View Full Version : need suggestion for bricks

11 November 2009, 09:35 PM
Long shot. I'm looking for a 3DCC solution for constructing Victorian brick exteriors with lots of decorative details, such as inset bricks to form a design, decorative arches, pedestals and many more. Software with presets wouldn't do it. I'm looking for full user ability to place bricks in precise formations, brick by brick.

11 November 2009, 02:36 AM
There are a couple ways to approach the kind of detail you're looking for.

1. Sculpting/PaintTexturing. Zbrush or Mudbox would be the tool here. I've used Mudbox to sculpt out piles of individual-brick details before, starting with minimal geometry from Maya. Sculpt in all your bricks and tiles, then texture them, then make a new paint layer for grout/mortar, etc.

2. Modeling (the long/hard way). Create your reference model first, in CAD or however you choose to do it. Then model in each element. Make a brick, then make a few variations, and just start laying each one in place. Make different bricks to suit your needs. This is the hard way, and won't necessarily look better than the sculpted way. Also, you'll need custom UV maps and textures for each element, instead of just doing it all at once via paint-texturing. I've used this method to create custom water-features, ponds, and backyard waterfalls.

If you need examples let me know.

11 November 2009, 03:09 AM
Maybe you can narrow down your suggestion when I describe the following feature. I notice on my neighbour's solid brick house (not veneer) that there is a decorative detail where the mason has created a diamomd patch of bricks that are rotated laterally 45 degrees so one corner is facing forward the furthest. I don't know enough about 3D yet to know which of your suggestions I need to explore. Here's sample of some Victorian stuff, but there's a lot more fancy design work than this. I think I see myself tracing polylines in a program such as Silo and doing push/pull to get the depths and arches etc.

11 November 2009, 08:23 AM
I looked at the image you supplied and would agree with you on modeling those areas. You needn't model every brick though, in that case. Just the shapes which contain different texture areas. The rest you could do in Photoshop as a texture map.

If you look at that particular image, in fact, you can see where the texturer got lazy and stretched a lot of brick textures out. The archway in particular. In real life, you won't have that luxury, and would have to fit bricks of existing sized into the space.

I think you're on the right track, conceptually. Give it a shot and if you're having troubles post some screenshots of what you're trying to do, for more help.

11 November 2009, 01:19 PM
Interesting thread!

Another thing that you can do is to carefully model sections of the brickwork and then use those as image-maps that are applied to planes. (Or perhaps, using linking-and-duplicating techniques, re-use those sections literally.) This will both reduce the time required to render the geometry, and also reflect some of the building techniques that are (and were) used on facade work.

If you do build reusable sections, pay special attention to the light. You can't rotate the patches when placing them, because you would (unnaturally) thereby rotate the light. Even if the viewer can't articulate why "it just feels wrong," it will never be as convincing as it deserves to be.

It's going to be an intricate (probably CAD) model, and when you are done it's gonna look great. Show it off! (Finals and WIPs.) :beer:

11 November 2009, 02:00 PM
Here's an example I found of the rotated (45 Degrees) brickwork that I mentioned in my second post above. It's over the window.
I agree, I could build up a library of these decorative sections. Here in Toronto, most residential structures are solid brick or much more recent brick veneer (yuk). Many were built during what must have been a big population surge around about 1880-90. I live in one. The construction quality is vastly superior to modern residential dwellings.

Ian Jones
11 November 2009, 02:53 PM
Vancouver seems to be doing the same architecturally. Highrises (residentials) all seem to be modern above the 3rd floor and brick veneer down to street level. I get what they are trying to do, but they have chosen some horrible bricks and features.

12 December 2009, 02:05 AM
Check the decorate script, it is very useful for this kind...


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