Curves and DupliVerts in Blender

The next step for my EPCOT scene was a curved guardrail. I knew I was going to have to get a grasp of two main concepts: extruding along a path and duplicating objects along a path.

EPCOT West - Bench with Umbrella and Rail
EPCOT West - Bench with Umbrella and Rail

The top and bottom of the guardrail, as well as the ends, involved extruding a circular cross section along a path. For the top and bottom, I drew a Bezier curve to the desired shape. I then drew a Bezier circle to act as the cross section. Then I simply selected the curve and told it to use the circle as its bevel shape. For the ends, I created a path and adjusted its vertices to the desired shape. Again, I created a circle to act as the cross section, selected the path and told it to use the circle for its bevel shape. Why did I use a path instead of a Bezier curve for the ends? I’m not sure. I think at the time I was unsure how to add more control points to the curve, and a path comes with five control points as default. This allowed me to bend the ends 90 degrees to meet up with the rails.

The posts are made up of simple cylinders. Obviously I only wanted to create one cylinder and have it duplicated along the rail. So the first thing I did was to duplicate the rail curve to act as a path for the posts to follow. I then converted the curve to a mesh object and subdivided it a few times until I had the desired number of vertices. I created one post and made the new mesh its parent. I then selected DupliVert, and I had a path full of posts.

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