visibility_off Sketchover #9 (teodornastase13128 & Aurel.)

Broadcasts Design


How to 3D sketch in uMake?

Welcome to this 9th Sketchover Tutorial. This week we'll be exploring a new 3D sketching software called uMake using teodornastase13128's sedan project as a design inspiration.


A Couple Words About uMake.

uMake is a 3D-sketching application that exclusively runs on iPad. The interface is quite intuitive and takes advantage of the medium to offer an easy user experience. It's best described as something between freehand sketching and NURBS modeling.

It is capable of creating surfaces (not covered in this tutorial) and designs can be exported as images (transparent PNG) or 3D models (IGES, OBJ, STP) for further developments. 

The use of a stylus is highly recommended even though finger sketching is also an option.

1 . Design Definition

Let's firsrt define and refine the style using several artworks teodornastase13128 created, in particular the following powerful side view line sketch.


A quick comparison with existing vehicles provides context in terms of proportions and overall size. We can assume from that observation that the car is front-wheel drive. It also has a low roof line and a roughly 3070 mm wheelbase (120 inches).


A more polished rendering can help develop and freeze the style.


2. Package Views Placement

Like most other 3D programs, uMake allows use of up to three package views simultaneously. Placing these images can be a tricky exercise, but a couple tips can facilitate the process.

• Make sure the symmetry lines of the front and top views correspond to the actual center of the pictures.
• Align the bottom of the tires in the front and left views with the bottom of the pictures.
• Crop all images using consistent length, width and height and highlight the border of the pictures (dark yellow here)

The first two steps enhance the snapping experience while the third one makes scaling and alignment a lot easier.


3. Sketching Methodology

Similar to its 2D counterpart, 3D-sketching can either be loose and spontaneous or be precise and controlled. This tutorial is more oriented toward the latter option.

From a mathematical standpoint, every "curve" has two extremities (edit points) and as many CVs (control vertices) as needed to determine the curvature.

One way of getting more accurate curves is to follow these steps:

• Trace multiple straight lines corresponding to the basic geometry of the car,


• Position the extremities of these lines within the 3D environment,    


• Finally add as few CVs as necessary to characterize the expected curvature.


The loss in sketching spontaneity is balanced with the gain in accuracy and ability to edit in 3D.

Otherwise, circles and other basic curves can be traced in one quick motion thanks to the curve cleaning function.


A center line and fours wheels are enough to evaluate proportions in many cases and create underlays for further 2D sketching developments.


The DLO and all other features of the car can be traced using the methodology described before. Every line added to the sketch can be used to anchor new edit points that help build the 3D sketch faster.


4. Mirror and Symmetry

uMake does not yet offer a grouping / layering function, but the Mirror tool offers an unexpected decent alternative to this deficiency.  


Indeed, in order to isolate a set of lines for further refinement it is very easy to take advantage of the Z-axis Mirror function.


Once the symmetry relationship is deactivated, the mirrored curves can be edited on the "open side" of the 3D canvas.


Finally, they can be brought back into the "development side" using the mirroring function once more.


5. Rounded Corners

After tracing so many straight lines, it is time to connect them with style. Though an automated tool would be helpful, it is easy enough to create nice radiuses manually.  


• Pick a corner you want to round,

• Tap and hold on each curve until red dots appear,

• Trace a straight line going from one dot to the other,

• In the curve edit mode, add a CV,

• 3D position that CV over the corner point,


• Discard the unwanted sections of lines.


6. Array Tool

The array tool is perfect for creating beautiful wheels or anything that requires radial symmetry. 

Some temporary reference lines in the background (blue lines) help design more accurately. These guides do not interfere because snapping selects lines in the foreground (red circles) based on priority.


Tap and hold at the junction of the circles and guides to create lines for the spokes. Feel free to add CVs, rounded corners or any other geometry before discarding unwanted lines. 


Once you are ready, pick all the curves to replicate and select "Array" in the double finger menu. Position the center and specify values for angles and copies before validating.


Finally duplicate and symmetrize your rim design.


7. Output

Sky is the limit as far as intricacy. The output will greatly depend on your needs and the time you can allocate to your 3D sketch.


Once the 3D sketch is done, it is possible to create basic surfaces within uMake or otherwise to export the 3D mesh for further development in a preferred 3D-modeling software. This sketch is available for download as an IGES file, a STP file or a UMK file (uMake's proprietary format)

For this tutorial, I chose to save a few transparent PNG images to develop more styling variation using Photoshop and Sketchbook Pro.


As usual, feel free to post questions, feedback and suggestions in the comments below.

Also, if you need help and feedback on a sketch OR if you want to help and give feedback, here is the place to go. You may be next week's "Sketchover"!



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