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I am looking for a way to create procedural weld joints in blender.

Here are some reference images showing what I am looking for:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimgrant/105352380

https://www.flickr.com/photos/7363531@N05/477075888

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fstorr/5440129655

The basic approach I have been taking is to create a base mesh then use a skin modifier fallowed by a subserf modifier with a bunch of displacements after that. However I am not happy with the result, I think that the displacement textures need to be different(in this case I am using two cloud textures). This is the result that I got so far: weld joint

One thing that you might notice in the reference pictures is that weld joints tend to have a beaded look to them due to how the individual drops of metal fell into the seam and overlapped each-other. I am not sure how best to replicate this with a displacement. I thought about using Metaballs but those are hard to work with and getting some kind of displacement or randomization on them would be very hard (not saying that they are not an option though).

What are you thoughts? Dose anybody know of a good way to quickly and easily create a procedural weld joint?

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  • $\begingroup$ If you use an image texture for the weld, you can get a very nice look. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Sep 6 '14 at 23:07
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You said you wanted a to do this procedurally, but I personally would recommend using an image texture like this one.

This image was created by me, and is in the public domain. Use it however you want :) Click for larger size
enter image description here

This displacement map produced a result like this:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ did you make that image? $\endgroup$ – David Sep 7 '14 at 4:25
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, took a while to figure out how... Fell free to use it how ever you wan't. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Sep 7 '14 at 6:18
  • $\begingroup$ I will make it tillable. :) $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Sep 7 '14 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ Wow! That produces a really good result. It is limiting though. For example, it would be very hard to get two weld joints to join like in the first two images. That is the main reason I wanted to do this procedurally. $\endgroup$ – Isaac Sep 7 '14 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ @GiantCowFilms Actually I meant like in a 'T' where there are two weld lines coming together at an intersection point. $\endgroup$ – Isaac Sep 7 '14 at 22:33
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If you want to do this procedurally, you could try using a lattice modifier to distort the displacement:

enter image description here

In the above screenshot I use a wood texture for the displacement:

enter image description here

And a distorted lattice for the distortion:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you post a better version of the final result, it is rather hard to see. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Sep 7 '14 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ @GiantCowFilms Is this clearer pasteall.org/pic/76710? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Sep 7 '14 at 21:19
  • $\begingroup$ A lattice modifier! I never thought of that. If you added a curve modifier after the lattice modifier you could control the weld joint around curved surfaces... or any other surface. However you can't control the twisting of a curve :( If you change you answer to include the curve then I will mark it as the right answer(for the sake of people later viewing this question). Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Isaac Sep 7 '14 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Isaac You can, press Ctrl T in edit mode. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Sep 7 '14 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 I didn't realize that, thanks for the advice! $\endgroup$ – Isaac Sep 7 '14 at 22:25

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