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Blender in Naval Architecture


"Having some experience with blender for hobby use, I decided to see if it can be used for creating professional 3D visualizations of a ship design."

"You can see the result at our company web page

For those of you who don't speak Norwegian, the ship is a live fish carrier designed by a Norwegian naval architect/marine engineering company. The vessel has a length of 70 meters and a breadth of 15 meters. It has a cargo hold of 2800m³ and it can carry 400 metric tonnes of live fish.

The blender model consists of more than 500 objects and 500000 vertices. The hull shape was imported as a 3D object. The crane vendors supplied 3D models of the cranes. The superstructure and all other details were modelled directly in blender. The pictures have been rendered using the internal blender renderer."



  1. neat! the water's not bad, but the ship's materials really need help for a photorealistic render.

    But neat nonethless! thanks for using Blender!

  2. A beautiful model, ideal for a design visualization. The only thing I'd suggest is that the bridge windows and portholes are made of a darker and more reflective material, since it's usually much darker inside the decks.

  3. Nice work! It's also nice to see others in the marine industry using Blender. We're using Blender and a ship design app called "Delft Ship" to create low poly models for real-time 3D simulators. Blender's been a great tool and the Blender community is awesome.

  4. Very nice ship! I have been working on a ship for quite a while (I work on it every once in a while, then put it away, then every month or two put 10 or 20 hours into it). The ideas given in the talk backs look to be a good idea too, and its interesting to hear that (at least in a limited way) people are using Blender for CFD (via models, the game engine, particle engine, etc). Very nice.

  5. Thanks for all the feedback.

    I agree with most of the comments posted above. I'm fairly happy with the ocean, but I struggled a bit with illumination and the materials of the ship. For the light set up, I wanted to give the impression of sunlight from a (almost) clear sky. I had a hard time though, balancing the light on the two sides of the ship. Getting enough light in the shade without getting burnouts on the sunny side.

    I would have liked to work more on the materials of the ship, but in the end I ran out of time. I found some materials in on-line material repositories, but I couldn't find a good material for painted steel. This is of course what is needed for the entire hull and superstructure. Any help here is welcome...

    I hope to have more time tuning these settings next time. Having learnt a lot about using blender, the time need for modelling will probably be cut in half for the next visualization project.

    About rendering time:
    1280x800 pixel renders took just under one hour on an Athlon dual-core 64-bit processor with 1.5G RAM. The complexity of the model didn't seem to affect the rendering time much. Leaving out the ocean however, would cut rendering time by two.


  6. Well I guess the quality of the materials doesn't matter for the job? You were just visualizing, and it looks like you put a lot of hard work into it! I wish I could see the .blend.

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