I am looking to make tiki lamps like this: enter image description here

but I don't know how to make rope that wraps around a sphere. Can anyone tell me if there is a tutorial on how I can make rope wrap like this?


1 Answer 1


Here's one way you could do it (or at least get a good starting base mesh).

Start by adding a UV sphere, but make sure to reduce the number of segments and rings by half before you do anything else.


From here, add a Decimate modifier, set to "un-subdivide", with 1 iterations. This will make the base of the "webbing".


From here, add 2 more modifiers. First, add a wireframe modifier - this will give it some thickness. I increased the thickness from 0.02 to 0.04 because I thought it looks more like rope - adjust to your taste. Next, add a bevel modifier. The reason for the bevel is that I plan to add a Subdivision Surface Modifier in the next step, and the bevel modifier makes it keep it's shape properly.


Next, add the Subdivision Surface Modifier to the (already existing) stack of modifiers. This is also a time to add a new UV sphere (in object mode) in the same spot as you added the first sphere. This will act as your "light ball". Make sure to subdivide and smooth shade the UV sphere appropriately so it looks like a proper sphere.


I gave the light some color (just to see it better), and then applied all the modifiers to the "rope" object from top to bottom on the list. From here, select the rope object, enter edit mode and select a vertex at the very top. Press O to turn on Proportional Editing, and select "sharp" from the edit list.


Now, grab the vertex (G) and move it up along the z-axis. Use the mouse wheel to control the size of the edit circle until the shape looks right. Use your light "ball" as a size reference.


Last, all there is to do is give your rope a texture - I used a simple procedural one made out of noise, but you can use whatever you want.


Then just give a better shader to your light and adjust your world lighting (also to taste). Final result looks something like this:


Obviously you can play with the values at any point to further customize it to your liking. I hope this just gives a good base starting idea you can use.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is a great answer, I just wanted to drop in this link which shows a method for an arbitrary mesh. youtu.be/FQiJvDzqsTE?t=616 $\endgroup$ Dec 4, 2020 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ @AllenSimpson That's a trick I hadn't seen before, worth an answer, IMO.. I wonder why it consistently makes quads by eliminating the right edges? I guess it must preserve the longest.. $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Dec 5, 2020 at 9:23
  • $\begingroup$ is there a handy way to get a point-cloud for all the rope intersections from the hanging model, and use that to link a set of rope knotts? $\endgroup$ Dec 10, 2020 at 19:09

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