Modeling a complex pyramid?

It’s the same with roofs for not simple houses. For a pyramid like this:
Number two.

First I make the shape of the bottom of the pyramid with a plane or cube. Then I extrude one level up. And then I want to size in all edges, so that the distance is the same on all sides of the pyramid. I have tried to scale from face only from bounding box and every option there is. But it’s uneven, this makes it a pain modling pyraminds like I’m trying to now.

It’s the same with roofs. So is there some kind of tecnique to do this in blender? Or is this something that needs to be implemented?


Hey Zarnik, I think I see what you’re saying…


#1: Extrude your face up but hit the RMB (Right Mouse Button) to cancel the transform.
#2: Scale these vertices in.
#3: Extrude up again.

I hope this helps.

Yeah that works for a square pyramid like the one below.
But if I’m scaling in the sides of the pyramid on a pyramid where the distance to the centre of the pyramid isn’t equal on all sides like in the image below.
Some sides gets smaller or bigger than the other ones. So yeah, you could maybe build a pyramid using cubes and alt merge every vertical. Like building lego. But is there no way to just scale in the edges on a uneven pyramid?

Hope you see what I mean now :slight_smile:

ohhhh I get it now…you wanna make something that looks like the circled one?

Ok so I tried this in Blender, and it worked…I hope I can explain it correctly now :slight_smile:

#1 Duplicate your base.
#2 Drag it up a few Blender units (hold CTRL key) so it is just above the original floor…this is so you can select vertices easily)
#3 Select one “wall” and drag it 1 Blender unit in (hold CTRL again).
#4 Do this for all the other walls on the second floor.

Here’s a picture of all the walls on the second floor pulled exactly 1 BU in.

I hope this helps you my friend. :slight_smile:


Yes that works, thanks!:eyebrowlift:
But it would be useful to be able to scale all the edges equally. Maybe something that could be implemented? :smiley:

Yep that would be a useful feature. Maybe in 2.5? Or perhaps a little script?

There’s no solution for this that I’ve found yet. I’d be really interested to find one -it doesn’t seem like a script would be all that complicated to write for this.
I’m working from the top down on mine and I’m actually planning a lot more complicated stuff in my “pyramid-like structure” like towers and “tunnels” and weird shapes -I want it to take on a general pyramid shape but with a lot of variation in areas. (I researched ziggurats quite heavily when I started -that’s really a more accurate term for this, or somewhere between a ziggurat and an absolute pyramid)

I’m currently resorting to a lot of math, but I haven’t had a lot of success yet (if I’m off by even a little the entire thing gets messed up)

I’m also looking for the render to look something like this:
The individual stones can all sort of be seen as such and are missing/disoriented in a lot of places and worn a lot.
This effect I also want to apply to at least one side of the “pyramid” where some of the top coat is still intact but a huge sort of chunk is missing that distorts part of the pyramid -the only real option I can think of for distorted sections like that is to do it mostly by hand tediously

Note: I put the project on hold about 2 years ago because it was getting really frustrating -I’m still planning on finishing it but I’m hoping there’ll be some feature or scripts that will make it much easier.

(I’m not trying to hijack the thread by the way, I was just thinking that our problems are very similar and it might get more attention if there’s more people having the same issues.)

But it would be useful to be able to scale all the edges equally.

try the ‘solidify selection’ script

The pyramid at giza, there is no way man made that thing. Aliens have been here. Anyway, I think to get a render similar to the photo of giza. You should play with blocks. To get the uneven effect to it. Like it’s thousands of years old. It would take some time to place all the stones. But ctrl + d is your friend :smiley: You can just place 100 cube like objects on the ground. Then copy them all and remove the outer row of cubes. And keep going upwards.:yes:

That’s a good option for a really simple pyramid -although for a large pyramid the sheer number of stones needed might cause a lot of lag if you have the entire volume of the pyramid filled with them.

There’s another really big issue with that solution.
It assumes that the angle of the pyramid is directly proportional to the size of the stones and that all the stones are of uniform size.
Which is great if you know the ratio of the slant to the step length based on the height (one trick is to use an array modifier from a side view and offset Z: 1.0 Y: 1.0 and set the count to like 100 then scale the stone until you have a slant angle that looks good to you -then you can delete the array modifier and use that as your uniform stone size)

