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Since there are only nine days remaining until Christmas is upon us, we thought we would celebrate by modelling this Christmas Wreath. This tutorial will provide detailed exploration into the steps used to create a single holly leaf and then the steps taken to turn this singular leaf into a realistic festive wreath.

Surface techniques have been used to create the holly leaf, within a  sub-assembly the leaf is then dublicated, later patterned to generate a full looking wreath design. Berries have also been added along with a large red bow to add to the Christmas theme.

The Holly Leaf Design

To create a more realistic leaf – with added imperfections, a series of guide curves have been used to create a curved, wrinkled surface (see right).

To get the out outline for the holly leaf a sketch picture was used – this is optional, especially if you are wanting the leaf to be of a different style. A filled surface is used to create the overall leaf shape – using the guide curves to aid direction within the surface. This surface is then mirrored to give a 3D structure.

Assembling the Wreath

The holly leaf has first been assembled into a sub-assembly (right) the purpose of this is to add more definition. The different leaves have been angled in different locations to provide a more realistic bundle. Reference geometry has been used to locate the positions.  As the side view shows (right) the top leaf has been angled as to give the illusion that the wreath is 3D opposed to being flat.

The Berry Design

The berries have been constructed using a revolve. The sketch has been constructed to form a dip in the top of the berry. Multiple configurations of the berry can be made to vary the size and shape of the berries used within the assembly.

Top Level Assembly:

Using multiple copies of the sub-assembly the wreath can be constructed. Within the assembly, a sketch on the top plane is used to replicate the sub-assembly via a circular driven pattern. 12 instances of the sub-assembly have been added with a spacing distance of 50mm. The reference point has been set to “Bounding box centre” and the alignment method is set to “Tangent to curve”.

The berries can then be added and patterned using a circular pattern in a similar fashion. The top level assembly has then been mirrored to provide thickness and dimension in both directions, ultimately creating a more realistic design.

Visualize Rendering

Using SolidWorks Visualize the top level assembly can be rendered to provide a realistic aesthetics. For further details regarding getting yourself set up with SolidWorks Visualize – see the Visualize webinars located within the customer portal at To see how texture maps along with imported geometry has been used please see the following video.


Watch the Video Tutorial:

Later on in the 12 Days of Christmas series we will explore how texture maps can be applied and further details of methods used to enhance the natural appearance of materials – so make sure to look out for it!

Render Image

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