View Full Version : nurbs vs. polygons

02 February 2002, 11:57 PM
I'm new to 3d modeling, and teaching myself MAYA. I was wondering what circumstances warrent the use of nurbs or polygons? What are the advantages and disadvantages to using each? Thanks.


02 February 2002, 10:06 PM
The list would be way too long to the is all a matter of preference. Each have strong advnatages and disasvantages..and i have seen great stuff come from BOTH methods....

play around a bit and find which you are most comfortable with ;)

02 February 2002, 05:48 PM
If you check out the current state of technology, you`ll find, that for organic character modelling subdivision surfaces do the best.

NURBS are too technical approach, because you have to carefully define surfaces via NURBS curves, and you have to take care of blends, trims. But it requires less memory (to store) the modell, and have UV coordinates implemented into the surface

SubD are much flexible, and if you follow the Volume-Fom-Detail rule, you`ll find it the fastest, and the most intuitive approach. Disadvantages are the relatively high storage space, and the necessity to UV map them by hand. Anyway most artists gladly pay that price


02 February 2002, 12:06 AM
I prefer poly's/subd's as they allow for a more traditional approach to modelling allowing the artist to clearly analyze the plane breaks on a form. However in Maya there are some special nodes that are available only for Nurbs surfaces such as the closestPointOnSurface node. If your model is not a Nurbs surface you can't use this node or the attributes associated with it. There are some workarounds to allow limited use of the closestPointOnSurface node with poly/subd objects through a Nurbs proxy surface, but that requires making a second model.

02 February 2002, 09:56 AM
hmm ... to my opinion everything depends on the kind of object you are modelling ... subdivision surfaces is great to model complex objects but nurbs can be a better choice for simple objects ...

I personaly like to start my models in nurbs since it makes proportions tweaking easier ... then I convert to poly and define details ...

04 April 2005, 12:40 PM
Which 3D paint tool would You use for a maya nurbs multi patch model?

Iīve have now done the gnomon-modelling-dvdīs which end up using multi patch nurbs models f organic modeling.
I like nurbs modelling, because I like to know what Iīm gonna do, before I start modelling.
What I donīt like about nurbs is that You donīt have this ideal exchange with photoshop because of the missing UV interface. Or how to say. I like the idea of drawing in a 2D environment for a 3D model ehile using the UV snapshot for orientation. And this works for polys much better.

As I was looking in the www for tips to texture a multi patch nurbs model I realized that the texturing is not the advantage of nurbs. OK, you can put more information on each patch, but the way to does not seem to me very straight forward as UV mapping.

I now ended up in looking f 3D paint tools, like zBrush or so. But now I realise, at least zBrush uses polygons. So which 3D paint tool would You use for a maya nurbs multi patch model?

cheers m°

04 April 2005, 08:41 PM
exactly.. I was using NURBS for quite some time, didn't touch polys. But recently I'm starting to use more and more poly modelling (as SubD or as smoothed version in the end).

What I find as an advantage over NURBS is that it's really nice and easya to add in detail, I can finally use Photoshop from the start to the end for textures witout relying on 3D Paint for marking what is where, and it's pretty easy to define form / sillouhette from the get go.

But, I still use NURBS when I deal with pipes and simillar objects, architectural stuff (houses, building etc).. and I constantly use lofting on curves to define and add in detail to poly models.. which I turn in the end to polys and connect it with poly object, ofcourse

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04 April 2005, 08:41 PM
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