I'm trying to make the planks in a barrel, without involving sculpting. What is a good method? I thought about an array, but haven't had too much luck. this is what I've got at the moment,

Barrel Try

but I'm trying to get something like this second picture.

Barrel cool

Can I get some advice?

  • $\begingroup$ Mathwel, welcome to the site. $\endgroup$
    – brasshat
    Aug 24, 2015 at 9:47
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks you, it's a really a good place to learn the tools and different methods to model things. Also, thanks alot for all the answers, its really nice to see the different aproach i can take. (they helped alot not only in the barrel, but in general) its funny since i tried alot with the array, but its the little things u do between that change the output $\endgroup$
    – Mathwel
    Aug 24, 2015 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ Looking at the four answers, they are all good ways to make a barrel, and I'd use any of them in the proper context. What might be of more use to you would be if you would upload a copy of your blend file to Blend exchange or a similar site where you control the persistence of the file so we can give you hints on what you might have done differently with your blend. $\endgroup$
    – brasshat
    Aug 25, 2015 at 2:36

5 Answers 5


There undoubtedly lots of ways of doing this. Here's one of them:

Array modifier

Use an array modifier with an object offset to duplicate one board object around radially. This way all the boards can be easily tweaked later on by editing just one; changes will be copied to the other boards.

  1. Create the board object. If you want a certain number of boards (say, 16), then you'll want to be sure the board's width is 1 16th the circumference of the desired circle. The easiest way to do this is add a circle with 16 sides:

    enter image description here

    1. Add a circle (⇧ ShiftA) and set the sides to 16 in the redo panel.
    2. Extrude (E) it into a barrel shape. I used a loop cut (⎈ CtrlR), beveling (⎈ CtrlB), and scaling (S) to quickly make a basic barrel shape.
    3. Select one face loop (⎇ AltRMB RMB) and invert the selection (⎈ CtrlI), then delete faces (⌦ Delete, F)
    4. With the remaining face loop selected, extrude (E) and press Esc to cancel the transform. Scale along the normals (⎇ AltS) to give the board some thickness.
  2. Setup the array modifier

    enter image description here

    1. Add an empty and rotate it 360/16 degrees (R, = 360/16 will do the math in place and rotate the empty 22.5°)
    2. with the board selected, add an array modifier, disable Relative Offset, and set the Count to 16.
    3. Set the empty as the Object Offset.
  3. Optionally fatten up the board object (⎇ AltS in edit mode) to reduce the size of the cracks between the boards.


enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Also, you should consider having a look at the shrinkwrap modifier. $\endgroup$
    – Mörkö
    Aug 24, 2015 at 9:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Gandalf3, here's a workflow question. Except for being a good introduction to some of the capabilities of the Array modifier, why take a perfectly good barrel shape at the end of step 1, and then delete most of it to add a modifier in step 2 to recreate essentially the same shape? $\endgroup$
    – brasshat
    Aug 24, 2015 at 9:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @brasshat So all the boards can be edited at once later on. If you create the boards directly with mesh manipulation tools, modifying all of them will be trickier. I find using modifiers gives more flexibility and makes tweaking generally easier. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Aug 24, 2015 at 18:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @gandalf3, OK. I think you should edit that into your answer, and maybe further amend your answer to say at the end of step 1, that if one knows the barrel will need no further manipulation, that one can stop there, but otherwise..... $\endgroup$
    – brasshat
    Aug 24, 2015 at 18:43

This way uses just modifiers so the result can be customized at any time.

1- start with one vertical edge away from the object center :

enter image description here

2- then add these modifiers :

  • Subsurf : for the horizontal resolution. (mode : Simple )
  • Screw : for creating the panels ( adjust the Steps )
  • Edge split : to separate the panels ( set angle to ~25 ).
  • Solidify : to give the barrel some thickness (adjust thickness/offset).
  • Cast : to give the barrel it's curved shape ( adjust radius/Factor ).
  • Bevel : to make panels edges rounded.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Just a few more modifiers at the beginning, and you would be a default cubist ;) $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Aug 24, 2015 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 that's an awesome art there, congrats on the win . $\endgroup$
    – Chebhou
    Aug 24, 2015 at 20:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 outstanding work!!! I think I may ask a question how to create such a fancy shape soon :). $\endgroup$
    – Paul Gonet
    Aug 24, 2015 at 23:14

Using the Inset tool

Start with a cylinder. Enter edit mode. With all the faces selected activate the Inset tool by pressing I. On the toolshelf enable Individual Faces and move the thickness and depth to your needs.

enter image description here

Add a few loop cuts.

enter image description here

Enable proportional edit(O), select the middle loop cut and scale it to give the barrel its shape.

enter image description here


Add a Circle and set the desired vertices number. Extrude a circle upward (E,Z) to make a cylinder. Add the edge loops in the middle of it (Ctrl+R), then scale them to make the cylinder look more like a barrel. Add the edge loops to the cylinder's upper and lower edges. enter image description here

Enable the edge selection (Ctrl+Tab-->Edge). Select one vertical edge and press Shift+G-->Select Similiar-->Face Angles. Now press Ctrl+B and change the Segments number to 3. Then press Ctrl+- to reduce the selection and delete remained faces. enter image description here

Add the Solidify (increase the Thickness value) and Subsurf (increase the subdivisions level) modifiers enter image description here

  1. Start out by making one simple board (just a cube scaled down along the X and Y axes, with loop cuts add).
    one board

  2. Add a curve circle (BezierCircle or NurbsCircle makes no difference)

  3. Add an Array modifier and a Curve modifier to the board object.
    Set the Array's Fit Type to Fit Curve and select the circle added in step two. To put a little space around the boards, set the Relative Offset to something a bit higher then 1.
    Set the Curve modifier's Object to the circle added in step two.

  4. Add a Lattice, Increase the divisions along the W (Z) axis. In object mode scale it to fit around the barrel.
    lattice options

  5. Add a Lattice modifier to the board object. Set the Lattice as the Object.
    all modifiers on the board object

  6. Last go in to the Lattice's edit mode and scale out the middle control points, this will make the barrel larger in the middle.

Here is a gif of the entire process.
animated gif


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .