Creating a dry stone wall

Hi there. first post here, so bear with me please :slight_smile:

I’ve been looking for a right method to create a dry stone wall in SU, but i’ve been struggling quite a bit.

My thoughts about this was to create a simple push pull of a rectangle and apply some stone material and some bump to it, but i’m not having the seamless effect i was hoping for, so i created the stones myself (took quite a lot) but this could only work if i needed a small extension of a wall, but i need a considerable amount of it.

What could be the right method to create something like this?

Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:

For render, you can create such a wall with the help of the Skatter plugin (instead of flowers, you put stones)

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Have a look here for a good selection of stone wall textures. You may find using a texture across the whole wall better than trying to model individual stones. The annual subscription to access the higher res textures was about £15 last time I looked so very good value!

Some ideas explored in this previous thread: Natural Stone Walls

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Thanks!! i’ve already stumbled upon this great plugin, and i get what you’re saying. i first saw this plugin for randomly place vegetation in a landscape, and never thought of it for the stonewall. Thou i don’t have Skatter, i’ve found an extension that helped me with the random vegetation that i need as well, Random Tools, by Alexander Schreyer, so i might give it a go to the idea of using it in a wall… might work, or not, but is worth the shot!

Thanks once more @mihai.s

Thanks @shawb, i took a look at it and it seems to me quite a bargain. It is 12€ the annual membership, download of 50 textures per day, full image access of the respective textures, and no limit for 3d downloading.

i might consider it! :wink: Thanks once more

Thanks @eric-s, it is actually pretty similar of what i’m aiming for. thou i don’t have skatter, i might try this with Random Tools, it has a tool that applies random elements in a mesh, being a face, and edge or a vertice.

But i’m having second thoughts if a bigger model with this application wont be too much for rendering, but i will try it even so :wink:

Sorry - I can’t see your images for some reason, but have you considered doing this with a bump or displacement map in your rendering program instead of actually modeling out the wall geometry? Obviously if you’re just doing this natively in SketchUp it’s not a good solution, but if you’re rendering anyway…

Hi @JustinTSE,

probably i didn’t applied the link correctly in my post, i think this way will work. ( so you can see the image)

Yes, i have consider it actually! Creating the wall geometry in a small model could work, but i’m pretty sure that in a bigger model, the bump or displacement map might be the best option.

I’m using Twilight as my rendering program, the hobby version.

Thanks for your suggestion @JustinTSE, and btw, i really enjoy watching your tutorial videos, it really helps a lot! :slight_smile:

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I went back to the original post and the question was centered around the ‘right’ method of creating a dry stone wall in SU. The answer, I feel, should be to not use any plugin that produces randomness! The fact is that dry stone walling is an ancient rural craft that takes a lot of learning and is anything but random. So, I will stick with my earlier suggestion to use a texture otherwise you could spend years teaching yourself dry stone walling, whether in SU or not!

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Good point re: randomness but I think the term ‘right way’ in SketchUp isn’t correct as SketchUp allows for many ways to achieve similar results. That did get me thinking that a way to control the ‘Randomness’ while avoiding displacement could be to convert heightmap to mesh using ThomThom’s Bitmap to Mesh. See quick test. Not bad result for 5 mins effort…

Used this height map for my demo:

Update: Geometry count is high here but can be reduced:


Not bad at all!! :wink: :+1:

i think that going with a material option is the best way to deal with this question of mine, thou i’m using twilight render, i can’t seem to tune properly the bump of the material.

Well, “right way” probably wasn’t the best term to be used, but i do agree with you on different ways to achieve similar results.

i’m gonna try make a screenshoot of what i’m trying to create, there might be some sections were the stone wall look a bit unfinished or in ruins.

Thanks for the help with this @eric-s.

Wow, that geometry update looks massive!! :slight_smile:

Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your result!

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Thanks! it’s been a bit of a pickle! :smiley:

not as easy as i thought, considering the tools i’m using.

I created a profile of stones from a photo, and the push pulled a bit, and made it a component, so i could use the truebend extension.

In this one i created just some curved lines and give it some ups and downs, because i wanted to simulate something close to a ruined wall…

To be honest, i’m getting a bit frustrated, and probably aiming too high for my capacities and tools right now, but i’m not giving up :wink:

I know that if i can get the hang of PBR materials, and a good render program, i could get the image that i’m looking for, but so far i’m using a hobby version of twilight v2 render.

Ok, so i searched and searched through lot, and think i’ve might just found out what i was looking for!

I installed Twinmotion, using the trial non commercial version, and i have close to 20 mins of it. i imported a sketchUp file, and the results are great!

i started to mess around, importing a simple element from sketchup, added a bit of grass… what brought my chin to the table when i realized it was waving with the wind…

this one i realize there’s a couple of issues, but regarding the 3d element of the ground, but i was amazed with how simple we can change the light in this program, and how it affects the whole scene!

any thoughts on twinmotion?

Thank you all for your kind advices and time to the post!

Personally a big fan both of Twinmotion and Lumion :slight_smile:

I think they’re just way easier for people to use without having to be total experts in rendering, if your PC can handle them. I will note that Twinmotion currently will not support material displacement maps. I think long term Twinmotion has a HUGE future upside as they’ve been acquired by Epic Games and are built on Unreal Engine.


I’ve become a recent fan of TwinMotion, you can get some excellent results out of it with some patience. As a long time user of Vray (and still am) it is extremely useful to get a number of a images and animations out quickly. TwinMotion images certainly have a ‘look’ as all render engines do in their own way, and that can get a little annoying at times but I have only ever had positive responses to images.

Although as @JustinTSE said, there is no current support for displacement maps (and TBH I am not sure it will until Nanite gets rolled into the Unreal Engine version it relies on and then we wont need them anyway :wink:) there are Parallax Occlusion Maps on the roadmap that will help things for animation but for now, we have what we have and TwinMotion’s use of Normal Maps are actually pretty good as mostly for Archviz, geometry profiles can be occluded with the clever use of shadowing, vegetation and scene dressing.

Here is an example from a couple weeks ago, everything on the flat surfaces are derived from texture maps and normals, from the timber cladding to the stacked stone wall in the foreground, its not perfect but it does its communication job as this is just a ‘value add’ image for a project.


@JustinTSE well, so far, for the few hours i dedicated to Twinmotion, i’m already in love with it! :smiley: from the results i’m getting with TM, i think it is the right tool i was looking for, and if in the future will evolve, that’s a good thing to know as well! i saw very recently a video of the unreal engine 5 for PS5 and its astonishing!!

Need to dedicate some time to learn more about twinmotion :wink:

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I’m quite happy with the results i’m getting with Twinmotion to be honest, it is what i was looking for! And as i refer to @JustinTSE if in the future the program will evolve, that’s a win,even if it takes some time. So far, it is as you said, the normal maps use in TM is pretty good!!

@bifterx that image is so great, you say it’s not perfect, but i must say that’s an awesome image, and it sells every pixel of it!!

thanks for the words!

Oh, by the way, the technology about the nanites, the use of it in UE5 for PS5 is so so great!!!


Thanks Leo.

Nanite will be available in UE5 across all platforms as I understand it. It looks phenomenal, I would imagine we’ll need some decent hardware to run it!

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