9 Replies Latest reply on Sep 24, 2013 4:21 PM by Andi H

    Surfacing question How to acheive naturalistic surfaces

    Andi H

      First of I know solidworks is not meant as a surfacing program but still I do really like the surfacing tools in solidworks and find them easy to work.

      My question is does anybody have any idea on how I can acheive more realistic acanthus leaves by surfacing in solidworks?


      flower 16.JPG


      I have tried serveral times but I have been unable to achieve realistic looking flower. This was one of my projects of the Corinthian capital. I was able to achieve a somewhat good relust but still it doesnt look natural. I faced a lot of frustration and lot of work took me a month but this is what I got. Looks pretty good in the render though but still not natural



      render keyshot




      and composite order utilizing same methods




      anybody have any recomandation on how I can improve the leaves?

        • Re: Surfacing question How to acheive naturalistic surfaces
          Jerry Steiger



          They look pretty good to me!


          The only way I know to get better at SW Surfacing is the same way you get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice.


          Some of the new tools in SW2014 should help.


          Jerry S.

          • Re: Surfacing question How to acheive naturalistic surfaces
            Charles Culp

            I would argue that SolidWorks is a good industrial surfacing tool.


            Organic surfacing is best done with sub-d modeling, which my company now does in modo, and then import into SolidWorks using the tsElements SolidWorks Add-in. Another common tool to use instead of modo is Rhino.

            http://www.swtuts.com/?p=359 - modo workflow

            http://www.swtuts.com/?p=352 - Rhino workflow


            SolidWorks also now supports the new PowerSurfacing Add-in, where you can do organic sub-d modeling natively in the SolidWorks modeling environment.



            These tools make organic manipulation significantly faster.

            • Re: Surfacing question How to acheive naturalistic surfaces
              Andi H

              I hate that drag and drop modeling that is not modeling. I was looking for a NURB spline based modeling technique.

                • Re: Surfacing question How to acheive naturalistic surfaces
                  Anna Wood

                  See if you can get Shon Owl to share some of his techniques.


                  Check out this thread for images of what he has done in SolidWorks.




                  Also check out Mike Wilson's website he has some models that may help you out.


                  http://www.mikejwilson.com/solidworks/solidworks_files-03.htm  The "One Surface Wonders" may be of use.  There are more techniques to be gleaned from his website among his examples as well.





                    • Re: Surfacing question How to acheive naturalistic surfaces
                      Andi H

                      Shon has some nice cool complicated stuff I have seen his ring in another website very interesting how he creates the reliefs. thanks anna

                        • Re: Surfacing question How to acheive naturalistic surfaces
                          Kevin Quigley

                          Interestingly this is something we are doing right now with feet for bathtubs. The honest answer is now you cannot really do it efficiently in any Nurbs tool. Nurbs tools are great for big surfaces and analytical surfaces but not so hot for organic with lots of surface detail or texture. For that you need sub-d modelling systems like Modo or ZBrush.


                          When you do this work you always need to keep the end game in sight...as in what the end product is. If you need to get tools out, like we do, you need to ensure that your workflow allows this. You can, in fact, machine from mesh formats, just depends on your CAM system.


                          Yes, you probably could create wonderful works of art using SolidWorks, and as an academic exercise you will probably get an invite to SolidWorks World but the commercial reality is you need to use the most efficient tools. And for this work, SolidWorks isn't it.

                            • Re: Surfacing question How to acheive naturalistic surfaces
                              Andi H

                              I understand what you are saying but subsurfacing and click and drag vertices is not modeling. I have seen designers sculpt human faces and people out of Nurb surfaces its difficult but it can be done + the sub surface modeling does not give you the vercetility and control the Nurbs does, Zbrush is more effective at those things

                                • Re: Surfacing question How to acheive naturalistic surfaces
                                  Kevin Quigley

                                  Not entirely clear why you say sub divisional modelling is not modelling? It is different from nurbs yes, but it is just as valid and it is modelling. I'd argue the for organic work of the type you are describing mesh and sub d are better, more versatile methods than pure nurbs. Im not arguing that you cannot do this in nurbs, you can, but my point is it is not efficient in a commercial environment. Your pillar is excellent but it took a month? Commercially we would have 2 or 3 days max to do that, hence why we have multiple tools and modelling methodologies in place.

                                    • Re: Surfacing question How to acheive naturalistic surfaces
                                      Andi H

                                      Im not saying its not modeling but its not controlled modeling you click and drag whcih personally i refuse to model that way. The Corinthain colum took 120 hrs about a 3-4 weeks modeling I was figuring things out as I went along so thats why that took so long but even with subsurfacing 2-3 days would be an impossible task to achieve such thing. The colum is not just modeled by eye. The leaves the spirals the shaft the capital the flower stems the eye of volutes are in direct relation with one another. the colum was modeled based on 1000m colum diameter so everything else was derived from that measurement. the amount the leaf goes out and the amount it bends is in direct relation to capital height and leaf height is in realtion to capital height and the eye of volute spiral is in relation to the capital and the leaves and everything else. this typical thing would take just days a good 8-10 hours figuring out the relations and numbers and dimensions for everything. Angles of the leaves how wide are the leaves by how much they narrow etc etc. It looks like it can be simply modeled in subsuface program but subsurfacing will never match the preceision and accuracy the NURBs do. That is the key in Surfacing to fuse mechanical and Natural all in one precesion and dimesions of mechanical CAD combined with naturalistic and soft surfaces. then you have perfect design. Comercial and for pleasure projects are different I had all the time in the world to do this and did many revisions. The colum in actuality has a lot of hidden geometry and mathematical relations which makes it so interesting. Colum Base 1D colum capital 5/6, colum top 9/7, capital height 7/6, First row of leaves 1/3 capital height, 8 leaves all around  45* angle, second row of leaves 1/3 height of first row of leaves, the spiral top is 1/3 of the leaf overall dimension, the leaves extend from edge of the side to the capital base they bend 1/3 the height, there are 4 subdivisions for each acanthus leaf etc etc. Impossible to do 2-3 days. the design of Corinthian capital was conceived more than 2000 years ago whoever came up with this developed such precision and appealing relations that the eye the subconscious mind can look at it recognize the mathematical relations and find it very appealing. Now how in gods heaven they were able to scult all the relations and mathematical precission so accuretly out of marble block is the real question. Or how did they curve the slow and constat rate of narrowing of the column?