Modeling Tutorials Archive

How to model a 3D Hedge

1) Create a spline that will be the central axis of your hedge. Now clone it and hide the resulting copy (we will use that later).

2) Give it a rectangular thickness and write the desired dimensions of your hedge. In this case 40 cm wide and 70 cm length (this one is the actual height). After having done that convert your spline to an editable poly.

3) Create a leaf from a plane and assign a material with a leaf texture to it.
*you may probably wonder why I haven’t used a simple plane with opacity map… actually I have found out on that if you use vray it is less hardware consuming if you use geometry converted to vray proxy rather than planes with opacity maps. If you want to use opacity maps, feel free to do so, and continue with the tutorial.

Now the fun begins…
4) Create a particle array (under “create”, “particle systems”).

5) Under “object based emitter” click “pick object” and select the converted spline.

6) Under “particle generation” be sure to set the following parameters:
-speed – “0”
-emit start – “-100”
-emit stop – “0”

7) Under “particle type” check “instanced geometry”, than scroll down to “instancing parameters” click “pick object” and select the leaf geometry that you made.

9) Under “rotation and collisions”, “spin speed controls”, set the phase to 90 degrees.

10) Scroll up to “particle quantity”, and set use rate to “1500”. This parameter actually sets the number of leafs that your hedge will have. Therefore, it would be wise to keep viewport display as “ticks” and not “mesh” and the percent of displayed particles at 10%.

11)Now is the time to do some test renderings to help you decide upon the number of leafs needed.  Bellow is a result that I’m happy with.

However, as you can see, there are some large gaps between the leafs; I wouldn’t want to increase their number because it would make the scene much to heavy, and it won’t even look real… so here is what we do:

12) Model a few branches using simple box modeling techniques, like in the image bellow:

13) Unhide the clone of the spline that you’ve made at the beginning at the tutorial, and use the spacing tool to clone the branches along that (tools => spacing tool)
If you don’t need a close-up of the hedge in your rendering you can actually skip this step, since the branches won’t be visible from distance.

The only thing that needs to be done is to convert all this to vray proxy (that is if you’re using vray; if not, than you’ve finished the tutorial).
As you can see, you can not convert the “parray” to editable mesh/poly. Fortunately, there is a way to do this, but before you need to change the “percent display” from 10% to 100% in the basic parameters rollout of the pArray. (Be careful, because this may cause the software to crash, due to high memory consumtion)
You can do this with the “mesher”; go to “create”, “compound”, “mesher”. After having created it, go to “pick object” and select the pArray.
Now convert it to editable poly, attach the branches, than do the vraymesh export to create the vray proxy.
That’s it!

If you have any problems, post a comment and I will be glad to help.

Modeling 3D hedges like this is a lot of fun if you have enough harware power… otherwise it can become frustrating due to frequent crashes and slow viewport navigation. Therefore, if you are not doing an animation and the camera position of your still rendering permits it, I recommend faking 3d hedges in renderings using photoshop.