modelled with blender 2.40, a variation on the mobius strip…
made mostly as a test render for indigo. comments/crits?

I like it.

Pardon my ignorance, but I’ve been using blender about five days: what’s indigo?

Indigo is an free renderer. Here is where you can find it:

Since I don’t know how new you are to 3D in general, I’ll just say that there are lots of renderers out there ( but the key thing you need is a script that exports your scene in Blender to the renderer in question. Blender has Yafray and the Blender Internal engine built in (and there is a build with POV-Ray built in to). Some others are mentioned here (including Indigo) if you are interested.

The model is fantastically complicated… I love it! The image itself is a bit grainy though. Maybe that’s the look you were going for. But as I don’t use Indigo, I don’t know if that’s from the settings you used. Can you do a quick over-view of how you did the model?

Can you please post a wire or a word-or-two on how you modelled the shape? I’ll have to do some tech-looking props for composites and this one (or something in this fashion) would be nice to do. Was looking at DaVincis polyhedras and how to make them look more smart etc.

The image itself is a bit grainy though. Maybe that’s the look you were going for. But as I don’t use Indigo, I don’t know if that’s from the settings you used.

There aren’t really that many settings, you just wait until the render looks nice enough that you use it. It gets progressively better as you leave it. To get a smooth image takes a very, very long time though.

It’s a nice model, a better setting would be good, but since its more of a test render its nice. Maybe put some quick things around it to show off the phong shader.


I wonder how long Indigo needed for this render?
Could you give us some informations about that (that means your comp specs, too)?

I’ve always wanted to give Indigo a try but the rendertimes really throw me off, at least the ones that I have heard of.

Otherwise, it looks great! Nice shape and shader.

That is a little odd take on the Mobius Strip… curious. Neat design though, kind of reminds me of a roller coaster track. Good one.

Wow, some lovely model you have there. I know mobius only from some of Escher’s work. Lovely. I also would like to see a wire.

Crit: it is a bit grainy, increase some render settings to loose this (i think) then it will be alot better. The material is really neato. Perhaps a bigger and more exentric render (different camera angle and rotation)

hey guys
thanks for all the comments! the .blend file is at school right now so once i get the chance to (probably this weekend) ill grab it and throw up some wires for you.
the grain is from Indigo (amazing free renderer, very similar to Maxwell) and me not wanting to wait 50 hours. the render time was about 5 hours, i think. not sure about the machine (it was at school), but i think it was 2.6GHz with 1Gb of RAM or something like that. it was rendered at 800x600 and downscaled to get rid of most of the noise.
this was actually very easy to make. a mobius strip is basically a plane bent around into a circle while being rotated 180 degrees along its long axis, thereby joining the two sides creating a single surface.
this is basically the same principle but a bit more complicated. i created a cross section (a sort of octagon i think, eight sections in a circle), extruded it while rotating it a slight bit along its perpendicular axis, then took the mesh, bent it around a bezier circle and welded the ends together. the trick is to rotate it an odd number of ‘sections’ (ie 1) so for an octagon itd be 45 degrees. this prolly sounds confusing but will become clearer once i post some screenshots.

thanks in advance.

alright, i made a similar one today, same process, same principle, except without the holes but punching holes is easy so i wont go into that. excuse the noisy render, i only left it on for about an hour so i could post this today.

so. you start off by making a cross section by using Bezier circles (its just easier, you can make them with a Mesh plane if you want), for this one i tried 3 concentric sections, but the first one was just made with one.

…like so. the arrows indicate in which direction i will twist them.

then convert to Mesh. extrude the cross section ~15-20 times depending how smooth of a circle you want (you can subsurf it later) or how much detail youre gonna put in. for this one i just did about 12 extrusions then doubled it. while extruding, this is important, rotate the cross section around its long axis a little bit so that by the end of it if you were to put two of them end to end, the first band meets up with the second band, and this is what creates the continuity of the mobius sculpture.

picture of the three sections so far, see how if you were to stick them end to end the ends would meet up.
finally, create a Bezier circle and parent each of the extruded cross sections to it, adjust it so that they lie nicely on the circle and enable ‘CurveStretch’ to the circle.

should look something like this except without the three silver rings.
apply the deformations (F9 on each of the Meshes), remove double vertices and delete any interior faces (esp. where the ends meet). check that the normals are ok, if not recalculate them outside (ctrl N), jack up the subsurf, throw a cool material on each of them, smooth them, throw up a few lights and render it.
hope this is useful/understandable.
questions? comments?
play around with it, im sure you could get some sick forms out of it.

lol That looks nice especially the lighting.

