Well, the first thing – this is not real tutorial with all the blending and fillet commands. There are other websites where you can find out how to make your first lines and solids in Rhino. This tutorial will be more like illustrated workflow, so you can see all the objects I modeled, and what is important here – how to handle complex scene in Rhinocers due to missing “external source” functions. You can also click on any image to see full resolution [but very low-quality] image.
NURBS technology is really great, there is no doubt about it. That is also reason why I learned and still use Rhinoceros. [by the way I used Sketchup, Artlantis, Archicad, 3dsmax, Autodesk VIZ, Autocad, I even opened Blender for a few times to try it...] Rhinoceros is number one. Trust me. :)
To be honest – NURBS is not ideal technology for some aims. My aim was to make really complex scene looking really good. So how to solve the fact, that NURBS takes too much of your HDD and RAM space? First of all I tried T-splines – great tool with very low requirements. Your complex organic models will take just a few megabytes! But it is clear that not everyone uses T-splines, so my method is to model in NURBS and after this process, when everything is ready to render – convert NURBS surfaces and polysurfaces into meshes. Okay, this will be polygon hell, but your scene will be much lighter to render!
If you really, but really hate polygons – try to understand slovak sentence: “Fire is a good slave [helper] but very bad master.” So the polygons are. If you know how to work with them – don’t worry to use them! They will at least help you to make the scene lighter.
First of all we need to get a concept, a photo, an idea. My idea was to take existing scene from Kraví Hora in Brno, where I was a few times to swim :) I really like the place for it’s unchangable Genius Locci. I made a little drawing to keep it in front of me, to keep my basic idea. Here it is:
Okay, so for real start in 3D: open new scene – I personally use milimeters template. We will need some grass planes, some pavers planes, pool, building for pool, exterior changing rooms, benches, etc… We can start with lawn plane.
First of all we make a noise map in Photoshop – simply make a new image and in layer properties generate noise map. See the settings in the picture.
This map will be used to generate non-planar surface inside Rhino. Use command Heighfield from image > in this step you are asked to choose image that will be turned into 3D surface. If you set your size in Rhino interface and depth of surface, your result should be surface that is not absolutely narrow, just check this picture:
Maybe you should ask, why I made it non-planar in this phase. Usually you need to use Bump + Displacement map to get good lawn. Displacement map for generating grass.
After creating this rectangular shape, we need to trim surface to needed shape. If you don’t know how to trim surfaces – use Rhino Help by pressing F1 in your Rhino session.
In the same way we will construct other lawn parts:
Okay… between lawn and paving we need kind of edge stones, so make one by making a block – appx. 100x100x300mm.
Use command for filleting edges [appx. 10mm] to make it smoother:
I hope you tried using Cage and Cage Edit commands at least once… These commands will help us to deform this smooth block.
Great. stone is made. But if you try to copy hundreds of NURBS surfaces into your scene, it would be uncomfortable to manipulate with the scene. So this is reason why I convert it to meshes and delete source NURBS surface.
Okay, we are getting to the polygon hell now, but the scene will be lighter, keep it in mind:) Just copy those meshed stones to make a line between lawn and paving.
Let’s make the stairs now. They will not be clearly visible in the scene, but if we change angle of view, we will need them there.
and rendered version:
Let’s see what we got [this is rendered viewport]:
Now we need to make paving. Take any concrete texture you have and use Heighfield from image command to make it like with the lawn. After this simply use Trim command to shape your path.
And again – NURBS surface is highly editable, but not very comfortable to handle in scene. Let’s just convert paving and lawns into Meshes. Use command Mesh with settings as you can see in the next image:
Let’s make the back lawn and mesh them all!
Let’s have a look at rendered image:
Add water surface in the very same way as you made the lawn. This time use stronger multiplier. If you are not satisfied, never mind. Just use 1D scale tool in front/back/left/right viewport. Scale it vertically.
Okay, actually there is more water in real-life pool and the water pours into canals by the pool. In this step I am going to make those canal covers to add some detail into scene.
In this picture you can see three parts: the one on the right is original NURBS and those others are polygon based. One is simplier than another. I decided to use middle one. I am not going to write how I created them – these are very simple polysurfaces, so every advanced user is able to make it in seconds.
Make a canal – use Array command. [press F1 in your Rhino session if you have problems with this step]
Array them in both directions – to make a circle of them around the pool.
The next step includes positioning of water level: Water has to pour into canals, so make it happen as you can see here:
Okay, so now we are done with pool, path and the lawns. Let’s make it more interesting:
If you own licence for Onyx Garden Suite – you are lucky ones. The others have to google for some simple plants over the internet. We are not permitted to share them here, due to licence setted up by their holders.
I made a bench for you: exactly as at Kravi hora is, download it here.
Here is it in NURBS…
…and converted into mesh:
If we have all the materials setted to be overwrited by white diffuse color, we get this image as result of render command:
and another view from the water-side:
It is all for tonight, my friends. Any ideas? Suggest them in comments below!