I love this kind of lanterns, and the idea of creating a 3D Model of one was really appealing, so here it is! It’s actually a reproduction of one I bought in Egypt in my latest trip.
The modeling of the most pieces is done with NURBS, while the center panels are modeled from cubes. The Arabic letters in the middle of the panels where created with curves and extruded faces, just seemed like the fastest way to go and I have to say, I loved how it turned out.
At first I wanted to export the lower dome in mudbox to actually sculpt the carvings, but eventually just drawing a bump map seemed a bit faster and it turned out to work quite well in the render.
The whole mesh is about 200.000 polys, which is quite high, but I went into some real detail so I guess it was really worth it, considering the chains make up for a lot of it too.