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View Full Version : Discussion on softening hard edges


csalexan
09-14-2010, 11:25 PM
Alright, this is probably something I should have a better grasp on at this point in my modeling career, but there's no point in hanging on to foolish pride, so I want to have a discussion about softening/rounding edges on hard surface models; particularly in Maya. I was reading Onno van Braam's recent e-book release describing how he modeled the E30 BMW in 3ds Max, and at the end he just starts chamfering edges all over the place to round his edges and it appeared to be really simple and straightforward in Max. It got me thinking there must be a better way to do it in Maya than what I'm doing. So, what I really want to hear is how everyone softens their hard edges on a model. I know there are a lot of different ways to do it, and that's fine, I want to hear them all! I'll outline some of the ways I use below:

The simplest and quickest way I use (other than just beveling everything) is to just insert edge loops along the edges I want to round when smoothed. That works alright as long as I'm going to be smoothing the model, but even then it can produce some ugly results, particularly on more complex corners.

http://i52.tinypic.com/4vmhq0.jpg

Sometimes I will merge the edge vertices together to create edgeloops flowing around the border edges of each face.

http://i54.tinypic.com/6qiq6c.jpg

If I'm working on something nice and flat sometimes I'll bevel one set of corners, extrude them inwards then bevel the other set of edges.

http://i56.tinypic.com/14ucopu.jpg

More complex shapes like the one below are where some of these start to break down, especially a bevel. On more complex models I'll occasionally just convert to subD then use partial creases on the edges.

http://i55.tinypic.com/359g03p.jpg

If you bevel all the edges you need to on something like this, you get all kinds of nasty n-gons. It's even worse if you use more segments on the bevel.

http://i55.tinypic.com/2q2386u.jpg

Now, while I was throwing that together it occured to me that maybe I should include all the interior edges on the bevel to carry the new edges all the way through the model. With a couple segments that actually works pretty well, I'll have to try it on something more complex later.

http://i52.tinypic.com/2ypfepf.jpg

So, tell me how you do it, how to improve my methods, how bad I am, etc...I want to hear it all.

Thanks!

Teloni
09-15-2010, 02:54 PM
When extruding a shape off of another shape like your complex example, you can reduce some of the geometry like this:

http://i51.tinypic.com/e6eszn.jpg

csalexan
09-15-2010, 07:32 PM
Oh perfect, I should have thought of that. Thanks!

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