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August 24th, 2007 #1
IDW #43: Specialized Firefighting Machine
Topic: Specialized Firefighting machine
Background: While the everyday fire-engine is impressive enough, even more so are the firefighting monsters which have to deal with the most extreme infernos like burning oil fields, forestfires and the like.
1. Design a firefighting machine that is customized to specifically deal with the problems that come up in one of the following directions:
- Burning Oil fields
- Airport (or Spaceport)
- Feel free to come up with your own ideas, but it has to be an extreme and dangerous situation that cannot be dealt with by normal fire-engines. Clearly state in your description what its all about
2. Description of what the problems are/could be and how the firefighting machine deals with it are needed. Whitout a description your entry will not be taken to poll. Seriously.
Deadline: Saturday September 1st 2007
Last edited by yoitisi; August 25th, 2007 at 03:44 AM.
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August 25th, 2007 #4Registered User
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Industrial Fire Engine and process...
I've got more time than I should on my hands at the moment so I'm going to spend a little more time on this than normal and turn it into a tutorial of sorts, until the end when I'll clean it all up and just leave the final image.
Some people have difficulty with Industrial Design subjects so I thought I'd document how I approach these tasks. As with all concept design task you should always start with some reference gathering and some thinking, you can think visually on the page or write down ideas but having some substance behind the visuals is crucial to making compelling concept designs. Luckily most concept design doesn’t require the depth of design required for real Industrial Design, you don't have to worry about it actually functioning in the real world or how it will be manufactured, health/safety issues, how it is used or misused by the consumer but a concept design that has had some rational thought behind it will always 'read' better.
Reference gathering is also crucial, with the wonderful WWW it take's only a few minutes to get plenty of reference, reference gives you a jump start with your design, you've probably never designed a Fire Engine before but within a few minutes you can collect lots of knowledge from people who've spent there career's doing so and again pulling from this knowledge base helps you to create more credible designs. Of course you only use this as background information to inspire not to copy.
So with out further ado, I'll begin my Industrial Fire Engine odyssey;
Sometimes when your working you have detailed brief's to work from, but many times you'll be given a very brief brief . When you've been given a brief brief it's good to flesh it out yourself to give yourself a tighter direction, if it's a real project it's vital to make sure everyone agrees with your direction before plowing onwards, so here's my addition to the IDW #43 Specialized Firefighting machine brief.
I think I'm going for a near future Industrial Fire Engine, that would be used for fighting Oil Filed Fires as well as any other 'Industrial' fire where extreme conditions and danger require a much more robust fire engine than is needed in residential situations.
A quick reference search looking for fire engines gives me a good idea of what's out there at the moment, the airport fire engines definitely look the coolest and more 'futuristic' which might help as I'm going for a near future look, but while reading up on oil fires it appears bulldozer's are used in some circumstances so I take a quick look at them too, I'm already picturing a combination of the 2 aesthetics as my starting point.
From Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_fire
Extinguishing the fires Oil well fires are more difficult to extinguish than regular fires due to the enormous fuel supply for the fire. Firefighters who are specially trained to deal with oil fires are usually hired to put out oil fires. There are several techniques used to put out oil well fires, which vary by resources available and the characteristics of the fire itself. Techniques include:
* Dousing with huge amounts of water
* Raising the plume- Inserting one metal casing 30 to 40 feet high over the well head (thus raising the flame above the ground). Liquid nitrogen or water is then forced in at the bottom to reduce the oxygen supply and put out the fire.
* Drill relief wells to redirect the oil and make the fire smaller (and easier to extinguish with water).
* Using a jet engine to direct high pressure water and air over the well.
* Using dynamite to 'blow out' the fire by using the surrounding oxygen.
* Dry Chemical(mainly Purple K) can be used on small well fires such as those in refineries. Special vehicles called "Athey wagons" as well as the typical bulldozer protected by corrugated steel sheeting are normally used in the process.
So lets have a quick ponder, my Industrial Fire Engine is going to have to be rugged and able to traverse most terrain, it is going to have to have an airtight crew compartment to allow for toxic environments, it's going to have to be able to demolish and move structural elements to knock down or allow access to fires. It will need a hydraulic arm to place explosives or move things around, and it will also have to have multiple tanks capable of storing differing fire fighting compounds.
