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  Tutorials 3D Graphics Tutorials Creating a Lantern

Creating a Lantern

Mgfx.net Tutorials Sep 16, 2005

Creating the Steel Wires

Phew, we’re almost done with the modelling! All we have left to model are some steel wires. One will be attached to the small metal piece on the Top Section Hat, and that’s the one we will start with. We won’t be using any backdrop images when we create them, and if you want to create them freehand on your own then feel free to do so (that’s what I did). Otherwise you can just use the values I supply and you’ll get an exact match of the Lantern I created.

Go to Layer Group 2 and switch to Layer 5, which should be free. We are going to create these steel wires using splines and then extruding a disc along them, nothing complicated at all.

With Layer 5 active, put Layer 4 in the background and use the Point Tool and place 11 points in the Back Viewport, you can size the Viewport up if you want to. Picture 109 below shows the position for each point; you can just place 11 points and then position them afterwards using the Point Info Panel. Picture 110 shows the positioned points.

Picture 109: Position each point

Picture 110: The positioned points

Deselect everything and activate the Mirror Tool by pressing “Shift+V”, bring up the Numeric panel and set the axis to X, keep all the centre values at 0 and click OK. Now lets make a spline out of these points. We need to select the points in a clockwise order. Select the point shown in picture 111, then select the rest in a clockwise order.

Picture 111: Select this point

Once you selected them all, press “ctrl+p” on your keyboard to create an open spline. Picture 112 shows the spline.

Click to Enlarge
Picture 112: The spline (Click to enlarge)

Now we need an object to extrude along this spline, and we are going to use a simple disc for this purpose. Switch to Layer 6 and activate the Disc Tool, then bring up the Numeric Panel and use the settings shown in picture 113.

Picture 113: The Disc Tool settings

Close down the Numeric Panel and press “Space” to deselect the Tool, then activate the Rotate Tool and bring up the Numeric Panel again. Set the Angle to 30 degrees and the axis to Z. The centre values should be the following:

X: -5mm
Y: 224mm
Z: 0


Once you’ve entered the values click Apply. Now we can extrude this disc, so keep Layer 6 activated and put Layer 5 in the background, then activate the Rail Extrude Tool by pressing “ctrl+r”. Select the “Uniform Knots” function and set the amount to 30, then just click OK. What you have in Layer 6 now should look something like picture 114.

Picture 114: The first steel wire

(Note, if the polygons are facing inwards after you used the Rail Extrude Tool, then simply flip them by pressing “f” on the keyboard).

Apply the “Metal” surface to this steel wire now. Cut the steel wire out of Layer 6, then switch to Layer 5 and delete the spline. After you deleted it, paste the steel wire in.

Picture 115 shows it together with the small metal piece and the Top Section Hat.

Click to Enlarge
Picture 115: The first steel wire together with Top Section Hat (Click to enlarge)

The next steel wires will be a bit more tedious to create. The basic spline we’re going to use will still be created the same way. We place a number of points and then we make an open spline out of them. so lets do that first.

Switch to Layer 6 of Layer Group 2, then put Layer 4 of Layer Group 1 as background. This is the glass section, and we will create 2 steel wires that follow the curves of the glass section nicely.

Press “a” to fit the glass section in the Viewports, then use the Point Tool and place 8 points like in picture 116.

Click to Enlarge
Picture 116: 8 Points placed (Click to enlarge)

Picture 117 shows the exact position for each point; you can use the Point Info Panel to position them after you created them.

Picture 117: Position information for each point

Once you’ve positioned the points, use the Mirror Tool and mirror these points across the X-axis at the centre. Like before, select the points in a clockwise order, starting with the one shown in picture 118.

Picture 118: Select all the points in a clockwise order starting with this one

Once you’ve selected them all, press “ctrl+p” to create an open spline. We will need two of these splines since there will be 2 steel wires in the end, so we need to duplicate this one. Press “c” to copy the spline, then switch to Layer 7 and paste it there.

Working in Layer 7, press “k” to kill the spline and so that we only have points left. In Top View, select the 8 points on the left side, like in picture 119.

Picture 119: Select the 8 points on the left side in Top View

Delete the selected points, we will mirror the other side like before, but first we need to move a few points around.

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