First, we’ll create a circle centered at the origin around our fountain, make it pretty large. Add a surface modifier with lots of subdivision and add an edit poly. Then, select the loop around the circle, it’ll only select 90 degrees of the circle, hit select similar to select all of the sides around and delete them. Then repeat ‘til you get a shape like mine.
Now we’re going to model some tiles into the plaza, we could do this with texturing, but I want to show you guys this technique you can use to model it.
Once you get that shape of plaza, select all the edges. Then, in the polygon modeling dropdown, select “generate topology.” You can then select any of the different procedural topology maps it can change your mesh into. I chose “cross.” This changes the topology of your mesh Making this tile pattern I have would be very difficult to create otherwise. Once you do that, select all the edges again, and chamfer them just a little bit. This will be the grout or the cracks in your tiles. Then, select all the big faces, you can use select similar to make this process easier. Then, extrude just a little bit, about the height of the tile you want. Once you do that, press “grow” once and detach your tiles, this will make texturing easier because then you only need to do one texture per object, and you already have everything you want different selected.
In the next step, I’ve decided that I want this park to be by a lake, and have a path running around the lake, just like one of my favorite parks near my house. To do this, we will use a heightmap.
I have prepared one for us to use, it’s no spectacular thing (this is my first time making one) but it gets the job done.
This is it. I made it in gimp. A heightmap is a black and white image that gives a height based on the brightness of the pixels in a certain spot. Black is the lowest point, white is the highest point. As you can see, the big black spot in the middle is going to be the lowest point.
To put this into geometry, create a large plane with lots of subdivision. I used a 5kx3k foot plane and divided it into 500x300 polygons.
Note: I have all my objects scaled up 1000% because it makes it easier for me to model things like that. Also, it gets rid of jagged edges on closeup renders.
Once you have your plane created, create a material with the heightmap on it. Apply it to this plane. It will probably not fit right. If it doesn’t, apply a uvw map and make it fit (rotating it and using the fit button will help you). Once it fits and is oriented correctly, apply a displace modifier to it using the heightmap again. Make sure to select “use existing mapping” this will line up the displacement to your material you put on the plane. Then, pull up the strength value til it looks right to you.
Next, we’ll create the lake in the middle.
To crete the waves, just add a bunch of ripples and some noise at different spots. Change up the size and the frequency of them. When you’re done doing that, you should have something like mine. But when you look at it, it looks kinda weird for a lake. Lakes have a lot of placid spots in them. So let’s use some graphite modeling tools to fix that.
Go into an edit poly and use the flatten tool. Just drag it around randomly at a decent size and not too strong of a setting to flatten out some areas. You can also explore the other freeform tools in graphite modeling that you have as well, they are pretty useful.
Once you flatten it out, we change the bump map on the water material. Go down to the bump map bitmap slot and click it. You get these options that I have. Set them about what I have and maybe experiment. This will completely change the look of the water to be more of a lake.
Note: If you want to change the color, you have to change the reflection color. Diffuse color does nothing.
Here we are starting to create the paths going around the lake. Just create some splines going around it. Then, create a plane of to the side. I made mine about 6 feet across. It doesn’t really matter how long it is.
Apply a path deform modifier from the world space modifiers to the plane and pick your spline to align it to. This modifier takes your shape and aligns it to the shape. Convert this to an editable poly by right clicking the stack and selecting “collapse to”
Now, we must somehow make it fit to the terrain that we made, but how are we gonna do that? More Graphite modeling tools of course.
In the freeform tools, we will use the conform brush. This will take geometry from one object, and align it with another, as you can see in the picture. Just left click and run over each part you want to align. To get a better fit, add a turbosmooth modifier before you conform. After you conform it to the shape, with the move tool ,just bump it up a single click on the arrows after you hit f12 or at the bottom so that there aren’t any faces sharing the same space.
Continue making your paths and conforming them to the shape. Once you’ve done them all, attach them to eachother by using swiftloop and bridge and moving around vertices to get your desired effect.
At this point, I am thinking that I will have a gazebo on the hill, one at the left part of the lake where it dips in, and on the top part of the lake where there’s a small hill/cliff.
Now for the garbage. I’m going to just show you pictures along the way and see if you can figure out how to model it. I am not going to use any new techniques during this. Let’s call this a test kind of.
Hint: border and bridge
Hint: Pinch the connect to fix the NURMs
If you have learned from these tutorials, you will have hopefully been able to recreate the garbage can pretty well.
Now we’ll do the bench. I am tired right now so I’m not going to model it perfectly. I spent a lot more time on the first bench to get it perfect but I can model it enough to show you all the methods used.