Thanks for the instructions! Very easy to follow and what results! Just curious, why are you using an unbiased renderer like Indigo? I don’t think I could handle the grainyness.

yeah the results can be amazing. im gonna try something more complex, see what happens.
ive always hated rendering something and then finding all these little artifacts and weird photon blotches after its done. maybe i dont have the patience, but i get tired of tweaking setting after setting and rerendering 50 times before getting a good smooth result.
an unbiased renderer like Indigo leaves no artifacts and is therefore IMO more ‘stable’ or ‘trustworthy’ (you know what i mean) meaning i can hit render and go to bed. the noise sucks, yes, but theres a trade off for everything, and, given enough time, the noise clears up. you can get rid of it completely by rendering something twice the size you want it then rescaling it. :slight_smile:
the ability to almost immediately see what the scene lighting will be like is awesome for tweaking lighting and material settings, quick previewing. also stopping it whenever im satisfied is better than setting a quality and hoping it will be enough IMO.
also, no antialiasing needed.
not sure if its because its an unbiased renderer or something else, but the lighting is incredibly realistic. since it is unbiased, there arent as many fakes involved allowing for a more physical light simulation.
finally, prolly most importantly, im not an animation guy, havent really had time to get much into that. i like a good solid still shot, and i will wait a week to get it, if thats what it takes. having said all that, im not at all opposed to biased renderers and still use blender internal, yafray, kerkythea, etc.
this is just my take on things.

Hey! Nice method. While I was experimenting with this, I found out it’s much easier to do this kind of stuff with proportianal editing (PET) on (O-KEY)! You just extrude your base shape a few times, duplicate vertically (saves on extruding time) and then remove doubles. This will get you a multi-extruded object quite fast. Then it’s time to start twisting! Select the top vertices, turn on PET, and make sure the circle includes everything but the bottom row (to be able to align later). Use linear (the ^ icon) mode for PET. Then press R, Z, 360, and voila! Now you can experiment with this by using other modes, in combination with scaling, rotating and all sorts of other fun. :slight_smile:

Indeed, the rendering results are great and as I’ve said before…I’d really like to try Indigo, it seems to be a very capable rendering engine. But still, 5 hours for a 800 x 600 image with a lot of grain? (thanks for the info, btw!)
That really throws me off…

And a cool method you’ve described here - very easy to follow and gives nice results. I may try your method some day, I hope you don’t mind :slight_smile:

by all means, have fun. im sure the idea isnt mine to begin with, ive seen very similar stuff done with triangles and some really complex shapes but this is my way of doing it for kicks.

Indigo can be found at
and just look around the page or the forum for the Blender export script. real easy to understand and set up.

StompinTom, the documentation on the Indigo site is lacking for those of us not experienced in external rendering. I had a couple of questions that hopefully you could help me with. When I export my scene from Blender, am I going to have to edit the .xml file at all? The documentation mentions editing the inifile.txt, but it says that I could also pass in a file at the command line. Did you create a new inifile.txt for each render you did, or did you accept the default values? It also said to save your render before you close Indigo, but if I try to break the process with Ctrl+C or Ctrl+Break, the window closes and I can’t find the render (which I believe is a .png). Where does the render go, and how do I save it before I close Indigo? Thanks for your help! Your mobius is beautiful!

not sure about passing a file at the command line but it could be true. as of the latest Blender export script, you barely, if at all, have to touch the .xml file. the only real reason you would need to is to change some tonemapping parameters and those are really simple to change. also, for now, meshlights strictly have a white color when exported from Blender, another thing you can change in the .xml file. just find the part that looks like this:
<peak_min>1</peak_min> the dominant wavelength of light (i think) therefore the color, usually from 400(red)-700(blue) or so…
<peak_width>1</peak_width> the range of wavelengths covered by the peak (think of proportional editing and changing the circle size)
<base_value>50</base_value> intensity of all the wavelengths
<peak_value>50</peak_value> intensity of the peak wavelengths
therefore, if base_value and peak_value are equal, all wavelengths have the same intensity therefore the color is white.
all the rest of the stuff can be controlled from Blender.
the inifile.txt is the file that tells Indigo which scene to render and some general settings that kick in if theyre not specified in the .xml file. there is only one inifile.txt, you dont have to make a new one for each render, just open it and change the “scenefilepath” “testscenes/doftest.xml” to whatever path your scene is. to keep it simple (and out of laziness) i just export all my scenes into the ‘testscenes’ folder and then just change the filename.

so. once the scene is exported, change the inifile.txt to point to your scene, change tonemapping and meshlight color IF NEEDED and boot Indigo. very simple, and the render settings usually dont have to be tweaked.
problems? let me know, or check out the Indigo forum for advice from people who actually know what theyre talking about :slight_smile: