Modeling a rock terrain

I would like to create an rocky/bouldery terrain in BGE, like the Yellow (Huangshan) Mountains in China.
Just like the real thing, I would like to model/arrange the rocks, and then build walkways, tunnels, and bridges around/through the terrain.

How would you guys model such a terrain? I thought about using these rocks plus a few of my own, but I don’t know how the artist modeled them. Any suggestions, or links to tutorials? Upon opening the models in edit mode, it seems that each individual rock is separated from the main mass using Edge Split, but I have no idea how they were actually modeled.


I would start with a cube, or an extruded cube, add a subsurface modifier, apply the modifier, use the sculpt tools set to dynamic topology to sculpt the details into your rocks, exit sculpt mode, add a remesh modifier, apply it, add a multires modifier, followed by a displacement modifier using a clouds or marble texture most likely. then use retopo ( or a decimate modifier, which is much quicker, but can leave questionable topology, which can cause render artifacts ) to construct a very low poly version over top of that, UV unwrap, then bake the normal of the high poly mesh onto the low poly one. that may be a lot to digest, so if you have trouble, go through the steps one at a time, and come back and ask if you don’t understand something. definitely look into UV mapping and render baking, if you are not familiar with those processes.

I found a tutorial on how to create a cliff maybe that will help???


I’ll have to do some study on using the multi-res modifier. I can’t for the life of me figure out what it actually does, or how to use it. What is the process called whereby one would bake the normal of one mesh on to a low poly version? I would like to study that as well.


Modron, do you think that might be the technique the artist used on the rocks that I referenced by the blendswap link?

I didn’t check it, but it is pretty standard workflow nowdays. You can skip a step of course, by duplicating your original low poly mesh, so long as it doesn’t become too distorted.

IMO, there is a trick here.
Proceed by simple box modeling, extrudes etc etc.
You will obviously add a subsurf modifier. A multires modifier in our case, please.
However, avoid catmul-clark (smoothed) subdivisions. Rocks do love some sharp cuts.
Smooth what you need by entering sculpt mode. Smooth brush.
A fast UV unwrapping, a rocky bumpy texture, some bumpiness on the shader…
This is how it goes. IMO of course.
Another tip, on your own risk (save first LOL)
Keep in mind, under multires modifier, you can still enter edit mode and add a loop cut. Helping sharper cuts…