Chinese Butterfly Orchid

Latest image:

Original post:
Sorry I don’t know the official name of this flower in English. They’re popular here in Taiwan, where they’re called “蝴蝶蘭” or “Butterfly Orchids”. I really need this to look realistic for another project, so if you have any ideas on the material, etc., please leave a note!
Here is an example of what they sometimes look like:


This looks really good already. Did you make the blossom texture yourself?

Hi lech – your high-res flower project is ambitious! I posted over on that thread too. I like that tutorial from AP, it’s the whole reason I got enough confidence to try a flower :slight_smile:
In the project that this flower will be used in, each blossom will be about 100 pixels across, so it doesn’t need to be very high-res. However I noticed that sometimes problems with tranlucency or materials actually become more obvious when the blossoms are small. SSS is a good idea, I will try that next!

Hi IronLung – the petal textures come from photos I found on the site I linked, I composited and processed the photos in PS to get a texture image. However I remember AP mentioned in the first nature academy that he put flower petals in a scanner to get high-res images, I want to try that if I can find a good one.

Here is a quick status update with progress…finally got materials on the stamen and stem. There are still many problems to fix, but this may be as good as I can get it until my contact obtains some real orchids for me. Now I feel like a spy or a detective…

Well so many things in this pic still need a LOT of work, but I think it’s time for me to post an update. Critique welcome as always!

Hey PostMirabilis
way better than I could do, but I have two suggestions: To me, the normals (or displacement?) on the wood is a little bit too strong. It specially shows in the highlights on the left side and on the inner left wall. And maybe you might want to fiddle around with the glass’ ior or the vase’s mesh so that the inner edges show up in some way? it looks a little bit like a solid chunk of glass from the side.
looking forward for further renders! :slight_smile:

Thanks IronLung, I think you have spotted some of the most important problems. Especially since the glass vase isn’t shadowing the surface below it much, the glass material definitely needs some work…can’t wait to give it a try!

Time for an update! Worked out some of the problems. I think it’s time to drop this flower into the larger scene and see if more problems show up. :stuck_out_tongue:

the vase and the wood look much better now.
Being whiny about the plant itself - take a look at this orchid picture here:

  1. You can see the flower “trunk” climbs a bit before it produces flowers.
  2. The flowers are packed closer together.
  3. The tiny branches that hold the flowers are not green and they grow out of the main “trunk” at (more or less) the right angle.
  4. You might also model the supporting stick to the main trunk.

Please ignore my post if you think I’d be the only person to bitch about such small things (I actually might be) :wink:

Nice results.

I have been working on flower petals myself recently and have a few questions. Perhaps you could help me.
I haven’t been using Blender for all that long so some of my questions might seem a bit simplistic.

  1. Should I model the petals as a simple 2D mesh or give them a thickness (by using the solidify modifier for example)?
  2. If I model them as a mesh is the surface 2-sided? Where the petals curl round will they render correctly on both sides?
  3. One of the reasons for giving them thickness is to have the opportunity for some sub-surface scattering which I think might look good, but in earlier experiments I have found that thick petals end up looking like they have been modeled out of wax (or icing sugar)
  4. For a simple mesh petal I can incorporate an image texture with veining etc. but I am wondering whether this will be possible with a thick petal as I imagine I would have to apply an image texture to face A and a mirror-copy of that texture to face B.

First image here is based on Andrew Price’s Cherry blossom tutorial and used 2D mesh petals. Looks fairly reasonable here but when
I try to model a bowl full of similar petals they look less convincing

Second image is of a rose with two-sided petals and a more complex shader (incorporating SSS) - but I’d like to use an image texture to add veining etc.

I’d appreciate any comments, constructive criticism (no need to be gentle), suggestions for improvement etc.

Oh you already mentioned Andrew Price’s cherry blossom tutorial, that was going to be my first suggestion!
I think the best mesh geometry probably depends on how close the petals will be to the camera. In my image above, I used a 2D mesh for the petals because they are fairly distant from the camera (you can see the wireframe in the 2nd pic). I ended up not using subsurface scattering. I found that just some translucency modulated by a texture image was enough to get a lifelike feel.
If you have a mix of close / far petals in your scene, you could consider a solidify modifier only on the 1 or 2 closest to the camera maybe? Haven’t tried it myself.
I think your rose is closer to being done than you might think! Just turn down the glossy a bit and use a nice veiny texture image to modulate the translucency and it might be fine.

Thanks PostMirabilis - that’s really helpful advice. I am beginning to reach the same conclusions (2D Mesh with modulated translucency)