to click. We will pay the most attention to the y coordinate (distance from the top) and make your click, now find a point near where you want your line to end, check to make sure the y coordinate is identical, hold the shift key and make your click.
    Now choose the selection tool and make sure the setting for this tool is rectangle. Select the line you drew, copy, and paste to your part sheet.
    Do the same for the width.
    For the thickness, you will now pay most attention to the x coordinate (distance from the left) and repeat the steps.
    I left distances between the parts for illustration only.

    Drawing Tabs...hmmm...waste of time if you ask me.
    Take a look at the square. Without tabs-4 cuts. With tabs-20 cuts.
    For the same piece. Elementary Watson!

    I look at it this way; Tabs=Training Wheels!
  8. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    Can I disagree without being disagreeable?
    If you follow the x and y coordinates PRECISELY it IS a technical drawing program.
    Thanks for your kind words GB!
  9. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    I have lost motivation for sharing any further my psp techniques.
    I have been using versions of psp since 1998. I have tried and tried to share it's capabilities with other artists. Most people want Photoshop. I really do not know why. I have Photoshop. I do not like it. I did NOT say it was not a good program, just that I don't like it. For my purposes, psp suits all my needs. I have extensive tutorials which came with my software packaging and have studied them for years. Everyone I meet who claims to be an artist uses photoshop. When I show them my work, they say "WOW', when I tell them I used psp, they say "oh" with a very disappointed sound in their voice.
    Why? Is it because I spent only 5% of the cost of photoshop on it?
    Because I will MOST EMPHATICALLY tell you this is ONE HELL of a GOOD piece of TECHNICAL DRAWING DESIGN software. I do NOT take lightly, loose comments about it's supposed lack of capabilities, and I'm tired of defending it. I believe you did not mean anything bad GB but this is how I feel.

    In Jasc's defense, just because you spend a thousand dollars on a piece of software, does NOT make it GOOD software, and most especially, if you cannot figure out how to use it without a damn college degree.

    True, if you cannot program a VCR/DVDR, you have no business operating a computer.

    Furtherly, this thread was not meant as a tutorial. It is meant to get me off my butt to finish the porter.
    Though psp can design a technically accurate cardmodel to the pixel, I did not draw the porter with any strict rules, it is loosely based on a technical drawing, and is meant for fun, not accuracy. If you were looking for technical accuracy, don't download this model. If you are looking for a beautiful piece of artwork, she will be finished soon.

    I am ready to build the prototype of parts I have so far to check for fit before I move on to design more parts. I will show my progress here, and when she is finished, this will become my one and only build thread. I plan to take you step-by-step through the building process, then, when I am satisfied, a free download.:grin:
  10. barry

    barry Active Member

    Joke programs ?

    For drawing curves when you are a bit inept like me I find the best ever curve drawing tool is in Neopaint simple beyond belief compared with trying to do one in psp. Plot 2 points select from 2 handles and pull the line into place. Wish the "big boys" would offer it !! not that it matters I could not afford it.

    Please go on mate I keep wanting to design that huge American God kows how many wheeler is it "Big Boy" as well ? Maybe I will learn enough from this thread

  11. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    I was trying to sell you an idea, not the software. But, by discrediting my software, you take away my motivation.
    This boat was sunk by your local tutorial guru.
    Who the hell do you think people take seriously, him or me?
    This question really is a no-brainer.
    Sorry mate's, the ship has been sunk, there will be NO ressurecting her,
    say a prayer if you want, leave flowers if you must, then walk away.
  12. paper warrior

    paper warrior Member

    Oh c***, nice job barry. That really made my freakin day. I hope you understand sarcasm.
  13. barry

    barry Active Member


    I apologise if you think I am knocking your software I was trying to agree with you that cheap programs have good resources so forget I made the comment.
  14. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    Hold on there my little Buckaroos (friends)...
    Barry, I got what you were saying and I took absolutely no offense my friend.
    Paper Warrior, thank you for standing by me my friend.

    I admit...I got REALLY FREAKING PISSED OFF yesterday.

