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I have this shape and have no idea where to start modeling it from.

tessellated shape on a sphere

Any ideas appreciated.

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  • $\begingroup$ Just a thought, this might be better suited as a Blender Artist's thread than a question here. This is a little too broad I think for here. $\endgroup$ – VRM Apr 7 '15 at 14:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Vince Scalia I know what your associations may be but originally swastika is a symbol of good luck and prosperity. $\endgroup$ – Paul Gonet Apr 7 '15 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ @VinceScalia like Gonzou said the swastika here is a reference to Hindu and Buddhist culture and not the Nazi one, the person who designed it is a Buddhist living in Malaysia. $\endgroup$ – Samir Rahamtalla Apr 8 '15 at 3:44
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Create a cube, in edit mode hit W and subdivide it 4 times. Select the center loops of the main faces:

enter image description here

Then, invert the selection, with Ctrl+I and delete those faces:

enter image description here

After that, select only the faces that are connecting the loops, turn on Proportional Editing, with O, change the pivot point to Individual Origins and set the Transformation Orientation to Normal; hit R, to rotate, then Z twice to limit rotation along the normal, and input 45 as the rotation angle and adjust falloff with the middle mouse wheel; hit Enter when finished.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Select all the faces, hit Shift+Alt+S and enter 1 to make the shape spherical.

Final result with creased edges, then solidify modifier and subdivision surface:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ After that you may scale the intersecting faces along the individual origins a bit, add solidify and subsurf modifiers. Requires lots of playing around to make it look exactly like in the picture. $\endgroup$ – Highstaker Apr 7 '15 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ I got the right effects with a solidify of 0.5 and an X2 subsurf. $\endgroup$ – Scalia Apr 7 '15 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ You also can shrink wrap it to a sphere, whic is what i did. worked like a charm. $\endgroup$ – Scalia Apr 7 '15 at 20:26
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, with some tweaks and combination of modifiers you can get the exact shape. $\endgroup$ – Denis Apr 7 '15 at 20:28
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Just an idea: Add a plane and subdivide it to create a module. enter image description here enter image description here

Rotate a module and create a swastika-like shape. enter image description here

Place the shapes as shown below. enter image description here

Press Alt+Shift+S to transform them into the sphere. To make it look better, densify the geometry of the module. enter image description here

Note: Although I'm not sure it's 100% accurate, you may give it a try.

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  • $\begingroup$ The reference results in triangular spaces, this results in four sided spaces. Other than that, this is a great technique! $\endgroup$ – VRM Apr 7 '15 at 17:08
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, you're right. Denis' solution is better explication of my idea. $\endgroup$ – Paul Gonet Apr 7 '15 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ That will work if you rotate the shape 45 degrees and adjust the edges where they are connecting. $\endgroup$ – Denis Apr 7 '15 at 23:37
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The first time I saw something like that the person had a link to David Brinnen's youtube channel. He models things like that with Wings3D and then exports them to Bryce for rendering. You can follow his instructions up to the point where he imports it into Bryce and instead import it into Blender.

http://www.youtube.com/user/davidbrinnen/videos

TopMod is another modeling program you can use for modeling stuff like that.

http://www.viz.tamu.edu/faculty/ergun/research/topology/download.html

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