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Guest idlart

pattern problem

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If your camera will be going very close up on this you should model it. If not, you can probably get away with doing it with materials, which will certainly be a lot easier.




I would start with the best, highest res flat-on photo of that surface you can find, and then you make a black and white image from that in Photoshop or similar. The holes will be black, everything else white. You can then use that on its own in the bump channel (or even displacement if your model is suitably subdivided), or you could simply use it as an overlay inside a layer in the colour channel to fake the holes being there. You could also try that map in a relief object, but I wouldn't advise that for topology reasons that will become clear if you try :) In either case, doing it that way, the only thing you need to model in is the big hole in the center.


Modelled holes array


This is a very specific pattern of holes, so you will need the image as a reference setup properly in your viewport. It's a lot of work, but fortunately we can use double symmetry and the cloner to make it considerably less work. However it will still be quite a lot. I'll give you the shortened overview:


Top Section:


  • First get a disc primitive with an inner radius and make that the central large hole.
  • Now you need splines that describe the path of each row of mini holes as they radiate outwards from the central large one. They start circular but become rounded squares the further out they go. You can do this by making splines that describe the innermost and outermost shapes, and then blending them in a cloner to get each intermediate row.
  • Next you need to clone tiny little hollow discs (8 radial segments) around those splines in the same pattern as your reference shows, probably with an individual cloner per row now so that you can precisely control how many holes sit on each spline.
  • Then you would make all that editable, combine all the circles into one object, cut the whole thing in half, then half again to get a quarter of it, and then start bridging polys between the holes and to the main center hole, so that you build the rest of the surface with all quads between each one. It's a lot of work.
  • Then, it's under symmetry twice to restore the whole shape (of the top section), before collapsing that, and editing that one corner where the holes are different where they go round the camera lens. 
  • Lastly you need to extrude that whole surface to give it thickness and make the holes themselves. That might be fine as it is, or you can add control loops / bevels (bevel deformer easiest here) to the holes at this stage, either on their own or with subdivision.


The lower bit of your reference is much easier as it is a simple alternating array of holes. The honeycomb array mode of the cloner is one way you could make this, though there are other ways if you would prefer to maintain 8 sided holes throughout.



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