With all this bubbling around it's time to quickly sketch out some idea's, at this point it's the ideas's that are important and not necessarily the quality of the renderings, unless of course your presenting to management in which case you'll need some pretty pictures and slow the process down
My initial sketches, if it was a real project you might have a day to come up with these sketches and if that were the case you probably come up with 30 -40 loose concepts like these. It's important not to get too stuckup with any of these concepts, even if it's not looking good quickly finish it and move on.
As for this batch there's a variety, some are too low tech, too much like a standard bulldozer with bits stuck on or tank like, as I'm AD on this project I like the top right concept, looks nice and 'meaty' but some futuristic elements, replacing the big water cannon with the smaller rotating nozzels helps.
The next step now that we have the basic concept approved is to refine the concept further and produce a design sketch that can be shown to even the most visually illiterate audience, the design sketch is a relatively quick color comp that illustrates the concept so that it can be approved and taken to the next stage. This design sketch should take 2-4 hours at the most, it's not a final presentation visual and so the quality doesn’t have to be the best, black line work and simple lighting is more than acceptable.
The steps taken to produce the design sketch are as follows;
a; Take the thumbnail and blow it up to a workable resolution, you want to keep the proportion and essence of the selected concept.
b; Drawing over the top of the blown up thumbnail refine the design, add details and flesh out all of the elements, use thick and thin lines to help the line work read better, thin lines for surface detail, thinker lines to differentiate separate forms, and thicker still as shadow and outline.
c; Lay in the flat colors under the line drawing.
d; Add simple shadows, mid tones and highlights.
e; Add surface details such text, vents, rivets.
f; Finish up by adding some quick weathering, overlay and erase textures to add dirt, grime and general filth.
Now that the concept design has been approved by the powers that be, it's time to start the next phase, sometimes if time is tight you don't go any further and you hand off the design sketch to be worked from. The next phase is to finalize the design details and produce a presentation visual.
Everything that I design has a 3d aspect to it, whether it's a product design or a concept for a video game, they all have to work in 3d and it's easy to 'cheat' and draw something that won't actually work when it's made in 3d. When I have a concept team I always give them time to learn a 3d package so that they can do quick block modeling, as it helps to streamline the process, when we hand a concept off to the next team member they will have a concept and a block model in 3d to start the work from.
So I like to get into 3d and take the concept and work with simple blocks to make sure the design works in 3d and once you have the 3d model it can help as a perspective guide to create your visual from.
a; Import the elevation sketch and put it onto a correctly scaled polygon.
b; Using simple primitive block out the design using the elevation sketch as a guide. This can be used as a guide for perspective, if I have more time I'll make a more detailed model.
c; Modeling over the top of the block model refine the model and add design details.
d; Render out a base for the presentation visual, it doesn’t have to be perfect as your going to paint over the render.
Now we jump into to Photoshop and paint over the basic render, the steps taken for this quick paint over are as follows;
a; Start with the basic render.
b; Add a background using multiple textures, overlays and painting, make sure you match the perspective.
c; Add color and material properties to the parts of the render that were not in the initial render. Added a hint of the fiery cataclysm off to the left.
d; Using overlay textures and painting add weathering and texture to the fire engine.
E; Add details to the fire engine, paint in split lines, text, vents any small details that add to the overall effect and make it a more believable visual.
F; Finish up by adding atmospheric elements with the airbrush, add the water streams, highlights, then slap some lipstick on it and ship the pig
So there you have it, I've run out of time, just about to jump on a plane and go back home to England and the pub. I hope someone found something useful, if not at least I probably have the longest post ever in IDW.
Yoitisi I know you mentioned last time you didn't want 3d entries, obviously the final render has a core of 3d so feel free to not send it into the poll .
Last edited by Sogbad; August 29th, 2007 at 03:19 PM. Reason: next step added..
August 26th, 2007 #5
sogbad you got some realy nice thumbnails there.And i hope the finished design will be as good if not better. But one question, you seemed to have stuck to one basic design , land based track vehicles, did you concider any other type of designs? water based, air based or posible, a humonoid type, or walking vehicle similer to maybe a tranceformer, an at-at from starwars or anything other than what you have above.
August 26th, 2007 #6
i too am curious if your thumbnails included any other design decisions or if since you knew you were going with oil fires, you cut that design decision to the quick?
in regards to oil well fires just some trivia. during the gulf war when saddam sabotaged the ones he took in kuwait the fire teams responsible for putting them out used high explosives to 'blow out' the oil fires... this was really the only way they could go about doing it, so just a thought - granted this was because the tops were too damaged to be capped, but i think putting out one of those with water would take quite some doing
August 26th, 2007 #7
sogbad-cheers for the tutorial stylee-I'm looking forward to the next installment-as I suck at all things industrial and wish to get better....I'd love to see your colouring methodology and how you acheive lines/shapes and forms-ok so I just want to see everything. Cool stuff on your site dude!
