I'm trying to model some Gothic type architecture for a game. I'm more of a organic guy, so I have no idea how to go about modelling these shapes(reference image included). I'm more interested in 1,2,4 and 5.


For now I'm just messing around with bezier curves with little avail. I also want it to have as clean geometry as possible. Are there some add-ons which can help me with this?

  • $\begingroup$ welcome to the site. You might want to take the tour, and review the help center, with particular attention to the section in the help center about asking questions. I have voted to close the question as too broad, because there are many different methods of creating any of the windows you ask about, and the exact final use of the model, and its location in the scene relative to the point of view, are two of the criteria one would use to choose one method over another. $\endgroup$
    – brasshat
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 7:31
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ If you look at those samples closely, they are not really complex: 2d, and quite geometric. If you can't replicate that with shapes and beziers, one way to get help would be use some vector program like Inkscape, and trace those bitmaps (the more detailed, the best) to vector shapes. Then in Inkscape, try to get the more simple single .svg that you can, and finally import that .svg in blender. There, you can use them or perhaps better convert the resulting curve object(s) to mesh, and fill, extrude, etc... $\endgroup$
    – m.ardito
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 7:33
  • $\begingroup$ Tracing this with illustrator, inkscape or any vector graphics app of your choice shouldn't be hard at all. Tough a bit more labor intensive it can also be accomplished in blender setting an image as backdrop and creating the curves manually. $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ At least circular forms can be modeled manually either with curves or with Skin modifier using array with offset method $\endgroup$
    – Mr Zak
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ @m.ardito, with just a little touching up, your comment would make a decent answer. $\endgroup$
    – Matt
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 17:46

3 Answers 3


Expanding my comment above:

The "tracing" method is something like this:

1) Find an image at quite high resolution, like this: high resolution image for tracing I got this stock image from here.

2) If your image has noise or other unwanted drawings, you need to clean it up a bit. To do this:

  • Save the image to your computer and open in your favourite image editor (mine is Gimp).

  • Try to select just the window frame (I used Gimp's fuzzy selection).

  • Invert the selection (selects everything except the current selection, and deselects the current selection).

  • Delete all.

  • Invert the selection again (you'll get the window frame selected again).

  • Fill the selection with full black colour.

  • Copy the image.

You end with something like this:

Edit: I just noticed that I "lost" some geometry, in the example... I guess my fuzzy selection was too aggressive :D, but the rest of the example works anyway, Sorry.

enter image description here

3) Open Inkscape and paste the copied cleaned image, now you need to "trace" it:

  • select the imported image and activate trace tools (path > trace bitmap).

  • You'll need to find your best settings, try until satisfied, I used these:

enter image description here

4) Trace will create a new vector object: Save it (only it) as .svg (you can copy it, open a blank file in Inkscape, paste then save).

5) Open blender, delete all (empty scene)

6) File > import > .svg

7) The imported object could be very small, select it in the outliner, and then scale it up enough (I scaled it up about 40 times)

8) What you have now is a curve object, and you can convert it to mesh: - duplicate the curve object (backup) - select only one curve object in object mode, press Alt+C and select "mesh from curve".

enter image description here

9) Now you have a 2d mesh from your 2d image! You can extrude it, perhaps before clean the 2d mesh a bit...

enter image description here

10) Looking closely the mesh object is far from perfect: you can refine this or, instead, go back to your first try (create from scratch using beziers), but now you know another trick ;).

If you choose to refine the 2D mesh (before extruding, beveling it etc.) you'll probably want to use snap tools, with reference shapes. Or else, I would probably choose the bezier-from-scratch method, it can seem slower, and it is, but you get perfect shapes. Refining traced objects is a pain, imho, and should be last resort when modelling methods can be used...

HTH, Marco


you can use a displace modifier


enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

And then Use a Cast modifier on another plane to make a flat version that you can extrude

maybe throw in a simplify modifier to lower the vertices even more before extruding

But to get a good detail one you need an insane amount of faces in the start. Cut up the original image to only use one shape at a time and you will get better resolution with less faces.

Maybe there is a way to mask the texture and extrude the mask?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ He he! Brute force mode always works! :) That's indeed a possible way. Maybe you should add some thoughts about the cons of this approach. $\endgroup$
    – Carlo
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:34

I have tried to model similar objects (tops of columns,...) and learned some tricks: try not to make it all one model, treat complicated pieces separately. Use edge split or edge crease to make hard edges, instead of adding geometry. Avoid many edge loops because they will complicate the geometry. Use edge crease instead. I don't know of any special modifier for that, but I could imagine the skin modifier could be helpful. Tracing, as suggested by cetagon, could be useful. It maybe would be my starting point.


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