Mind bending

I’m looking to model the steel element shown in the image i.e. a path which becomes 3D to twist around on itself. Any guidance on how to go about this would be welcomed.

One method can be like this (just an idea)


Amazing! Thank you very much - I’ll give this a go.

Unfortunately, the above method will not work for you. FollowMe will not make it possible to make a woven mesh on this surface. You must first shape it flat. Then use Flowify and this tool will fit the mesh to the 3D surface.
The surface can also be modeled more easily and of equal width. The Mihai method does not do this!

  1. make line with a length equal to the surface width
  2. copy it and move it, rotate it at the “key” points
  3. use CurviLoft to create the surface
  4. Create geometry for Flowify and a woven mesh
  5. Tea and smile.
    Unfortunately, this geometry can clog your computer

You’re welcome, @penelope! Thanks!

In that short and quick animation, I showed you as an idea of a method to create a shape of that kind.
Depending on how accurate and detailed you want that model, you have several possibilities:

  • you can create only the surface and apply a texture;
  • you can create the mesh (you will have a high-poly model, not recommended). You’ll see how to in a method in the clip below;
  • if you’'ll render with V-Ray 6, you will be able to apply V-Ray Enmesh on that surface.

In the following clip, to create the model more easily, including the 3D modeling of the mesh (it is not to scale, I exaggerated to make it visible), I used a few extensions - QuadFace Tools, FredoSpline, Fredo Curviloft, CLF Component Stringer, Helix along curve, SuBD.

You can thus create your model without deformations and in detail, and then, if you want, you can ‘bake’ the textures for the PBR material in Blender (to reduce the poly count), which you can then use applied to a low-poly model and render it with the textures for displacement, bump, roughness, etc…