A great client of ours, Ian Knapper stonemason, commissioned us to produce visuals for a bespoke stone staircase project of theirs. They had the design for the staircase roughed out in SketchUp, and needed visuals for their client to help communicate the design to the final owners of these lovely pieces of sculpted Moleanos – a Jurassic limestone.
Whilst we were at it, there were still a few issues with some of the treads that needed to be ironed out, so rather than this being a one-way flow of data, from the client to us, they would also like the finished model handed back. With this they could take it into their own CAD package to produce the necessary cutting templates.
Taking this into account, we decided to go the route of modelling the staircase in Autodesk Inventor, our 3D solid modelling program of choice. I should also point out at this stage that this amazing staircase is held up by just two flexible steel ropes threaded through each tread, held in tension. Incredible stuff!
We used the SketchUp model as an object to trace around in Inventor, and produced the organic shape you see in the renders. This model was passed over to our client for their own CAD use, and we imported it into LightWave, our 3D package that produces the pretty pictures. The stone texture was produced as a procedural material, so it didn’t matter where we cut the object, the stone texture passed through the entire object, and we added a touch of graded film filter to create a warm atmosphere.