Tutorial by: Subhamoy Sengupta
E-mail: [email protected]
Hello and welcome to the first installment of this tutorial! The final objective is to create a bucket full of potatoes on dry muddy soil. In this installment, we are going to cover modeling and UVs.
Let us start by creating a cylinder for the bucket. Drag out the base in top view and then drag up the height in any other view. To keep the cylinder exactly at the origin, activate snapping by pressing S and then drag from origin. Take 24 sides and uncheck ‘Generate Mapping Coords’. We will have to do it fresh later anyway.
Add an Edit Poly modifier. In polygon selection mode, select the top n-gon and scale it up a bit. Then delete
the top and bottom n-gons.
Add a Shell modifier on top and give it some outer thickening.
Right click on the shell modifier, choose ‘Collapse All’. Select 2 sets of consecutive polygons opposite each other. Choose Extrude from the Editable Mesh rollout and extrude the sets up by putting a value in
the box beside.
Add an Edit Poly modifier again. In edge selection mode, select the corner edges of the two extrusions and push them down a bit. Select at least two vertical edge on each extrusion and click on Ring. That will select both the rings. Now click on Connect to split both the edge rings from the middle.
Similarly, select the middle edge rings and connect. Now we have a place to make the holes.
Select the 4 edges that form a cross on either side of each extrusion and connect them.
Turn on snapping by pressing S (when no mesh is selected). Right click on the snap button, check vertex and
midpoint. Make sure ‘Ignore Backfacing‘ is checked. Now press Cut (or use the shortcut Alt+C) and connect the edge midpoints to corner vertices as shown below. Repeat this for both sides of each extrusion. After one cut is performed, right click anywhere on the mesh to re-fresh the tool and cut again. Right clicking on empty viewport space will drop the tool.
Select the diamond like quads thus created and bridge them.
Round the shape up as much as possible.
The new vertical division we made later did not conform to the curvature of the cylinder. Select those edges and move them to preserve the continuity of curvature.
Now we have to separate the planks. Select 3 polygon loops and press Detach.
If we just leave the detached pieces in the present size, after subdivision they will be touching each other and there will be no visual separation between the planks, which we don’t want. So after selecting opposite edges and bridging them to fill the holes, we will select the side polygons and push them in a bit in local axis. For convenience, we can isolate the selected mesh by pressing Alt+Q. Also, optionally, you can select the bottom 3 polygons and delete them, because they will never be seen in the final render.
From the main cylinder body, delete all other polygons except the two planks with holes and do the necessary bridging just like before.
At this point, we should UV the single plank, so that when we duplicate and rotate it, we do not have to UV those pieces too. So,select the plank mesh, which should be an editable poly, and add an Unwrap UVW modifier on top of it. From the modifier selection modes, choose Face, click on Edit Seams button and pick the edges as shown below. The bottom edges will automatically get picked, as there is a hole in the bottom.
Click Edit to bring up the UV editor. Select all the faces in the UV view, and click on Pelt.
In the pelt dialog, click Start Pelt and the UVs will start to rotate and flatten. When you feel the shape is no
longer changing, click Stop Pelt and click Commit. Right click on the Unwrap UVW modifier and select
Collapse All. You will no longer be able to view the UVs in this condition, but the UVs are there.
Switch to top view, select the plank. Rotate approximately 45 degrees while holding down Shift. This will bring up a dialog. Choose 2 copies. Now, with the first plank selected, click Attach and select the other two planks. That will merge them all into one mesh.
Select this new set of planks and duplicate-rotate a copy to the other side. We have the body of the bucket.
Detach the two planks with holes from each other and delete one of them. Also delete the bottom polygons. We will UV one and duplicate it to the other side. In the same fashion, add Unwrap UVW modifier and choose the sims. But since this time edges are many and you can take advantage of loop selection, pick the edges in
edge selection mode and then click on Edge Sel to Seams.
Pelting here will take 2 steps, since the UVs of the inside wall of the hole will be completely detached from the rest of the plank’s. The hole’s wall will be relaxed just like before. For the rest of the plank, switching to Relax by Face Angles should give slightly better result.
After committing the changes, with the plank selected, go to Tools > Mirror and mirror a copy along X axis. Finally attach everything into one mesh.
Add an Unwrap UVW modifier to this new mesh and choose Edit. In the UV editor, go to Tools > Pack UVs
and pack the UVs using the following settings.
Select all the edge rings along the thickness of the planks and click on the options box beside Connet and set Pinch to a high value to push the 2 cuts really close to the ends. This will hold the basic form of the planks when we add the TurboSmooth modifier.
After adding cuts close to the side polygons of each plank, and adding a TurboSmooth modifier with Iterations 2 and Isoline Display on, we get this:
Making the potatoes is very straightforward, though a little bit time consuming. Take a sphere primitive with lots of divisions, add an FFD modifier to it (I took 4x4x4), and in Control Points mode, select and move the CPs of the lattice to deform the potato as desired.
Create a few variations and place them only where the camera can see them. There is no point in literally filling up the bucket with potatoes.
Pelt map the potatoes as separate objects by cutting seams through the middle, and then attach the meshes, but do not pack their UVs together (so that they are overlapped and we can cover them all with one
decent size texture map). Rotate the potatoes in such a way that seams are hardly visible from the preferred camera angle.
Make 2 torus primitives and cut the UV seams where the camera can’t see them.
Take a plane primitive, add an Edit Mesh or Edit Poly modifier to it, push and pull some vertices to give it the
appearance of uneven landform. Pelt map it in the usual process.
Finally, add TurboSmooth modifier for the potatoes, the toruses, and the ground. It is best not to turn up viewport iterations. All we need is smoothing in render time. And now if we take a clay render, it looks like
And that concludes this instalment of the tutorial. The next instalment will cover texturing and shading in depth.
For any questions, please e-mail me to[email protected]