Wooden Chair (UV Map Struggle)

Hey guys, sorry to have 2 active posts at once (this and one in focused critique) but I have been modeling a wooden chair that I can hopefully use as both a background object for quick importing and also to maybe include it in an animation I have planned.

My problem is this: I spent around 2 and a half hours modelling it and have driven myself near crazy looking at it and I have convinced myself that there is something seriously wrong with the angle of the legs. I can’t figure out what it is or if it’s just my mind playing tricks on me after staring at it for so long?

I’m not trying to get it totally photo realistic to the reference (though I have tried to angle the smaller image so it is as close to the reference view as possible) and I am not quite done with the modelling yet, the top of the chair needs slight reshaping, there needs to be a slight imprint on the seat and the circular sticky outy bits on the legs need scaling down somewhat. So yeah, my main concern at the moment is the angle of the legs, but any other crits are welcome of course :slight_smile:

Many thanks to anyone that replies

Additional Image Link —> Reference Picture

I am a professional trim carpenter / contractor. The chair looks great to me:)

I’m with stevenhorton. It looks good.

However, after staring at it for a while, there may be a very slight discrepancy between the model and the reference. In the model, all four legs are splayed out to both the side and the front and rear, as in a four legged stool. In the reference, it seems the rear legs are splayed out to the rear, but not so much to the side, they seem more planted underneath the seat.

If you were looking at an orthagonal front view of the reference chair, you would see the rear legs inside the front legs.

But it’s still a good looking chair. :yes:

Thanks for the replies guys.

Orinoco, I think you’re right about the way the legs are splayed. That is probably what was making me think there was something wrong with the angles when comparing it to the reference. I might play with this later if it annoys me enough to correct it, but for now I will leave it as it is, but thanks again for actually spotting what the difference was for me, it was driving me crazy!

I have slight reshaped the centre piece at the back (very slightly), the top of the chair and reduced the size of the circular parts around the legs. I have also created a very quick woody texture (which looks terrible at the moment because I have used the same texture all over the chair and it looks far too repetative). I might have a go at redoing this with a bump/colour map and see what happens, but while experiment with a wood texture I have come across a rather strange problem that I can’t seem to correct.

On the part of the chair that you lean on, the 2 most outer columns both seem to have some odd colour problem, where the texture goes suddenly darker and wrong looking. I have gone over that area and the shape is definitely not double sided and all the normals are pointing outwards, yet the problem is still there. Anybody have an idea what is causing this? It only seems to have happened since I created a mini room for the chair, when there was no objects around it and just the default white scene (like the renders in the first post) this wasn’t happening, even with the wood texture applied. I put the chair in the room and they suddenly appear? It is also happening very slightly towards the outer edge of the seat part, which I totally can’t understand as there is no verticies anywhere near there other than on the edge to create the seat shape, none directly on the dark area.

The shadows are a bit terrible also, but I am not 100% clued up on creating soft shadows at the moment though I have been looking around trying to find a way to do this, which there seems to be plenty of posts about on these forums so I should be able to correct that sometime soon.

Anyway, here is a render of the problem I am getting with the textures:

Its hard to tell what might be going on with materials just from a render. I suppose you have the same procedural texture applied separately to each individual piece of wood in the chair?

Things to try:
tweak the texture offset in the Map Input panel
change the light type and see if it makes a difference
create a separate material for those posts from scratch

I think you are going to have a hard time getting the texture just right using procedurals on curved wood. Procedurals work well for flat boards, so you can do amazing things with tables, desks, wardrobes, drawers. But shaker chairs, you might be better off looking into uv mapping the pieces and applying a wood grain photographic texture instead.

I like the change you made to the center piece in the back. I thought the first one looked off a bit, but not off enough to mention it. I’m glad it’s, well, not “fixed,” but changed to the way it is now. Looks better.

First off, excellent model! Polygon modeled or curves?

Your chair’s legs looking funny might be because of a wide camera angle. If you haven’t already, change the camera lens from the default of 35 to something like 75 or 80. (You may have to pull the camera back a bit after this.)

Orinoco, thanks again for the input, I will see if any of your suggestions sorts out the texture problem a little later on when I have a bit of free time to play with this some more. I’ve been thinking about UV mapping it, but having never done that before with Blender or any 3D program it seems a little daunting at the moment, but I guess I will have to go through it sooner or later so it might not be a bad thing to get started on.

Lord of the Rings Junkie, thanks… it is made from extremely simple polys. all the circular legs and columns were made from 6 verticied circle’s (I chose 6 because I can make 2 square faces out of it and avoid triangles) and extruded, and the more square top of the chair, centre back piece and the seat were all made from just 4 sided planes extruded with a couple of loop cuts put in to have more control over the shape and joining purposes. I never thought to look at the camera settings for this regarding the leg problem, I will see if that makes a difference later on.

Thanks for the input guys.

I managed to correct the probem on the texture far easier than I though I would be able to. It turned out I had 3 doubles in both of the columns, removed them, and all is well. There was also one verticy with a wrongly corrected normal on the seating area, so that has been fixed too.

I have also made some slight adjustments to the back part of the chair, the outer most column now has the sharp arch at the bottom that wasn’t included before, I have also adjusted some of the details on the inner columns to make them look a little neater (though less like the reference - but I’m not all that fussed about it being a direct copy of it anyway). The thickness of the back columns and top of the chair have been slightly modified too, I thought that these parts didn’t look structurally strong enough to support someone leaning back, so I have increased the thickness a bit and I feel they look physically stronger now.

