Modelling a cactus

Hi! I would like to make a cactus in blender. Im a noob… could anybody help me? :slight_smile:

If you are new to blender, start to make some simple tutorial to get familiar with blender and its GUI. To model your cactus I suggest you start by drawing your cactus on a paper or download a picture from flickr or anywhere else, so you’ve got a reference for your work. Then add this picture as background-image in the blender’s 3d view.

Or create it from your imagination. Never forget that! Some of the best models are made this way IMO. Take a look at this, I made this in about 15 minutes. Study the blend and ask any questions that you may have. I will help. If I don’t respond, ask your question here then PM me and let me know you posted.

This is just a starting point, from my idea of a cartoon cactus. I think it will show you the basics of what needs to be done, modeling, lighting, and texture.

A .blend says a thousand words…


cactus.blend (862 KB)

Well thanks! I already know about the GUI and have done a few things in blender before (modelling, animation, etc). I was looking for a “little tutorial” about how to make a cactus, and specialli, the “form” of the cactus.

And really nice for your cactus model! I love it! I want to make something like this, but with my own design…

Okay I started with a cylinder, 12 sided no end caps. Then I entered edit mode, and used alt-right-click to select the top ring of vertices, I used g for grab and moved it straight up the z axis. I then used s to scale it slightly

Then from top view while still in edit mode I added a uv-sphere 12 loops 12 rings, I scaled it and moved it over to one side so I could work on it. Then in vertice select mode with B for box select I selected just the bottom half of vertices and deleted them (x). Now with my half sphere selected I moved it back over top the cylinder, and then from top view rotated it so it matched the verts of the cylinder.

Next I joined the uv-sphere by alt right-click on the bottom ring of vertices in the sphere and shift-alt right-click selected the top ring of vertices in the cylinder. Now F and skin edges/face loops. Usually you have to hit A to select all then CTRL-N to recalculate normals, otherwise when you set it to smooth it will have strange artifacts.

Now I used CTRL-R for loopcut and scrolled my mouse wheel to cut many loops down the middle section of the cactus (horizontal loops ). Then I selected the top vertex of the cactus trunk and hit CTRL-+ (numpad +) to select the next loop as well. Then with proportional edit on, (scroll your mouse wheel to increase/decrease the effect) I grabbed those vertices and drug the cactus over from front view (1 on numpad) Then drug it from side view (3) just a bit. Since proportional edit was on and my area of influence was scrolled quite large it smoothly affected the whole cactus trunk.

Then I selcted 6 faces on one side and hit X and hose delete faces. This left me with an open ring of 10 vertices which I selected with alt-right-click. I aligned my view perfectly with this ring of vertices (at least close to perfect) then CTRL-shift-S to activate the interactive to sphere tool. Just move your cursor toward the edge of the viewport and the verts will try to become a circle.

Then I hit shift-S cursor to selection, and with my view still aligned flat with my ring of verts, I hit space and added a circle (which I knew would be perfect) scaled it down, and then I rotated it to match closely to my ring of verts on the cactus. then from front view I just used G and moved it out a bit from the cactus. Then again I used F skin faces edge loops to connect my new perfect circle to the cactus trunk. E to extrude this new branch, Add uv sphere with 10 sides, cut off bottom, join with branch after rotating and scaling appropriately. Now just use proportional editing with a smaller sphere of influence to grad and even rotate a bit this branch (just like the trunk but using rotate to bend it like putty) Now make the second branch.

The last step is to select all the faces change the scaling mode to individual centers, hit E to extrude individual faces, then scale way down. Each face should scale independently. Now with them all still selected hit alt-S and they will scale out a little from the trunk and branches.

Now while the tips are selected I used Shift-D to duplicate them and then hit P to seperate the faces into a new object. Now just make a cone, 6 sided, set it to smooth, and with it selected shift select the newly created tip faces object. CTRL-P to parent the cone to the faces. Now in the edit mode buttons of the tip faces object activate Duplifaces to replicate the needles all over the cactus.

Okay that was your one free custom tutorial. The next one will cost…one million dollars Bwah-Hah-Hah!!! :smiley:

Let me know if you need clarification, If you don’t understand a term like proportional editing, just google it

If you get stuck just look at the model and how it is formed. You can probably also learn a bunch from the light rig in the blend.

I forgot to mention that all of this is for 2.49b, Since you are a beginner I would stick with 2.49 for a while, at least until it is beta. I still use it exclusively, since my work is professional and I have a lot of projects already started in 2.49 I won’t switch for quite a while. Good luck, I hope you learn a lot from this. Definitely visit blender cookie and take all their tutorials, and ask questions here when you need help!

Oh my god! I would pay you three million dollars, but since Im from Europe, I will pay 3 million euros! hehe. Nope, I have no money. Poor student here. But thanks for the tutorial. I will have a lot of questions, specially when I begin with my character modelling. Its going to be difficult as hell!

using 2.5 and tryng to figure out where things are

i can see 2 objects
one has the duplicate face set

but don’t see where the parenting is done ?

can you tell in which panel we can see this parenting ?
and should this be also shown in the N transform panel ?

Thanks & happy 2.5

I stay with 2.49. There is a lot of tutorials for it. Not so much for 2.5. But I will definitly want to buy a book and learn 2.5. Which one is the best blender book in general and in character modelling in particular? And best 2.5 blender book?

I enjoyed Animating with Blender by Roland Hess. I am sure everyone has their favorite. His book just technically covers almost every subject from one end to the other. Nice reference to have around, not that easy to read straight through. There is so much to learn from the net though. The blender dvds from the shop are great as well, I recommend the Mancandy FAQ if you want to be an animator/rigger. Invaluable really. I also like Creature Factory and Venom’s Lab. All right lets be honest, I like them all.

@ ricky the object with duplifaces duplicates it’s child, which is the cone object. I think it is inside the cactus near it’s object center.

ok i found it under the second tube in the outliner in 2.5

it’s more difficult to use this outliner then in 2.49

would there be another way to add some of theses cones may be with particules system

so that you can modify the shape without having to redo the whole cones system

or may be make a group of faces then apply the dupliface to that group alone but on the main object so it’s easier to modify the main object and eveything else follow ?

Thanks and happy 2.5

Any Blender book for noobs? or DVD? From the beginning to intermediate… 2.49 or 2.5, it doesnt matter.