Slope Tree Tutorial – Part II: Canopy

This is the second tutorial out of two showcasing the techniques used to build my Slope Tree. In this we will cover how the tree foliage technique works and will build upon the previous tutorial where we constructed the trunk of the tree. So if you’d like to build the whole tree but haven’t built the trunk yet, head over and check out Part I ๐Ÿ™‚

Whereas the trunk technique was a rather varied technique and required some imagination and creativity to get it right, this technique is instead horribly repetative and uses tons of the same elements over and over. So brace yourselves! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The three basic elements are the 1×2 rounded slope, the 1×1 flower petal plate (both old and new design works) and the 6 stem plant piece. We need quite a few of these: 276 of the first two and 46 of the plant piece.

We need to construct 9 foliage segments that we then mount on the central structure. Each segment is made up of 5 plant pieces which in turn have 6 petals and slope attached to them.

We start by connecting petals and slopes together as in the top left. We then proceed to connect one of these on each of the stems. I usually connect them pointing downwards for simplicity. We then rotate all the slopes in order to get a more snug fit and get better coverage. The slopes tend to block each other from rotating properly, so just move from piece to piece and rotate it as much as you can. As you keep rotating them you’ll free up the other pieces to rotate even more, until no piece can be rotated any further. The result should look as in the lower right corner.

Concerning directionality, we can choose to rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise. It doesn’t really matter mechanically, but can make a different aesthetically. One would think that alternating or at least varying the directionality might give the best result, but in my experience it actually gets worse than just sticking to one direction. Feel free to test this out if you’d like, but if you just want to get on with it, I’d stick to one direction.

Next we take 5 of these plant pieces and attach them on a travis brick, but we need some offset for the pieces to fit well. We fix this with 1×1 round plates with holes. On the sides we have an offset of 2 plates, but on the top we only need one.

We attach the top one first as it can be a bit harder to fit once the other are in. The we proceed with to connect the sides and the result should look as in the bottom right.

We have now finished one segment! Of course, we need a total of 9, so just go ahead and build 8 more ๐Ÿ™‚ Repetitive yes.

Done? Then let’s look at how to attach it to the tree.

First we need to extend the central pillar upwards from the trunk that we built in the previous tutorial. We do this by threading on another 9 travis bricks. Do note that the top 4 bricks are rotated 45 degrees compared to the bottom 5 as seen on the left.

After that we build the branches – 2 travis bricks and a single 1×1 plate as seen in the middle. We need 8 of these.

Then we attach these to the central pillar. The first 4 on the second travis brick from the bottom, the other 4 on the third travis brick from the top. It should look like on the right.

Time to attach the actual segments. We just simply attach one at the end of each branch. They should be angled so that you have the more straight part on the sides, in order to fit snugly with the other segments. Four segments on the bottom layer, four in the middle and one segment on the top.

Travis bricks have very good clutch power in my experience, so that should be enough to hold up the branches even with the weight of the foliage segment. However, if they feel wobbly or don’t stick well enough, we can run bars through the branches, 4L or 6L. We’d have to replace the 1×1 plate with something with a hole in that case, but should be easy enough.

That is it for the main foliage. However, if you’ve built the trunk from the previous tutorial you might remember that we built a little branch in the middle of the trunk. Let’s add some foliage there as well ๐Ÿ™‚

We fill up one plant piece with slopes and connect it to the 1×1 round brick with a droid arm. This is not the most stable connection, but it gives a nice branch that tapers off.

Now we have the finished tree!

Hope you found the tutorial useful ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy building!

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