Path and Walls – Request for Advice

Hi I’m trying to model a network of paths. The paths would be flat with perhaps a cobblestone texture, and would have 4ft high stone walls either side. I think I would like to make this as a unit of wall – path – wall which can be laid down on the terrain i.e. a complete model piece which can be picked up, duplicated, and placed in various locations (or modified with curves, etc)

I’m not sure how to go about joining these pieces. Firstly.. can I make a flat suface being a single layer (i.e. not a thin box, but a rectangular plane) and secondly how would I join this between the two boxes on either side? (actually, the boxes don’t need bottoms either)

The idea is to be able to build rather a lot of curving paths while keeping a low poly count.

Being new to this, I’m not sure what is feasible , and/or practical – also… do I need to show a drawing to make my idea clear?

Any suggestions? thanks!

hey butterpaw,
you can take a cube right click on it and click scale by amount put the y amount at .1 and mess with the other amounts until you get the size you want. use the right mouse to move the whole thing down against the 3DC then texture it and add cubes around the edges. on mine i put a flat planr on top for a ceiling and built them in sections so i could pick out and load each section indevidually made so the doorways would line up. some levels i just use two and sometimes i use ten….as for the low poly count i don’t know but bazaa would probably be able to help…
its good to see you working stick with it…
hope this helps a little, pirate

Ahoy, Pirate!

I will try this.. I did manage to make a plane, but it is difficult to manipulate when trying to reshape the joined up pieces into curves.

And the plane also had more polys than the flattened cube, lol.

many thanks for help and encouragement ^_^

I think this is what you are trying to create…see attached pic.
There’s more than one way to do this but my method starts with a flattened cube, then uses a series of extrudes and Paul’s re-write of the Piper plugin for the curved sections.
A really BIG thank you to Paul for re-writing this…I use it all the time, not just for creating curved pipes…I use it to create curved loco footplates,tenders…just about anything that needs a curve.
When your done you delete all unseen faces.

I’ll try to do a blow by blow account of how to do all this but it will have to be later today if I can find the time.


Thank you Bazza! this is exactly what I’m after.

If you could spare the time.. yes – blow-by-blow would be extremely helpful ^_^

This is how I would do it….It’s a good exersize in using the extrude operation.
It’s much harder to write than to build.

1) Start with a flattened cube, the scale along the y axis can be anything you wish as you delete all these lower side and underside faces. You can delete the underside face of the cube in step one if you wish but leave all the side faces for now, you need use these to extude the path.
The width of the cube along the x axis needs to be the width of the path WITHOUT the walls…say 6 feet.
The length along the z axis can be anything you want really but if you make it the same as the width this will help when applying a texture. A 512×512 texture will fit perfectly onto a 6ftx6ft path face using the brush tool, no need for scaling the texture as it’s applied.
So….to create the walls, first select BOTH the side edges, as in pic 1 , right click on the Extrude operation and set the amount to 0.6 (assuming your working in feet and inches). Make sure ‘ Extrude using face direction’ is also checked.
Left click the Extrude operation and the sides of the cube will extrude out to give you the faces for the walls, as in pic 2.

2) Next select these two new ‘ wall’ faces on the top of the cube, set the Extrude amount to 4 and right click the Extrude operation again, this will extrude the walls to 4 Ft. as in pic 3.

3) To continue the path and walls select the end faces as in pic 4…set the Extrude amount to 6, click the Extrude operation. Continue doing this till you reach the length of path you require.

4) If you need to create a junction, select the end faces as you did in (3), extrude by the depth of the wall ( 0.6 the orange coloured faces in pic 5), select the end path faces only and extrude by 6, then extrude again by the depth of the wall, and again by 6 to create the next path section.
Select the wall faces as in pic 5 and extrude by 4 to create the wall as in pic 6.


