View Full Version : modelling: detailing buildings

01-10-2005, 10:11 AM
Hi guys.

I'm planning an architecture project but before I start I need to brush up on some skills. Could anyone please give me ideas and techniques used to detail the outisde of buildings please. I'm talking about the tricky little curved pattern shapes found on churches and cathedrals etc (See attachment).

Please could someone tell me how I would go about creating the trophy/cup details - the handles etc on this image. Would you use splines?

Thanks alot

01-10-2005, 03:22 PM
Hello ther. Without writting an essay, I would simply say; you could use a spline for the trophy (vertical cross-section) however, spline curves create MANY points to describe the curve accurately (which when lathed, you'd have a much heavier mesh than needed - possibly). So I would use the pen tool and draw the cross-section with polys (in order to control the resolution). Then lathe the shape 360 degrees of course and with the resulting mesh, begin to model the detail you see on it. After you finsh the trophy piece, radial cone it around the building's rotunda.

Hope that helps. :)

01-11-2005, 04:33 AM
Personally, I'd break down the details into those that need to be modelled and those that can be depicted by texture mapping. I woudl say that a basic urn shape with basic handle should be enough to give the visual silhouette that you need to convince the viewer they're looking at an urn shape. Then all the lovely detail can be added at the texturing stage. Remember, essentially geometry adds a realistic outline to an object you're viewing in most cases, whereas the texturing adds the lovely detail. You learn this pretty quick whilst working in the games industry where poly counts are a luxury ;)

Unless you're going to do a *very* close fly-by of the urn that is :)

01-11-2005, 07:55 AM
thanks alot for your responses guys. Very helpful.

To texture the details on the earn - do you mean texture paint it using UV mapping?

Also, any idea how to model seams/cement between the stones or is this a waste of time and can be done at the texture stage too?

Thanks alot

Ant :D

01-11-2005, 08:11 AM
You could also just use rail bevel / bevel on a disc to get the overall shape of the vase. that would be pretty quick and by setting the initial 'sides' of the disc, yo can control how detailed you want to be. It also allows you to be quick N dirty with the inside as you are unlikey to see that - assuming it isn't solid ;)

01-11-2005, 08:14 AM
I agree, most of that stuff can be broken down into easier, more geometric parts. The 'trophy' finial could be done using the lathe tool, the handles using rail extrude.

Remember when you have more than one guide rail in the background layer - the rail extrude tool becomes 'multi-rail'

01-11-2005, 08:20 AM
Nope, I mean paint the shadows directly onto a texture map created in Photoshop. Unless you have a weird lighting setup then you can assume there are going to be shadows in the recesses and under edges, so rather than modelling all the details necessary for Lightwave to work the shadows out, paint them onto a texture map, and apply that to basic geometry :) It'll save loads of rendering time and your model won't become unwieldy :)

Same goes for the mortar between bricks/stones. Unless you're getting *really* close then it's not worth modelling that kind of detail. Here's an example where the wall is one big flat poly but I've used a bump map and colour map (with some shadowing applied in the image itself) rather than model each brick. I know your model is more detailed but I'd still try and keep the geometry as simple as needed for the shot you're going to create. If you're getting no closer than that photo example then I'd definately not model the little squiggles etc. If you're doing a still-life of an urn close-up then it's another situation altogether and I'd say model away :D


01-11-2005, 12:14 PM
Dunk, that's a great image. Really hard to say if it's real or not, which is another way as saying it's as good as real..

Great stuff.


01-11-2005, 12:35 PM
arr guys, thanks alot for your reponses. Really helped me alot. I've played around with the rail tool and that seems great for the handles n stuff.

Dunk that is an amazing example, god knows how you achieve results like that. I'll have a play with textures soon with your hints. thanks alot.

None of you have any examples or tutorials or some hints on how to apply details on a texture map in photoshop. I'm assuming the details on the earn for example will use bump maps etc. Or I could just be wrong again.

Sorry for all these questions. I've only really done modelling. I'm a complete beginner at texturing

Ant :D