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Let’s trim the hedges!
Topiary is the art of grooming bushes and plants to develop and maintain specific shapes. These “living sculptures” have been a staple in elaborate gardens for centuries with shapes ranging from simple geometric designs to complex animal figures.
I thought this would be a fun exercise to recreate with Blender! The challenge here is figuring out how to “model” a specific shape without vertices, edges, or faces. In order to generate the appropriate structure of a topiary, meaning the anatomy of a plant (branches and leaves), the shape must be “grown” into the proper form. To simply apply a tileable bush texture to a polygon model would be to miss the point of the exercise. Your result should inform us primarily that it’s a bush and secondarily of its shape.
The Ball is in your court.
Now let’s see what you can come up with! Here’s a to-do list:
- Decide on a cool shape you’d like to see topiary-fied.
- Work out a way to generate the underlying plant.
- Mold and/or trim the plant into the desired shape.
- Share your results.
- Give and receive feedback.
I encourage you to use any and all Blender tools at your disposal to create an appealing topiary. As you can see in the featured image I went with a high-resolution visual style but I would also love to see some game-resolution interpretations from you guys. You can submit your results to the “User Submitted Images” gallery below. Please post comments to elaborate on your workflow as well as any tips and tricks you might have discovered for the community to glean from.
- “Topiary” by Ewan Traveler – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ewan_traveler/3801356676
- “Topiary Cyclists” by Karen Blaha – http://www.flickr.com/photos/vironevaeh/1484275389
- “Topiary” by Peter Corbett – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ptc24/2699795370