5) Select the faces as in pic 7 and start extruding the new path and walls by 6 ..and so on…and so on. Pic 8

6) To create the curved path you need Paul’s re-write of the piper plugin, make sure you are running the correct version of 3DC to use this.
Select the end faces of one of the path and wall sections….run the Piper plugin…Check the Bend about y axis, set the bend amount to 90 degrees ( don’t try any fancy bends to start with) set the radius to 7 or 8 ( you need to try a few differnt amounts here till you get the effect you want). Set the number of bend sections you want (start with 5 and see how it looks)
The piper plugin will create the bend section of path and wall as a seperate object, parented to the main object.
If the bend don’t look how you wanted it to, delete it, run the plugin again and adjust the settings.

Thats it really…delete all unseen/unwanted faces and practice, practice, practice using the extrude operation.


nice bazaa,
this is great thanks for taking the time to show us this..i’m going to try this tonight if the wife is finished with that wretched honeydo list..
thanks man, pirate

Thank you very much, Bazza!

I did try some approaches of my own, but ran into difficulties.. Now I will study this!

I have only the most recent version of 3DC. (I hope that is the right version?)

Uhm, … I’m guessing Paul’s re-write of the Piper plugin is somewhere in 3DC7 Pro (unless this is a special plugin I need to download from somewhere else and install?

I’m trying really hard, but am still blundering about a bit… One moment it may look as if I know my way around, and the next I’m sitting there scratching my head… there are still more holes than fabric in my 3DC knowledge… ^_^;

Many thanks for your patience!

lol, pirate, if she didn’t have a honey-do list for you, you’d just wind up having to make your own, like me – and I ignore mine, so it’s a good thing nobody can see the shambles in my place! [img:3is4uvnl]’%20alt=’Roll%20Eyes’%20width=’15’%20height=’15[/img:3is4uvnl]

I’d much rather be ‘playing’ with 3DC or Painter or PSP or Apophysis, or …(list goes on) XD

Sorry for double post, but evidently the most recent version of Piper is for 3DC 6.6.10, so I guess I don’t get to use it, as I’m running 3DC 7.1

*Edit: [i:2m3cbfcl]not[/i:2m3cbfcl] 7.1 Doh!

sigh, back to sq.1 :-/

in the forum under plugin developement and scripting there is a post by paul where he is taking requests to remake plugins for the 7.0.2 version down toward the bottom of the posts he has a test version of piper.
try this out if you want…..pirate.. i think it might have some bugs but he could have fixed them by now. the name of the post is replacing lost scripts and can probably catch up with paul there…


You need the latest 3DC version..7.0.2.
Then download the plugin set from here it includes Piper. Click on the 3DC download section, it will list all the downloads for 7.0.2+
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The Extrude operation is something you really need to get the hang of. No matter what you are building you will need to use the extrude op, usually, as in this case quite a lot.
I’ll post some more hints and tips on how and why I use the extrude op so much, it isn’t just to create the geometry of the model…more later.


Thank you both so much for further information and link! (and excuse my misremembering the 3DC version #, which is I wasn’t where I could look it up when I replied, and though I did search, I only found the older versions of Piper.

I actually went ahead and made some pieces ‘by hand’ last night .. a good exercise for me… I did the following:

-Made a road bed piece with preliminary extrusions for the walls (but not yet extruded vertically)

-Modified that into a sort of wedge shape. -Duplicated it and joined varying numbers of them together

-Welded any resulting pairs of vertices (very time-consuming)

-Extruded the walls vertically.

This was an excellent exercise for me, and actually, they don’t look too bad. However, they are not as accurate as I’d wish, so yay, and thanks! ^_^

Now I’ll go see about that download/install, and try it again with the benefit of the Piper plug-in on my side <!– s8-) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8-)" title="Cool" /><!– s8-) –>

Yes thats the hard/long winded way…but you learn a lot doing it this way. You usually end up finding loads of ways of how not to do it <!– s:D –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!– s:D –> before you find the correct way.
If your making up modules to clone/duplicate and re-use you don’t have to merge these together and weld all the joints.
Just select say one straight path section, butt the next section up to this and make it a child of the first section, then if you want to change things it’s easy.
Call the First section Parent in the hierarchy panel…the next section Section 2 and so on.


w00t! <!– s:D –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!– s:D –> thanks Bazza, and thanks to Paul for the wonderful Piper! that was sooo quick!

Thanks for the hierarchy tip also.. I will attend to that … ^_^

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