Help Modelling a bundle of wires

I want to model a bundle of wires held together by some metal rings, exactly as we can see in high tension electric wires.
Thank you.

show a pic for this

and most probably use curves with some extrude and the screw modifier for some twisting effect

is this in cycles ?

happy cycles

I couldn’t find a nice picture. So here what I came up with in inkscape, hope it gives an idea :stuck_out_tongue:
Let me give you an idea… you must have seen the tv cables? now imagine few of them is being held together with a ring.
And yeah obviously cycles! :slight_smile:


like i said if you need wires with twist then use the screw modifier

then you add a curve modifier to change the shape i guess

or for the wires you could use curves and curve bevel

now for the ring add a cylinder around your cables and use the shrinkwrap modifier

should be easy to do

after you might have to add some material texture
so for that you might have to do a small portion then may be use array + curve modifier

you don’t have your final layout yet
that would be usefull to determine the best way to do it !

i tought you wanted HV cables lile ACSR or triplex which are twisted !

see example here

happy cycles

here see what i actually wanna do. The basic structure is this. Now I can apply an array modifier to make the total thing longer…but a wire is never straight. Like a string, when you leave it on a surface… how i do that? I need to make it look like a wire actually!


what kind of cable is this ?
is it electrical or mechanical ?


Unless you need a very detailed closeup of the cable, I would suggest using a texture for the finer detail. The way you have it set up right now will use a lot of vertices.

With a quick look it seems that you have tori with about 128 vertices each, and you have 7 of those (the middle one is obviously not needed, unless you want a shot of the end of the cable), and then you seem to have about 50 layers of tori for that fairly short length of cable. That adds up to about 45 000 vertices for that piece, and if you then use arrays to make it longer you quickly end up with a lot of geometry (Arrays produce actual geometry, don’t they?)

Probably they do, for the purposes of the rendering calculations.

You don’t say much about the context in which you’re going to use this wire, but maybe it would help (and save a lot of render time) if you did. For instance, you’d actually need this level of geometric detail only for a very close-up shot, say for a training-video meant for linemen. But for most shots, you probably could get away with a bundle of simple cylinders with a bump-map applied to them, or, if the camera’s far enough away (as is likely, with overhead wires) a simple painted texture might do just fine, even (what the heck… try it) on a single simple cylinder. Use a more-detailed render to get the map data that you can then rip off and apply to an object having much simpler actual geometry. It more-or-less depends upon how many on-screen pixels are going to be affected by whatever you do, and by how much the audience is actually going to be paying attention to those pixels.

or model could be baked to a lower model in 2.6
but depends on how close the camera shot are going to be and
what resolution is needed for rendering!


This is mechanical wire, Like the few ones have in a cyborg’s neck. I cant’ find a good reference of such wires, so it’s being litle hard for modelling from mind.

I wont take shot of the end of the cable, I mean I will but you know what happens when the wire-bundle’s end get loose, the wires gets tangled…one can’t and wont care to find how many wires was in those mess. So yeah no need for the middle one.
I wont have very detail shot, so yeah actually I can use a bump map…but then thinking where to find the texture of such ring-body like I made the wires…
Array is truly becoming gigantic and eating up my memory :stuck_out_tongue: So Maybe I have to design a cylinder with bump maps.

Before remodelling, I came up with this frustrating result.

If the problem is getting the wire to follow the curve, experiment with the axis selected in the curve modifier settings.

you don’t need a bump map just make a low poly model for you high res one then bake it normal map
and that’s it
you then add the normal map to the low res model !


Yeah, you definitely shouldn’t be getting into “boatloads of geometry” here. A cylinder following a path ought to be able to suffice for the wire, and a well-made bump map and surface texture can go a l-o-n-g way if you put your mind to it.

If, for some particular shot, you need to show the cable unraveling somehow, that can be a specific set-up made just for that shot. (And even so, a bump-map will still probably do the trick for detail.)

Also … if the nature of the cable is truly important to the show, one nice trick is to give the audience a brief close-up look at the thing. From that point forward, you can get away with a lot of murder, because the human eye is definitely conditioned to see what it expects to see … not what’s actually in front of it. For instance, in a crowd-scene in the podracer sequence for Star Wars Episode One, the crowd actually consisted, in one brief shot, of properly-colored Q-Tips® cotton swabs! There just wasn’t time to put that CG piece in. But you had gotten a good look previously, so no one “saw” the fake until a Making-Of documentary pointed it out. (The shot has since been replaced.)

I would frankly hazard a guess that a simple spiral-ish texture, and regularly placed clamps (with or without detail), are probably all you’re going to need to sell the shot.