View Full Version : SubD TIPS & TRICKS...

06 June 2002, 02:41 AM
let's start a thread about tips & tricks on modeling methode
specialy the most favorite one SubD MAX
i made this simple box:

06 June 2002, 02:47 AM
then i didn't add any polygon to it, no edge extrude or face or
vertices added...just twiking some parameter in editable mesh
& then applying meshsmooth modifier, i got this:
could anyone tell that what i did to achive those smooth/beveled
edges from that simple non-beveled box?! :)
& i must mentioned that i did nothing to mesh-smooth sub level
controls like crease edge or weight of vertices. in fact they don't work like that.

06 June 2002, 02:52 AM
:wavey: Pick me! Pick me!

errr, Smoothing Groups?

06 June 2002, 02:54 AM
HAHA! yes smoothing group, but i need more detail! there is
a little trick ...

06 June 2002, 03:00 AM
um, is it checking the 'separate by smoothing groups' checkbox in meshsmooth, Mr Solomon? :applause:

06 June 2002, 03:13 AM
POOF!...i'm worried i didn't understand a word of your sientific
article...sorry! more explaination pleasssse! :) trick is that i applied 2 mesh-smooth afterward!

this is what happend to regular mesh smoothed box:

06 June 2002, 03:16 AM
by smoothing group difination:

06 June 2002, 03:19 AM
by first mesh-smooth modifier with smoothing-group based iteration we have this:

06 June 2002, 03:21 AM
& with second regular mesh-smoothing methode...:

06 June 2002, 03:31 AM
Dammit! So close... :( Oh well, I guess the chocolate fish goes to someone else... :bounce:

"Oops, just realized you wanted Max stuff. Well, this might be useful. Dunno how meshsmooth interpolates."

Catmull-Clark I believe, or some variation or that so your advice should be right on the button... :)

06 June 2002, 09:07 AM
">>Actually, I'm starting to develop a new smoothing algorithm that retains volume with low vertex count" ...sounds good, Marc!! Will it smooth ngons?

I read in Dec issue of Computer Arts that XSI 2 has "...a subdivision algorithm that's one of the best we've seen enabling you to use polygons with any number of sides while still generating clean and smooth surfaces."

Can anyone confirm this??

genesis max
06 June 2002, 04:49 PM
I think this thread would be very usefull in understanding of how Sub-d works and your example was very usefull.

06 June 2002, 09:47 PM
hope so!
ok this is a more complex test:
this is the original polygonal cage

06 June 2002, 09:49 PM
now carefuly modify the smoothing groups...& first mesh smooth
by SG:

06 June 2002, 09:55 PM
& with the second mesh-smooth , this time regular SubD:

06 June 2002, 09:57 PM
the final touch-up:

06 June 2002, 07:50 PM
Why did you give batman an old woman's puckered kissing mouth?

06 June 2002, 10:44 PM
:D sorry...will never be happened again!

06 June 2002, 10:48 PM
Ok, just don't let it happen again.... and make sure he doesn't receive nipples either you hear me?! lol

06 June 2002, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by Marc McChesney and tricks. Read up on your smoothing algorithms.

Actually, I'm starting to develop a new smoothing algorithm that retains volume with low vertex count, unlike Catmull-Clark, Doo-Sabin, and Chaikin methods. Although Chaikin uses a corner-cutting refinement that is fairly close to the general shape, it is difficult (if not impossible) to implement that with multiple polygons. So I'm looking at something similar to Cardinal splines but more effective and easier to use.

Hmm, sorry if that was off-topic.

Oh, also, keep each vertex having four edges intersecting it. And watch your topology. It is more important than anything else while modeling (besides actually modeling the form =] ).

n-gons, while able to be subdivided by Catmull-Clark, produce pinching as a result of the average of the face being in the center of all the vertices of the face, thus resulting in huge edges that span radially...

Oops, just realized you wanted Max stuff. Well, this might be useful. Dunno how meshsmooth interpolates.

mirai has something like that. but its kinda useless since you cant retain history :/

07 July 2002, 03:38 PM
SubD's are not very friendly to triangles. Try to only SubD quads. You won't get good deformations with that kind of topology.:hmm:

07 July 2002, 09:35 PM
:applause: :applause:

MORE TIPS PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The Magic Pen
07 July 2002, 02:10 AM
Yes this thread = good stuff..more more more !!:airguitar :buttrock: :eek:

07 July 2002, 01:32 PM
Like Are3D said, don't use triangles with subdivision surfaces. Even though programs like Lightwave can handle them, it doesn't provide clean deformations if the object will be animating. there is ALWAYS a way to get only quads, but if you feel you can't find a way to re-work a triangle, make a five sided face instead.

diamond quads are ok too, just don't use them in spots that will move a lot like the neck, shoulder, or thigh.

