View Full Version : Who prefers poly/smooth over sub'D?

07 July 2002, 04:40 PM
I'm trying out sub'D on a human head, and I have to say I find it a bit unnecessary. I mean, I can get the same thing by just modeling in polys and then smoothing it? Maybe I need to play with it more?

Your thoughts?

07 July 2002, 02:17 AM
The thing with SubD's (atleast with LWs subpatches) is that they are more interactive than running a smoothing command just to check on how things are going and undoing before you continue.

But basically they have the same effect.

07 July 2002, 09:22 AM
from my opinion, i think they can be used together for different cases

nothing only goes one way, right?

07 July 2002, 04:13 PM
I think there is a common misconception that sub'ds are just smoothed poly's. If memory serves me correctly, not many packages actually do true sub division surfaces. A true subd is a surface which will always be perfectly curved when rendered. They take the best from both worlds - the curviness of Nurbs, but the ease of use of Poly's. At least that's what I heard!

If you just put a smooth on a poly surface, all you are doing is tesselating it, and, if you get close enough, you will see this tesselation wheras with a subd, it will always be curved, because it will re-tesselate it.

07 July 2002, 11:37 PM
So dose a true sub d model look better than a false sub d model?

07 July 2002, 03:10 PM
I've been told by people that they prefer polygonal modeling because it's less hassels to deal with when animating/texturing..etc. But, there are also people telling me that sub'Ds are easier to animate because you have a lower poly count cage to animate at detail level 0, as opposed to a much higher poly count poly model.

Your thoughts?

07 July 2002, 09:43 AM
So basicly you are building the mesh by hand, poly by poly? And place a smoothing group so that the shading is continuous? Do I understand correctly? (Lots of names vary with the different packages)

It can be done, but it will take much much longer than with a low poly cage and subdivisions. Making the surface smooth and continuous is also much easier with a low poly cage.

Lastly, while your model looks smooth from the front, the sides probably have horrible segmenting (unless you build your mesh with an insane ammount of detail, not a fun thing to do when you are placing your polys by hand).

Could you show us an example how it looks? I'm very curious about the ammount of detail you place into the mesh when building by hand.

07 July 2002, 11:46 PM
if oyu mean smoothing as in tesselation - that s definitely primitive.

subd is the sh*t man.

consider this:

model in low poly, apply a subd

rig character in low poly mesh - less verts etc much easier. apply uvw maps to subd model so that there are more texture verts.


07 July 2002, 06:18 PM
The advantages with SubDs are as follows:

Easier to setup bones (fewer polygons to weight)
Easier to settup morph targets (fewer polygons to move)
SMALLER FILE sizes: fewer polygons.
Less work

Rabid pitbull
07 July 2002, 09:15 PM
also another sub d advantage is you can control the patch count very easily. you could set it to display in real time at a lower level, and turn it up at render time.... great when animating many characters in a scene.

07 July 2002, 02:44 AM
Ive found (with Maya) that Sub-D can accually make an Object quite heavy and thus, difficult to animate. I have used sub-D extensivly in the past, but in the future I may just stick to poly for animatable objects.

ofcourse, I could be way off base here.

07 July 2002, 12:22 PM
Don't forget creasing and cleaning topology.

07 July 2002, 12:49 PM
This is the thing, with true sub-d surfaces, you don't have to worry about 'turning up' the detail level - the renderer will look at how much screen space the surface is taking up and only increase the detail of the surface if it will make a visible difference. The problem with sub-d's in Maya being slow appears to be an inherent problem with how messy maya files can become, with redundant nodes being left in the scene and using memory up, when in fact there is no reason for them being present.

07 July 2002, 11:06 PM
Well, lets hope the "New SubD tools" in Maya 4.5 include some cleanup in that area.

07 July 2002, 07:55 AM
That would be nice, but maya has been messy like this since version 1 - all i do to try and speed stuff up is export selected to a new scene, which doesn't copy across all of the crap which clutters up the original file....

08 August 2002, 12:14 AM
Hi folks I use max where I work now but Im coming from maya. I agree with Mattrne that a big advantage of nurbs subd's in maya atleast is that you dont have to turn up the res of the model to see what your surface looks like. That is a big pain in the but.

Hear is my thoughts on work flow.

for modeling: Model in polys and smooth. subdiv proxy mode is too slow.

for shape refinement: Subd's let you see the final surface and point tweaking is fairly fast

for rigging: Always rig the cage and and animate the cage only use proxy for rendering

for rendering: Subdiv's are nurbs and perfectly smooth. I think Subdivs look much better at render time.

08 August 2002, 02:35 PM
As I think has pretty much been covered here:

For the most part, SubD's basically ARE poly + polysmooth except:

1. the renderer will adaptively tesselate at rendertime so you never see a poly edge (just like prman has been doing for years and years and years).

2. You can add detail to your SubD ONLY where you want it. So for example if you wanted to have a really crazy knuckle geometry on a character, you just poly model a smooth finger, then refine the mesh around the knuckle.
This gives you extra points only around the knuckle to model your crazy geometry. Then you can bind the low-poly smooth finger and all the extra detail will follow the bend. That's why SubD's are so cool.

In Maya you have to make sure to delete all the history of your poly before you convert to subdiv. Also never do anything more than tweak to the poly proxy. More than 1 or two extrudes will bring Maya grinding to a halt as it does funny things to the object's graph

09 September 2002, 05:32 AM
I've worked with both, and I've animated with both. I find that polygons are the way to go for a few different reasons. How I approach polygonal modeling in a character, however, is that I make a proxy model to animate with (very low poly model) and use this for realtime playback in maya. Just before rendering, I smooth the model, one to two times. Industry smooths 2 times, and if it is good enough for the big screen, it's good enough for me. As far as unclean, or messy scene files in maya, that can be easily cleaned up by doing an Optimize scene function. This clears out all unused data, including empty sets and unused nodes. Blah blah, I'm rambling. ANyway, with sub d's, there are issues in maya when sometimes, the textures will not fully render when in Sub D mode. That sucks. Another issue is my pc chugs with sub D's. With a poly model approx 5k in faces will play back almost realtime for me. Nice. Render time is a big thing when it comes to Sub D's. Of course, you can lower tesselation, but if you do, You end up with a sub d looking like a smoothed poly any way. If you take the few seconds to soften edges, and then smooth a poly model, you should have few problems with tesselation. I have worked with the Sub D features in Maya 4.5, and found them to still work less efficiently than a well modeled poly character. Again, this is just my two cents, but there are no real cons to a poly model, and I can think of many for a sub D. Nurbs are right out. Even though a lot of industry uses them too. That's another story.

09 September 2002, 06:19 AM
a little video for working with True SubD's :)

09 September 2002, 03:42 AM
Originally posted by MaDSheeP
a little video for working with True SubD's :)

and he says he did that character in 3 days.( i hope i heard that wrong )..looks like 30 minutes -1 hour work.. ;)

09 September 2002, 12:23 PM
I find SubD awkward to work with, I can't really put my finger on it but it feels like i'm a bit "out of control". I suppose I very much stick to poly modelling, by building one poly after the other, or simply starting from some kind of box, and once you settle into a habit, you find it hard to change.

09 September 2002, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by ambient-whisper
and he says he did that character in 3 days.( i hope i heard that wrong )..looks like 30 minutes -1 hour work.. ;)

Bah, elites, shut up ;)

Joking :beer:

09 September 2002, 08:36 AM
subD isn't the aim,the poly is
use the subD to get the best poly model.

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