Does anyone know where I can get CAD assets of aircraft interiors for high-res visualisations using standard packages (Keyshot for quick and dirty, VRay for flashy stuff)?
Long story short, I work in-house at an aerospace company as part of their design team designing seats and “passenger experience”
I used to work consultancy side doing this but the visualisations were always done by a dedicated team and I never thought to ask where their scenes came from. I’ve managed to knock together an A320 using photographs as reference and rough airframe dimensions but I’d like to move to A350/have something more realistic.
We have a relationship with the main aircraft suppliers but they won’t release their data to us for my purposes. I’m 90% sure the guys in my old place of work didn’t model everything themselves so before I start calling in favours/making posts on LinkedIn, anyone here have any tips?
I’d like to enhance the offer of our department by doing work like Teague, PriestmanGoode etc etc…
There are a bunch of “Free” assets you can potentially grab as props and then just model your way around them. The only challenge will be these are all poly/Sub D models, so if you need to mix them with your CAD geometry you just need to feel comfortable importing them, or modifying them in a native tool before bringing them in to your renderer.
I had come across files like that and although I’m not against putting a case forward to pay for the assets, those ones just seemed too crude to justify.
I was able to achieve better results myself by spending a morning tinkering in SW, I called it a day on the overhead bin handles so just roughed it. We’ve been using my model for internal stuff and a bit showcasing to airlines but it’s not at a standard I’d feel comfortable publishing anywhere.
I’ve been contacted by a few visualisation specialists and I haven’t had the nerve to essentially say “we don’t want to pay you for work but I’d love to know where you got your airframe assets from”
I would have to imagine most of them are modeling themselves. Keep in mind if you’re building this all in SW the workload is much harder then if you were to build them as poly/Sub D models. Since you want them for visualization, that workflow is ultimately better if you are just trying to generate renderings.
A friend of mine was in visualization and animation for years, and they almost never used CAD data back then, even for things like cars. They would rebuild as poly models because the time spent rebuilding as a super lightweight model was usually much faster than the time it would take for them to render out complex scenes with the heavier CAD data sets. Perhaps that point has been neutralized lately with how fast CPU’s have gotten.
I’ve also worked on aircraft interiors and getting assets has always been a nightmare. Even the OEMs couldn’t get good data from Boeing or Airbus which has made designing and visualization always a challenge.
So in the past we have done pretty much have you have done. We’ve created 3D data of the fuselage, bins, psus, floor and monuments from partial 2D drawings, tube cross sections, LOPAs & pictures. The other challenging part is that airlines have different LOPAS so you will always be changing your 3D CAD model. Depending on what you are designing/showing you can use a generic airplane tube or a different A3XX tube for your renderings and most people won’t notice…pretty much fake it til you make it.
My suggestion will be to create workable and editable 3D CAD data. Optimize it for rendering purposes and start building up a library. We use Creo Direct Modeling + Solidworks Visualize for rendering (used to be Bunkspeed).
Thanks @FH13! I recall seeing some of your visualisations a while back after you’d posted in another thread but my mind had gone blank when making this post.
I love the LIFT seat, I always think it’s the gold standard form wise of an economy seat. Do you know if they’re flying yet? I’ve only ever seen them on the Boeing stand at AIX.
In fairness, the models aren’t too hard to create considering it’s a section that’s mirrored and then patterned 12 times. It’s just spending a bit more time on things like the reading lights, window shades, overhead bin handles etc etc.
At the moment, we don’t have call to worry too much about LOPAs as we normally just focus on a few rows of economy seats with quite basic covers, the cabin is just there for context.
Anyway, thanks for the input! I was hoping there would be a resource everyone else used but I guess when there is a period of downtime I’ll look at working on creating my own assets
Not sure if the LIFT seat is flying yet…heard some interesting stories. Also the Boeing 737 problems might slow things down…can’t keep making planes if they are not flying right.
Yes, the detailing is what makes the renderings look realistic, specially the gaps/part lines. And if it’s just for context an approximation should be enough.
Those renderings look very sharp! Could you compare SW Visualize to Keyshot in terms of achieved realism?
I find Keyshot gives good results but requires many trials before getting all settings just right.
For assets, yes, hear hear it can be a nightmare. But modeling things yourself works out well in the end also because you are the master of your own content. But check out supplier websites too, sometimes, even Asian factories, share 3D models of seat assemblies etc. Cgtrader is another good source - I could give you a list of digital sources that I have somewhere.
Haven’t really compared Visualize and Keyshot yet…that’s on my things to do, but I think they should be very similar.
I think you have to do a lot of tweaking to get both softwares to get things just right. From strategically placed emmisive and invisible objects to white/black reflecting panels. Stock environments are OK but often not enough so we have designed custom ones or added additional lights. We often have to split the tube in half and turn off parts/sidewalls of the plane to get enough light in. Lighting the inside of a tube is one of the hardest things to do.
10+ years ago they wanted to be the simple rendering solution for product shots but slowly they are becoming more and more complex. They are still easier than 3D Max but I still remember some of the 3D Max renderings were very or more realistic.