Thursday, January 26, 2012


More doodling with OpenVSP.

This is a rather crude rendering of the mid-century Soviet fighter.  I still haven't figured out how to do cross-sections which would create a canopy, so I approximated one using a short fuselage object.  It also isn't clear to me how one might round off the tips on the wings and tail surfaces.  I'll work out the answers to some of my questions with practice, but it would be nice to see how others are dealing with some of the challenges.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I put away my 3D drawing projects for some time because of a combination of frustration with the complexity of the tools and the nagging thought that they were taking too much time away from my photography.  Recently, I have been seduced into the 3D world again by the appearance of a new tool, OpenVSP.   As the NASA web site says:

OpenVSP is a parametric aircraft geometry tool. OpenVSP allows the user to create a 3D model of an aircraft defined by common engineering parameters. 

Compared to anything else I've tried, OpenVSP is blazingly fast, and * taa-daa * it's free.

Here is an example design that comes with the program showing its capabilities:

Here are  several doodles I produced in a few minutes each:

Here's my x-plane that I've been using to familiarize myself with the program's drawing tools:

There is a very good manual for OpenVSP which includes instructions on all the basics and a few ok video tutorials.  To get beyond the basics takes some dedication; I'm trying to figure out at the moment how to construct a typical aircraft coss-section which inludes a canopy.  Hopefully, there will be some online discussion developing around the program which will help to answer questions.  Since NASA has released the program as Open Source, perhaps there will also be some development of additional features and import/export options.