What approach would you have for modeling this cobbled path?

Here’s what i’d want as a result:

This will be a rendered texture used later for mapping…

Thanks and happy blending !

Hi there,

There can be three different solutions as I see.

Option 1 - use textures. You can use a voronoi or two, for shaping and displacement, distort with noise, control displacement with RGB curves. Use the voronoi to mask out its own colour to add variety to stones.

Option 2 - use vector tiling, each tile is going to be one stone basically. With a Color burn and Dodge you can control stone shapes. You are going to use white noise to add variety I guess, and have your colour as well. I am working on this now.

Option 3 - use geometry nodes, assigning a material. I think you can use random per island for the textures, and geometry node will carry it so you can still keep your variety.

Alternative video for Option 1:

Video for Option 3:

What is special in your picture is that the shapes are rounder but you can tweak that as you see :slight_smile:

Of course it needs roughness, texturing the stones, etc, but it gives the idea :slight_smile:

PS: If you want to randomly skip stones, use the white noise, pop in a greater then and play with the value, the 4D will give you missing stines at random locations :wink:


You can look VSHADE add-on.

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There are some really good suggestions in here!

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Indeed !!!

Thanks to all for your rich answers :smiley:
I didn’t dig in there yet as i’m reworking the whole project so that it’s more human-usable^^

but in a few days, i’ll go try for those suggestions !

Regards, thanks again and happy blending ! :smiley:

EDIT: and those suggestions are even more interresting as i recently made a nodes setup for noise and musgrave textures tileable :smiley: <3

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strangely @AgentTuron i didn’t manage to get the same result as your #1.

I’m still digging in voronoi textures but my problem is to make this cobble surface tileable at path ends… And as voronoi textures are not tileable, this is a problem…

still digging on this…

Happy blending !

Hey there,
Well, I’m not sure what the problem might have been, but vector tiling is surely the option for you then, you can end it wherever you like :blush:
If you have any further questions, or just wamt to show your progress, feel free to reach back, we may be able to guide you further :blush:

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Hi @AgentTuron :smiley:

sure ! here i’m back :stuck_out_tongue:

At first, i would ask wether it is possible you post here your blend for your option #1 please ?

I’m kinda curious of the whole setup you had for this ( very interresting ) cobbles setup :slight_smile:

After many tries and redo, i finally went to play with particles :slight_smile:

However, i’m still not sure it is the right way for doing what i want but the results look not too bad:

Of course my cobbles are shitty flattened spheres and deserve beeing more random ( though they should keep beeing ‘roundish’. The reason for this is that those kind of ‘roads’ were done with river stones that were used for burdening big boats when they were empty. ).
I’ll post here the various .blend steps if they are worth beeing shared for community. But for now, i’m still in a ‘research’ step :wink:

Thanks a lot and happy blending ! :smiley:

replying to myself :slight_smile:

Here’s an interresting result of particle texture control :smiley:

the control texture:

Now i can fade the road borders to no-particles…

what do you think about this ?

Happy blending !

EDIT: next step…

IMO this looks not to bad ( though far from okay for a real blender render ).

i randomed the 2 cobbles so that they don’t look ‘round’ anymore, and also randomized their colors around a grey.
Next BIG step would be to prevent cobbles from overlapping but i didn’t find any way of doing this with particle system. If anyone can help, this would really be appreciated :smiley:

Now i have to bake a 4Kx512 texture with height, diffuse and metal/roughness and try this out in unity to see what it looks like :smiley:

I’m searching for a way to post the blend here for those who might be interred in messy cobbled pathes :slight_smile:

Hope you like it !

Happy blending !

EDIT2: okay… BA don’t allow > 5MB blends hosting ( sounds kinda dumb to me for .blend files but i don’t make the laws… ) I hosted it on my very own server, here:

Happy blending ! :slight_smile:

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I see you got really far, not sure if I could add anything else to it :grin:
I am in the middle of a home reno, hence me being away for a while.
I will check your posts in detail and get back with whatever I can :blush:

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Well, if you are thinking about geo nodes, this Default Cube tutorial will hint some solution for non overlapping bits

As a confession to make, I don’t really feel geo nodes comfy for coordinated scenes. You can randomize geometry but no texture input, no fine tweaking, and if you assign a material, you it not match the geometry.

(What is this guy talking about - you ask)

Imagine sand dunes, voronoi dunes, with waves rotating as the voronoi goes, like based on colour. Like waves turning around, in the shader.

You make the voronoi dunes in geo nodes and you can apply a material, but who says your material dunes and rotation will match that of the geo node dunes?

