Modelling complex angles


I am a designer trying to model a stone water bowl which has lots of complex angles. A real life model of the shape is attached. I am guessing I need a plug-in to model this and play around with the shape to get a nice design? Ideally you would start with a solid block and slice angles off it like you would in real life using clay!!

here are some pics of what I am trying to model:

Appreciate any advice!

Many thanks

It can be done without any extensionsI’d probably start with the shape of the top and extrude it to thickness. Then I would start removing bits of the block. Maybe by drawing faces at suitable angles and using Intersect Faces or by making solid “cutter” shapes and using Subtract or Trim from the Solid Tools. Depending on exactly what you want you might also create edges to represent “fold lines” where face direction changes and then use the Move tool to change the angle.

Quickie example. In this case I just drew edges in at some random locations below the top and then used the Move tool to move bottom edges of vertices around. Then the sphere was used to create the recess using Subtract from the Solid Tools.

Hi Dave

Many thanks for your quick reply.

I must admit I’ve never used intersect faces or Solid Tools. I’ve worked out how to use them in theory but struggling to apply to this situation. I’ve got my top which I have extruded. Could you explain the best way to draw faces at suitable angles? I’m struggling to use the protractor tool to measure the angles.

A quick video would be amazing if that’s possible.

Many thanks

I made screen shots of the process.

  1. Draw the shape
    Captura de pantalla 2023-11-01 165851
  2. Extrude it using the push pull tool, and draw or add a loop.
    Captura de pantalla 2023-11-01 165900
  3. Scale the loop from the center with the scale tool tapping ctrl or option on mac, to scale it from the center and make a group or component.(If you drew the loop instead of using a plugin, it’s possible that a face was created inside the geometry, make sure to delete it so it can be used with solid tools.)
    Captura de pantalla 2023-11-01 170255
  4. Create a sphere using the follow me tool using the biggest circle on the image as path and make a group or component of the sphere.
    Captura de pantalla 2023-11-01 165917
  5. Use the solid tools, either trim or subtract tools, I used the trim tool, with native tools you must click first on the object that is going to subtract o trim and then on the object that will be subtracted or trimmed, with bool tools its the other way.
    Captura de pantalla 2023-11-01 165955

Thanks Dave. I’ve managed to do as you explained but this creates the same angle on each side. Each side needs a different angle. It needs to be a random asymmetric shape. I think I need to do each side individually.


Many thanks

Now you need to move individual lines and vertexes. Just grab a line and start moving it and see what happens.

Sorry. I’m away. From my computer today so I can’t do another example right now but as @bmike indicated, you can move individual edges to make it more irregularly shaped. You can also move vertices with the Move tool.

I’m not Dave haha, as you were told you should move the lines randomly to create an asymmetrical shape, you could use vertex tools from thomthom, it’s a paid plugin but you have a free trial period, or Random tools, this plugin is free, using the random vertex moving tool, select the middle loop and play with the values of movement on the three axes. I would use vertex tools cause it lets you easily move vertices, lines and faces, scale them and rotate them.

If you need to have the exact same shape you could make a 3D model of it out of photos using a software like meshlab, this process is called photogrammetry, you must take photos of the object from different angles, the light must be constant from every side to have better results, meshlab will convert the photos into a 3D model that you can import from sketchup, it will be a high poly model because it has rough faces, you can make a model on top of it, again I would use vertex tools to make it easier, then scale it using the measure tape tool.

P.S. just saw that you’re using Mac, I’m not sure if meshlab has a Mac version, there are a lot of softwares that can do photogrammetry, even online. Macs with apple silicon have a native tool to do that I’m not sure if intel macs have, doing it online is the best option for you cause intel integrated graphics aren’t powerful and it could take a lot of time to get the job done.