Tiny tower, tiny tower. This is some more work in progress for my ongoing wizard/pony/low poly environment project thing. I feel like towers are the natural habitats of wizards, but giant towers feel like a bit of an evil wizard thing, which is not what I want to go for.
After a few rough sketchbook and iPhone drawings, I started modeling a basic base tower in zBrush using dynamesh to quickly establish the basic shape and structure.
While working on the.. um.. the castle-y wall top teeth bits (battlements?), I worked out a neat way to do a kind of duplicate special/array in zBrush, which I used to make some dynamesh sub/boolean cubes and then again for this tile roof and a brick wall test.
Basically, I duplicate the subtool, use "Tool/Deformation/Rotate" to figure out a nice spacing, use "Repeat to Active" a bunch of times to rotate the subtool through a whole loop, then just duplicate the subtool, undo one rotation, duplicate, undo, repeat until I have a whole row, and finally just merge the subtools.
For both of these examples, I used a mask, inflate, claypolish technique, a bit like my fibermesh to geo thing. Also a bit of math to get the tiles spaced nicely and noisemaker for the brick texture. I also did a quick test projection using a slightly reduced and subdivided version of my dynamesh tower (it'll work better with a proper low poly model), using the original shape as a morph target on the lowest subdivision to make the form a bit less rigid.
Finally, I grabbed the original base shape and did some duplicating and deforming to quickly work out a more interesting and elaborate overall shape to work with. I also adjusted the heights of the levels a bit for consistency, so that the first level is 4 units high and the other three are 3 units.
I'm not sure that I'm totally settled on this layout, the basic shape of the balconies don't quite feel right and adding windows might have an effect on the composition, but I definitely have a good sense of the basic building blocks that I'll want to work and I've happy with the basic mood and character of the building.