Sydney Opera House Modeling


I cant get my head around this building, Where does one start?
Whats the closest primitive shape to it?

Any tips on how to start modeling the sails? and what type of modeling?


well if I was doing it, I would create the sails with longated spheres. and adjust the start and stop u and uv so it was only like a 1/3 of a sphere and then duplicate it and invert the normals on the duplicated piece and then create new polygons along the sides of the bottom one that connected to the top one and the that would have my thickness and my roundness and then my curvature. then rotate it to the correct angel and hten duplicate the whole piece and rotate it to create another sail and so on.


maybe cutting and deforming a sphere would be good here
but i would start from the bottom to the top


I’d start with blueprints - get them or draw them yourself - and then poly-model after those.

The curvatures shouldn’t be too hard to get right, I’d think. And - depending on how close you wanna go - you can get away with reasonably lo-poly, as long as you put those polys in the same smoothing group.

Either way you choose, good luck! Looking forward to see how you’re doing!


  • Jonas

PS, did you ever make those pyramids??! :slight_smile:


I agree with all the comments above me, NURBS should be what you should be looking at, curves are (IMO) what is the closes thing related to this shape. I’d use a primitive only for the bottom of the building.

Good luck & keep us updated.



I don’t know if this will help, but have you ever seen Disney’s “The Rescuers Down Under”? It was made when 3D was just starting to be used in feature films, but I can recall a 3D Sydney Opera House within the first 1/3 of the movie. Because of the simplicity of the model, it might help you to look at that for reference.

As for how I’d do it, I’m sworn on poly modelling, so I’d make it with polys, but with something that complicated, I’d draw a few reference splines first before I modelled it.


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