Environment Series 4: Old Well

Hey guys, today we have part 4 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 well is actually very easy, and can be done in only a few steps.
We will break it down into the bricks, the slat roof, the supports, the bucket and lowering drum, and the rope.
We will then go ahead and put on some basic textures, this part will be very brief as the textures are setup mostly the same for all objects :)
As this is only going to be seen from a distance, we need not go into a lot of detail, but if you wish to use this for close ups,
simply up the subsurf, and work on the textures a little more.

As a side note, this is the second version of this tutorial as a lot of the data became corrupt :O
So some bits have been trimmed and the well included in the resources does ot match the tutorial screenshots exactly. But was built using the same process.
Bearing that in mind, let’s begin

1a. We will start by modelling the brick section of the well.
Add in a cube, and scale it down to be about the size of a brick(about 1×1.5×2 ratio), you can also smooth it out with a subsurf and edgeloops at this point.
Cool, now you need to add in a circle, we will use this to control the size of the well.

1b. select your brick and add in an array modifier, ser the fit to curve, and select our curve. This will extend the length of your bricks to the length of the curve.
Now add in another array set to object offset, and add an empty to use as the offset. move the empty up a little and this will create a second layer of bricks.
Bricks don’t line up when stacked, they are interlocked, so move the empty over a little so that they overlap by a half.
We also want to have a well that is 6 bricks high, not 2 so add in another array with relative offset set to 1.01 along the z axis. Remember we need to have a small gap between bricks to allow for the grout.
And finally, add in a curve modifier set to the curve circle, and adjust so it fits nicely around.
To make sure you can’t see through the gaps you may wish to add in a solid cylinder within the bricks to prevent any gaps. – Hope that makes sense :)

1c.Before we wrap up the modelling of the bricks, we want to add some displacement. This can be done with a displacement modifier, and a clouds texture. play with the settings to get it just how you want it. We want some distortion, but not too much that it looks unusual.
Bump the subsurf up to 3, and you can use an object to control the displacement coordinates if you like.

2a.Lets start making the supports for the slat roof
Add in two cylinders and place them either side of the well. For extra detail, you can apply the modifiers on the well (except the subsurf and displacement) Make sure you store a backup on a trash layer before you do this.
And extrude in some gaps for the poles for realism, as if they were concreted in.

2b. Let’s expand a little further, add in some cross beams, and some notches into the poles. You can use a boolean modifier for this, or model it by hand, that’s up to you.

2c. Cool, now lets add some supports for the slats, add in a block across the cross beams, and using arrays and mirrors we can create a nice set of slats, apply the array and using the knife tool you can give some shape by distorting the planks to make them look a bit older.
you can do this by selecting all, and cutting across all of them with the knife, then simply moving the new edge loops around.

3. Fantastic work. Lets finish off our roof by adding in the slats, These are basically arrays of planes, with a bit of distortion, and a solidify modifier to give them some thickness. Finish off with a slight displacement modifier and your done.
Now add a small cap on the top to hold them all in place.
ie the rusty metal top thing.

4. Ok lets create our drum that will rise and lower the bucket.
The drum is a tapered cylinder, and I used a converted nurbs path for the handle
, and a few other primitive objects for the bolts/brackets.
It will barely be visible so don’t worry about being too detailed here.

5. Let’s add in the bucket.
This is just a simple cylinder, I’m sure you can make this without instruction ;)

6a. Finally we can model the rope, This is tedious and tricky. Start by adding a bezier circle, and in edit mode duplicate this four times around the origin so we get four circles. This will be our bevel circle.

6b. Awesome, now create your primary curve that will determine the path the rope will take. wrap it around the drum a few times, and finally link it into the bucket. If your having trouble positioning it, you can use the game physics to drape it over objects.
To get the twisting effect, just twist the points as you go through the curve, this can take a while but gives a nice effect.

7. Well done for making it this far!
Let’s start on adding in the textures. I’ll assume you know how to UV unwrap everything so we will skip that step.The well was unwrapped using the automatic unwrapping. You’ll get some stretching but we will just cover it with ivy later.
Download some concrete textures, and wood, and rusted metal, from cgtextures
or whichever site you wish to get them from.You will find all the links within the blend file – look at the texture names :)

For our textures they will be bascally standard diffuse
for the majority of our objects, with a mix of diffuse and spec for our metal.
We have covered enough of this already so I’m sure you can cope, if you are having trouble with this stage, let me know and I can provide some assistance.
One key thing is – don’t make your rust overly specular, we will be covering it with ivy later so don’t want it to shine through. Likewise don’t put a massive effort into the textures, it will be under heavy ivy, DOF and various effects that make errors less apparent.

I’ve included a quick render of just the well to show you what we should have so far.
I’m sure you can see errors with my work, but if you saw the final result from this series, you’ll notice you can’t see the errors at all :)
If you are using the well for close ups, just put a little effort into the UV’s for the well and it will turn out much better.

Cool stuff, here is what we should have after part 4.

So I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and stay tuned for part 5 where we look at building all the trees!

Got stuck? Leave a comment below

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