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Quick disclaimer: I'm relatively new to Blender, and so I apologize in advance for my ignorance.


"What is the best way to approach modeling a Low-Poly crater in Blender?"

Here's an example of a crater on Earth. I'd like to use the low-poly art style and make different variants of craters similar to this.

enter image description here


I've tried two approaches so far:

  1. Bézier curve: I tried using the Bézier curve tool to outline a crater from the top view. I then sub-divided the ground and crater into triangles, and then randomized the materials assigned to each of the faces. This was very time-consuming, and the end result feels very unnatural. enter image description here

  2. Sculpting: I then tried sculpting for the first time. While it looks nothing like it, I think I'm on the right track, but I'm clueless as to how to achieve the desired result. The terrain (when imported into Unity) feels a lot more natural, but I cannot seem to get the sharp ridge on the crater walls right. enter image description here

Are there any better means of achieving this result? Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

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  • $\begingroup$ If you are going for that faceted shading "low poly" look you could try taking your sculpted geo and just apply a decimate modifier to it that way you can adjust the level of detail through that while also being able to continue sculpting on it. $\endgroup$ – Chris Nov 21 '19 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris Thanks for your reply, however that isn’t an issue. I’m able to create the low poly look using the sculpting tool with Dyntopo set on, however am not sure how to make the sharp ridge, and surrounding of the crater. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Nov 21 '19 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ The answer below suggest something similar to me but starting with a height map instead, have you tried using the Pinch brush in sculpt mode to get that sharp? $\endgroup$ – Chris Nov 22 '19 at 1:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris Using the pinch tool works, however still doesn't quick make it as sharp as I would like? $\endgroup$ – Daniel Nov 22 '19 at 7:39
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Lazy tutorial ...

Link is set directly to your Barringer crater. Exported image seems like just a screenshot saved in 8-bit, that makes it lately a bit blocky for displacement (16 or 32-bit would be better for smooth result), but since your goal is low-poly, it's more than enough.

enter image description here

  • subdivide plane few times to make topology more dense, plus add Subdivide modifier to get grid even more dense to catch details

enter image description here

  • add Displacement modifier, assign downloaded high-map (greyscale image) as Texture, Strenght = 0.1

enter image description here

  • add Decimate modifier, Ratio = 0.01

enter image description here


Landing on Surface

  • add Cylinder and Boolean-Intersect it from crater to get circular shape

enter image description here

  • go to Weight Paint mode and click in center from top view to get gradient

enter image description here

  • search for "Invert" to get red color of gradient from center on edge

enter image description here

  • add any "land" object (surface you want to follow)

  • use snap tool to bring center of crater object to surface (with "Align Rotation to Target")

enter image description here

  • add to the crater object Shrinkwrap modifier and choose a Vertex Group (in this case called "Group" generated by Weight Paint mode automatically)

enter image description here enter image description here

Works for concave and convex shapes as well ...

enter image description here enter image description here

In this particular case (crater) probably could be enough to duplicate and rotate / scale object, that will brings illusion of crater variations without needs to make them unique, but you can sculpt a bit each of them to make more variations.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks so much! Really appreciate it! $\endgroup$ – Daniel Nov 22 '19 at 9:08

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