View Full Version : Nurbs vs. SubD

06 June 2004, 03:25 PM
Just wondering if anyone can give me insight into which method would be more helpful to learn overall. What are the ups/downs to each method? And is there an *industry standard* that most artists are expected to use on the job?

From my experience, modeling with nurbs is probably the more difficult of the two, but subD seems to be a bit chaotic at times and it's uvs are a pain.

Thanks for any comments,


06 June 2004, 03:36 PM
if your looking for a job. then learning both will benefit you most.

but Subds are really getting popular. so even if uvs are chaotic, id focus on that one more because it is more natural than working with nurbs.

( btw. uvs are not that hard once you get a good idea of how to use them well )

06 June 2004, 12:47 AM
I want to echo the previous poster's reply, and also add that the app that you decide to use plays a big part in the decision too. For example, I used to use Electric Image. It's modeler (which has since been discontinued) was a great NURBs modeler, which also included a variant of sub-ds. I used to try to force everything I did through the NURBs tools because I didn't have the patience to learn the sub-d stuff. Eventually I gave it a try and found that it saved me countless hours when doing things like airplane fuselages and other such stuff. However, less organic sorts of things, like tires and nose cones etc., we far easier to do with the NURBs tools. (I do airplanes, in case that hasn't registered yet. ;)

Eventually--thanks to EI's most recent couple of "upgrades"--I came to my wits and dumped Electric Image entirely. I switched to Max. (Have I lost my wits again?) Anyway, in Max the NURBs tools are horrible to work with, by comparison to those in EI. By contrast, the sub-ds in Max are far and away better than EI ever could have hoped for. (Sud-ds in Max are basically traditional polygon modeling with a smooth modifier placed over the mesh you're working on.)

So now I use sub-ds for pretty much everything I do. I became pretty familiar with NURBs, thanks to EI's modeler, but there's no point in fighting with the lousy NURBs tools that Max currently has. What I did become adictedto in EI was resolution independance--where I could just model without thinking about how much resolution I needed in the final mesh. The sub-d stuff in Max permits that too. (I do print work and every now and then I need a close up of a model, which requires lots of polys at rendertime.)
Both modeling methods are wonderful. If you can find a program that has great implementations of both, then you'll love yourself for learning both. If not, then take advantage of whatever method works best in the 3D program that you use, and either live without the other method, or pick up a second program that supports the other method well.

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