Making realistic stone wall
Several methods can be used to model stone wall but. But most of them do not give the realistic looking quality you need. In the other hand, the methods you think will not work in well when start modeling. I have also tried several methods, but all were failed except this method. The method I am going to tell you is quite simple and quick.
Stones walls can be divided into 2 main types as, plastered and un-plastered. Here I am going to tell you how to model an un-plastered stone wall. Later I will tell you how to model plastered wall in another tutorial.
For stone walls, different styles of stones are used in different patterns. No matter, all these styles can be achieved through the same method. Therefore, I going to start this tutorial for a general style and at the latter part of this tutorial I will tell how to apply it for other styles.
The method I am introducing can be applied to any scale. However some parameters may change according to your scale. You don’t have to worry about that. You can correct it if the final product is not looks good. However I will mention the parameters I have used within brackets in necessary places as a reference to you. However you can use your own values. But I recommend to use parameters I have used if you are a beginner (later you can go for your own).
Go to Front viewport and draw a plane (100×200 cm) increase the number of segments in a way you get square polygons (4, 7). Keep in mind that the size of the polygon you are selecting will be the average size of a stone in the wall. If you need larger stones use fewer segments, and if need smaller stones use more segments. Convert the plane to Editable Poly.
Now go to vertex sub-object level and change the positions of vertices (no need to change the vertex positions normal to plane). If you are going to use this as a repeating object to model long or tall walls, you must be careful when moving the border vertices. Otherwise it will not be well match with the neighbour objects.
(This part is only if you going to use the wall repeatable – select the two vertices which will be touching each other when repeating, and change the position of these vertices at the same time. These touching vertices will be in the same place on opposite borders. Eg. 3rd vertex of top edge will touch 3rd vertex of the bottom edge. After completing this step take few copies and look whether they are well fixed)
Now it is not directly visible as a grid. But it is better to make it more unique by insert and remove few edges. You may use tools such as Cut, Target Weld and Remove.
I am going to use 3 different textures for stones to make it more realistic. For that, go to Material Editor and change the material type to Multi/Sub- Object. Press first 3 material muttons and set 3 different colours as their diffuse colours (if you like – use more). Up to now it will be enough. Later we can change the 3 colours into maps. Apply the material to the object.
Go to polygon level of the object, randomly select some polygons and change the material ID to number 2. (Polygon Properties rollout > Material: group > Set ID). Change the ID to 3 for some other polygons. Now the different faces can be seen in different colours through the viewport.
Apply UVW Mapping modifier and change the mapping type to plane. Press Fit button under Alignment group to make the UVW map fit object. Go to polygon level and select all the polygons and apply Bevel with following properties.
No different may seen. Don’t worry; drag the selected faces normal to faces a bit (looks like extrude a bit). Repeat bevelling and dragging steps again for selected faces with the same parameters. Apply Bevel again for selected faces, but this time with little outline (negative) amount. Drag the selected faces again. (You may wonder why I am not using Height at once rather than dragging. Try and see, sometimes you may succeeded. But most of the time faces are going in wrong ways). If you have done it the correct way it should like the following.
Apply Subdivide modifier to the object and adjust the size to suitable amount (i have used 7 cm). Don’t worry about the size too much you can change it even after finishing.
Apply TurboSmooth modifier with 1 or 2 Iterations on top of all the remaining modifiers. Render and see. I hope you get a good smooth surface.
You may see that the rendered image is quite looks like a stone wall. However you may increase the number of TurboSmooth Iterations when rendering. Now I am going to make the model more realistic.
Go to Material editor, select empty slot and add Smoke as Diffuse colour map. You may change the parameters of the Smoke as you like (I have used Size – 20, Phase – 0, # Iterations – 20 and Exponent – 0.5). Select the object we have created and apply Displace modifier on top of the all modifiers. (Don’t apply prepared material to the object; we have already applied a Multi/Sub-Object type material for that) Select the prepared Smoke map as the Displacement map and increase the Displacement Strength (10.0 cm).
Render the object and see the different. Hope you like the way it is.
Now the modelling part is completed. But there is a small thing to do. Go to Material editor and add different maps (images of rock surfaces) for each Diffuse colour maps of the Multi/Sub-Object.
You may use Ambient, Specular and Bump maps to in addition to the Diffuse colour map to make it more realistic. So I leave it to you.
Now I am moving to last part, “how to model different patterns”. It is also quite easy; you only need to change the face pattern you are making at the first stage. See the following examples you will easily understand how to do it.
Please send me your feedback. I would like to help you as well as to know your ideas.
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