View Full Version : Theoretical SUB-D

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04 April 2003, 02:29 AM
Woah 3DZealot, u don't need to sorry,
this thread alone been a very helpful for us :applause: :buttrock:

we'll wait patiently until the PDF comes out :buttrock:

04 April 2003, 02:49 AM
yeah take your time. that way it will be better.

04 April 2003, 12:49 PM
In 3DZ we trust.

04 April 2003, 02:46 PM
My condolenses 3DZ. Hope everything is ok with your and your family.

04 April 2003, 07:13 PM
yes man, there is no rush so you shouldn't feel bad for not having anything out yet.

and If you need any help I'll offer my services

Dave Black
04 April 2003, 01:36 AM

Thanks guys. :love:

You all are so great.

And I see that Sir Eel, edaddy, and gaggle have finally decided to post sumth'n. I missed you...


I'll be back soon with some fun stuff.



ivo D
04 April 2003, 11:12 AM
goodluck zealot:-)

if you need any help just msg..

queston.. is ther a place wher you can get basic mesh shapes to start of a head.. sub-d

best without eye holes etc.. just a very low poly start of a head..?

04 April 2003, 02:07 PM
Yeah, it's called a box. :)

You can get some free subdiv models here...

04 April 2003, 02:25 PM
does someone have the webspace/bandwith for 2 Subdiv Modelling videos? i got the webspace, but not the traffic, and i know what happens when showing such things on cgtalk :D

Dave Black
04 April 2003, 02:59 PM
ivo D:

Thanks, man.

You know, I'm fairly sure that models such as that can be found.

Let me steer you to 2 things:

First, check out a thread in the modeling forum here:

It actually goes into the concept of topology of the head, with the intent of creating a "base" head that can be massaged into many, many different characters. It's possibly one of the most important aspects to head creation, and is often the most overlooked. I can't recommend the thread enough.

Another one that you should check out is this:

That's pretty much the definitive site for head creation/topology reference on the net.

As for free models, as mentioned above, CGTalk in conjuntion with I think 3dfestival, or cgnetworks, has released a bunch of professional quality models for free download.

Have a look, and also try to do some of wiro's tutorials.

Best of luck!



04 April 2003, 10:44 PM

i haven't been here in awhile and i shortly skimmed this thread

is this thread about the tricks and how much good stuff you can make just by editing the subdivisions such as vertices and polygons?

if so, then this thread rocks.

Dave Black
04 April 2003, 10:54 PM

That's what it's about.

Don't worry, a FAQ/Manual/Textbook is being written, and the whole of the thread will be properly documented and released in PDF, Html, and Doc formats as soon as it's done...(soon). This document will include everything discussed, but will be repackaged with new images, re-written text, and more techniques. It will be a great improvement to the thread...And it will get updated as long as this sucker is still going.

I'm really glad you've enjoyed the thread, and found it usefull.

If you have anything to add, or questions to ask, please feel free.

The thread is kinda coming in waves, one week it's hot, next it slows down. Keep an eye on it to make sure you don't miss out on a cool tip, trick, or discussion.

Hope to see ya here again soon



04 April 2003, 11:05 PM
wow, you are the man 3DZ

also, your pictures in this thread rock

04 April 2003, 01:07 AM
Woha, that's great 3DZealot! I'm sure all of us can learn something from this thread.
A document compiled with all the info in this thread, would be unvaluable to the community!
Thanks again. :buttrock:

04 April 2003, 10:26 AM
Work faster ;)

04 April 2003, 12:41 AM
is this textbook going to be avalible through your website?..will it be avalible for free or a small cost for materials?

Dave Black
04 April 2003, 02:37 AM
Thank you so much for the encouraging words, guys. It's stuff like that that makes me feel as though this is worth all the time and effort.


It's going to be totally, and completly free. The only thing I want in return is feedback on how it could be better, and for people to contact me if they either see an error, or have something to add.

Guys, thanks for waiting so patiently, and I hope to deliver all this shortly.

My website is being overhauled, both visually, and in regards to content. When the document is completed, my site will go "live" and it will all be available.

So, until then, keep pushing those verts!



04 April 2003, 03:18 AM
You can do it!

*whispers* all night long!!!


04 April 2003, 03:23 AM
If he doesn't do it all night long, I'll be spanking him all night long ;)

04 April 2003, 03:46 PM
oh and dont forget to spread this document like a virus
on the apropriate sites that is.
i volunteer for hosting the documents if any bandwith problems arise


Dave Black
04 April 2003, 03:22 PM

Thanks for your generous offer. I'm not 100% sure if I want to widely distribute this document, as I'd like to keep updating it with new ideas, techniques, and revisons. Mirrors are cool, but it could get out of hand if it gets on too many places at once.

Either way, I'll decide as it gets closer to completion.

Thanks again! Please email me and leave your address so I can get in touch later:



Dave Black
04 April 2003, 07:12 PM
Feeling guilty about the time it's taking to complete the content promised, so I thought I'd give ya'l something to chew on in the mean time. I've gotten several requests to see the mouth model I posted back on page one in closer detail, so I figured I'd go ahead and release it for people to play with.

I was going to wait to put it up on my site with the rest of the content I'm preparing, but I'll just throw it out now.

Here's what you get in the scene:

Basically just a progression to show what's going on. Most of you will probably not find this all that interesting, but maybe it will help some of you. :shrug:

100K Max R5 .zip file here:


56K Max R5 .rar file here:

Hope you enjoy it. :thumbsup:

[UPDATED] Max R4 Version now available:



04 April 2003, 09:23 PM
nice one 3DZealot

04 April 2003, 09:46 PM
i can't download it :/

04 April 2003, 09:55 PM
me neither.

Dave Black
04 April 2003, 10:50 PM
Try again soon, my host seems to be messing about with my server.

It's there, and it will work...just...soon.

Just when you need 'em the most, they screw with your site.


Anyway, like I said, just wait a bit.

Sorry for the trouble.



Dave Black
04 April 2003, 01:21 AM
The site is back up.

Sorry for the inconvienence, guys. Really.



04 April 2003, 07:56 AM
Originally posted by 3DZealot
Most of you will probably not find this all that interesting, but maybe it will help some of you. :shrug:

What are you kiddin', this is gold man, gold! :bounce: :). I'm sure the full document will be well worth the wait.

Oh, and now the thread is in a sub-forum it would seem... guess we'll just have to live with that then :)

04 April 2003, 09:20 AM
pretty nice stylized lips :)
what i don't know is, ehy you didn't clean the tri in the corner of "her" mouth and having 2 edges instead of one in the mouth corner gives you much more flexibility when posing and/or animating :)

Dave Black
04 April 2003, 12:50 PM
Yeah, Neox, you are totally right. What I should have said, was that this mouth was literally done in 10 mins without taking a pause to review it. I never intended it to stand as a pillar of perfect Sub-D virtue, just a quick and dirty explination of a technique. I just got alot of people asking about it. :shrug:

Perhaps I should take it down if you think it will misinform people about the proper way to structure the loops. It's not really even "done", you know? There's alot of sculpting left to do, and of course, as you stated, it has to be cleaned up.

Maybe it was a bad idea to release it.



04 April 2003, 01:37 PM
Gahhhh! I don't have R5! I'm all left out and deprived and stuff! :cry:

04 April 2003, 01:49 PM
gnarly, i'm sure we're able to provide it in R4 format as well ;)

if not 3dz then i will convert the file to r4 tonite. how's that ?

- Qui


Dave Black
04 April 2003, 03:04 PM
Hey, Gnarly, I'm sorry. I forgot about that.

Equinoxx: I'll upload an R5 file that has no new lighting, and perhaps you could "convert" it? I did'nt even know it was possible to convert, so it would be awsome if you could do that. I don't have R4.

*crosses fingers*

I'll upload a less intense version in a few hours.



04 April 2003, 03:07 PM
not a problem man, that's the benefits of working in a large studio, you got multiple versions of max :cool:

04 April 2003, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by Equinoxx
gnarly, i'm sure we're able to provide it in R4 format as well ;)

if not 3dz then i will convert the file to r4 tonite. how's that ?

- Qui


Awww, you guys are always so nice! :D

04 April 2003, 01:19 PM
I mailed the r4 FILE TO 3DZ so he can upload it to his server.
I'm sure it'll be availably by tonite ;)

and we're not nice :twisted: we just care about the community :p

Dave Black
04 April 2003, 02:37 PM
Hey all!

Ok, the files are uploaded, and ready for download. Thanks 'Noxx!! :beer:

You can grab the R4 version here:

85k .zip file:

53K .rar file:

Keep in mind the translation from R5 to R4 probably has messed up the scale, and changed the materials back to defaults. The model is still in good shape, though.

Enjoy my semi-crappy 15 minute mouth...Maybe you will find something cool. :shrug:



04 April 2003, 02:47 PM
also, check here to aquire the scripted plugin / primitive
from that's used as startobject for the mouth

look for TubeCap ;)

04 April 2003, 02:51 PM
Seeing this model makes me want to see more of your work. If this is a quickie, I'd like to see your finished pieces...

Any plans to fill in your site 3DZealot?

Curious to see your resume too.

04 April 2003, 03:03 PM
Enjoy my semi-crappy 15 minute mouth...Maybe you will find something cool.
Hey don't get down on it! I think its great. Not only as an example of what we were talking about in this thread but also just the fact that you took the time to create and post it for everyone to download (which is more than most people do)
Three cheers for the Zealot!
Hip hip....

Dave Black
04 April 2003, 08:28 PM
Wow, thanks guys for all the support. Really means alot to me. I'm just sorry I can't give you all everything I'm preparing right away. Soon, though.


Thanks for the encouraging words. I'll have some work up on my website soon. I've been retooling/redesigning it to be (hopefully) a usefull addition to the online community, and that's been taking a good bit of my freetime. I had to decide on whether I would work on self-promotion, or instead, really try to put out some good stuff for the community first. I owe everyone so much, that I had to do this. Plus, work has been so busy, that I've been too swamped to really post anything. And, do to strict NDAs, I can't show any of the stuff I'm currently working on. Soon, hopefully. I'm quite desperate to lend a bit of credence to my some 1000 posts here. ;)

I'm thinking about entering the next challenge, so perhaps then ya'l can have a good laugh at my work. Hehe.

In the mean time, I hope we can come-up with some more good stuff for this thread, and progress is steadily being made on the delivery of the FAQ.

Thanks again, all!



04 April 2003, 10:23 PM
don't take it down! :shame:
pretty cool work, this were just my two cents on it :D

04 April 2003, 02:35 PM
ok here's a small beginning of a T-Rex head, i did for a guy on this board ;)

just 10 minutes (with icq and IRC on :D)
but it shows how i would do the topology on a creatures head (humanlike creatures a still modelled out iof a box :D)

04 April 2003, 04:36 PM
Neox: Is your main 3D package 3ds max ? or do you variate between one and another?

04 April 2003, 04:56 PM
i'm working with max, i sometimes hat it but knowing it so good doesn't make me want to change ;)
maybe i'm testing lightwaves Modeller sometime... but not yet

not time and a lot to do, so no experiments with the software :wip:

04 April 2003, 05:22 PM
ahh, aight thanks!

04 April 2003, 06:47 PM
hi everyone :)...

i'm having a slight problem here with cutting holes into curved surfaces:

i tried the method discussed somewhere in the middle of the thread, and it worked fine on a sphere, but when I do the same thing on a cylinder, I don't get the effect I want...

the effect i'm trying to achive is the gun thing (I don't know what you call it, but i think its there to cool the gun down after shooting... you'll see what i mean when you look at the images):

Mesh-smoothed Model (

Mesh-smoothed Wire (

Level 0 Wire (

Now as you can see, the wire looks quite clean (only quads), but the model looks a bit, melted or clay like... not like holes cut into a cylinder with a drill... how could I do this???

