I've been trying to create something like the attached, bespoke shapes with this almost Photoshop pillow emboss finish. I've tried knife projecting 2d shapes to create the basic shape then extruding, adding subsurf modifiers, loop cuts through the middle... but I'm not getting the simplicity of this, or the interlocking part.

It might be a style that has a name so would be easy to search myself if I knew it. But I've been at this a couple of days now so putting the question out.

Apologies if it's blindingly obvious...enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ 1. Define the shape with edges. 2. Calculate the distance to edge. 3. Use Map Range in "smooth" or "smoother" mode, to map the distance to height - and use that to displace, or control normal bump etc. Obviously for a particular case like here you could create a more optimized topology. $\endgroup$ Feb 7 at 10:12
  • $\begingroup$ Actually tried the above and there's one problem - for a rounded profile you need to know the local highest point, which is tricky to obtain. I tried some smoothing techniques, but without great results: i.imgur.com/EGLJI09.png $\endgroup$ Feb 7 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Markus — yes that rounded profile on bespoke shapes is what's catching me out. I had to research your solution but it works for the more straightforward shapes, so thank you! I can't help thinking that the original (whether or not it was done in Blender) would have had one way of doing it for all the shapes, for consistencies sake. But I'll keep thinking $\endgroup$
    – StewD
    Feb 7 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


You can create that with curves: Create a curve that has a J shape (cut a circle and extrude), create another curve that will be the Taper Object (profile of the curve all along its length). Duplicate the J curve and scale in Edit mode. For the material, decrease the Specular and Roughness values:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks moonboots, just tried this and works well for shapes like this — thank you. What if you wanted to create shapes more like the dark green here though, would you use the same method? images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/62583c9f81a49b50ae4a416b/… $\endgroup$
    – StewD
    Feb 7 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ You're right this one is more complicated, I would use some tricks like convert to mesh, mirror, etc. Maybe directly model a mesh, beginning with a torus? I'm not sure that you could do it with physics. $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Feb 7 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ might be worth it to try modelling it in 2D, solidifying the mesh then using a soft body simulation with a negative pressure to inflate the mesh like a balloon $\endgroup$
    – Gorgious
    Feb 7 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ sure, that said in the reference image I don't see any fold on the surface, so a physics simulation doesn't seem even necessary $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Feb 7 at 13:12

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