A is For Apple (An Easy 3D Model)

A Green Apple in a Hand (3D)Today’s post was inspired by an A to Z blogging challenge. I’m not taking the challenge but it did prompt me to have a go at a simple modelling project beginning with A.

And that, tradition has it, has to be an apple.

That suits me fine. An apple is a useful prop. It fits into just about any place and era, from a gleaming modern kitchen to a historic scene.

3D Apple in HexagonIt also happened to be quite a straightforward project in Hexagon 2.5. Starting from a sphere primitive, I was able to scale and taper it into an apple shape. The top and bottom were sunk in a little, and a stalk added by extruding (or was it sweeping?) a face upwards.

UV mapping involved splitting the apple into two with seams, as well as mapping the stalk separately. I then was able to paint on a simple, graduated texture in GIMP. This went well enough for a first texturing project, though I admit if you zoom in on the finished project you can see the seams. I’m not sure if there would be a better way to split a spherical object.

I made the apple at a large size so my final step was to scale it against a figure in Studio and save it as a prop. Then I had some fun with it!
Girl in Yellow Dress holds Green AppleEve ended up being the one to hold the apple quite by coincidence. She wears a dress I made myself and background props are by Merlin.

The shallow depth of field was a deliberate choice as I wanted this to be about the apple. I do wonder though if all those directional lines in the background are too distracting. Originally I had grass, but in the interest of rendering speed I changed that for something a little easier on the computer.

Even so, this was quite a slow render as I had to up the uberenvironment shading values to cope with the shade. Yes, I finally have some clue what I’m doing with the lighting sliders. It took a full 3 months before the various options made anything resembling sense. I’m sure there is still much to learn about this all-important aspect of rendering.

In the bench picture, I used the crate from Maclean’s absurdly-useful morphing primitives collection. The moment I saw it, I was already picturing it with apples in. It’s fun to bring that vision to life. All other elements in this scene are from Merlin’s Infinite Gardens, which is a collection I think will see a lot of use.
3D Apples in a Crate on a BenchOf course, I could add more realism by rotating some of the apple copies, which would be an easy fix. Or still more by instead making multiple apple props, each with its own texture. But that second option would be a lot of work. It’s kind of handy to have a single prop that can be used multiple times.

I resisted the urge to add too much smoothing to the apple for the same reason. A lower polygon count gives the computer less to process when I decide I want a crate or barrel of apples.

It turned out that even something as simple as an apple took a considerable chunk of time to create, texture, scale, pose and then set in a scene and render. It was a fun project for learning my way around Hexagon, though. One that has made me appreciate even more the amount of work the established vendors put into each and every model.

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About Indigo

As a digital artist on a budget, I'm fascinated by what happens when art and technology meet, and love discovering affordable ways to make that happen.
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10 Responses to A is For Apple (An Easy 3D Model)

  1. Hi there, I found you through the AtoZ challenge. You are on the list so I am pretty sure your blog qualifies. Your post was an interesting read as I don’t know anything about 3D modeling or CGI.

    There aren’t many artists (at least listed with the artist tag) in the challenge and I wanted to make sure I get all of them early on.

    Stick with it, I will check back and see how you are doing. Good luck and have fun!

    • Indigo says:

      Thanks Kyle, I really appreciate the supportive message. However, I’m pretty certain I’ll be taken off the list as I’m not going to be able to keep on schedule. Your comment was a great reminder though for me to check in with the art category participants and discover some great new blogs to follow. 🙂

  2. Sandra says:

    Doing things from A to Z is more methodical, but there is a temptation to start things anywhere really! I rather like starting from A which I feel is the canvas of things yet to come!
    Nice apples!

    • Indigo says:

      I think so too, Sandra: A is a good place to begin, because sometimes it’s the beginning that’s the hardest step. I still can’t think what I could do for Z though! 🙂

  3. Now we’re on C, but enjoyed your post and your site. Your pictures are awesome. My daughter loves artwork like this, and would love to create her own.
    Have a great day! I’m a fellow A to Z Challenger.
    Kathy (794 on the list)

    • Indigo says:

      Thanks so much Kathy. And yes, I’m falling hopelessly behind, I was planning to work on B today. I think I might reach Z somewhere around next Christmas! 😉

  4. Bames says:

    I am jealous of your creativity and talent. I am pretty hopeless when it comes to anything artistic. 🙂

  5. shayla says:

    I found your site on the A-Z list. What an interesting and unique site you have, you are really talented!

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