Merry Christmas!....and snow

It has been a while since I've posted, but things have been busy.  However with the season, I thought it appropriate to make a posting on how to manually paint snow into your 3d scenes.  I can't take credit for this trick as I learned this from Fred Ruff at Bent Image Lab, and my posting of this here is more for me and just documenting the process down so I remember it.

This basically begins by creating a BlobMesh.  This is the object that will build up the snow, and what's interesting about this one is that it creates an organic object that sticks within a certain proximity.

So click anywhere to create the BlobMesh object, and adjust the size and coarseness of the mesh so that it looks similar to the snow that we'll be painting in.  You can come back to adjust the scale, tension, etc. later.

Next, you will want to create an editable poly, off to the side of your scene.  This is the object that will drive the creation of the BlobMesh.

Now, go back and select the BlobMesh, and under Blob Objects choose the Pick button and select the editable poly.  In my case it was a box that I added an editable poly modifier to it.

Once you choose the box, you will see it listed in the Blob Objects list.  You will also notice that any vertices in the editable poly are now represented with the BlobMesh.  Basically you're creating the blob from the vertices of this object.

Now if you go back and select your poly and go to the sub-vertex mode, choose the create button to add vertices.  Now when you click in your scene it will add more BlobMesh geometry and now you can simply paint to create this object.  Because it is a blobmesh, if you create vertices that are close together, the blobmesh will form one object...very similar in appearance to snow.

Now you can go to town and add as many verts as you want.  It may help by turning on snapping and choosing snap to faces to add verts onto objects other than the Z,0 plane.

One thing to note, is you don't want to move your editable poly as this will move the blobmesh object as well.  You can either lock the position of the editable poly, or you can freeze it.

Happy Painting & Merry Christmas!


  1. Hi Ramy, I'm in the middle of your tutorial on Black Spectacles and I'm asking myself whether I would be better off learning VRay for SketchUp. I've found that there are a multitude of ways to learn 3dsMax, from Lynda.com to YouTube lessons, Peers and even the differences between Mental Ray and VRay. I'm a Form-Z veteran, but am finding that 3dsMax is becoming more in demend at Exhibit Design firms. What I'd prefer to do is model in Form-Z and or SketchUp and render in something better.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts,
    Paul Ameye

  2. Thx for sharing! Also good thing to play with freeform (ribbon) tools. Especialy as surface and strips by object.