August 26th, 2007 #8Registered User
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grenogs: As I'm kind of cheating a bit, being the one creating the brief and doing the work I started from a relatively tight brief that was further along the design path which is good in one way that it gives a tighter focus, but it does restrict some design solutions. If I had given myself a more open brief I could have explored more of those possibilities that you mentioned, and after exploring the broader solutions I would of got to the stage that I started my example.
Legato: I cut to the quick , again as I'm cheating and don't really have anyone to please but myself I moved along quickly down a certain path, I knew that I was going for the Oil Fire machine and wanted to expand it a little to a more general Industrial Fire Engine, with this information and the near future time period I already had quite a lot of function and constraints that helped to narrow my design exploration.
daveneale: Thanks daeneal, just posted the next installment, 2 more to come I'm thinking . I think the biggest thing to help any industrial concept work is to always spend some time thinking about how the thing works, even if your thinking is wrong you start to add details that help to sell the design, most unconvincing mechanical concepts are devoid of the details that help describe the function.
August 26th, 2007 #9
nice tute sogbad, its always nice to see the process behind the design. How are you going to finish this? as a concept or as an illustration?
August 27th, 2007 #10Registered User
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Thanks for the nice tut Sogbad, it really helps to see someones method as a framework for approaching new ideas. Might have to join in...
August 27th, 2007 #11
@Sogbad: yay - this is what i missed a bit in the IDW-posts. I think your brief should be postet in some IDW-manuals or something like that. sometimes i miss the "story" of a postet design. Analogies, where the design comes from or even the idea how the concept will work (for me) is more important than a brilliant visualisation, telling not much more than a form compared to a human scale miniature - as long as we say we do industrial design.
But on the other hand i think it is difficult for us designers to spread ideas into the www on a common internetpage. according to copyrights and stealing ideas i can understand all of our mates who just want to post a short and brief idea without giving too much information to other people...
Well - to solve the brief of that firefighting machine, i am thinking of the actual situation in Greece where thousands of hectar forest is burning. Did the terrifying news with several deaths even reach America?
August 27th, 2007 #12
August 28th, 2007 #13
man, burned through this one ^_^
due to the really odd dimensions of this its gonna be hard seeing it all, especially w/o stretching out the forums, so i have the reduced res image here, with description and annotations but will link a 'clean' higher res version to see all the detail.
here are my thumbs
here is the larger resolution version of the final image
this is the bugger its named after
started off with a lame "4 helicopter carried structure that pumped water up and sprayed it down" than decided to invent the problem of really tall ships and how they mitigate standard fire boats. done in painter over 10 or so hours ;_;
sorry in advance for the lengthy description... i figured it needed it. as for the voting page, the write-up on the image should suffice!
the color was referenced off of anti-biological copper based paint. used to prevent sealife from growing on the hull and since a large majority of this ship involves individual moving components that all have to work together (as opposed to a standard ship hull) the paint is used quite liberally.
for normal locomotion the ship moves about with its large dual gas turbine engine and water jets under water, while the front is kept up by a system of hydrofoils. upon reaching the ship or oil rig that needs help the ship stalls resting its forward section on the pontoons. it than fills the length of the 'tail' with water pumping a tank near the engine with mercury as to provide more weight and thus stability. the self contained ballast tanks separate half their length apart to provide greater underwater length and thus even more stability. the forward deck traverses up the shaft towards the end while the pontoons and upper ballast tanks remain filled with air to keep the thing buoyant. upon reaching the top of the tower, ballast is adjusted as needed to reach the optimal height. meanwhile 99+% of engine output is diverted to pumping water up the height of the ship and out the two hoses directed by the 3 man crew on board.
while vertical, limited movement is attained using the two vectoring waterjet engines which pivot independently.
the crew cabin is shock insulated from the movements of the craft and can realign itself with any angle of movement.
in addition to their own lifeboat for when things go awry the sides of the main deck contain doors that release inflatable life boats that drop down to the water below for use by the troubled boat's crew.
anyway, decided to step out on a limb with this design.. i know the concept works for offshore oil platforms so i figured why not. however for this boat to reach those heights it would have to be stupidly long so i decided not to stress its usage in such scenarios.