Download that image to cheat like me if you want. The tedious part of this was to get the proportions of the details right. Since I could just make my bench 90 degrees and just trace it, it was much easier. To set up an easy reference image, make a plane, add the image as a texture, add a uvw map with a bitmap fit of the correct image, open object properties and uncheck frozen in gray, and freeze it. Bam, you’ve got a traceable reference now. Basically, just make a bunch of lines that trace the pieces and then attach them.
Make a chamfered rectangle (make a rectangle then editable poly it then chamfer the vertices) as your loft shape. Then make all the splines into lofts. In my first one, the lofts had all been edited in the curve editor, but I’m only going to do that to one of them to show how it’s done.
Here we have the curve editor. What we do for this is edit each axis of scale individually. The x axis scales the shape we are lofting along whatever the x is and y curve scales it along y. In my case, the y curve was the one controlling the scale of the longest side. The way I have my curves set up is that once the shape hits the loop-d-loop, it starts to grow, then when it gets to just near the tip, it drops off fast Then, on the x curve, it’s flat all the way until it hits the point where the y drops off, then it too drops off to get that effect.
Next we create the frame. Create a spline then loft your chamfer box you already used around it. Make sure it is a copy instead of an instance when you make the loft. Then, you can scale down the shape in the shape dropout of loft til it looks like a chamfered square. You only need to make it aobut half of the bench as we will be using a symmetry modifier.
Ok, just create a chamfer box and orient it around so it looks like it’s sitting on the frame part we created last. It’s pretty easy, just might take a little bit. I am not going to do the ornate detail at the top again, hard to get motivated to model something when you already have it done (I have no idea how those tv cooks do it!). Just use the same technique as before, except you only need to model half of it and then attach it before the symmetry. There we have the bench.
My perspective render of what we’ve got so far. Pretty cool lookin huh?
Now we’ll start the modeling on the gazebo
For this, create a cylinder about the size you want the gazebo. Then, create two lathe’s from rectangles, one of them should be closed and will be the circlet roof thing. You will have to move the lathe axis to align with the cylinder you created. For the bottom one, turn down the degrees of rotation the lathe does then rotate the whole object to get it so it opens to the path.
Now we will start the pillars. Create a box, make the dimensions even numbers. We are going to scale it up manually by 1000%, so take the dimensions of your box and add a 0 to them. Then, scale it down with the scale tool to 10%. We are going to be doing some stuff with graphite modeling tools that won’t work on something small like this originally, but if we make it scaled down, it should work. Then, inset it a bit on each side and chamfer the vertices of the stuff you just chamfered. You should definitely be able to make this simple shape out of the box.
Rotate the boxes around the circle. I used the array tool (in the tools dropdown at the very top) to do this. Enter 72 degrees in the z axis rotation box and set amount in “1D” to 5. This will create even spacing of the your 5 boxes. Make sure they are instanced. Then, if your lathe on the bottom is not perfectly fitting, change the degrees to 288 and rotate to fit.
Convert to quads. Similar selection on graphite modeling really helps here. Also, you have to chamfer the border on top and bottom to get the chamfered vertices you made earlier into quads.
We are going to do some sculpting, and we only want one part sculpted, so detach one side of the faces, then add a turbosmooth with a few iterations. I added some loops before I added turbosmooth or detached it because I figured out I needed to detach it after I started.
Find the pushpull brush in the graphite modeling tools under freeform. Alt+leftclick/drag is to push in. You can create some really intricate patterns using this technique. Patterns that would normally be impossible. When you sculpt, have a symmetry modifier out so that you know what it will look like. Push out your geometry you want to create first, then push in around it to give it more of an impression. If you’ll notice, that scaling trick we did worked. If you tried using a brush on something this small without it being scaled down, even a .1 size brush would be much too much. If you have any too hard of edges, just use the relax brush on a low setting to bring it down.
Note: Size of brush is shift+ctrl+leftclick/drag, power is ctrl+shift+alt+leftmouse
Create a cylinder on one of the boxes. A very short one, then use bevel and extrude to create this pillar. Once it’s done, attach it to the box to get it all around the gazebo. Once that’s done, create a spline for the details at the top of the pillar.
Use a series of symmetry to get the corner on the base holding up the loops (45 degree angle symmetry) then two more to copy it to all sides. Then, make your line into a rectangular geometry, convert to editable poly, chamfer the edges, and have it attached to the base thing.
Use the same technique as you used on the bottom for this. It’s easier to just use connect on all the edges and add a ton of edges that way. Still detach it first though. Ignore my sculpts on the other faces besides the front. I was mistaken when I did that. I fixed it though.
As you can see I did this around the lathe, but I figured out an efficient way of getting 360 degree coverage that looks good. Change the lathe amount to only 36 degrees and do an array of 10 of those all 36 degrees separated. I just did a random pattern with push and pull and I think it looks pretty good.
Now just add those supports for the benches. Should be cake.
That’s pretty much it for this tutorial.
The view of the lake from the gazebo
The park all in one view. It’s turning out pretty nice