Modeling a pineapple table lamp in Blender 2.8.2


Assalamu’alaikum. Hi guys.

My name is Widhi Muttaqien from Expose Academy.

In this tutorial video, I’m showing you how to model a unique table lamp that looks like a pineapple from start to finish. For this tutorial, I’m using Blender 2.8.2. The techniques you gained from this tutorial can be useful for modeling diamond-shaped geometries and or floral ornaments.

I hope this short tutorial can be helpful. Happy Blending!

Regards, Widhi Muttaqien

Video transcript:

Assalamualaikum. My name is Widhi Muttaqien from Expose Academy. A few months ago I was searching for a table lamp product for one of my interior projects. Then I stumbled upon this unique table lamp that looks like a pineapple. Turns out, there are many different variations of this product created by different manufacturers. In this tutorial video, I’m going to model this pineapple table lamp product, from start to finish. But I won’t be modeling the pieces behind the shade including this top part here. I will replace them with just a single pole to make things simple. Basically, the focus now is on how to create diamond shape details like this one, and how to create leaf ornaments like this one.

Importing the reference image

Let’s insert the reference image into Blender. Press A to select all and then press X and then Delete. Then press 1 to go to the front viewport. To import the reference image you can simply drag and drop it into the viewport. So open the file explorer. I’m going to use this image for the reference. Click-drag and then release it on the front viewport. Next, we need to change some of the attributes. If you want to know more about this topic. I already created an in-depth video tutorial about working with background images or reference images inside Blender. So be sure to check it out. For this image, I just want it to be always shown in the back and also to be visible only from the front side. In this project, we won’t be using a real measurement unit or a real-world scale. So we can just leave this value as-is. Later you can scale the object to the correct size if needed. Next, we need to center the reference image. For this, we can use the G shortcut. Or you can also move your mouse to the center of the image until you see the arrow cursor. Then just drag it like so. Try to align the bottom part so it is on the ground plane. We want to align the pole to the centerline. We can use the G shortcut and then X to constrain it to the X-axis. Okay. I think this is enough even though this is not 100% straight. You can see the top ornament is way off from the centerline. But this will do for our project. Finally, we need to push this image back a little so later it doesn’t overlap with the 3D model. So press G, then Y, and just move it like so.

The base vase

For the base vase, we will model it from a single vertex. From that vertex, we can create a profile and then spin that profile to create a circular 3D object. For this, you can start with a plane object. Press Tab to go to the edit mode. Then press X and then choose edge collapse here. We now have a single vertex at the center. Go to the front viewport. Let’s zoom in a bit. We can press G then X to move the vertex to the right, until about this location. Then press E to extrude and move the new vertex to about this location. Press E again and move it to about this location. Okay. I think I want to adjust these vertices a bit more. Next, to curve out the vertices, we’re going to use the vertex bevel command. But, before we can do this, let’s determine how many segments we actually need based on the number of these diamond shapes. We have one, two, three, four, five. We need a total of 11 segments. To bevel a vertex, we can press Ctrl + Shift + B. And just drag the mouse and scroll a few times. Then open the operator panel down here to revise the parameters. Let’s input 9 for the segments. And then drag this offset value so we have a curve that resembles the reference image. Now, you might be wondering, why input 9 segments? Well, because, before the bevel, we already have 2 segments. By adding 9 segments it means we now have a total of 11 segments as a result. Which is what we need.

Next, let’s go back to the perspective view. We want to spin this profile and turn it into a 3D geometry. Just like before, we need to determine the number of side segments. From the reference image, we can see 6 diamond shapes. And each diamond shape needs 2 segments. So 6 multiply by 2 equals 12. And if at a half area we need 12 segments then for the whole circle we need 24 segments. Select all of the vertices then activate the spin tool. Rotate it just a bit. And then open the operator panel. Remember we need 24 segments here. And input 360 degrees here as we need a full circle. And that’s it. Let’s close this panel and use the move tool now. To make sure that we don’t have any double vertices in the model. We can press A to select all. Then press Alt+M and then choose by distance. Usually, point-to-point modeling techniques tend to produce flipped normals. So let’s turn on the face orientation overlays. As you can see only the top part is correct. The other red colors mean they are flipped. We can fix this easily. Just select all of the faces and then press Shift + N. Now we can turn off the face orientation overlay.

Next, we want to create a diamond shape topology. There are many ways that you can do this. But the easiest way is to use a modifier called “decimate”. Now, the decimate modifier is actually designed for reducing polygons. But it has a unique behavior that we can use to our benefit. If you use the un-subdivide mode and then use an odd number as the iterations value. The modifier will rotate the quad grid topology creating a diamond-shaped structure. So if we input 1 for example. We get something like this, which is exactly what we need now. Apply the modifier. And before we continue. I think I want to use the MatCap mode to display the 3d models in the viewport. And turn on the cavity option here to add some ambient occlusion effect in the viewport.

Next, go to the edit mode. We want to create a vertex on each of the faces. To do this we can press A to select all. Then right-click and then choose “poke faces” here. Now we have these new vertices. Next, we need to select the new vertices using the select-similar method. So select this one. And we also need to select this one up here as this one has a different structure than the one down here. Then to select the rest of the vertices similar to these 2, we can press Shift + G and then choose the “amount of adjacent faces” option. As a result, we now have all of the vertices that we need, selected. Then to push them out based on their normal direction, we can use the Alt + S shortcut. But I think I want to do this in the front viewport while looking at the reference image. Press Alt + S and just move the mouse up until about this far. The result is good but notice we have these vertices at the bottom penetrating the ground plane and the top ones also are too high. Select one of them and then press Shift + G again. Select the “amount of adjacent faces” option. Then press S then Z to scale them down in the Z-axis. And move them down just a bit. So until now, we have something like this.

Next, we want to fill the top and bottom holes. Hold Alt and click on this edge here. Press F to fill it with an N-Gon and add a small inset. Let’s do the same thing with the bottom part. Hold Alt and click this edge. Then press F then add a small inset. The modeling process is practically done here for the base vase. But we can make it more realistic by adding a bevel modifier. By default, the bevel offset is quite large. Let’s adjust the segment value first to 2 segments. And change the offset value here to, I think, 4 mm should be enough. And that’s it. We have the base vase part finished. Next, we’ll create the leaves ornament.

The leaves ornament

To create the leaves ornament, we need a reference image that we can see from the side view. For this, we can just duplicate the existing reference image. So press Shift + D, then R to rotate, then press Z, and then type 90, then enter. Now we have 2 reference images. Press 3 to go to the side view. Move the reference image to the front by pressing G then Y and just move the mouse to align the image. Basically, we want the centerline to match the pole part of the image.

Next, to create the leaf, we can start from a cube object. So Shift + A, mesh, then cube. Press Shift + Z to go to the wireframe mode. And move the cube so that the origin is at this position. Go to the edit mode and then scale it so it is about the size of a single leaf in the reference image. For now, let’s hide the base vase so we can focus on the leaf model. Press S and Y to scale it down. Ctrl + R and add 3 edge loops. Scale them a bit on the X-axis. Then scale them out on the Y-axis. So we have a rounder shape. But, I think the overall shape looks too thick now. We can select all and just scale this down on the Y-axis. Okay. Next, go to the right viewport and bring all of these up so the bottom part is roughly at the origin location. Deselect all, and select the top part area only, and just drag this up to about this location. Ctrl + R and add 2 edge loops horizontally. Go back to the perspective view. Scale up the center vertices. Go to the face mode. Select this face, hold Ctrl and click this one. Scale these faces down. Now, go to the edge mode. Select this edge. And move it down like this. And then this edge, move it down also. Just tweak the edges and or the vertices until we have a nice leaf-like shape. We only need to focus on the right side as later we will use the mirror modifier to fix the left side. Add a mirror modifier. Turn on the bisect option. And just apply the modifier. So now we have something like this. Let’s go back to the edit mode. We want to add a pinching detail in the center. Select this vertex, hold Ctrl and then click on this vertex. And just push this to the front. To make the center lines look sharper when later subdivided, we can double the edges using the bevel command. So hold Ctrl and click this vertex. Go to the edge mode and then press Ctrl + B. Create a small offset so the result will be sharper when subdivided. Next, we want to make this edge loop a bit sharp also when subdivided. Ctrl + B again and make the offset to about this wide. We don’t need the faces at the bottom part, so let’s remove them.

After the modeling is done, we can now subdivide and bend the model. Go to the side view. And change the shading mode to smooth. Add a subdivision modifier, and change the viewport subdivision to 2. Then to bend it that way we can add a simple deform modifier. Change the deformation mode to bend. And change the angle to a negative value so it bends to the front side. Let’s just input -90 then Enter. I think we need more bending. Let’s input -100 instead. Okay, I think this is enough. We now have a single leaf finished. For the upper leaves, we can just duplicate this one. Shift + D then Z and move this up a little. Change the angle to -90. And scale this down a little. Ctrl + A and apply the scale so nothing wrong will happen when later we add the array modifier.