I have to get more into geo nodes, but I still feel a harsh THIS or THAT distinction between that and shader solutions. Not to talk about instancing, that hates both procedural and geo node displacement sometimes :smile:

Anyways, I did not mean to frighten you :smile: just thought to share. Geo nodes are up on the hype train, but not the answer for everything, and I think they might rework it’s workflow in the future, hopimg at least, to be more compatible with procedural shaders.

Anything you want, there is a beautiful (sometimes tiresome) way ahead, but it’s worth the effort :grin:

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yes :slight_smile: it is one of the numerous blender inconsistencies ( just like texture nodes editor <—> material nodes editor ). Seems like many devs do their awesome things all in their own cavern, without beeing able to homogeneize de whole app. :confused:
But despite all this blender is an amazing tool and i used to find a way ( or another ) for what i wanted to do. The only IMPOSSIBLE-TO-DO in blender keeps beeing alpha-map baking ( i guess devs still not caught what ‘alpha’ means :rofl:

You did not frighten me at all :smiley: and it’s kind of you, you shared !
I was just surprised that with the same nodes setup as yours, i was unable to get the same result. This is why i asked for the blend. But with 5MB allowed you cannot upload much :confused:

I gonna dig in the particles way ( still praying for finding a way to prevent cobbles from overlapping ) and care about the other techniques in the video tuts that are really interresting.

I’ll post here the baked results ( and the .blend ) hoping someone can use it and mebe make it better :slight_smile:

Thanks @AgentTuron ! and happy blending ! :smiley:

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About alpha, I cut a of of cc0 pictures these days and edited them, I simply bake alpha as is, a BW picture and it should work (it is called opacity but a simple diffuse with aplha channel should also do it). You can edit in Blender with math nodes or GIMP, PS, whatever, as long as you have an alpha channel.

I am happy to share my blend, I just dont know if I actually saved it. :smile:

Let me please check and get back in a while. :blush:


The particular case i mention is when you have overlapping planes with alpha textures that you want to bake, like for example a painting over a brick wall. In this case the plane carrying the painting appears black at transparent places, in the bake.

Here’s one of the numerous topic i posted about this:

I don’t even know wether 3.2 solved this but i hardly doubt about it as this problem is not considered as a problem by devs…

happy blending :slight_smile:

EDIT: i confirm this still have not been solved in 3.2
EDIT2: i’m wrong !!! this works in 3.2 !!! please visit the link 2.92 transparent baking bug for more info :smiley:

Hi there,

I actually saved the blend file, I just had a busy weekend, here it is :slight_smile:
COBBLE.blend (1.1 MB)

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Thanks @AgentTuron :smiley:

have a nice day and happy blending !

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ouch !

my Ryzen7 with 16GBRam has hard time :confused:

around 100K stones particles that won’t appear in bake ( seems like an undocumented blender feature :stuck_out_tongue: )

I have to make particles real, remove the particle system, select each stone and make it single user and… i’m here for the moment.

As all particle is linked to others, a select-all->join leads to a crash after some hours of work…

see you next time with, i hope, nice pics to show :slight_smile:

happy blending !

back there with some… kind of sadness…

I made this path with 81K+ particles…

Now as the random-per-island-not-working is a feature of the B3.2 my last bet is to bake colors to verts…
18 seconds per object and 81000 objects…

This is where i say blender is a bunch of hacks. Great features developped in a ‘f*ck the user this is awesome’ way. Just non serious nor professionnal app. And i know it’s not much to do… a quantum lip… that would make the difference, as, yes… devs and dev team are IMHO the best…
well… baking of emit is a one-thread function. When you got 8 cpu and 16 threads i’ts kind of Laugh-My-Ass-Off taunt^^

20+ days for baking say… 81Kx200 vertices… sounds like it would be faster to do it by hand :rofl:
Of course shiton ( Sh*it+Python ) is the culprit. A C++ or C or even C# implemented feature would run at least 10 times faster^^

Now that i cum my venom… ( And you sould do the same for many other topics ) i have to say that the 3.2, though it abandoned its win7 users, is a great release !!!
I feel that devs are slowly growing and will one day become very very promising adults :smiley:
And i confess i can’t wait for this day :slight_smile:

Till this… i’ll wait, and bake…

Happy blending !

Finally, after splitting the 100K cobbles in 4x25K for faster vertex color bake ( with no crash ) and reuniting all for final bake, here’s the result :smiley:

And the heightmap:

Hope you like it :slight_smile:

Happy blending !


Go hard or go home I guess :smile: