Boeing 787-8 "Dreamliner" Rebuild/Up-Res:

As part of my "2013/2014 Rebuild/Up-Res" project, I've added quite a bit of new detail to this project. First, the fuselage shape was improved and all window and door openings were re-cut. Next, I tackled details on the wing, including it's basic airfoil shape, special light fixtures on the wing tips, and have now included the ability to flex the wings all the way from their ground static position, to the Boeing "150% design max" limit. The cool thing about the wing flex is that since all the surfaces deform uniformly, all the control surface rigging still functions. Soon, I'll be making some major improvements to the landing gear, based on some new information. The GEnx engines have also received a major overhaul, and are looking more authentic. Aside from general fan shapes and placement, there have been rivets and other details added to the nacelles, as well as operating thrust reversers. As of August 2013, the model is about 100 mb in native .lxo format, and is rendering about 40 million polygons.

The Rig: (as of August 2013)

All of these features are now included in the model, and all are operated by simple sliders in two separate popup HUD-type controllers. All wheels rotate properly when the plane moves, and the engine fan blades are animated. I'm also working on an "override" for the flap/aileron controls that will enable more realistic flaperon functions, and expect that to be functioning soon. I'll probably even animate the windscreen wipers, since they're built more properly now.

Mechanical Controls

  • Landing Gear with sequencing doors
  • Nose Wheel Steering
  • Rudder
  • Elevator
  • Stabilizer trim
  • Slats (inboard and outboard)
  • Flaps (inboard and outboard)
  • Spoilers (inboard and outboard)
  • Ailerons (inboard and outboard)
  • Thrust Reversers
  • ECS "dump" doors (in wing box fairing)
  • Wing flex (full range)
  • Lighting Controls

  • Cockpit lights
  • Position lights and flashing beacons
  • Strobes (wings and aft fuselage)
  • Taxi lights and Runway Turnoff lights
  • Landing lights
  • Tail "Livery lights"

  • In August of 2013, I spent more time working on the engine, along with some refining of my 787-8 model, for a British ad agency who is doing some animations for a British airline. As soon as we're out of NDA, I'll post some of those images here too. In the meantime, since I can't show the color scheme I used for that project, I've decided to create a whimsical one, as though this was my private jet. Here are a few renders, which include the "final" version of the previous GEnx model. Here, most of the improvements were to the exterior engine cowling and main fan blades.

    If you enjoy the follow-along articles I create for these things, the new GEnx article starts here.

    Renders in the Thomson livery:

    These modifications (and the livery) were done for a customer who is using the 3D model for a future advertisement. Later, when we're out of NDA, I will happily link to their site, so you can see the final product. These are my personal "in progress" images, and are not part of the final imagery, so it's ok to show them here. These are all rendered at 1600 X 900, so drag them to your desktop to view the higher-res version.

    Wing Flex

    Here's an image showing the range of the built-in wing flex, which is accurate to the actual aircraft. The top image shows the wings in their static "ground" position. The center image shows them in their "normal flight" position, and the final image shows them at their "150 percent of max design load" limit. The beauty of this system in MODO (using deformers with weight containers) is that the wing flex doesn't interfere with any of the flap, slat, spoiler, or aileron rigging. Everything just works!

    Even better... This is all animatable, so I can show the wings flexing through some of this range in flight, as they do on the actual aircraft when it flies through turbulence, etc.. My thanks again to Serge, on the The Foundry forums, who helped me get this working correctly.

    Landing Gear Sequence

    Here's a preview of the new landing gear and doors in action. (slightly sped up) For those of you who notice the details... Yes, I'm aware that the main gear doesn't rotate to it's "level" position when it comes down. This is set up on the landing gear slider control so that when I produce actual takeoff and landing animations, that level position is only used when the aircraft is on the ground.

    Landing Gear Adjustments

    I recently rebuilt many parts of the main landing gear, and during that process, changed some of the parts' positions slightly. I've now fixed the ground stance, so the nose gear tires are at the proper height, extended the oleos a bit more in their post-takeoff position, and rotated the main gear trucks slightly more.

    Boeing "Dreamliner" color scheme

    I put off doing this color scheme for quite a while, because so many others have done it. But now, with the addition of the other markings and details, it seems worthwhile. Here are a few renders.

    More coming soon...

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    NOTE: I am not at liberty to redistribute any of the documentation used to build any of the 3D models on this site.