And a second problem is that there seem to be shading errors slightly above the 3 holes (you have to look closely to see them)

Great Thread btw. :)...

04 April 2003, 06:58 PM
jep the problem is, that you have poles in your model (more the 4 edges are joining in one vertex) and this why its getting ugly smoothed, try it with a bigger res mesh and then cut the holes out, or just exrude some faces inward to get a hole :)

04 April 2003, 07:14 PM
oops... *g*... why do it the easy way, when you can do it the hard way :D

Tony Richardson
04 April 2003, 10:24 PM
The original cylinder needs at least 12 sides, sixteen is better, for this method to work properly after smoothing. You only have 6 sides in your cylinder, thats just to low polygon for this method, or any other method useing smooth, to work.

I tried it a 12 and it worked fine.

05 May 2003, 12:14 AM
I only read the beginning of the thread, so I apologize if this has already been addressed. The question had earlier been posed as to what, exactly, a Sub-D model is. A sub-division model, by literal definition, is any model which has been "sub-divided" to obtain refinement and/or smoothing. This is usually achieved with a software algorithm (ie. MeshSmooth).

As for what "Sub-D Modeling" is, I would venture to say that it is any modeling process in which you use a sub-division technique, whether it be on a localized or whole model level, in order to achieve the desired results; throughout the modeling process.

Once you have used this technique, it could be said that your model is a Sub-D model, though I do not believe that this applies to certain modeling techniques, such as NURBS and Patch modeling, since refinement in these models (in 3dsmax, anyway) takes place using more (canned?) iteration algorithms. I wish I could talk on a more technical level about the differences of how MeshSmooth works vs. the iterations you see in these other modeling techniques, but I just cant. If anyone wants to fill in the gaps, feel free.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.


05 May 2003, 03:29 PM
I do not know if this question has been addressed, but how is collapsing two vertices different from welding them?

Also, is welding an important tool to know how to use in poly modeling (sub-d)?

05 May 2003, 03:38 PM
The topic has been very usefull to me.
Thank you guys !

I have a tiny problem. When i edgeloop an edge i cannot
clone it with using shift. I use 3ds max 5.

Does anyone has this problem of know the solution..

05 May 2003, 03:54 PM
if you are working with editable Poly you just can't just clone an edge on a closed surface, you'll need to "open" your surface to do something like that...
i made a animated gif for exactly this problem :)
Animated-Gif (

05 May 2003, 04:01 PM
Thanks.. i understand.

But is this the way how they make sharp edges
without chamfering. It is discessed a while back in this
thread. They said "Shift move the edges". With this technique
the created objects wich had nice corners without chamfering.

Thanx anyways

05 May 2003, 04:07 PM
yeah on open edges, not on closed surfaces :)

05 May 2003, 04:09 PM
Thank you.. one loste question.
After finishing does i have to close everything ?
because first split those edges. If so, how can i do that..

I am experimenting right now so if i have the solution
i will post also.

Thanx for the effort..

05 May 2003, 04:15 PM
lol, you guys might have skipped something i asked about 5 posts up pertaining to welding and collapsing verts :bounce:

05 May 2003, 04:28 PM
if you are working with meshsmooth you don't want to open you mesh, to get sharp edges you just have to use chamfer or add a new edge...

@the other question: hummm welding is a cool automization of callapsing, i.e. you have seams because you mirrored your obejct its easier to select all vertices on that seam and weld them then select each pair of open vertices and hit collapse... hope you understand me :)

05 May 2003, 05:35 PM
yea man, i'm readin yea loud and clear :buttrock:

05 May 2003, 06:30 PM
Collapse is also like a weld with an infinite threshold. With weld you can specify how large radius that will be affected. With collapse, you don't have to worry about radius, just hit the button and max will try to turn all your points into one. The position of your new vertex will be the center of the selection. Pretty hand if you need to smack together a group of vertices fast. Collapsing edges is another handy way to optimize your mesh.

05 May 2003, 03:23 PM
I just started reading this thread, and if you guys remember the greeble post :D I found that this plugin is pretty useful

I'll give my input when I get more time to catch up, but everything has been really helpful, and will surely get me in the modeling mind set :beer:

05 May 2003, 11:36 PM
how about a square hole??
can't seem 2 get it working


05 May 2003, 01:01 PM
you mean something like this?
Max5 File (

you have to tweak it a little but for not a minute, i guess its ok :)

ivo D
05 May 2003, 01:30 PM
you have the problem that you see the flat face around the hole.. it aint rounded with the rest of the plate..

guess youd have to scale the polys around thehole ,a little more appart from each other..

05 May 2003, 02:10 PM

many thnx
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

could u maybe tell me how u did it?
2 keep everything so straight and stuff:shrug:

05 May 2003, 02:29 PM
as i said you have to tweak it a little, i didn't model that lon on this (less than a minute)

ivo D
05 May 2003, 03:17 PM
oke.. my mistake.. i thought that you allready tweaked it.. :) pff sleepy mee..

QUESTION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FOR ALL

modelling abs.. is one of the most difficult things with making a body..

what is the right way to do it.. i have a tut vid of the human torso.. but it doesnt show a reall logical way.. to go.. it looks damn good but still..

what is the technique.

i just modell away.. and it looks good.. but it takes more time than is needed

05 May 2003, 04:45 PM
sorry for my english, but what are abs?

05 May 2003, 04:48 PM
abs are the abdominal muscle that are located in the chest area

Dave Black
05 May 2003, 05:01 PM
The abdominal muscles include rectus abdominous, serratus, internal and external obliques, psoas, linea alba, linea similunaris, linea transversae, transversalis and intercustals.

These muscles can be tricky, especially when attempting to subtly indicate the muscles through thin layers of fatty tissues.

I've seen alot of people extruding a few polys to get the effect, but you are left with the "superhero", 1% body fat look, and even then, it's not pulled off well.

Modeling the abs is really just like modeling anything else on the body, though I have a personal preference to it's topology.

If you contruct the mesh so that the edgeloops flow from the belly button(like a spider web with the belly button at it's center), you get much better deformations when animating, and the loops often make more sense overall.

Study your anatomy books to understand the relationship between the masses of each muscle, the interdependancy of them with the surrounding tissues, and then think through how to best represent them in a mesh.

Create the larger masses first, and then continue to flesh them out and add detail AFTER you have triple checked your proportions.



ivo D
05 May 2003, 05:10 PM
aah a spider construction.. yea thats a good idear..

i mostly let the bellybutton flow to the eventually go over into the triangular part between the chest..and below into the inside of the legs.. but ill see when i come to body modelling the spiderweb way works:D

ps: soon ther will be a topology research..about the body ..(base mesh like)

so we can all show our practical theories ther :thumbsup: ;)

05 May 2003, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by Xilica
abs are the abdominal muscle that are located in the chest area

ah ok, where exactly is the problem? just don't extrude em, this does always look weird

ivo D
05 May 2003, 05:33 PM
the problem is to just make them look right.. slight showing.. and , it isnt to difficult to make them.. wel thats how i think of it.. caus every one can do it.. but i dont want to use to much polys.. that i can get rid of afterwords..caus they will all flow to the back..wher the poly's aint needed so much a the butt and the middle section of the back

Dave Black
05 May 2003, 07:51 PM
That actually brings up a good point.

You really should terminate edgeloops that are causing useless geometry. If you don't do that, you might as well be using NURBS.