    I respect and admire you gentlemen and ladies. I do not mean to hurt you with my words.
    I respect and admire Golden Bear and was not hurt by him. But, until he retracts or amends his inaccurate statement about PSP, I cannot compete with his opinion, and have nothing to work with.

    I do not need to shine more brightly than anyone else in the room...I just want to be in the room.

    I love you guys.
  15. sdk2knbk

    sdk2knbk Guest

    quote "It isn't really a technical drawing program which is an advantage for artwork but a disadvantage for precisely scaled pieces. It is doable but sometimes a pain." unquote

    I also have PSP 6.0, but I have AutoCad as well. For those of us who do have CAD program, and are comfortable with it's use, we wouldn't consider PSP a technical drawing program at all. Keep in mind that GB also said "It is doable but sometimes a pain." It wan't meant to put down PSP, that's just how we see it! There are so many "simpler" ways to do what was being described in a CAD program that we wouldn't consider PSP to do the same. That said, there are many out there without CAD, 2d,or 3d, because of it's cost/difficult learning curve. I'm still trying to learn how to use PSP 6.0 properly myself. Why? It's what I have, and I can't afford anything newer/better. As for PSP being "cheaper", even the latest version is too expensive for me at the moment. I only have AutoCad through a lucky break, years ago, and even that is getting old. (and I do know how to use it well because I've been a Draftsman for so long.)

    I promised myself I'd stay out of this one. Well, I never did know when to shut up sometimes (or stop typing.)

    Phil, if you ever do decide to share more PSP techinques, whether they're something I want/need to know or not, I will still read them. You never know when someone will point out something obvious and useful that you didn't know about a program.

    OK, I'm done.

    Scott K.
  16. barry

    barry Active Member

    oh dear I have only just noticed psp can be paint shop or photoshop I should have written Photoshop this is why I hate initials when I worked for the USAF they supplied a dictionary of what intials stood for never worked. English language is much better if a little more time consuming

    How about a new definition of technical drawing program "Anything that can be used to produce a consistant result however difficul it is to do it"
  17. paper warrior

    paper warrior Member

    Whell, can you pass the files along? Maybe someone can carry on the build.
  18. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    I majored in English. This may mean very little to some of you but it is crucial to me.

    To say that PSP (Paint Shop Pro) is not a technical drawing program, is the same as saying a Harley-Davidson is not a motorcycle. (Shut your mouth scoffers).

    This being said to me by a man whom I respected, is a slap in the face.
    You do not have to see it that way, I do, and that is all that matters.
    I was trying to share what I learned from this easy to learn, very capable "TECHNICAL DRAWING" software. But when someone tells you my software will not do what I am trying to tell you it will. Boat=SINK.
    Do you get it?

    This cardmodel is not aborted. Sharing with you how I designed it is.
    I may decide to do an actual tutorial on the NEXT locomotive I plan to design, the Minnetonka. This one will be planned as accurate to the scale.
    My Harley has no pipes, and promises a bone shattering chill...

    I am still working on the beloved Porter, do not give up hope.
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Member

    Perhaps some of us do find PSP is labourious for technical drawing.
    So what ?
    Phil was explaining that he doesn't and I was listening to him and very interested.

    BTW there is a simple enough setting in PSP (Paint Shop Pro), a no brainer really, that lets the user set the image size to pixels / cm..
    No need to fight and struggle.

  20. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    Thank you maurice!

    To all, please let me clarify something;
    I am not punishing anyone, I did not quit this because I am a dick, and if you don't like it, I wont show it to you. This is not the case at all.
    I explained in the first post that I had a TBI. I can carry a train of thought, if uninterrupted, full steam until the end of the line. But if I am distracted, the train derails, and seldom can I get it back on track.
    I am not asking any of you to understand this, just stating fact.
    Nobody is at fault, nobody is struggling, nobody is being punished.
    I am very sensitive, I offend easily. This is my responsibility and not yours.
    I do my best to not let this happen, and I try to atone for it once I figure it all out.
    I have enjoyed this thread, regardless of my tormented attitude.
    I have not quit you. Please forgive me.
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