Making of Natanz Minaret by Alireza Seifi
Finding the images Perspective (Camera lens/Angle)
Now that we came up with viewport image background it`s time to find the images perspective or the camera lens and angle. There`re some ways to do that, but we`re going to choose the easiest one. First press Ctrl+C in perspective view to create a camera for it and press C in perspective view to switch the camera view.
As you see the overall shape of the Minaret is cylindrical so create a cylinder in top view. In camera view, press F3 to see the cylinder in wireframe. Now try to match the perspective of cylinder to the Minaret`s shape using different camera zoom/pan/orbit tools. It`s not so hard and after some tweaking you`ll get there. If you notice the image there`re two important guides that will help us to find the accurate position of the camera:
One is that the camera position is in a low angle (photographer has taken the photo from below), and the other one is that the camera lens is a Tele-lens, so the photo is almost orthographic.
After finding and fixing the camera position and lens we start to model the details of head from this cylinder so we need to know the number of Muqarnas Slices. Before finding the slices number let`s talk about Muqarnas a bit more.
Muqarnas is the most complex Volume in Iranian Architecture (Its shape reminds the beehive`s form). Iranian Architects invented this form to decorate different monuments such as Schools, Castles, Mosques, Minarets, etc.. to express and transfer the highest and deepest dimensions of Iranian philosophy and.. In practice it`s created on ground separately and will be moved to its accurate position on the monument and will be fixed there. You can see some different types of Muqarnas in Iran here:
About creating Muqarnas in 3D we have to ways. A) Making them from their geometrical plans, B) Common way of image based Modeling. We`ll choose the second way because our head part is an easy Muqarnas form and we can continue our modeling without the need of any geometrical calculation.
Ok, we were trying to get the number of slices. So press F3 to get back to edged-faces view, select the cylinder and press Alt+X to activate the see-through mode for it. Now you can easily find the number of head Muqarnas slices by changing the number of cylinder sides in modify panel and then rotating the cylinder to match its edges to Minaret edges. Result is 16 that means we have 16 slices.