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Tutorial: an Old Well


As part of his 'environment series' of tutorials, Alex Telford jumps into modeling an old well.

Alex writes:

Bear in mind that this is NOT a beginner series, I will assume you already know what I mean when I say Duplicate the trees around the place and randomize the rotation and scale a bit. Of course Beginners will still be able to follow along but be ready to do a bit of googling ;)

For this tutorial you will need a current cycles build from

Building an old well is actually very easy, and can be done in only a few steps. We will break it down into the bricks, the slat roof, the supports, the bucket and lowering drum, and the rope. We will then go ahead and put on some basic textures, this part will be very brief as the textures are setup mostly the same for all objects :) As this is only going to be seen from a distance, we need not go into a lot of detail, but if you wish to use this for close ups, simply up the subsurf, and work on the textures a little more.


About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Nice to see a series of tutorials on Environments, but I don't think the tutorial shows the ability of Cycles, in fact I think it would look better in BI - and that's not saying much, sorry.

    There was a lot of unnecassay modelling too, which would mean slowing render times down, esp with Cycles. It's not as if you'd need that amount of detial for a Well, unless it was the actual focus of your pic - why model actual stone when a stone texture would suffice, and probably look a whole lot better?

    The next scene for the next tutorial of an icey mountain lanscape (thumb at base of the page) I thought looked really realistic until I clicked on the image and saw that the actual mountains are a backdrop and the foreground is done in blender and looks really poor. Wierdly even though the Well in the first part was Cycles, in that second picture there is Particle Strands for grass which don't work in Cycles yet, so you'd have to use BI anyway. 

    Its nothing compared to the Nature Accademy by Andrew Price or any other tutorials he's created, and all that done with with Blender Internal (I'm not advertising the Nature Accedemy - not that could afford it anyway), this looks like something from 5 years ago or more. Oddly though this tutorial isn't for beginners, so I would expect a whole lot more :(

    Sorry if I sound a bit harsh, but I'm sure others would have said a lot worse ;)

    •  Hi, Good to hear some criticism!
      It's so much more helpful than "nice work" lol
      Your correct in saying this looks a lot better in BI as of current, this tutorial is merely to show the fact that things 'can be done' using cycles.

      To answer your questions, as mentioned in the tutorial you can adjust the subsurf levels on the well to vary the range of detail depending on how far away you are.
      For my final render I used a subsurf of 2 and a baked displacement map.

      The mountains are a render I did a while back for a low poly game (256 poly) There is a tutorial to make them already on blenderguru so I didn't feel the need to repeat it in the tutorial. If people wish for it however, I can include a cycles version at the end,

      The particle grass is actually rendered in cycles earlier on in the series :D
      It's poly grass so isn't perfect, but works, I may repeat that section at some point however now that cycles supports SSS.

      I agree I'm no Andrew Price, I partook in the nature academy and would recommend it to all, I then went on to experiment with cycles and nature and am sharing what I achieved :)

      Thank you for your thoughts :)
      I'll keep them in mind for the next part.
      Love the criticism, always helpful :D

      • You've been critiqued! ;)

        Like I said sorry if I was a bit harsh, but blender is up against a lot of critcism itselft for being the under-dog - all you've got to do is to take a look at what's being achieved with other software - for example the article for non-blender vfx inspiration on Blender Nation today - that stuff is amazing and some examples are even quite old, but to most people it's what people expect Blender or any other 3D software to be able to do with a bit of talent.

        Take a look even at Pixar's Toy Story, even though it was made in 95, some shots even though a cartoon style still look better than a lot of blender renders and animations today-that really pains me as I love blender.

        I guess where I was going with the Well is that it's really not necassary to model every brick/stone for a building or object, a texture map with displacement will do fine, even close up - and probably not take much time to render. It's nice to see tutorials on arrays as there aren't that many - I just felt it could have been done simpler with better economical effect.

        I stand corrected with the poly-grass, it looked similar to particle grass, just not as detailed.

        The mountains for the next section do look good.

        Everyone's a critiqe Alex, so don't let it stop you making new tutorials- and by the way I did like information on the tutorial you did for the re-usable lightbox-I think a lot of noobs will find that really handy.

        Good luck ;)

  2. hi,
    this is actually quite sad, i got stuck at 1b. every time i follow the instructions it just adds another huge ass line of bricks in the direction of the first array modifier. so yeah i am kinda stuck there and cant get the bricks to follow the curve
    hope you can help :D

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