View Full Version : Waterfall feature sculpting and creation

12 December 2009, 09:56 PM
I am having a very rough time with a current project. The project is a backyard remodel for a client, and I'm done with 90% of the design, but when it comes to the water feature I'm coming up with nothing good.

Using Maya and Mudbox, but mostly I'm hoping someone has ideas on how better to create such a model or scene?

Here are my references. I am trying to create a blend between these two concepts:

This is going into a large back yard in my client's residence, and I'm at the point where I think it would be easier to make with clay than with 3D. I'd like to be able to show dynamic (nParticle) water when I'm done, and show the client how the water would flow. That part is easy; it's the shapes and layout of the rocks that's killing me.

Here's what I've done so far which sucks:

And here's my current mess of a model, which is stumping me:

Basically, a bunch of roundish cubes slapped together, unified (combine) into one piece, with a large mesh area to fill the gaps. I'd hope to take this into Mud and just sculpt it all to look like rocks, but it turned out horrible.

It's just the big rocks and making them fit together that is difficult for me. I can paint-geometry in all the little pebbles later, and plants, etc. It's the basic shape and structure which is tedious for me right now.

Anyone have ideas on how to go about making such a scene?

01 January 2010, 10:26 PM
i suggest using or rockgen script from highend3d or using vue meta blub function it can combine separate simple cubes like the one you have and bridge them with interesting rocky fashion and u can have wide range of variety and options

training for that available here:
Mighty HyperTerrains - Volume 1 (,%20%27document.folded_arrow2%27,%27/order/Buttons/unfolded_noh2.gif%27,%27/order/Buttons/folded_noh2.gif%27%29)

01 January 2010, 10:56 PM
Metaballs won't really help in this case, but I can see why you'd offer the advice. I need a more dynamic texturing option...

Also, Vue's not an option in a production environment. I'm good friends with the author of the Hyperterrain tutorials, but still find them severely limiting and lacking for my purposes. Maya's metaballs are much more potent, but I am going to go look at CreativeCrash (used to be Highend3D) for a rock script to try! I have tried instancing a few rocks in, but creating enough variation has been troublesome.

Might end up just spending awhile sculpting it in Mud again. Depends on which direction the client wants to go!

I do appreciate your feedback though, and thank you.

01 January 2010, 11:07 PM
i was also looking for rocks script for my same desert scene, i found rockgen and some others could mess with the vertex position in random way that could help for variations

these what i found, it might help in ur scene and all are at ceativecash






Object Tweaker


Random Select 1.2.0

Randomize Points



01 January 2010, 11:12 PM
Thanks for pointing those out! I've used several of them, but am gonna spend some time seeing if I can make something work for me with the others.

spPaint3D ( is the best geometry-paint tool I've used so far in Maya; it's at Crash too, check it out if you need another tool for instancing and such!

01 January 2010, 11:31 PM
ohh thanks, sure i will check it i need every possible tool or information could help my desert scene ))

01 January 2010, 08:08 PM
Do you still use Zbrush in your workflow alongside Mudbox? If so, then the new Trim/Planar brushes are perfect for the creation of rock surfaces.(in conjunction with the new surface noise feature)

01 January 2010, 01:41 AM
I'll try to find a similar setup in Mudbox, likely just have to make more custom brushes (which is fine; every time I open Mud I make at least one new brush, it's easy). I haven't used Zbrush since Mudbox arrived. The workflow is pretty obnoxious for an ingrained Maya user; Mudbox functions just like Maya internally, and without the 2.5D silliness which always bugged me. Not that it's not a useful tool, just not as useful in my workflow.

This project revived itself almost at the same moment you all responded again, my friends! Hope to post a "final" render or two soon; I'm meeting the clients again tomorrow!

Here's how my last water feature turned out, just before we finished the imported Japanese tile "roof" section:

(yes, those bowls on the side are gas-fed fire pits!)

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01 January 2010, 01:41 AM
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