3D Design Software Dilemma

Finding the best design tool for my 3D Jules Verne Nautilus design.

            Visio?  /  3D Visioner?  /  SketchUp Pro?
Easy learning curve,  Small parts design / Drawing tools,
3D people figures, User documentation / Tutorials

         My passion to create a 3D model based on my 2D Visio drawings has led me to attempt finding a program as easy to use as Visio, but comprehensive enough for all the details I need to impart.

Vis 1        The design tool needs a few certain abilities specific to the Nautilus.
Must be able to:

Create the “cigar shaped” hull and also make it transparent.
Allow for curved walls containing curved windows (Wheelhouse).
Provide the ability to create fine details:
Such as the ships wheel in the wheelhouse, a variety of gauges.

Allow for transparency on any item:

Specifically light beams, walls and doors, any glass panel, surface or device.
Ability to insert photo or other picture items, such as:
Art in picture frames, maps on walls, carpets on floors.
If possible, human figures to people environments, work spaces.
Standing and sitting would be a tremendous help.

        I know this may be costly software, but this is the one design project I want to complete most.  There are others, but this I’ve envisioned since I saw the Disney film in 1954.  Now, having done so much research for my 2D Visio version, I want even more for people to see a submarine as close to Jules Vern’s descriptions as possible.  I think that done right, this design can be as exciting and dramatic, if not more, than any other concept so far removed from the original.

Surface 3        I also feel I need a design tool that can satisfy my driving interest in historical accuracy.  I tried with Visio, but doing three drawings of each tiny device helped my want to do the project in 3D where I could create a 1900’s water pump only once.

        So, one way or the other, I intend on completing my 3D model of Verne’s most excellent boat.

        The program that seems to satisfy nearly all my needs is SketchUp.  I’m most interested in the 2015 release.  There are many tutorial available on their web site and hardcopy books at Amazon.  I’m really hoping this will be the one and I can get started very soon.


My Beloved Toulouse Highlights

Toulouse 2

The Beautiful Boulevard de Strasbourg

        I have so many fond memories of Toulouse in the south of France, I couldn’t list them all here.  Perhaps I’ll add a separate page just for this.

        I’ve heard that the city has changed a lot since I was there in 1997.  It’s not the same friendly, open, safe place for walking around at any hour.   But since I’ll most likely never get back, I can be happy in my memories of such a terrific ‘walking city’, at least as it was when I was there.

One of my favorite places in Toulouse is L’Entrecote Restaurant.

Toulouse 1

(Click for Full Size)

         Back when I was a teen and on one of many visits to Paris while living in London, I was fortunate to have the experience, now lost, French Fries stands along many of the main thoroughfares.   Until my first trip to Toulouse, I had never had any Pomme Frites like those in the Paris of my youth.   But when I tasted the fries at L’Entrecote, I was thrilled.  This is how French Fries were supposed to taste.  The outstanding entrecote  beef dish which is their hallmark, was equally sensational.

        It seems to me that it’s very rare to re-experience something after 40 years and have it be just as you remember it.  And we do remember.   So getting to have this delightful occurrence, sitting at a sidewalk table on a beautiful Toulouse evening, is now a new memory I intend on retaining forever.

to be continued…  maybe. 



War of the Worlds

My “War of the World” Project

Feb 18, 2016

        I’ve decided to return to my obsession with the historical details of the H. G. Wells classic.

        For many years I’ve wanted to track the protagonist’s movements around the Surrey area of England.  Not sure why this fascinates me so much, but I’d love to see how our hero’s travels would look on maps from the period; 1897.  Wells goes to so much trouble to mention every road, village and point of interest along his path while running from the Martians.  I want to try placing all his actions on maps to show where he went and what occurred along his travels.

        Like so much of Wells stories and those of Jules Verne, I’m dedicated to staying with the historical period to see theses events as the writer may have.  Updating to modern times may be all very artistic, but for me, there seems to be a great loss of perception when moving out of the time the story actually took place.

So, as time permits, I’ll be tracking down maps and pictures of Woking, Horsell Common, Otterahaw, Chertsey and all the other locations Wells mentions in the story.   Should prove an interesting adventure.  Maybe not as challenging as creating Verne’s Nautilus accurately, but still a challenge.

Design and Imagination Concepts Update

Feb 14, 2016

I finally got to adding some comments and pictures showing the range of my strange imagination.

        I posted my concept for the leaning Trike; “Mariah”, on the Wind Riderz  Extra Stuff II page.  I also added  my “Clear The Deck” furniture concept under the General Designing page.   In that parent page I also added pictures from my old 3D software days while in kitchen and bath cabinet planning work.  These pics had no relation to kitchens, however, but to my home.

        I also updated the info on the WRz Origin page, just for some clarification.

        This gave me a most excellent feeling of accomplishment to finally get this info out, even if no one else sees it but me.  I haven’t done great things in design, but what I’ve done I’m proud to have accomplished at all.


Cowboys and Motorcycles

Bringing The Wild West to Today’s Cruiser Riders

Logo 2Jan, 6 2016

        I think the time has come for me to share my unsuccessful dream of developing lines of merchandise for the cruiser motorcycle riders.  As much as I had a passion to see all these products and services become real, the truth of what was needed finally got through to me.  Also the awareness of the depth of the ‘deep pockets’ need to finance such a venture became overwhelming.

        I believe that had it not been for the motorcycle accident I was involved in back in 2011, which was not of my making, I may have still pursued this venture.  But a great deal of my enthusiasm for  motorcycling left me.  Although I can still ride, albeit with some trepidation, I simply could not face again, even the possibility, of seeing the faces of all the people I care about, struck with such pain and concern in the emergency room.  I can live without a motorcycle, but not with that experience again.

So rather than continuing to still make this a business, I’m electing to simply get it all thoroughly documented, like I did with the Nautilus, and share the vision.  This ‘vision’, for the most part, may truly be just a childish fantasy.  Kind of like building a spaceship out of cardboard in your back yard.  But it was such great fun putting it all together.

        With all this in mind, I’m back working on my Wind Riderz  dream with a peaceful feeling of letting go.  Who knows, perhaps one day I’ll even write a book about it all.



Nautilus Update

Jan 31, 2016

        I’m very pleased to say I finally completed all aspects of my Jules Verne Nautilus pages.

        After a lengthy hiatus from all the intensive detailed work, I managed to get back into the project.  Now I find it rewarding to see all the related pages there and in order.  I’d like to report it completed, but this is one of those things that can always be updated, improved or revised.   But at least all the elements I wanted are there in their entirety.

          Now anyone interested in seeing a presentation of the Nautilus, as close as I could make it to the original descriptions by Verne himself,  can see every compartment, as well as external and internal views.   In addition, I include extensive notes on why I made every decision on the design and the purpose.   On reviewing these note, I’m pleased with the results of all my research for accuracy.

        This is the ‘completion’ of an effort started in 2002 with Visio 5.0 and much assistance from other Nautilus aficionados.   Soon, I plan on starting a new, 3-D version of the Nautilus using Visioner 3D, now that I know where everything is on the plan.   This may take a lengthy learning curve since I have yet to experience that software.

        Here’s hoping any visitors to my site enjoy this perspective on the famous submarine.