1. General Comments

 Drawing Software Comments


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        My greatest disappointment with my Visio results is the people.  Since the tool was created for such things as charts and graphs, I guess I took it where it wasn’t intended to go.  Having to create every element in all elevation views, and a great many for the plan views, this was just time consuming.  But having to create the people for the crew and guests was disheartening.  Not being an accomplished artist, drawing people is very different from a water pump.  It would have been the most help to have pre-drawn people, standing and sitting, in both side and top-down views.  But none are available for Visio.  So I apologize for the crudeness of my crews appearance.  Possibly I’ll do better when I get into the 3-D version.

        I tried the Visio add-on, 3D Visioner to, hopefully use on the intended 3D Nautilus project.  I regret that no longer looks possible.

      The program simply does not have the tools I need for such an elaborate endeavor.  I’m posting a couple of my first attempts to do 3D work similar to what I did in 2D Visio.  The images in the stencils for 3D are extremely limited and obviously intended for very simplistic office layouts.  I’m unable to do things like creating windows in a curved wall or create my own items such as I did for the current Nautilus.  On the left is a beginning to create a sample Nautilus Wheelhouse with the curved walls.  On the right is an incomplete test picture of my home office plan.  Neither are proving to be workable for my purposes. 

        I’m planning on using the tool for simple room and home type work where the limited objects available will be sufficient.  But for the elaborate level of design such as the Nautilus requires, 3D Visioner is just proving to be unable or helpful.  Maybe I can search around for an easy to learn program with the tools I need to revisit creating a 3D Nautilus.  Someday.

         I think SketchUp Pro 2013 may be just what I need.

        After running the basic tutorials for SketchUp Pro, I think this is the tool that will get my 3D Nautilus visualized.  If there’s a more simple program to use for creating 3D drawings, I can’t imagine.  This does all the tricky little thinks I need to create all the litle things on the boat like pumps, engines, and all sorts of stuff.  In addition, they had the 3D Warehouse with thousands of pre-made items like furniture and the like.  They even have the Pilot Wheel I need for the Wheelhouse without all the time and work I did for the one in Visio.  So I’ve ordered a couple of books on SketchUp and expect I’ll download the program next payday.   This is very exciting!

         SketchUp Pro 2016 was selected.

        I decided to accept  SketchUp Pro 2016, as my design tool for creating my 3-D vision of The Nautilus.  I have found elements of this software that will allow me to do all I want and need to do to realize my vision of Jules Verne’s famous submarine.  The learning curve for SketchUp may take a while, but I truly believe I can do this now.

        And a new, exciting day starts…

A Few General Comments

We may never have a truly accurate visualization of this great submarine.

      My passionate attempt to get it all completely correct may be no more true to what Verne actually had imagined than anyone else’s plan.  However, after all my research, study and experience in space planning, I am extremely comfortable with the feel of my layout.  When reading the narrative, I experience much delight tracing the action through and around the vessel I have visualized here.  And each time I reread the text, I continue to make corrections or additions as I find a need. 

 Right or wrong, I’m very please with the overall results. 


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The Walter James Miller and Frederick Paul Walter translation from 1993 with annotations  was received in September 2014 and became the best reference I could have.  Even an improvement over WJM’s earlier version I had in paperback which was the major source for tracing Vern’s words.

      I would have better liked it if the annotations for the new WJM translation had covered more about the boat.  As it is, they were a nice addition for the historical aspects.  But again I find myself left to my own enterprise in resolving so many issues in the Nautilus design.

We can not rely on the original woodcuts as a true references to the boat!

* No consistency between any two pictures depicting the same Nautilus part or section.

* No two pictures show the Wheelhouse the same size, shape, number of ports or location.   These were, after all,  artistic renderings, not technical drawings.

* Pictures show the Salon windows as oval, but Verne describes them as rectangles only.

* Jean-Pierre Bouvet’s version shows an elaborate ceiling in Salon, Verne describes it using “light arabesques”.  These are large fixtures suspended from the ceiling with the plain ceiling above to reflect the light.

* Pictures show sloped Wheelhouse which can not be retracted, an opening would remain above allowing the sea to enter.  Same for the Searchlight.  Verne describes both as retractable, leaving a smooth hull for ramming.

 * The Wheelhouse was described as 6′ square similar to a riverboat. 

                        “Fore and aft rose two cupolas of medium height partly enclosed in thick biconvex glass.”  A “cupola” is a square, vented, roofed structure often seen as an addition on a home or barn roof top.  “Biconvex” lenses may have worked on the Searchlight, but would have been  inappropriate for clear, straight sight from the Wheelhouse.  I used flat, curved glass on my Wheelhouse and Searchlight for pressure strength when the structure was extended, while submerged.  I tried squaring my Wheelhouse, but opted to make mine round to better withstand the pressure, retracted or raised, as well as to match the reflector.  I do believe Verne and Nemo would have been men of consistency.  I used the shape of the vessel itself as a role model for pressure resistance.  This is why my retractable structures are round.

It must be noted, the Wheelhouse & Searchlight were both raised on occasion, while the boat  was submerged.  

      The Reflector/Searchlight shape was never described in detail within the narrative, other than the cupola reference.

* One picture shows the Wheelhouse raised while below the surface.

* One picture shows a forward hatch in front of the Wheelhouse, but also shows two portholes, side by side.

* Some pictures show the Wheelhouse with only one front view port, while others show one on all sides.  Verne described the Wheelhouse to have view ports on all sides.

* Riou’s Wheelhouse illustration shows NO CONTROLS, only the helm wheel.  We know there were controls for the rudder and planes at the least, plus the various gauges that were copied in Nemo’s cabin and the Salon.

* No illustration depicts a Wheelhouse large enough for three people. (Ch 45)

* Some pictures show the platform, others not at all.  Most are elevated above the hull surface.

* One picture shows the central staircase without handrail.  Verne describes use of a “sturdy handrail”.

* One picture shows the overlapping plating which defines the direction from the bow to the stern, and depicts the Searchlight being retracted, but still not flush.

* No depictions of the Reflector/Searchlight allow for the characteristics Verne described.

* The famous Riou picture of the Nautilus submerged shows the Searchlight much too far aft to agree with any interior layout I’ve ever seen or to agree with the described viability from various locations on the boat.

* Nemo stood in the Wheelhouse and looked out “The Port Scuttle”.   A porthole on a ship may also be called a sidescuttle or side scuttle (side hole)  Although technically a “porthole” on a ship can be opened, these could never be opened since the Wheelhouse was either raised while submerged or otherwise hidden from view.

            Small thing              I noticed in the Disney film at the start of the squid fight, Nemo calls; “Use the AFT hatch”.  But he and his crew come out on deck from the FORWARD hatch in front of the Wheelhouse.  Funny.

            Small thing #2         In the 1916 film, sometimes the cable railing is up, sometimes down.  It is shown being lowered in one scene, but in all cases, the item is only about a foot high and flimsy.  It also shows up similarly in two of the Riou drawings, and in a third it is only about knee high.  I made it tall enough to be useful as Verne described it in Ch 45, and not something to trip over.

            Small thing #3;          I never dreamed I’d need to research desalination procedures and equipment for the Nautilus.  But it’s right there in Verne’s text.  Amazing!


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