CS 3710 Graphics Project

Rio Lowry

I chose to build a 3D model of my children's Lego storage box in Blender. The box is complex enough to provide a challenge, but is also geometrically simple enough that, having no previous 3D modeling experience, I felt that it would be a good project for becoming familiar with Blender's features and functions. (And besides, its fun to play with Lego.)

Here is my final scene:
final rendered model
Click to enlarge

And here is the original box:
Lego Box
Click to enlarge

Various other angles

box bottom box inside box_side lid_inside lid_side lid_top side_closed

Project Details

I began with a basic cube mesh in Blender and split the cube in half and began to modify the top and the bottom so that each half was structurally similar to the Lego box.

start with a cube Build Box Bottom Building Box Building Box Building Box Building Box

Once the wireframe was ready, I added a shiny red material to the box and added the text "Lego".

Building Box

After I had the box fully modelled I applied a solidify modifier to thicken the walls and added a bevel modifier to both halves. This caused a few problems and I needed to delete and rebuild a lot of vertices, edges, and faces one at a time so that the model would bevel properly.

fix bevel issues fix bevel issues

Once I had those issues worked out and my model was ready, I started applying different materials, textures and colors, I also played with different lighting to find the effect that I wanted.

box materials and lighting box materials and lighting box materials and lighting box materials and lighting box materials and lighting box materials and lighting box materials and lighting

I liked having a sun lamp and a regular lamp positioned across from each other, they give the visual feel of being in a house with the sun shining through the window and onto the floor.

box materials and lighting

This shot was just for fun :) and it also shows that I had my sky color set to blue (see the upper tight-hand corner of the image).

just for fun

Once I had decided on what I liked, I added a texture to the "floor" of the scene. It's actually a brick texture, but the way it is applied makes it seem like a good quality kitchen lino.

rendered model scene

Of course, the scene felt really boring, so I decided add Lego bricks to the scene. Since the (real-life) Lego box is proportionally the same as a Lego piece (and is also stackable) I decided to duplicate and modify my existing model to create the bricks

converting box to brick

Then I scaled, sliced and duplicated that brick model to create a number of bricks of various sizes

building the bricks

Next I used individual bricks to create a Lego guy (because there is always a Lego guy in or around the Lego box at my house)

Lego guy

Placed the Lego guy in the scene and scaled it so it was relatively proportional to the box

Lego guy in scene scale Lego guy in scene

One of the time consuming things was placing the individual pieces in the scene. (I arranged them on a different layer and then moved them into the scene and placed them.)

add bricks to scene

Then I randomized the pieces by randomly grabbing a subset of the peices I had already placed, duplicating and transforming them along their own local axes.

randomize bricks in scene

While I was doing that I made some mistake and unknowingly wrecked the texture which I had added to the floor of the scene, at first I thought it was just my computer being old and slow but then I realized I had accidentally duplicated the floor and deleted the texture. I was able to get it back without a hitch.

add bricks in scene floor texture missing

To make the scene look more like a child had scattered the Lego on the floor, I individually adjusted the colored material of the bricks choosing from the set of colored materials that I had created.

adjust brick colors

At the point my scene was almost ready, but I just didn't like the position of the lid.

final rendered model

It ended up being a bit of a pain to reposition the lid, and I also had to move individual bricks around it as well to make it look right.

final rendered model

Finally, the finished scene! Lego on the kitchen floor:

final rendered model

View 2:

final rendered model view 2

View 3:

final rendered model view 3