Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Fine detail flower bud, part of Project Soane: Recover a Lost Monument with BIM.
- Perhaps the most recognizable feature of the Vesta at Tivoli column capital is that very large lotus flower projecting from the center of the design. And even though all Corinthian columns have some sort of a flower, the flowers are usually much smaller and occupy the molding on the abacus. But this one is significantly larger than we typically see, projects well down into the rest of the design, and stands quite proud of the surface of the rest of the column beyond the upper-most leaves and so on.
So it's a very pronounced and very recognizable feature of this column design. And that'll be the next task that we tackle in building our fine detail column capital. So let's switch over to Revit. I have the finished version right here, and you can see those petals opened up and the bud there in the middle. The bud in the middle, I've created with a series of sweeps, they were just arrayed around and then the flower petals are actually nested generic models. And I want to start with the bud in the middle because that's the simpler of the two.
And to help us do that, I've actually got a separate file here. This is just a starting file that we'll use to create the bud itself. Now in the 3D view, you can see there's no 3D geometry yet. And all we have is these model lines here onscreen. And if we zoom in a little bit closer, this is a simple arc that we're going to use for our sweep path, and then this is going to be the shape of the sweep, okay, or at least the most significant portion of it. Now, it's going to be easier to understand what we're doing here if we work in the left view, or at least to get the profile, that is.
You can see that I've actually brought in a raster image of a portion of the scan from the Vesta column. So all I did was take the larger scan and crop it down and create a seperate .png. Now if you've never done this before, it's pretty easy. You can just go to the Insert tab, you click the Image button. It will warn you that the images that you bring in the family editor will not be visible. That's fine, because we're going to just use it for reference anyway. And then I've got a folder that I've labeled Scans and I've got some scanned images in there. And this one's just called Bud.
And when I bring it in, comes in a little bit large, but then you just use these little grips here to scale it down, then you move it where it needs to go. Right, and then, you know, kind of place it. And then we were able to trace over it. So since I have one already that I've spent the time to kind of fiddle around with and get the scale correct, I'll just delete this one and then take this one here, and I'll just move it down a little bit. And then you can just use your arrows to sort of nudge it. You can kind of see that it lines up pretty well with that line work underneath.
So all I did, and I'll just kind of show you on this side, is I just started creating model lines and I just worked with some arcs. So maybe I want to do this top portion here and then just kind of roughly match the shape of the scan there. And you can kind of see that as you go it tries to snap tangent, which is usually pretty helpful. So I try to keep them as smooth as possible, right? So that tangent didn't quite get me where I wanted to go but, you know, it doesn't always have to be tangent.
And you can see that you can go in here and create a shape that closely matches what you have on the scan underneath. Now since I've already got it over here, I'll just delete that one. And this is going to be the basis of my sweep. Now I like to do it with model lines first just because it's more convenient. Because if you're within the sweep and you're trying to trace and you're having a hard time, sometimes you have to cancel all the way out of the sweep in order to do something else because you're in that modal situation, and you might have to start all over again.
The nice thing about model lines is you can just draw the model lines, and then when you're satisfied with them, you can go into the sweep and just trace over them in the sweep. And that's exactly what we're going to do. Now another important thing is when you're done with an image, it's a really good idea to delete it. The images can significantly add to the file size of the family. Now, granted, this Corinthian capital is going to be a huge family to begin with. So we definitely don't want to add any more size to it if we can avoid it. So when I did my first version, I forgot to delete the images and it was pretty big.
I took the images out and it reduced it, you kow, maybe 10 percent or something, so it definitely helped, but they're still big files. So anyway, let's go back to the Plan View now. And that's where I'm going to start my sweep. And I want to use this arc right here, that I've already pre-drawn, as the path. So I'm going to go to Create, go to Sweep, and I'll do Sketch Path, and then I'm going to use the Pick Lines option. And that lets me just pick right on that arc, and then I'll click Finish. Then I'm going to go to Select Profile, Edit Profile, and because I'm in Plan View it'll say you can't draw it in Plan View, how about the left elevation? Sounds pretty good to me.
