View Full Version : Modelling technique

08 August 2002, 05:34 PM
First post..yay

Anyways I'm pretty new to 3d and max even though I did use it a few months ago for a month or 2 an thus I have some basic knowledge of most tools. I'm currently trying to get to modelling a character(or part ) but when I look on these boards everybody talks about all these modelling techs and most I don't know . Bassicly the only one I really know is boxmoddeling and then meshsmooth the damn thing. I know what poly's are and stuff, just not what those techniques are supposed to mean. So..(what a shitload of text eh ) can anybody enlighten me? What are the techs, what are the advantiges and which ones are easy to start out with. Maybe some links with examples and tuts?..anyways thanks in advance..


08 August 2002, 07:58 PM
sometimes i'm like you when asking like a novice, how ?
no replies !!!!
i'm not a master but i know that with box modeling or low poly you can do all stuff (organic charcter etc) you can also use spline modeling (i use max) or nurbs (use rhino it's more powerfull than max in this one. i just tried low poly, splines, nurbs but the easiest one is low poly it's also powerfull you can add details as much as you want.
you can find other tech but i find that those one satisfy myself.
the best tutors for medling can be found at (french)
one tutor can be found at 3dtotal in english.

do all the tutors they are all important


08 August 2002, 09:13 PM
Yeah I had already found the join d'arc tut but the char was a little too hard I guess...The legs turned out ok though:)...the head part I found really difficult...anyways thanks for replying.


08 August 2002, 02:32 AM
I'm also no 3d master or anything, but for the lack of any other replies, I'll put in my 2c.

The three main devisions (and there could be more?) in modelling are:


Poly modelling is most commonly seen in low poly stuff (computergames) as you can achieve simple shapes with relative simplicity, and is easily animatable.
It's also used in high poly stuff (Movies etc, allthough not as much as nurbs), when smoothed (or subdivided). This increases the poly count a lot, but also improves the smootheness of the model (obvious).

Positives using Poly's are: Logical to use (vertices, primitives)
Disadvantages : High poly takes a lot of system rescources, and still lacks detail close up

NURBS (non-uniform rationalised b-splines) are very commonly used in movies to create Surfaces that can be shaped into models. Its a completely different method of modelling, where you use curves to describe a path which a Surface takes.

Positives using NURBS : Very nice fluid shapes, will not loose detail no matter how close you get to surface (because its based off a calculation, it can be re-tesselated dependant on the camera distance)..Easily textured, as a given point can allways be found on a NURBS surface using a simple calculation.
Disadvantages : Confusing (well to me anyway!), difficult to build uniform shapes ( blendig/filleting between surfaces can have unexpected results) ...

SUBD are very similar to Polygons, but they have most of the benefits of NURBS. Modelling techniques (such as box modelling) can still apply to a SubD.

Positives: will re-tesselate based on camera distance, thus giving "perfect" curves at any distance. Easy /logical to build like Poly's
Disadvantages: High on system rescources (only becoming popular again because of the power of computers increasing dramatically over the last 3-5 years).

Hmm, any way, that doesnt really discuss techniques (like box modelling, poly referencing (what I call the DaveK Method ;) ), Surface filleting etc...but yeah..hope it helps a little.

The basic gist is, to be a reasonable modeller, you are going to have to know all of these techniques, because certain methods are better for certain objects (NURBS / SUB-D's for organic models, Poly's/SubD's for hard edged objects etc...)

08 August 2002, 08:33 AM
Can you perhaps explain sub-d modelling a bit more? In what way is it similair to poly modelling and where does it differ? And what about that daveK method? Got a site to that?:wavey:

Anyways thanks for the cool response

08 August 2002, 12:18 AM
yup, no problem.

Poly's and sub-D's are very similar to work with..(in my limited experince)

In Maya , you will mostly model SUB-D's using polygon proxy mode, which enables you to use all of the polygon tools.

Using Polygons, and the Meshsmoothing is "essentially" the same as Sub-D ; However, the major difference is that a proper SubD will allways display a perfect curve at render time, whereas a meshsmooth Poly only increases the poly count (and therefore the smoothness) as much as requested by you (ie 1 or 2 or 3 iterations of Meshsmooth).
SubD's use a tesselation algorythm that dynamically calculates the optimal mesh density depending on whats visible (ie. how close the camera is to the area being rendered).

the "dave K" method of poly modelling can be found at , he has a head modelling tutorial there which shows the method.
Its done in Maya, but the principles should be cross platform.

08 August 2002, 05:11 AM
Thanks that clears up a lot...:thumbsup:

08 August 2002, 08:59 AM
I am having trouble recreating the tutorial in MAX, how can you get the smooth curves for the polygon edges, I tried making it out of splines first then converting to a polygon, but that didnt work for me at all...

08 August 2002, 11:01 PM
Probably the best way in max would indeed to be to create the outline side profile as a spline , and then extrude it a little.

Then , use the cut tool (under edges sub-selection) to divide the model up.

Probably beter to have it as an editable Poly instead of an editable Mesh (if in MAX 4), because meshes can have invisible edges that will cause extra vertices to appear in the middle of your poly's.

to smooth it, you put a Meshsmooth modifier on the stack, and set it to however itterations you like (2 usually).

The results should be failry similar..
Unfortunately , I find Mayas polygon tools to be much more reliable than max's, and cutting up a model in Max can be a real pain...
stick with it though!

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