07 July 2002, 01:53 PM
Oh, and about that Batman mesh:
First of all, like I mentioned before, triangles shouldn't be subdivided. If you want that character to be a subdiv, rework the geometry into all quads.
there is a point between the shoulder and chest where you have 9 faces all coming together at one vertex.......BAD.
You should never have more than 5 faces coming together at one vertx.

08 August 2002, 11:40 AM
*Strains whilst pulling this thread back to the top...*

Hnnnnghh.... ahhhh.

Very nice pointers about smoothing groups Mr Owl! I've never actually used them properly for anything of purpose, and now I will! :D

Oh and,

there is ALWAYS a way to get only quads, but if you feel you can't find a way to re-work a triangle, make a five sided face instead.

Whenever anyone puts stuff about using only quads, I try to point them to stuff like this ;)

Which lets face it - looks brilliant anyway!

09 September 2002, 07:26 AM
hello AJ_23, :) hope i find some more tips to put here.
i didn't see much n-sided polygons (not 4 sided) on that mesh,
actually those 5 sided on the neck were created by chamfering
the vertices in corners.

09 September 2002, 08:36 PM
Originally posted by AJ_23

Whenever anyone puts stuff about using only quads, I try to point them to stuff like this ;)
I agree quads are often inefficient and revel the model to be quad like/grid like especially in motion, other shapes can follow anatomical deformations better.

09 September 2002, 08:59 PM
im using max but am trying to learn maya and i was wondering if there are smoothing groups in maya also? and if so where can i find the menu?:) :)

09 September 2002, 10:18 AM
hi,solomon,i cann't make it in your way ,please give me more explanation,,thanx ,,,:) bulon

09 September 2002, 10:20 AM
second step:hmm:

09 September 2002, 09:48 PM
hi bulon, you should use SMOOTHING GROUPS
select the faces (polygons) in one side of the cube then
in the edit mesh>polygon sub: smoothing groups
assign an unique smoothing id to them, then in the meshsmooth
modifier set the 'result' to 'smoothing groups'.
i'll explain more if you can't do it again.

09 September 2002, 12:32 AM
instead of using smoothing groups you could also use creases. turn yer object to nurms, picn an edge and bunp up crease value.

09 September 2002, 04:02 AM

09 September 2002, 05:22 AM
this is a tip about how to work with SubD modeling in MAX like
MAYA's workflow

you are making your model by low-poly mesh, but want to see
the resulting mesh always, but MAX' 'show end result ' looks
a little unusable!, just do this:

1. make a copy of your polygonal mesh as "Reference"
2. assign a meshsmooth modifier to the Refrenced copy & set the
tesselation to 1 or 2 in viewport & 2 or 3 in rendering.
3. assign a 'mesh select' over the 'meshsmooth'
4. assign a wireframe matterial to the first polymesh & make it
'not renderable'

now you have a PROXY Polygon mesh & a smoothed version are
seperated like Maya, if you modify the "proxy mesh", the smoothed
version's shape will change but you can move the smoothed to
the left or right, scale or could use some other modifiers on it &
no need to turn on the 'show end result' & off again!
you also can turn the proxy mesh "see through" instead of "wire"

09 September 2002, 02:22 AM
I think I have a pretty good idea of what you're talking about. I never thought about doing it that way. Ila_Solomon, could you show us a screen capture of this proxy/subd setup you have in max? Thanks

09 September 2002, 10:11 PM
here it is:

06 June 2003, 02:20 PM
The only downside I see to using your method is that you get a lot of useless polys... I mean, you could chamfer some edges to get those smooth corners which receive highlights instead of slapping on two meshsmooth modifiers. It will need some tweaking to get rid of pinching, but the end result won't be as dense as yours.


I also strongly recommend browsing the subd thread here: and the Spiraloid forum for more insights about subd and how to model with it effectively...

07 July 2003, 03:53 AM
thanks solomon, the proxy tip is very useful!

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 09:00 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.