Although the stones in the Great Pyramid appear rectangular which would create some obvious problems with that method… it’s hard to tell if the stone size is uniform -it looks like it is except at the corners -the intersections of the walls I think work the same way as a brick wall -the bricks are just sliced off wherever the wall ends… this creates a frustrating problem for pyramids because the point at which the wall ends is a slanted angle :(:spin:
To avoid doing a lot of complex math calculations I built up 2 walls and at the point where they came close to connecting I’d snap the cursor to a vertex along one wall and scale the stones out to that point -then do the same for the second wall… but that method takes forever because it has to be done for every single level by hand. (Duplicating or arraying won’t help because the lengths aren’t uniform at the intersections)
And the really frustrating problem I came to when I was doing that was when I made my way up to the top -where I already have a castle structure (so its not an absolute pyramid) and realized that I hadn’t calculated the other walls in between the two I was trying to connect… so in fact in my case I need to find a way to merge 4 walls together in one intersection and have all the angles look right from every direction (the other walls have different slants than the first 2 which makes it really agonizing) … Now I could essentially do it all that way by hand but… it’d really be nice if I could find a way not to lol.

Also, that’s all just talking about basic rectangles or cubes -to get that ruined/worn look the stones would need a bit more geometry or at least a displacement map of some kind… I don’t know what that would do to rendering time but it doesn’t seem like it would help the situation lol

Assuming there’s a good way to get all that work done mentioned above I wouldn’t have any problem going in by hand to rotate/move/disorient/delete blocks by hand to give it the more ancient ruins look, but its important to get the underlying angles right otherwise it won’t look correct and it’ll be really noticeable when looking at the entire pyramid.

Before doing individual stones I’m definitely going to make some kind of underlying guide mesh.

EDIT: And yes, it was definitely the aliens and their darn math… no human in their right mind would spend so much time stacking a pile of rocks :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes you are right that won’t work. The pyramid turns into the eiffel tower.:stuck_out_tongue: Hmmm but maybe if you instead of scaling in the pyramid cubes you build them like lego. Yeah you could do that. It would take some time though. And if you want there to be no cracks in it, you will have to put some time into merging all the blocks :spin:

But it won’t take so long. Maybe a hour of playing with blocks.

I’ve a few suggestions (including a work-around), which might work :slight_smile:

  1. Use the inset script from the Scripts page (

  2. You could try modelling the elevation of one side with a Curve, and using the plan as the BevOb (BevelObject). For some reason I’m not able to get the “stepping” properly, else I’d have uploaded a sample. (This would probably be the best option, if you’re comfortable working with Curves)

  3. This is the workaround: Use Wings3d, instead. It’s a lot simpler to do it there when you remember two things: TAB allows you to input exact figures. The input dialog box has a history of input-ted figures; you can use the up/down arrows to go through them.

Hope this helps :slight_smile:

Ok didn’t take me more than 45 min to make this one.

Step 1:
Make a line of cubes, place them in a L shape. Use mirror modifier and you got a quad shape. This is the base of the pyramid. Now start buidling upwards, ctrl d. Copy first level and make a stair. When the cubes overlap delete them.

Step 2:
After 30-45 min you will have something like this.

Quick render below. Didn’t take more than 45 minutes to make. Abut 1000 cubes 6000 faces. Of ccourse it will take somewhat longer if you want exactly as many cubes as the pyramid at giza has…but I don’t see a faster way to do it.


I’m wondering if Sculpt mode would be a good option. Just reading the latest post on the Durian blog got me thinking. You could do a standard pyramid mesh without even worrying about stones (and probably saving a ton of memory) and then sculpt in textured details like the cracks between stones -it’d be really helpful when it comes to sections like in the image below where the top-coat is still fairly intact but starts to crumble and really doesn’t appear like its made of bricks at all before falling away to the underlying brick pattern -and maybe throw in a few real stones here or there to sell it especially around the edges.
It’s just a thought at the moment but it might be worth trying.

That might be an effective method for cutting down render time for far shots. I don’t know how effective sculpt mode would be for close-ups though, a hand-by-hand placement of the bricks might be the best option:

The problem in my case isn’t really the creating the pyramid itself its getting the angles right… I’m not really working on a pyramid technically its more of a half pyramid because the top half is cut off with a structure on top, but the base of that structure and the base of the pyramid are both non-square shapes and they’re both different shapes -some of the edges will have to intersect and merge together at angles before they reach the bottom since the base of my pyramid is kind of like a Plus-Sign or a cross shape so it has 12 corners but the base of the structure on top of it has a lot more corners and edges. It has a very jagged outline.
So I think doing it as a single planar mesh first and sculpting the look of the stones and the ruin out of that would be the easiest method in my case. I can always add stones on top of that to give it more life if the sculpted displacement isn’t enough.

I’ve not really played around much with sculpt mode but it can take image textures to use as brushes -there must be a good method for sculpting bricks. -Right?