The Hess Report
The barn consists of some very simple models. One thing that I do when I work is to try to plan ahead for beveling on all objects. Almost all of the main objects in the piece are bevelled. If you're going for photo-realism, you need to do this, as it adds the proper highlights to your models' edges. Sometimes, it is useful to just model away, then use Blender's built-in beveling function. This technique was used primarily for boards. In fact, all individual boards in the image (fence planks, white door trim, the open center door and even the electrical post) are duplicates of the same beveled cube.
Detail of boards in the center door. Bevelled with the bevel editing tool.
Other times, I would model the bevels directly into the object as it was created. For example, the window casing was a plane, extruded several times to achieve the desired topology. When extruding inward, I would add one or two tiny extrusions to mimic beveling, instead of a single, long extrusion.
Window casing bevelled while extruding.
Some people have trouble creating good geometry when they want to create a wall with windows. They resort to using the boolean tools, which aren't the best way to tackle this. A good technique is to use as many sections for your wall base as you will have windows. After extruding your base upward, you can then select each face, do an extrude followed by a scale-down, then deleting the resulting smaller face. A decent way to cut holes in a wall, and produces decent geometry.
For the face of the barn, though, I had another problem, which was that the top edge had to follow the curve of the roof. The solution was to create a wall base (basically, a line), with enough divisions (60 in this case) to approximately the roof curve at the top. This made it easy to create windows, as well. I extruded the bottom line only up to the bottom of the first break in the wall (the bottom edge of the center doorway), then again to the next edge (bottom of windows), then to the next (top of the door), etc. Once this was once, I was able to simple select the appropriate faces and delete them, leaving me with nice wall holes.
Click on the image to show a brief animation of this technique.
Afterward, I used PET modeling to create the proper curvature in the upper edge, while not affecting any of the pertinent interior geometry.
Finished wireframe of the barn's front face.
The roof is a duplicate of the upper edges of the face, extruded to form the proper surface, and finished with PET modeling to shape the overhang on the bottom. The roof overhang in the front of the barn is an extrusion of several of the edges on the front face of the roof. Quick test. Q: Main modeling tool? A: Extrude!
One of the three roof vents.
Roof vents are (beveled!) cubes, extruded several times, then scaled and smoothed in various ways to produce the proper shapes. Pretty basic.
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