Next, we want to do a circular array on the lower leaf first. For this, we need to move the 3D cursor to its origin location. Press Shift + S and choose “cursor to selected”. After the 3d cursor moved here. We can create an empty object for controlling the array modifier. Select the leaf object. Before we add an array modifier, we can apply these modifiers first. Remember to apply them from top to bottom. Then add an array modifier. We want to have 5 copies. And we don’t want any X-axis offset. So you can hover the mouse here and then press Backspace to zero it out. What we want now is an offset controlled by an external object. So click here and pick the empty object we created before. Now, if we move the empty object. Oops. I think I forget something here. Oh yes, this checkbox should be turned on. Okay. Basically, if there is a difference in terms of transformation between this empty object and the leaf object. That difference will be multiplied across each of the copies. The differences can be position, scale or rotation. Right now we only need rotation. We want to distribute the 5 copies along a full circle. We can let Blender do the math for us. Just type here 360, divide symbol, and then 5 then Enter. The result is 72. Remember this value as we’re going to need it again later. Right now the leaves are too close to each other. To fix this, we can select the leaf object and go to the edit mode. Select all and move it to the front like so. I think we can see this better from the side view. Okay. Let’s apply the modifier. Oops, sorry, we need to be in the object mode to apply modifiers.

Let’s move on to the upper leaves. For this, we can just reuse the existing empty object but we need to reposition it to the upper leaf origin. Move the 3D cursor to the origin first. Then move the empty object to the 3D cursor location. Select the leaf object and apply the existing modifiers from top to bottom. Then add an array modifier. And just like before, use 5 here and zero this out. Use object offset and then pick the empty object. To move them out from the center, we can go to the edit mode. Select all and then move it to the front. I think we can adjust this further to make it look more interesting. After this is done we can apply the modifier. Almost forget, remember to go to the object mode first before applying modifiers. Now, if you look closely at the reference image, the upper leaves and the lower leaves are criss crossing each other. So to do this we can rotate the upper leaf object in the half value of the angle space between these copies. We know it is 72 degrees. So type in 36 then Enter. We now have something like this. I think we can move this up a little. And let’s unhide the base vase object just to see how they look together.

The shade

Before we create the shade part. Let’s delete this empty object as we don’t need it anymore. Then notice how this area looks too flat. While in the reference image it is a bit curved. To fix this we can select the top polygon and move it up a little. Go back to the object mode. And let’s start creating the pole. Shift + A and choose “cylinder” here. For the pole, because it is small, we don’t really need 32 vertices. 16 vertices should be enough. Then for the radius just input a smaller value for now. We will adjust this later. Notice how the object looks faceted. Right-click and choose shade smooth. And then let’s activate the auto smooth option. Go to the wireframe mode. And go to the edit mode. Scale this cylinder down. And then move this up a bit, and then scale it up on the Z-axis. Just enough so the top area is hidden behind the shade.

For the shade part, we can just copy the base geometry from the pole and then later add a subdivision modifier. Make sure we are in the object mode. Shift + D, and then press Z, and move it up like so. Then go to the edit mode. Scale this a bit in the Z plane. Move this up until the top part is aligned with the reference image. Select only the vertices up here. Then scale it up until about the size of the reference image. Then do this also with the bottom part. Scale it up to about this size. Okay. Next, select the face on top and also the bottom one. So we have both of them selected. Then press I to inset them. Right-click and choose “bridge faces”. With this, we just created a tunnel in the model. Now, let’s focus on the inner side. Ctrl + R and slide the edges up. Ctrl + R again and slide them down like so. Then we need to remove these faces. Go to the face mode. Hold Alt and click on this edge. Press X and choose faces. For the final touch. To make the subdivision result more defined in the folding parts. We can add another edge loop up here. And also down here. We can do this also for the outer area. Add an edge loop up here. And then add another one down here. Go back to the object mode. And add a subdivision modifier. Increase the viewport subdivision to 2. And that’s it, we’re done. You can join them all into a single object, but I assume you already know how to do that.

Okay guys. If you want to learn more about computer graphics. Perhaps you want to jump into the video game industry. Or perhaps you want to create digital assets that can generate passive income. Or you want to have a career doing something you really love. Or become an entrepreneur in the creative industry and build your own design firm. Or maybe you just want to learn CG as a hobby. Then you should check out my courses at Udemy or at Skillshare. The links are in the description below. Currently, I have courses in Blender, 3ds max, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Krita. And more to come -in sha Allah-. All of these courses will guide you from the very basic, step by step, until you can master the skills that you need. As always, subscribe to my channel. Share the video. Give a thumbs up if you like the video, and give a thumbs down if you hate the video. Check out my other tutorials. Wassalamualaikum.