This wasn’t meant to get as detailed as it has, but I have got fairly obsessed with making little corrections and improvements on it so I might end up trying to make some kind of still out of it. The next step is naturally correcting the texture (unless anyone can see a horrible flaw that I have missed). I will have a go at UV mapping a photographic texture onto it and then maybe some kind of colour map with some extra details to conform to the shape of the chair. It depends how quickly I figure out how to UV map really.

Current details on model - 2060 verticies, 2038 faces. All quads

Updated Image with corrections:

Just one quick comment, as I had just a look at the images (good!)
I’m a furniture maker and I can tell you that if we made chairs with grain running in that direction for the backrest, firstly they would break and secondly they would require enormous trees.
The grain always run lengthwise on every part of the chair. You have it right on the seat though.
Also try some uvmapping of textures. There are some excellent tileable textures at http://lemog.fr/lemog_v6/index.php?cat=5

paulsgruff: I have made a set of chair’s like these as a wood turning project a few years ago. When you set the angle of the legs you normally have the back legs splayed out backwards at a steeper angle than the front legs. It stops people toppling backwards when they lean back on the chair.

The model is looking great. If you UV map a texture onto the turned posts you will need to be careful where you hide the seam. Alternatively as modern wood isn’t as good as the old stable wood used by Victorian craftsmen, they often turn posts and legs from two or more sections of timber glued together. That way the UV seam would become the glue joint, a feature of the manufacturing process.

Thanks IamInnocent, I wondered why that top piece of the chair looked so wrong with the procedural on it. I will correct this when I UV map it all.

robbur, again thanks, I have very very slightly adjusted the angle of the back legs and they look alot better for it now, though I don’t have a picture uploaded of them just yet. In terms of modeling I think I’m pretty much done now, I have added and extra few vertices to the seat area, so now there are the required comfort dips. I will include a picture when I have managed to UV map everything (I’m pretty slow at this at the moment).

A quick update here, this is my very first attempt ever at UV mapping anything, and it is a long way short of perfect so far. It is just a bump map at the moment, there is no colour applied to it, pure grayscale, the light is causing the soft yellowy tint. I’m going to go for a fairly old looking chair, so I have picked a few tatty images to play with, however I am now discovering that it looks a bit odd having imperfect wood with perfectly smooth edges on the side, so I may need to play around with the bump map to either smooth it out slightly or to get make it look a little more worn towards the edges.

Any crits and suggestions on this bit would be greatly appreciated, as I said, this is the first time I’ve UV mapped anything. Note: the black line on the side edge of the chair isn’t actually a seam, it’s part of the texture that was on the original image I used. Front:


I haven’t been spending too long on this, I’ve been storyboarding and initial modelling on other stuff that will be in the scene that I plan on making. So far, UV mapping is both better and worse than I thought it would be. It’s extremely easy to get the textures on, but making them seamless is another thing altogether - hence this post. My current state of texturing is shown below.

Paragraph in reference to the top most part of chair I made top piece purposefully harder for myself so that I could try and figure out a way to seamlessly map the legs and columns with a photographic none tiled texture, when I finally get around to doing them. The back part of texture (see bottom image below) is done by a horizontal flip of the texture used on the front piece - mainly to make it look like it was one solid piece of wood that you can follow the grain around. Is there an easier way of doing this I’m not thinking of? I did it by rearranging vertices on my UV map screen to align the grain after I had the bump map loaded in. It took 5-10 minutes of correcting and the seam isn’t noticable when I render, but is there a better way to do this than rearranging the layout of the mapping to align the grain?

Current state of UV Map - still just a bump, no colour yet, tint provided by light. I will get around to the colour eventually - it shouldn’t take as long as this did, thankfully I have lost a little of my fear for unwrapping now :eyebrowlift:

Viewport view of seam (seam marked in red):

Back to real chairs for a moment. Anyone spending that much time making a chair will try to avoid boards with knots in them, unless it’s a cheap commercial product. Also, making the seat out of one wide board is unusual, since boards warp. Generally things like this are made from a series of narrow boards, with the curve of the grain alternating up and down, so any warpage will tend to be in opposite directions and cancel out. So you could actually have four or five seams going along the seat, and it would look more realistic, not less.

Here’s a cheap commercial chair, notice the end grain pattern in the seat: curves up, curves down, curves up, curves down.

Nice job paulsgruff, it looks 1000% better than the procedurals. Thumbsup

Thanks for the continuing suggestions on improvements Orinoco. I’ve removed all the knots in Gimp (I wondered why they looked so odd, until I check around the house on the wooden chairs after you said that to see that there is none with knots in any part of the wood, no matter how cheap and tacky they were). I have however left the seat piece as one whole bit because I prefer the look of the one piece chairs than the more modern 4-5 piece ones for the seat. As a reference I found this chair in the garage and have been basing the rough texture alignment on it:

Reference Image

I haven’t yet figured out a way I can do the grain on the ends of the chair how I want to, but its getting there slowly, I now have it curving in/out slightly to match the shape of the grain rings in the wood near the edges, but it still doesn’t look right so I need to play with this some more.

The chair now looks like this, I have also retextured the back centre piece to make it more grainy so it looks as if it is made out of the same wood as the rest of the chair. I will hopefully get around to attempting the legs and other circular pieces tonight. Then if I get time, colour mapping it, which I imaging will be alot less fidly than the bump mapping as I already know what I want to do with it and how to do it rather than it being a harsh learning curve like the unwrapping and pinning was :slight_smile:

nice!:wink: specular looks to high on the back support, turn the hardness up

Excellent! air guitar

well, procedurals can give you side grain and end grain, but for uv mapping, you usually have to find a photo of end grain to do the ends. Try googling logs instead of lumber.

Cgtextures.com has a wood section with an ‘ends’ category, you might try looking there.