Since I have many questions regarding the 3d modeling, I’ve decided to begin sharing the short overviews of main techniques used in creating the models. As mainly the questions go from the people, who is actually known with instruments of 3d modeling, I will only show the main steps in creating those or another models. The lots of screenshots are from the 3ds Max backup files, which were saved the time I did the model, and some steps are missing, but I will try to cover them with worded descriptions.
Many of you already met with the table 3d model round classical that is absolutely free can be downloaded from the free 3d models RenderStuff. As I have said, the screenshots were taken from the existing backups, but I hope they should make the base table 3d modeling techniques clear.
To begin the table 3d modeling, you have to equip yourselves with the good reference image. The better the image, the better resulting model and less sweat for you as 3d modeler. I personally do not like to guess the form and properties of unclear details very much.
I was provided with this reference photo by my client, who ordered 3d rendering. He has a wish to make this table a bit simpler and not so pompous. You can compare this to the resulting classic table 3d model. There the golden leaves on the legs and the central circle ledge are missing.
For beginning the 3d modeling process, you may crop the reference image with 1:1 aspect ratio. Why 1:1? Because you don’t want to mess with stretching the rectangular (not square) image in the 3d software viewport . Instead of it you just create the plane with identical sides and drop the reference on it. Then you got to move a bit this plane far from you in the Front viewport.
First, create the little plane in the frontal view – it will become a beautiful table leg shortly. Because you’ve have moved the reference plane back, this new small plane will be on top and visible. Then, we got to see through this new plane, of course, for seeing the reference image. In 3ds Max the see-through mode is activated by pressing the Alt+X keyboard shortcut on the selected model.
The main principle for now is to create the correct topology for the leg patterns. It must follow all the bends and edges and it also got to be approximately balanced. You shouldn’t have some parts of the mesh dense and the other not. In 3ds Max, on the Edge sub-object level in Editable poly object, if you hold down the Shift key and simultaneously drag some edge, it will extend from the original one. That is what we need to do. We Shift+Drag the edge, then move the Vertices in the right place, Shift-Drag the edge, move the Vertices. This way you need to create the initial topology of the leg side surface.
Notice, that, as I’ve explained previously, the edges repeat the leg’s curves. The presented mesh density is enough to make nice smooth surface further.
Also, we got to press the central part into the model. Take the Extrude tool and extrude the central polygons inside the leg. The little chamfer on the external corner edges will give the model the visual rigidity.
At this time, the leg is one-sided. However, this is simply solved by applying the symmetry on it. 3ds Max users should check out the Symmetry modifier for such purposes.
After we have the upper part of leg, we can make the leg’s part, which actually stands on the floor by cloning and transforming the upper one.
To complete the leg, we need to create the upper box.
It is made from the box shape. The lower extruded parts made using Bevel tool and the frontal slots made using the chamfer and negative extrusion after splitting the surface on four segments.
Let’s attach all the parts of the leg one to another. After we have the leg collected, apply the mesh Subdivision to it. In 3ds Max it is MeshSmooth or TurboSmooth modifier. The leg is done. We going to leave it for a while.
Next thing to do is to make the tabletop and the lower wooden ring.
This parts are the most simple. Looking onto the reference image in the Front viewport, we draw a Spline along the borders and the we Lathe it to have the nice circle form.
The only decorative element on the table is the decorative flower pattern on the tabletop sides. And again, to make it, we got to draw a bordering spline as it is on the image.
Then we got to Extrude it and Bend (all with the modifiers) a little, to match the tabletop side curving.
On this stage, we have all the parts complete. Last thing is to get all them together.
Clone the legs by Shift+Rotate the model to 90 degrees three times. Do the same for the flower pattern.
As you can see now, the all parts together look great.
Unfortunately, the mapping process was not backuped and the thing I can say about it, is that such surfaces may be mapped using simple plane mapping, as this is solid not animated object. Here is the leg mapping layout of the mesh BEFORE applying the subdivision.
Following image is the map, painted in Photoshop based on the unwrapped mapping layout.
The final table 3d model screenshot shows, that good model is looking good even in the viewport.
As always, this model you can download at Renderstuff free 3d models >> Coffee table 3d model.
Feel free to ask all about the missing nuances in blog comments ;)