Here I have set out to create an addon for Blender that creates a wide variety of realistic cones from a small amount of geometry and a text based definition. I’ll show examples first and more explanation lower down the page. The aim was to produce objects with a high degree of realism. As a consequence the outputed meshes have a reasonably high polygon count and are most suitable for rendering rather than game insertion.

Firs and Spruces

Douglas Fir ( Pseudotsuga menziesii ) – Possibly my favourite cone with its distinctive projecting bract scales
Norway Spruce ( Picea abies ) – The largest of the spruce cones
Blue or Colorado Spruce ( Picea pungens ) – Smaller cones with a more even form and richer colour


Austrian Pine ( Pinus nigra ) – A classic medium scale pine cone
David’s Pine ( Pinus armandii ) – Quite distinctive with its thick chubby scales and solid outline
Maritime Pine ( Pinus pinaster ) – A particularly large cone, 12cm plus, with a sharp projection on each seed scale
Monterey Pine ( Pinus radiata ) – Large round cones with a really lopsided base
Mountain Pine ( Pinus mugo ) – Small squat cones with a really flat bottom
Scots Pine ( Pinus sylvestris ) – Similar to the Austrian Pine but slightly smaller and with a lower parastichy


Eropean Larch ( Larix decidua ) Neat little papery cones with incurved scales
Japanese Larch ( Larix kaempferi ) – Slightly larger cones with outturned scales giving a rose-like appearance


Alder ( Alnus glutinosa ) – Not a true cone, but so similar in architecture, ( compare with Sequoia particularly ), it was an obvious addition.

Sample images using cones

Here I have paired two Pinus mugo cones with some leaves
A combination of cones, tinsel and a glass bowl all lit by fairy lights
Most of the cones arranged into a Christmas wreath

A breakdown of the main image showing the different cones used


The addon comes in two parts. The first is a stand alone addon which takes a phyllotactic spiral and wraps it around a solid cone-like form. Phyllotactic spirals underlie many of the patterns you see in plant growth from the arrangement of seeds in a sunflower head to the arrangement of shoots around a tree branch. In every case 2 interlocking spirals are evident, one spiralling clockwise, the other anticlockwise. These spirals can usually be seen as 2 adjacent Fibonacci numbers, referred to as the parastichy. The addon allows for parastichies from 2/3 to 21/34 as well as tools to finely adjust the resulting shape. A mesh is created from the outside vertices and a central core created also.

Sample Phyllotactic Domes
Cone shape showing central spine

The second addon reads a list of cones in from a JSON file and gives provision to add any one of these cones to the scene in a quantity from 1 to 125. Each cone reads a definition from its own JSON file and uses the vertex information from the phyllotactic dome specified to size and arrange into a realistic cone the scale objects contained in its own blend file. Each cone is randomised so that every one is unique. By manipulation of the JSON definition files and the source blend file, a huge variety of cones can be created.

2 Cone meshes
Douglas Fir objects, one showing constituent elements before joining


These assets can be found for sale very reasonably priced on Blender Marketplace:

Author: martin

This is a site showcasing some of my portfolio of past projects. It covers a wide range of different forms of sculpture focusing mainly on woodcarving, portraits and bronze casting. However I have also undertaken many other projects including creation of a Star Wars replica robot, war gaming scenery and bodycasting. If you would like to talk about a project please contact me using [email protected]