CPSC 3710
Ray Tracing Project

Richard Tran
Spring 2012


For this project, I chose to model the Calgary Tower. The main photo was taken from the wikipedia webpage while the head of the tower was take from dsphotograhic.com.

First impression of Blender

I chose to use Blender to model the Calgary Tower. The reason why I chose blender was that I felt that it could be a useful and relevant tool to draw 3D models. I've read the Blender manual for version 2.6 from wiki documentation. I also watch a few tutorials from yotube on modeling. I was surprised on the vast number of tools and features that blender available. Opening up Blender for the first time was a bit overwhelming due to the number of buttons and panels that were present. At first I had a lot of difficulties interacting with the interface since I didn't know the mouse and keyboard operations were different depending on whether blender was in object or edit mode. I would have to say that Blender has a bit of a learning curve, but in the end I did get comfortable with using it

The following are pictures of the actual and render photo of Calgary Tower

How was it done

Base of Tower

The base of the tower was made with a combination of cylinder and circle meshes. A variation of scaling and extruding was done to create the inward slant of the object. I've created different circles and cylinder mesh so that I could vary the colours between layers. I have also added a disc-shape floor to mimic the floor of the actual photo. I had some trouble trying to align the various objects together. I also had a bit of troubles creating the inward slant at the top of the base object. I was not too sure on how to create the lattice design. My search to find tutorials on how to make edges visible did not bear any fruit. With a bit of trial and error with material property box, I found out that I could create an object that only shows the edges of the object. So I made a lattice design by creating another object and placed it on top of the original model. Trial and error was also used to create transparent windows that is similar to the actual photo. I used a concrete texture for the body. The texture was obtained from http://www.blendernation.com/2006/08/26/concrete-texture-pack/.

Head of Tower

Like the base of the tower, the top tower is made from a combination of cylinder and circle meshes I had the most trouble trying to curve the bottom edge inwards and also trying to curve the bottom edge up and outwards. Think my main problem is that I could not find a method to vary the angle of the curve while scaling. Each colour was made with a difference object to make the modeling simpler. The top part of tower is made from a cone mesh and half circle mesh.


In conclusion, I felt like Blender should have not been my chose to first learn how to create 3D models. There is quite a bit of information to know to effectively use Blender comfortably. I felt like a spent more time fighting with using the interface than doing the actual modeling. In the end, I did to learn something from the experience as I did get more comfortable with using Blender.