In this tutorial I am going to show you how to create a rolled sphere from a regular sphere. This is a pretty simple technique to convert boring sphere geometry into something interesting that you may use for lighting and rendering. This technique also works for cylinders with some tweaks and changes.
Let’s go ahead and learn how to do it.
Create a sphere with 12 segments and radius of 20. Right-click anywhere on the viewport and choose Convert to: Convert to Editable Poly from the quad menu.
Now, go to Polygon sub-object level, select the one half of the sphere and delete it. Click on Mirror button on the main toolbar and mirror the hemisphere in the x-axis with Offset value set to 0 and Clone Selection set to Copy. Name it as Rolled_Sphere_Copy.
Rotate the clone object 90 degrees in x-axis and attach it to the original one.
Go to Border sub-object level and select the border edges between these two hemispheres. Since Border doesn’t offer Weld option so we have to switch to the Edge sub-object level to weld the selected edges.
So, lets go to Edge sub-object level, right click anywhere to bring up the quad menu and select Weld option from the pop up. Use some small Threshold value like 0.1 and click OK to weld the selected edges together.
Now you can notice that the edge flow of our object becomes quite interesting from a regular sphere. Let’s add some more detail to it.
Select the edge loops as shown in the image, right click and select Chamfer from the quad menu. Set the Chamfer Amount to 2.5 and Segments to 1. Click OK to apply the chamfer.
The Antipodes or Antipodal points of the Rolled Sphere.
Our rolled sphere has 4 points which are a bit complex to deal with as compared to the other areas.
These points are antipode to each other so I will refer them as Antipodes or Antipodal points.
They are now more clear in the sphere after chamfering process. We will fix them later in the tutorial.
Select every other polygon loop of the sphere and bevel them using Bevel option with Bevel Type: Local Normal, Height: 1.0 and Outline Amount: -1.0.
By repeating the same process with the rest of the poly loops, you will get something like this.
Now, select the edge loops shared by the extrusions and chamfer them with Chamfer Amount: 0.05 and Segments: 2.0.
The edges added by chamfer will work as supporting edges for the extrusions and whenever we smooth out the sphere we will get a nice hard edge separating the extrusions. You can change these settings according to your requirement.
Apply the TurboSmooth modifier to the sphere from the Modifier List. You don’t have to worry about the non-quads as TurboSmooth has functionality to convert Triangles and N-gons into quads while subdividing the object.
However, the areas with non-quad polygons get more worst after TurboSmooth as smoothing results into artifacts. TurboSmooth should be working fine for this case.
Mine is looking good after smoothing but in case you are getting weird deformations and artifacts after smoothing then you can follow the next step for better solution.
Select the two vertices of the antipode and create a connection between them by pressing Ctrl + Shift + E.
Don’t forget to repeat the same thing with rest of the three antipodal points.
Select the edge rings of the extrusions and use Connect (Ctrl + Shift + E) command to create a new connection or edge loop between them.
Selection Tip: You can use Ring (Alt +R) to select the edge rings easily and quickly.
Now, with the new connection selected, apply a Push modifier from the modifier list to push it a little bit outwards. It gives a rounded look to the extrusions of the rolled sphere. I am using Push Value of 0.4. You can change it according to your need.
Note:Please keep in mind that we have to apply Push modifier to the new connection created by connecting the edge rings and not the whole object.
Right click and convert the rolled sphere to editable poly object one more time. It will collapse the stack and permanent the effect of Push modifier.
Now, Select the two vertices of the antipodal point and connect them together to complete the edge loop. Apply the TurboSmooth modifier to the rolled sphere and we are done.
I hope you find this tutorial interesting and useful. Use the comment section to share your views and suggestions and stay tuned for more tutorials.