Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Fine detail flower petals, part of Project Soane: Recover a Lost Monument with BIM.
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- We'll continue with the flower in this movie. In the previous movie we built the bud, and as you recall that was created from a series of sweeps that were arrayed around for a total of six, and we have six petals as well. And I've opted to use nested generic models for those. So the reason I opted to go with nested generic models instead of just arraying the form is because it's a slightly more complicated form, and I was concerned that if you needed to make changes it would be very difficult to do that with the array, so instead I thought it would just be more convenient to work in a single generic model.
And then, ultimately, I ended up having to go with two versions of it. So if you look at these carefully what you see is that this one is called Petal Foreground and this one is just called Petal. So they're set at slightly different heights relative to one another, and the main reason for that is because when you look at the six petals in the flower, three of them appear to be in front of the other three back in the scanned image. So if we look right here you could see that these three petals appear to be in the foreground and the other three petals appear to recede back.
So to achieve that I literally moved those three up in the Z direction. So let's take a look at that nested family, and I have it open right here. Now, you could see that I've set this one up similarly to how I set up the start file for the bud, and I've got lots of invisible lines here to help guide our sweep creation. But let's look at what this is first, it's actually fairly simple. This is a sweep, and it may not be the sweep you were expecting.
Notice that it's sweeping along this curved path here, and that kinda makes this big fan shape. And then I've just simply used this shape here to cut away from it. Okay, so this void here that has the very recognizable elliptical shape in plan, that's what's cutting away from it. So we really just need a sweep and an extrusion, and then I added this swept blend just to add a little extra detail to it. So let's go ahead and take a look. I'm going to delete all of these forms.
I'll leave the swept blend for now. Okay, let's go to the left view, and in the left view you can see that I've already inserted an image. Now I've provided this image with the exercise files, so if you want to try this on your own you just bring it in, you scale it appropriately, and then you start to trace over it. Let me move it out of the way here, it's pinned currently. So let me unpin it and move it out of the way here. I've tried to keep these as smooth as possible, so I chose arcs for all of these. Okay, so these are just arcs, and I just kept them tangent to one another.
You could have used splines, so if you want to you can use splines, but splines are heavier than arcs. So I was trying to manage file size and performance at the same time as I was trying to get the free-form curvature. So sometimes you're going to be balancing different goals, and that's all that we did here. So it turns out, actually, that this is just five lines. There's four arcs and then a straight line at the bottom. So four arcs, not bad, it looks pretty free-form. Okay, so that's the shape that we're going to use for the sweep. Now I told you in the previous movie it's a really good idea to delete the images when you're done with them, because they do bulk up the file size.
So it's a good idea to get rid of those if you don't need them anymore. Now here in the front view is where we see the path, and that is just an arc. I just drew a simple arc. So I just kind of picked my start point and my end point and kind of eyeballed where I thought the center point should be for just how much cupping I wanted that leaf to do. So when I go to Create, and I'll go to Sweep. So I'm going to sketch the path, and then I'll use the Pick Lines option, and I'll just simply pick that arc. Click Finish, and then come over here and choose Edit Profile, and because I'm in the wrong view, perpendicular, it will ask me how about opening up this view, so the left view works fine for me, and I'll open up that view.
Then I'll do Pick Lines again, highlight one of these edges, press tab and click, this is exactly the process we did in the previous movie. And I'll click Finish, and Finish again. And when we look at this in 3D, that gives us that fan shape. But what I was mainly interested in is the sort of cupping of the leaf there. And then when you look at it edge on, seeing the shape of the leaf. So that was that did for me. But obviously that's not enough, because it's got the wrong shape here.
So if we go to our plan view, I've got another image in here, and all I did was trace over the outline of one of these leaves. Now it turns out I was able to get really close to the shape of that leaf with a single elliptical arc. So that's all this is, that's just an elliptical arc, and I just eyeballed it until it looked about right relative to the image, and then, let me delete the image so we can see this more clearly, then you need to kind of cap that off. Now this is the arc that we used for the sweep in the other view, so let me hide that.
The shape that we're going to extrude here is going around this way. Now it turns out, actually, these lines aren't quite right. You see it's got to cut off all of this, so we really need them to be a little bit larger. They should come out to those reference planes there. Now you don't have to lock that, I did that by accident. All right, so let's make an extrude, and I'm going to do that as a void. So under Void Forms, Void Extrusion, Pick Lines, highlight one of these lines, press tab, click. There you go, you don't have to lock any of that.
Click finish, and sometimes it complains, so let me say unjoin elements and go to 3D and see what the problem is here. Okay, aha. I'm not tall enough. So all I need to do is take this little grip here and make it a little bit taller. If you want you can do that numerically. I like whole numbers, so I'll make it 16. And then let's try cutting the geometry. So going to cut this with this, and now it works just fine. So sometimes you get the error and you get frustrated, and you're not sure why.
Just click Okay, check it out in another view. Sometimes it's really simple, like it's not tall enough. Now what I did for this one is this is a swept blend, and when I choose edit here I actually used the Pick Path option for that. Now Pick Path is similar, except that you pick the edges of a 3D object. So I actually picked the edge of that invisible line that I used to create the sweep, and it's just a different way of doing it. So if you do Sketch Path and Pick Lines it's similar, but this stays attached to that line.
So that gave me the path, and then the two profiles at either end. And then I decided to just sketch these profiles. So if I do Profile 1, Edit Profile, you can see I just did a little zigzag form here, here's a straight line, here's another straight line, and then I just did a couple fill it arcs to round off the corners. I'm just trying to make it look somewhat natural. So I just drew a line, drew another line, and then fill it in, fill it in. So it was something like this. Just sort of drew it, drew it here at an angle, drew at another angle, kind of did a zigzag like this, I'm doing this sloppy right now, but then I came in and just did a fill it to kind of just round that off a little bit.
Okay, so obviously I paid a little more attention to get it nice and symmetrical, but you get the general idea. That's all I had to do to draw that shape. Then I took the shape, copied it to my clipboard with control C, and then when I went to Profile 2, Edit Profile, I did control V. When you do control V you have to kind of move it around. I snapped it over here, and then I scaled it down four times. So this is exactly the same shape, just 1/4 the size.
So just a little copy and paste, and then when you're done it gives you this little rib on here that just adds that little extra detail. So that is the one leaf petal. Then you do a Save As to create the foreground one. So I just added the word Foreground to this, and then in a front view I went to Create, and I just added another void extrusion here. So Void Forms, Void Extrusion, and I did two ellipses for this.
So start right here. Kind of went up and sort of eyeballed about where I wanted to go. Yeah, that looks pretty good, six and a half. And then in this direction, let's see. Two, that looks pretty good. That sets that at one and a half away from the center, that looks pretty good as well. And then I'll mirror it to the center, and then when I click Finish that actually cuts through and takes the edges off of that shape. And then that allows you to lift that one up a little bit in the Z direction when it loads into the other flower, and doesn't interfere with the other flower.
So when I go back to the main flower here, so you can see them inserted in here, and this one is at an elevation of 0, but these others are at an elevation of -1.5. And that's just how they kind of sit relative to one another in the Z direction. And that gives us our very pronounced and recognizable lotus flower. Now the last thing I haven't mentioned yet is you probably noticed that all these things are sitting on top of this extrusion here. Well, that's because these are face-based.
And I made it face-based just because it'll be easier to insert it in the final column capital later, because I'll be able to insert it right on a reference plane and it will orient to that reference plane. So stay tuned for that when we assemble the rest of our column.
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