Ornate Details

I am curious to how other people approach modeling something very ornate. For instance, some chandeliers have very ornate designs on their arms. There, of course, is the underlining form which is simple to approach from a modeling standpoint, but what about if the arms have fine ornate details? Or another example would be a medal plate with etched out patterns. Fancy candle holders too. I don’t want to fake it with textures, but I really could use some advice on how to start.

I really hope this makes sense. Thanks in advance.

You have three choices:

  1. model it
  2. fake it with bump map
  3. use a displacement map – like a bump map but moves real geometry when you render (not in the 3d window). You will probably have to set your rendering subsurf level quite high for the detailed mesh or subdivide it a lot if it isn’t subsurfed because displacement mapping doesn’t create new geometry and only displaces existing geometry.
    Each method has its advantages and disadvantages.

Diplacement map:
Image it was created from:


It’s amazing how more than one set of eyes can make a problem so much easier to solve. You said something that triggered exacly was I was looking for. You mentioned very fine subsurfs and I remebered about converting subserfs to meshes. This gives me all the contact points I need to build complex ornamentation on any object.

Thanks for the help. You rock.

thats not quite right!
blender does NOT support true displacement shaders.
so you need to subdif the surface before rendering as you stated out.

in reyes render engines the engines create plogones smaller than a pixel to create the displacements.


Edited my previous post to show some examples.
Just a plane – rendering subsurf value set to 6. No need to convert subsurfs to mesh.



Ornate enougth?

This is modeled vertex by vertex, Of course Just 4 achantus leaves and two coils need to be modeled, the rest is a spindup :wink:


:smiley: as I went through the thread I thought… mmm he should see s68’s corinthian.

Stefano, Yes! That’s what I’m talking about. Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the tips.

One thing that people in the computer game world often do is fake “ornate-ness” with textures. That way, they can have decent-looking computer-generated worlds with a minimum number of virtices.