Hot Air Balloon

Hello! I’m trying to create a hot air balloon to use in a video that I am making. The video is for a contest and needs to be submitted by July 9 so I am trying to create the hot air balloon quickly. The actual balloon was not difficult to make, but now I am working on the basket, and I’m having a lot of trouble with it. I’m just not sure how to approach modeling such an object. Ideally, I would like the hot air balloon to be as photo-realistic as possible. This is what I have made so far:

The basket rendered:

The basket wire:

The main issue that I am having is creating the surface of the basket. To model a lot of intertwining cylinders would be nearly impossible and use many vertices, so I think that I have to create a texture, but that is one of my weaker areas, and I’m not sure exactly how to create the correct texture with all of the different colored and shaped parts of the basket. Right now, there is only a tiling bump map that I made from my reference picture. Also I attempted to make the subtle cylindrical extension on the basket, but I think that it is too obvious. If anyone is experienced with the skills needed for this project, I would love to hear some advice from you. Thank you for reading!

Here is my reference picture:

I’ve made quite a bit of progress! I decided to model the subtle cylindrical extrusions as part of the main mesh, and that gave a much better result. I actually ended up remodeling the entire basket to give it better topology. Here is the wire frame:

And I’ve also made a texture for it! It isn’t quite done, and right now it’s only a bump map so I still need to make a colored version of the texture. Here it is rendered:

The hole in the middle is too round right now, and I would like to fix it but since the subsurf modifier isn’t applied, it is rather difficult. I tried adding loop cuts around it, but that had weird results, so I still have to experiment some more with it. I can’t wait to finish the texture so I can do more modeling.

Actually the basket weave you have looks pretty darn good, I’m curious to see how you did it. Since the day we had a balloon make kind of an emergency landing very close to our backyard, I have been kind of fascinated with hot air balloons.

I’ll look forward to watching your progress… are you thinking about animating in any way?

Thank you! I actually made the basket weaves in blender using skin, array, and subsurf modifiers and then rendered them as a bump map and put it all together in Photoshop. Here are the models of the basket weaves:

To render them as a bump map, I placed an orthographic camera directly above the weaves and rendered with the camera facing straight down. For the material of the weaves I made a black and white gradient and UV unwrapped the model to make the bottom of the mesh black and get lighter as it gets nearer to the top. This makes the higher parts whiter, and the lower parts blacker, which is essentially what a bump map is. Here is the nodes of the material:

Here is what the weaves look like rendered:

And yes, I plan on animating the balloon to be used in a video. A lot of it will be still pictures, but there will probably be one or two scenes where the camera will revolve around the balloon, or something similar.

You’re doing a really nice job with the details - square that hole by adding some [Ctrl]+R loop cut and slide’s beside the geometry of the present hole. That will square it up. And add some flaws and frayed wicker here and there to break the regularity.

I’ll bet you know this, but ensure that the thicker parts of the basket correspond with the supports that come out the basket. It’s really good so far! “Keep it up!” har har… No, but really, keep it up!

Hey thanks for posting your breakdown on the basket weave. One little nitpicky thing… if you look at the horizontal “hand rail”, in the upper left corner the corner edge looks to sharp, compared to the reference image… the corner in the front right rounded properly.

A wonderful idea of creating the woven structure and rendering it to be used as a bump map. Especially the emission controlled by a gradient texture is great!

Thank you everyone! Here is my current work:

I’ve have added to and fixed up the woven texture, added the rubber bottom of the basket, squared the hole, added plastic hand grips to the hole, smoothed the hand rail and sculpted it.

Things to do: add texture and color to everything created, model the structure that holds the burner, add ropes to attach the hot air balloon to the basket.

Liking the updates you just made, and also looking forward to the texturing stage.

After MUCH work, the modeling, UV unwrapping, and bump map is finally completed!

Now I have to add colors and materials. Who knows how long this will take.

The burner and frame looks very good, as does the small tie offs you added. I’ll look forward to the addition of the materials.

Finally colored!

Nothing I can say but that looks really great. Maybe consider adding some kind of color to the tie down ropes possibly. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the balloon itself.

Thank you! There actually is a little bit of color to the ropes, but in the reference picture they were very gray. I spent a lot of time trying to get the color right, but it still might not be quite right. Here is a render of the entire balloon, and soon it will be in a video too!

The balloon basket turned out very nice. And the ballon hull has a nice color scheme. But I wonder where the ropes are running along. I don’t know and I didn’t found a reference image which shows that clearly. Are the running inside the balloon hull or are they on the outer side? :confused:

Thank you :slight_smile:
If I understand it correctly, each of the four bars on the basket have three strings coming out of them and each of the strings goes to one of the twelve creases on the balloon. I’m pretty sure that they run along the inside of the balloon, but on my model they stop as soon as they touch the balloon.

I made the strings orange in this picture to make them easier to see.

Cool. Looking forward to seeing your video :slight_smile: