My Original 

This page describes my original design, arrived at to address difficulties I had with some details in the novelís text.  Further study and correspondence with others led me to begin a new design in 2000.

n 1997 the only Nautilus designs I knew were Harper Goff's from the Disney film, the vague renditions in some of the books I seen over the years, and some very fanciful illustrations I'd seen in some science fiction art collections.  Starting with the information I'd gleaned from the novel I undertook my own design, based on Verne's own words.  My original intent was to stay true to the words, but I deviated here and there. 

This phase entailed using CorelDraw to produce schematic drawings of the Nautilus based on the descriptions noted in the above link. An accurate model requires consistency with this conversation. Many other details are not specified, however, providing leeway in their placement and appearance.

The CorelDraw schematics consist of cross-section and top and side elevations. The internal layout in the original plan below determined the location of hatches, windows, and other perforations in the hull. It is still in essential agreement with the model shown in multiple views.

Original plans

Multiple views


The model does not adhere completely to the novel. This is how and why.


However, the novel also leaves room for enhancements.


During this phase components of the CorelDraw design were imported into RayDream to make the actual model. There was degree of interaction between the phases because by its nature 3-D construction permits much better visualization of the results. Accordingly some elements of the original design changed during construction.
Small components were added during this phase and the lighting and powerful shading capabilities of the RayDream modeler exploited. Details include the windows, hull fittings, and any interior components visible through hull openings. All exterior detailing is complete although changes to minor details are possible, but much work remains on the grand salon.
Stern view These are screen quality renderings of the model at its present state of development.  Many early concepts changed to maintain a uniform appearance among the components. I implemented the wheel house armor mentioned in the deviations section, but this is not particularly noticeable when the Nautilus is in normal configuration.  I designed the longboat, visible on the port side in these views, as a practical craft that fits an alcove in the Nautilus hull.  The result is a rather blocky look.  I think I will show it in use in some final renderings, perhaps with its mast and sail up.  There is a similarly sized storage structure on the starboard side of the deck.
The quality of these renderings is relatively high, but because my present intent is only to show physical details, I've used no special lighting or other scene effects.  My previous modeling experience has been to spend as much time creating and rendering scenes as creating the model. I have begun to build these scenes. See my list of thoughts for the future below. Bow view
Three-quarters view The views show the guard I placed around the propeller. The novel mentions nothing like this, although Aronnax often describes seeing the propeller breaking the surface from the platform. I thought there should be some structure to protect the propeller during a ram attack and to keep the nets away during the regular trawling operations.  I originally conceived the ram to resemble a narwhal's horn and some of that design has been maintained. 
Although Nemo could not have anticipated Aronnax's explanation of the Nautilus when he built it, I liked the coincidence.  I used the narwhal motif in other places on the model too.

Click for detail views

Follow the links for additional rendering details that show the capabilities of RayDream's renderer. I've spent considerable time on interiors visible through the windows. Take a peek at the partially furnished grand salon.

Click for interior details of the Grand Salon


Click here to enter  A Small Gallery of 3-D Renderings.


Goff's boat

Note: This is actually my second Nautilus. My 3-D model of Harper Goff's Nautilus from the 1954 Disney film was featured at the now defunct RayDream User's Forum.

My Nautilus models were constructed in RayDream Studio.


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Revised 8 Sep 00. This page and its content © Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2016 Michael & Karen Crisafulli. All rights reserved.