How would you create engravings / carvings / reliefs like this? (example inside)

I’m trying to create a 3D model for the table in this image (as an exercise).


I managed to get the modeling done, but I’m stuck at the decorations, the reliefs/carvings along the top rim:


How would you go about creating something like this in blender? I tried creating the shapes manually (placing individual vertices and connecting them), but this is extremely time consuming and ended up looking quite jaggy. Any hints or advice would be much appreciated.

depends how realist you want it !

but there is some symmetry along X axis here
so can do only 1/2 of it

then you could use the dynatopo to get a more real shape
then do a retopo to get clean quads all over

after that you could bake a UV map and normal map if there is no need for a very high res model

happy bl

There is many approach for doing this and for me the first one would be steady stroke and symmetry but i do that kind of work in 3d coat but blender probably have something similar to steady stroke. Doing this would take me less than 30 min.

Other ways i did it in the past was to find ornamental design images and tweak them a bit in Photoshop so the relief appear the way i wanted. this method is the fastest if you can find a good image to work with and necessitate knowledge about height displacement level of greys.

Last could also be very fast if you are good with curves loft, you just do half of it and mirror it and you use sculpt to refine hard or smooth edge.

Hope this help you a bit.

This video show another way with images ;

Another video that can help you ;

Thank you both for your answers.

I just did a quick google search on “steady stroke” but it seems Blender doesn’t have such a feature. What does steady stroke do in 3D coat?

I considered that option, and that was what I originally was going for, but I couldn’t find any suitable source images (my reference image was way too low in resolution to be of any use here). Any recommendations for websites in that regard? My usual go-to site ( failed me here. Maybe I’m simply using the wrong search terms?

The videos were interesting to watch. I didn’t know that blender can import SVG images, that’s good to know. The other video uses cycles nodes, which is totally fine in and on itself, but I’m aiming for an export to a game engine, therefore I’m limited to exporting mesh data and basic normal maps.

Hi Alan, steady stroke is an assisted stroke that make it easier to draw a straight or curve line, a little trail is following the stroke and you can adjust the length of the trail to get very precise.

Regarding using image try searching for ornamental pattern vector and you can also search for ornamental dingbats font since there is a ton of these out there, the kind of image you need for this is something like this here:

Remember to use in Google image search tools/large image.

You can also use image like this in blender as displacement with proper UV and fine tune the detail in sculpt tab.


how is this use with displacement map it is black and white?
I thought displacement needed a greyish image but may be wrong

also displacement require lot’s of subdivision to work nicely
might possibly need to do a retopo to lower verts counts may be!

happy bl

Hi Ricky,

You are right displacement is about level of greys and black mean depth and white bump but using the black vector art an invert it to get it white give you the basic elevation require to finish it in sculpting mode, it’s pretty fast if you know your sculpting brush.

And yes displacement always require lot’s of subdivision but in this case it will only be use to get the baking for the normal map since he want to export to a game engine. Since i use 3d coat for that kind of work i usually do auto retopo just to lower the face count and it’s really fast.

the major problem is always to get some smooth curves 3D shapes
which can be started with Bezier curves then convert it and modify in 3D mesh

I did several script to help make different type of curves for modelling
which help get the proper shape
mind you now we got this curve extra addon for different curved shapes
which is nice.

but not always quick and easy
it can be done with time.

happy bl

I remember i saw an addon 2 or 3 years ago for older version of blender where you could get these kind of shape easily maybe that was yours!

A combination of falloff adjustment an alpha can also do some pretty neat ornamental stroke.

There are a bunch of simple and not so simple models shared on the web you can start with if just want simple game assets.

For my classic architectural designs I model them. There are a few techniques on making it faster. F2 is my friend for my modeling workflow.

If you don’t want to model, there are many other methods of bringing in geometry into blender:
Importing svg’s is a great method though can get complicated with weird geometry as blender interprets the data (a lot of verts for complex images).
Textures using displacement as was mentioned earlier.
Node manipulation for generating textures automatically.
Animation that builds geometry.
Normal maps.
…Just to name a few.

The way I do it is to render an image and make normal maps from the models. I am sure there are half a dozen other ways to do but since I have a ShaderMap Pro I need an excuse to own it. There is free software that does the same.

The left image is a 3d model and the image on the right is a plane with the normal maps added.

This model was created using an off set hook command on a single shaped line and then extruded around a center.

That just gave me an idea. Back to the experimentation board. :smiley:

Can you point me to any tutorial showing how to do that? It looks like something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but without success.

@Philstix, I answered on a different thread (Kaleidoscope rosette) so I wouldn’t spam this one. But to answer the question, I am unaware of a tutorial that covers this completely. It is really simple to do once you know how to do it though. All you need an radial array and hook modifier to do this technique.

Everything consumes time… doubt & questioning far more than just doing it :wink:

Check other videos on 1D_Inc’s YT channel
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