And then I'm right back here looking at that sketch that we did. I'll do Pick Lines again. Highlight one, press Tab, click, and this is what I mean by if you've already drawn it with model lines, it's going to be a breeze to just trace over it once you get into the sweep. Now, you do have to cap off the backside. And you could do that with a straight line, which is fine, but if somebody peers into this flower, they might notice that it's really smooth in there, and it might not look so good. So instead, I think it's a little nicer to just throw an arc in here, and then you can kind of shape that arc a little bit, and that'll look a little bit more natural on the inside.
So that's of course optional. And then I'll click Finish and then Finish again. Now if we look at this in 3D, because we used this arc as the sweep path, you can see that it only did a partial. It didn't sweep all the way around, it just did that partial curve. So once I've got one of these, then I just need to array it to create the copies. So, I'm going to go back to Plan View for this. I've got it still selected, and I'll do my array. And then I want to do a radial array and I'm going to turn off the group and associate because I don't need to change the quantity after I array this, I'm going to be using six, and that's all I need.
So I'll just simply change the number here to six, stick with second. I do want to place the center right there. And then, because I'm doing six, 360 degrees divided by six is 60 degrees. And there it is, and you know, it looks like a perfect circle. And if I go to 3D, you know it's nice, but it's just a little too perfect, a little too round, right? Now I tried other things, and you are welcome to try other things as well.
I tried doing five, tried doing six, tried doing seven. Tried varying the length of that arc path right here. I tried bulging it and making it a little bit bigger of a curve and a little bit shallower of a curve. And you know, tried different things to kind of vary this so that it didn't look so perfectly round. And ultimately, I wasn't real satisfied with any of those things. So what I ultimately decided to do was to take advantage of a feature that Sweeps have that kind of just allowed me to make it look a little bit rougher.
You know, not quite so perfect. So I'm going to select all of these forms and go to Filter and remove the model lines. So I got some of those invisible model lines in there. And I should have six generic models, right? So that's the six sweeps. Now there's this feature on the properties called Trajectory Segmentation. And when I checked that, what this will do is instead of following the smooth-curved path perfectly, it will segment the curve path instead.
And it will look something like this. Now right away, that looks way more interesting than what we saw a moment ago, right? And if you're satisfied with that, then that's all you need to do. It kinda looks like a starfruit right now. So maybe that's acceptable and then you could just leave it there. But I did want to fiddle around with it a little bit further, so I'm going to select all six again, filter again, remove the lines, right? And I'm back to my six generic models. There is an additional setting here called Maximum Segmentation Angle.
Now if you put in a really small number, let's try maybe 20, it goes back to amost being perfectly round. Because now it's going to do a lot more segments along that curve, and a bigger number is going to do fewer segments along that curve. So what you do now, is you just start experimenting with different numbers until you find one that you're happy with. So there's 40, here's 60, okay? Here's 50. Looks about the same. If you go any higher than 50, it looks the same until you get to 180, and then it goes back to this.
So you pretty much have either this or this, and I've tried pretty much all the angles in between. So I ultimately settled on this because it did mostly what I was looking for, and that was to just give me a little bit of variation as these things come together. Now I opted not to join the geometry, but you could certainly try to join the geometry and see. Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails. But that gave me the bud shape that I was looking for, and most of the time at the scales that we're viewing this at, it's acceptable and the form comes through, and it looks like the flower bud.
So in the next movie, we'll continue and finish up the flower by considering how to construct the petals.
NOTE: Registration for the rendering phase of Project Soane opens in January 2016. Render the Revit or RBX models in your favorite Autodesk software for the chance to win great prizes from HP and NVIDIA.
- Researching source materials and source drawings
- Sketching and modeling architecture
- Setting up the project in Revit
- Modeling overall forms
- Using system families
- Adding details such as columns and moldings
- Creating an interior model
- Rendering the project