Environment Series 3: Old Bridge

Hey guys, today we have part 3 in the environment series.
This series is based around nature and cycles.

Bear in mind that this is NOT a beginner series,
I will assume you already know what I mean when I say Duplicate the trees around the place and randomize the rotation and scale a bit.
Of course Beginners will still be able to follow along but be ready to do a bit of googling ;)

So the theme is: “Environments”

So we will be doing a 8 part series on modelling an environment scene, you may have already seen the teasers on facebook, but if not you can jump there now :D
So why so many parts for one scene?
Well basically this is going to be reference material, so you can just jump to a section you need to refresh on.
What will be covered?

1. Landscaping: The ground, path, river, and background
2. Grass: The grass, flowers, and butterflies
3. Bridge: The old bridge
4. Well: The old Well
5. Trees: All the Trees
6. House: An old fashioned cottage
7. Ivy: We cover everything in Ivy
8. Finish: Touch-ups, Compositing etc

So Lets get started, For this tutorial you will need a current cycles build from graphicall.org.
Building an old bridge is actually very easy, and can be done in only a few steps.

1. Add in a plane where you want the bridge and give it the rough shape of the base of the bridge using edge loops,
Also flare out the ends and tuck them into the path. We want the path to go over the bridge so tucking it in a little will allow it to blend seamlessly.
You may wish to use a mirror modifier along a subsurface for easy modelling.

2.Ok so making the sides of the bridge is easier than it looks.
Duplicate the sides of the floor plane, and seperate the mesh. we will extrude these up, give it a solidify modifier and
a subdivision surface.
You will need to sharpen up the edges with some edge loops and play with the creases to get the sharper edge.

3. Apply all the modifiers(not subsurf) and mark your seams on your bridge. Nice and straightforward.

4. Alright, before we start texturing, we need to create our UV maps. UV unwrap will work fine, but I chose to use UV project from view (top view) for the plane. And UV unwrap for the sides with a few tweaks. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect as it will be from a distance and covered in ivy.

5. Lets texture the path over the bridge first.
I duplicated the ground material and removed all but the section for the path. We will use this as the base.
Adjust the mapping scale and bump strength to fit. try to get it seamless, you may need to widen the path, but doesn’t need to be perfect as remember it’s covered in grass.

6. Ok so now that the bridge base is textured, lets texture the sides of the bridge.
I have used a texture from cgtextures, and created a height map(add small amount of blur, slightly more contrast and in black and white), and a specularity map(Black and White, high contrast[almost black with small highlights]).
We will create the standard node setup using diffuse, with specular map controlling the amount of glossy shader. and height map controlling the amount of displacement.
Don’t worry about any texture problems, it’s gonna be covered in ivy anyway.

Alright so lets take a look at the final render of what we should have so far.

So I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and stay tuned for part 4 where we look at building and texturing the old well!

Got stuck? Leave a comment below

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