View Full Version : The "Tsuka" (Katana hilt) - Any suggestions?

10 October 2005, 11:08 AM
So I'm modeling a Katana. Stuff went pretty well until I reached the hilt.
The hilt of the katana is wrapped in a special way and I'm having a hard time trying to model it. Here's a pic of how a tsuka looks like:

I tried using a mesh and manualy wrapping it around the hilt, but this twist in the middle is the problematic part. I tried using a spline with a loop and then applying path-deformation to the mesh, but I didnt like the result.

Anyone might have an idea as to how to model this?

10 October 2005, 06:51 PM
hmm.. tricky.. well, im not an expert modeller or anything decent for that matter, but.. i think if you were to say..

get a plane.. make it rectangular, split it like a hotdog bun, maybe not the entire plane, say halfway.. so it would basically be a 'Y'

do that again so you have something along the lines of 2 'Y' shapes facing each other where the open part (the 'v' shape) facing each other..

If you were to criss cross these, merge, then sew up, you might be able to work with it a bit?

I know that might sound really confusing, but its what came to mind.. hope you can solve that puzzle, and if so.. hope it works for you

10 October 2005, 07:08 PM
I see what you mean, and it does make sense. But the real problem I was having is that annoying twist in the middle. As you can see in the pic, the cloth twists in a complicated way. Using the twist modifier doesnt help because its not a straight forward twist...

Thanks for your help :)

10 October 2005, 08:51 AM
Have you ever done Tsukamaki? In otherwords have you ever wrapped the hilt? I learned this about a year ago, and while I'm still a "novice" at it, it has given me an understanding of how it works. You should try and learn more about it. I have also thought about modelling my own sword and have come up with a sort of simple method. first you have to understand how the actual cord is wrapped. Here is a good link for learning how it wraps so you can make a 3D model.

If i were you I would make the actual cord a single plane and split at folds, then texture it. It all depends what it will be used for. I hope this helps somewhat, I think later I'll attempt this and if I do I'll share this with you.

10 October 2005, 08:53 PM
I imagine this is a hi-poly model since you are trying to model those bits eh? I'm at least glad that you got what i meant. the next part would just be moving the polys to make mini archs

At least this is what *I* was thinking. I really wouldnt be sure what it would end up looking like in the end state. Have you gotten it figured out?

If this thing isnt going to be Hi-poly, i suggest whats been mentioned and just 'fool' ppl by texturing it to look like that.

But certainly modelling it would be more of a challenge ;)

hope you get if figured out dude.

10 October 2005, 01:46 PM

here's a link to a german xsi forum. take a look at page 2.
hope this helps.


10 October 2005, 01:59 PM

take a look at this site, its from our german xsi board: (

hope this helps you.

EDIT: sorry for doubleposting, inet was broken down.


10 October 2005, 05:35 PM
proof positive that images speak louder than words.. good link!

10 October 2005, 05:44 PM
lol, I totaly forgot about this thread. I posted this in another forum also and a person there already gave me a good advice. The solution was more simple than I thought. I just poly modeled it. I just almost never poly model so I never thought about it. Here's what I got:

Anyways, thanks for your help everyone. :)

10 October 2005, 10:17 PM
Ok ok, you're getting there. Just need some more height in the knots themselfs! The overall picture looks to flat IMO. the reference in this thread rules :) Information is good.

10 October 2005, 05:53 PM
ya it does look flat.. you need to fatten up that fabric a bit!

But its your Katana.. so do what you like.. :)

10 October 2005, 09:05 PM
Yea, I actually tried to make it thicker. But I ran into some problems and I decided to leave it as it is for now...

So I think that I'm done modeling it. I'm *really* bad at texturing, I have no idea how am I going to do that lol. But I'll give it a try.

Here are a couple of renders: (http://

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10 October 2005, 09:05 PM
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