Modeling Flowers & Butterflies

Here is a look of the final 3D models for my game (and how I made them)!

During the working process it was important to me that you could recognize the plant/butterfly type. I asked my sister, aunt, dad and brother who all know about nature conservation. My aunt is working in nature conservation and my sister is studying it. Based on their feedback I made adjustments on the first passes (results are as above).

Why I chose those 3 plants & butterflies

For the prototype it was important to find a set of species that show variety. I looked mainly for shape and color of butterfly and plants. As the game progresses you “unlock” more butterflies and plants making your garden more colorful. This colorfulness is linked to the “richness” associated with a harmonic garden.

The other reason for selecting plants and butterflies is that it’s all species common in Central Europe. The player has a good chance to see and recognize them in real life. In fact the Small White is the most common butterfly in Central Europe.

I looked at websites of nature conservation organisations and also books to find suiting species.

How the butterflies were made

I first looked at how butterflies anatomy works in general. I then collected reference for a specific butterfly (Common Blue) and modeled it. As all 3 butterflies share the same basic anatomy, I could retro-fit the proportions of the first butterfly to make the others.

I also used transparent planes for the wings, which made it easy to change them. And for the antenna I used Bezier curves, which made it possible to adapt them to the different antenna shapes of the butterfly species.


I have yet to animate the butterflies, but I did a simple test with shapekeys and it worked quite well. The extra edge loops on the wings are there so I can bend them for this animation. When watching slow-motion footage of butterfly I saw that the wings move kind of like cloth.

The underside of the wings do have a separate texture, as real butterflies do. This was important to include to make them recognizable.


Next Steps

  • finish UI mockup

  • write, write, write on my thesis!! + get a quote for printing it

  • next Blogpost: how I decided on the game design

Rick HoppmannComment