how would I go about making a chain link fence? I though about doing a simple alpha texture, but that wouldn’t work for what I wanted to do. (I also want barbs coming out of where each wire intersects). how would all the blenderers out there do it?
I’m a newb to the technique i’m about to suggest but maybe it will “jog” someone elses thought process… if I were going to model a chain link fence with no knowledge of how to do it but some knowledge of blender, i’d use dupliverts. I may be way off base but you could research that and see if it would work for you.
You could try modelling it with curves. Just create a 3d curvepath as the profile of one of the verticle wires. Then add a curvecircle(seperate object) and enter it’s name in the bevob area of the curvepath. After that all you need to do is scale the curvecircle for the desired thickness of the wire, then duplicate the path and assemble as needed. There’s lots of info about modelling with curves around. Do a search.
After you make the fence make a helper object, a plane that has vertices where the wires of the fence meet, then make a barb model and use dupliverts with that plane model to position the barbs properly. Then convert the dupliverted barbs to mesh and you can delete the helper object.
If you don’t know how to use dupliverts see greybeard’s video tutorial
Don’t forget to take full advantage of distance. Things that are very close to the camera require detail; those that are far away, don’t.
Also, the first time you see an object, it requires detail; the next time you see it, your brain will remember and supply the detail that does not actually exist.
For a close-up shot, a little bit of detail about how the various wires are woven together might be required (unless you can “cheat” … knowing that the viewer will know what to expect), but you don’t need to do that for every other time that the chain-link fence appears. Otherwise it’s simply a plane with an appropriate grid-pattern set across it, with an appropriate alpha-mask. Even the daggers might be… dots or marks on the plane. If the light is not going to actually cast moving-shadows across them (and if it does, maybe move the light!), there’s no need for those features to be three-dimensional in order for them to create an appropriate arrangement of pixels in the (flat!) final output image.