What NOT to do...new project

I’ve been learning Blender for a few months now, and I’m really into it. I’m decided to start a pretty big project in Blender, after doing a good many tut’s and reading the manual. I’m going to model Beauvais Cathedral, but add the collapsed nave…a sort of “proof of concept” for future prjects of the same sort. I plan to use this model for years to come, since it will be very involved to make.

My question to the folks who’ve been using Blender for a while now: What sorts of things should I avoid doing now, that might haunt me later? I’m not as familiar with the ins and outs of the program yet, so I might be modeling things in ways that might really screw me up later on. It might be used in real-time game engines as a walk-through environment, so converting it to a low-poly model might be required. I’m looking at using NURBS for much of the stonework ribs and columns (extruding along a path), and doing a lot of UV work for textures.

Get as detailed/specific as you like on this. Anything you might have learned NOT to do will help me out. Thanks!

I am a basic blender user so I have nothing profound, but here are some things I have learned.

  • Each object you make give a name WHEN you make the object. Many times I have said, “Oh, I’ll get back to it,” and then later spend hours trying to sort out all of the pieces to make sure I have named them. Also, when you name objects do one of two things. Give them very unique names that at a moments glance anyone could decipher, or take a drawing of your model and grid it out. As part of each name add the grid reference. That way if you have say twenty stones spread out you can have Large_Stone_A1 and Large_Stone_A4 together. This really helps when you go to append a file. You said you wanted to use this file again in the future, and you may find that you want pieces of it for other models. Keeping the naming system in a very organized fashion helps with the longevity of a model.

  • Watch for tris! Keep your eyes out for tri’s and 5-pole polygons, and fix them asap. In architecture I’m not to sure how many times you would run across this, but it’s a good thing to keep in the back of your mind.

  • For a perfect blueprint-to-model creation you must do one of two things. Either get a blueprint in Metric Measurements, or be prepared to calculate American Standard to decimals. Blender has a way of showing distance between two vertexes, and there is the grid system. One Grid unit could be a meter etc. This helps tremendously if you want a perfect model from blueprint design. It takes an insane amount of work, but can save alot of headaches later on down the road.

Those are my off the top of my head ideas. Hope they help in some way.


Thanks, JABayne. Those are exactly the kinds of things I probably would have skimped on at the outset. :expressionless:

Far as the units go: I’ve got some pretty good resources from the web on the exact dimensions of the existing construction (gotta love the web!) so I’m going to do a picture-box and scale accordingly in meters. I’ll have to play around to get consistant sizing of textures and such, but I’m prepared for that hassle.

Visit the Sponza site…

Give that a try and learn a few things. You’ll need to import the project into blender. Texture it and do some lighting.

Big time saver, take a close look. Everything is perfectly UVmapped in the right place. That is not coincidence. You should do that for your project.

Get the textures and files here…
(Don’t forget to Rem Doubles in this project)

For example, one column is textured, but all of the numerous columns are textured too, to match, using the same UVmap.

Thanks, Spin. Those images are really jaw-dropping. And inspiring.

I downloaded the image and texture files, per the links above, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t seem to un “rar” them…I have a program called 7-zip, but it tells me it can’t decompress the files. I’ve done a search for the appropriate software, so far without success. I’m still looking, but if you know of a more direct route, let me know. Thanks. :expressionless:

WinRAR, if you have Windows. Not sure what MACs use to open RAR files.

7-zip can open .rar files.
At least for me.

What error do you get?

I get:
“Error: sponza_lw.rar is not supported archive”

(This is the DOS prompt version…perhaps I’m not using the right syntax? I type “7za e sponza_lw.rar sponza” at the prompt.)

Here, download this…

sponza_BLENDER.zip 0.97MB

If the files “does not exist”, reload or refresh. I have the amazing services of Verizon DSL at hand.

It is a BLEND file that I converted from the 3DS. I removed the Duplicates, so it is ready to go. Actually, it is ready to render (without the textures).

You still have those textures?

'Preciate that, Spin! I’ve downloaded the file without a hitch. I’ll see what it can teach me. And yes, I have the textures. 'Course, they’re in .rar form, too, but I’ll figure it out.

(And look at that, eh? A UV texturing tut has appeared in the Blender General forum! Good timing!)

EDIT: just downloaded WinRAR trial version, extracted the files without problem. Nice, very nice. Still wondering why 7-zip didn’t do the trick for me, tho.