Snow Globe/Snow Dome Sandbox Build Showcase and Tutorial



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On November 1st, Rebrick posted a new Winter Wonderland Worlds Contest to encourage people to build a winter themed LEGO creation.  Participants could build with real LEGO bricks or in one of several digital tools such as LEGO Worlds.  I decided I was going to try to build something on the more creative side.  I wanted my winter scene to be unique and something that people might not attempt: Snow Globes.

I posted pictures of the final results when I submitted them for the contest. Since the contest is officially over, I wanted to share the process I went through to create my  entries.

LEGO Worlds recently introduced over a dozen shapes in the landscaping tool. This made it very simple to create the globe shape.  The only problem is the shapes aren’t very big.  This limits the amount of space you have to build a scene inside the globe.

Building the snow globes is pretty straight forward.  Select the Landscaping tool and pick the transparent/Clear bricks with the sphere shape.

After you have created the sphere, shrink the sphere and hit the remove button to hollow out the globe.

Hollow out the globe

Finally, you can add a base using whatever type of brick you like.  I opted for wood.

Now you have a clear globe on a base.  It is up to you to decorate the inside.  I made two globes with different wintry themes.Snow Globes

As I mentioned earlier, the globes are fairly small.  I created two globes and submitted them as one entry.  Unfortunately, it was rejected for containing multiple scenes.

I would not be stopped! I went with plan B:  A Snow Dome.

The shapes and the landscape tool are once again the key to creating a snow dome.  The step by step instructions here will produce a much crisper snow dome than I submitted to the contest.

Start by choosing the clear bricks for the landscape tool but this time choose the cylinder shape.

Build all four sides of the dome then change from add to remove.

Dome Outline

Carefully line up the cylinder to remove all but one layer of bricks.  Thank goodness for the undo feature!

Remove the interior of the dome

With the main area complete, it is time to tackle the roof.  This is where my tutorial dome differs from the original dome.  They both used shapes with the add/remove landscape tool. However, they used different shapes and different techniques.

Start by lining up a horizontal cylinder with the straight edge of one of the sides.

Add roof using cylinder

Add the cylinder all the way across the wall.  Next, change to remove then move the cylinder again so it leaves only one row of bricks. This may require a little extra cleanup.

Remove roof using cylinder

The four sides of the curve for the roof are done so it is time to add the corners.  Change your shape to the top half sphere and line it up with the each of the four corners of the dome.

Add

Once the corner is placed properly, change the landscaping tool to remove then adjust the position of the half sphere to remove most of the sphere.

Remove the roof corner

The only thing left to add to the dome is the flat roof.  This will use the brick placement tool.  Make sure the color is transparent/clear and choose a brick type.  I went with the largest flat panel which happens to be 16 x 8.  Use the new drag feature to create the long flat roof.  I managed to create the flat roof in about 2 minutes.

Add the flat root

The next step in the process is to add the base.  For my dome I used the “Silver Flip Flop” color and the cylinder for the curved edge.

Add the metallic base

With the base in place, it is time to add the snowy base inside the dome.  Change to the add tool and select the snow option for bricks.  Raise the landscaping tool a little above the top of the base and carefully line up the cylinder with the inside edge of the dome.

Fill center with snow

You have created a beautiful dome but it is missing something.  You know you always shake the snow globe to make the blizzard.  Well, your snow dome needs some loose snow flakes floating above your scene.  You could spend a long time placing individual flakes but I have a faster method that is still pretty random.

Start by placing a dozen or so 1×1 flat circles in a loose pattern.  Vary the positions on all three axis to have a good 3D representation.

Copy those twelve flakes and place another dozen or so copies of the initial pattern around area.  Again making sure to vary the height. It is a good idea to rotate the selection as well to lend to a more random pattern.  Your snow flurries are getting bigger.  Now, copy all of those flakes one more time. Place this larger selection as many times as necessary to fill in the top of your snow dome.

Here is my finished Snow Dome 2.0:

Finished Dome

Once again, you can decorate this as you see fit.

Here are the shots I submitted for the contest:

Snow Dome

As my wife pointed out to me:  “That is not a snow globe!”

Back to the drawing board for creating a bigger, better snow globe.  I tried a lot of techniques to build a bigger snow globe and found many that didn’t work.  The method below yielded the best results.

This one is a little more complex and is not perfect. It is, however, the best approach I had for creating a snow globe.  As usual, start with the transparent/clear option selected in the Landscape tool.  Select the Convex 90 shape for the bottom of the globe.  You will not want this shape at full size because that would make a ginormous snow globe.

Place the first piece of the base then move the shape slightly and change to remove to leave only one row of bricks.

Add the bottom

This is where the build becomes tedious.  Move the shape near the corner of the first piece then rotate it one time.  Place the second piece then remove most of the piece again.  Undo is your best friend!

Continue this process until you have completed one quarter of the bottom of the globe.  Get out the copy tool and copy the entire base.  Paste it three times to complete the base.

You will follow the same process for the sides using the cube. Place a piece…move slightly to remove inside…move…rotate…place…remove…repeat!

Build the wall

Change to the Convex 180 to repeat the process for the top curve.

Use the Brick gun to place a flat roof on the globe.  The process for the base is the the same as the process for the dome.  Just select a brick color or theme and center it around the bottom.  You will also need to reproduce the snow flurries in the globe.

Here is the finished entry.  It is so large that to get a screen shot, the camera car had to be far enough away that draw distance became an issue.  Yes, I realize it isn’t truly a globe since the top and bottom have large flat spots!  New Snow Globe

Here are the close ups of the various areas of the snow globe:

Now that the contest is over and I have had a chance to look through the entries, over 420 in all, I have a clear favorite.  Check out Hymn’s entry, “Snowman Headquarters” on Rebrick. It is beautifully detailed, creative, and most importantly had beautifully created large scale spheres.  Looks like I still have a thing or two to learn about building inside LEGO Worlds.


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Paul Haan

Written by: Paul Haan

Paul has been a self taught software engineer for almost 20 years. He started playing video games in the early 1980s on an Atari 800 and has had many gaming systems since. Creative games such as Disney Infinity and LEGO Worlds are among his favorites. Happily married since 1998, Paul and his wife are raising three wonderful, creative, young gamers.

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