View Full Version : What is meshsmooth, patch & sub-d?

08 August 2002, 09:35 AM
some days ago, I learnt to draw a tree using Meshsmooth in Max. That was my first time drawing organic shapes in 3D.

I'm getting confused with the naming of the modelling methods. Is Meshsmooth same as Sub-D? and what is patch modelling?

Because My tree is done by meshsmoothing a patch-modelled cage. then Sub-D is same as patch?????.....:shrug: :hmm:

just a little bit confused.....

and I'm getting interested in Sub-D method. Can anyone tell is Maya better Sub-D modeller than Max? and which one is the best?Can someone post links of some easy to follow, step by step tutorials?

I read that the geometry of the cage of the sub-D can be edit, say add/delete line.... how can i do that?


08 August 2002, 09:46 AM

meshsmooth is sub-d surfaces. but not the most intuitive way of going about it. ive never really used it fully (me: low poly modeller). i think maya has a much more intergrated sub-d surface toolkit tho

08 August 2002, 02:51 AM
Hmmm..not "quite" true.

Meshmooth is the process of adding a certain level of detail to a polygon shape...the process is known as Subdivision (just to confuse things).

Sub Devision Modelling however is slightly different (even though the name is the same!).A true Sub Division implemention allways produces perfectly "smooth" edges and curves at render time, where as MeshSmoothing a polygon only adds detail at the specified level.'

Imagine you mesh smooth a polygon Cube to two levels..
from a distance it'll look like a bevelled Cube/spheroid thing, but as you got closer and closer you'd start to see the individual polygons.
However, if you created a Sub-D cube , no matter how close you get to it, the render will allways be perfectly smooth.

In this way, Sub-D's are a little bit like NURBS surfaces (which also are perfecly smooth no matter how close you get ... this is also known as infinite tesselation).

The confusion is, that modelling in Polygons + Meshsmooth looks VERY similar to Sub-D Modelling, and most of the same techniques are used.

It's much more obvious in Maya than in Max, as Maya has Polygon, NURBS and Sub-D Primitives to start with, whereas Max only has Polygon primitives ... I dont know if there is a true Sub-D implementation in Max?

Hope this makes sence (hope I'm right??!!??)

08 August 2002, 02:58 AM
there is a true sub-d implementation - its the HSDS modifier (which is actually an integration of 'mental matter' from the guys who make MentalRay) I never use it though, I find meshsmooth good enough & easier to use than HSDS...

[edit] I was wrong, even HSDS is just a several level subdivision surface, but it doesnt get divided at rendertime depending on camera distance like true subD

08 August 2002, 05:46 AM
oh thanks guys

Maybe i'd better shift to Maya for Sub-D (since Max's Meshsmooth isn't sub-D at all, as you said).

Besides, why no one comment on my virgin meshsmooth tree?:wavey:

(I think it's quite nice:buttrock: )

Iain McFadzen
08 August 2002, 07:50 AM
The difference between "true" SubD and "Fake" SubD is one of pedantry alone, and is related to the renderer not the modeling process. The workflow is exactly the same and the difference in end results is so miniscule as to be negligable (even with "fake" SubD you need to zoom in so close to a model to actually notice the polys that your biggest problem becomes the mapping, not the model).

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