There is a great thread over at spiraloid discussing the use of 5-sided NGons as a usefull termination method.

I'd advise a look, as it's definately worth the read:



ivo D
05 May 2003, 01:38 PM
thanks.. link aint working.. but.. ill look around there..

but now i got a question.. here i have my base mesh for my head.. *its mee!*.. but now i have to make edge loops everywhere.. and i dont know how to go.. caus when you cut.. the mesh moves a little and in smoothed aint smooth anymore.. and i can seem to get the upper en lower eyelids separate.. .. can you guys help :P

ivo D
05 May 2003, 01:39 PM
this is it..srry

05 May 2003, 09:05 PM
Ivo D

What do you meen "can't get the eyelids to separate?"

ivo D
05 May 2003, 09:10 PM
look the left corner of the eye.. you see it flow to the top in the corner.. im allmost satisfied..but in really have to let the eye-lids seem separate..not that the top one..flows over in the bottom one etc

05 May 2003, 09:13 PM
You probably need more detail around the eye...

05 May 2003, 09:43 PM
Ivor, yeah, a little more detail around the eyes would help you control that. A few more "spokes" in the wheel so to speak.

05 May 2003, 10:25 PM
First off, I have to say that this thread has been positively amazing. I've learned a whole hell of a lot just by reading through it (read it all in the space of a few hours :surprised: ).

Anyways, at the risk of sounding like an idiot, I wanted to ask a quick question:
since the sub-d method calculates the tension based on the vertices of the quad (or other n-gon), why is it that a planar and non-planar (specifically a "concave" quad), give me entirely different results? By this I don't mean the shape of the resulting sub-d, but rather the topology of it. What happens with the concave quad is that it ends up subdividing like it would if the quad was split into two triangles. Why is this so, seeing as the tension is supposed to be calculated based on the vertices, and the algorithm is supposed to ignore invisible edges?

Hope that made sense and didn't make me look like too much of a fool. :p


05 May 2003, 06:56 PM
Hey, glad to see this thread is still stompin' faces so to speak. I've been out of 3d land since my monitor's been broken (all 3 of them :[ ).. should be getting a new one sometime shortly. keep it up 3DZ :thumbsup:

05 May 2003, 09:53 PM
LoTekk, any images?

05 May 2003, 04:36 PM
some tips on how 2 use the loops on a nose?


05 May 2003, 02:40 AM

I don't seem to be able to replicate the issue I was having earlier with the smoothing of a concave quad, so I guess I was either mistaken in my observation, or simply had an awful quad topology to begin with. :hmm:

05 May 2003, 08:21 PM
sorry if this is a silly question or if it has already been discussed, but is the secret to good 3d knowing how to use 'edgeloops' properly?

thanks :)

05 May 2003, 08:31 PM
sorry if this is a silly question or if it has already been discussed, but is the secret to good 3d knowing how to use 'edgeloops' properly?

lol ^ this could start a flame war

i would say that edge loops help dramatically.... however that doesn't mean that w/out them your screwed or anything. A lot of modelers i know ignore edge loops and still make great models, really i think you just have to model the way your most comfortable with

and 'hi' to everyone

Dave Black
05 May 2003, 09:19 PM
LOL, yeah, that is flame war territory.

Greets, edaddy, btw.


I'll just voice my opinion, and I might add one that is shared by a majority of modelers...

Proper edgeloop structure, often refered to as topology, is very important not to the static model, but to the dynamic one. That is to say, that a model with poor edgeloop placement will look fine, until deformed. That is when problems truely arise. This is true for 99% of organic applications, and IMO, is one of the most important concepts to grasp while learning to model effectivly.

If these things are not learned early on, one can develope very poor habits that will come back to bite one in the bottom later.

Many, many threads, websites, college thesis papers, etc. have been written on the subject of proper edgeloop topology, and I'd advise a thorough study of any materials one can get their hands on.

Remember too, that proper topology it important in low-poly models as well. Joints need to be created a certain way in order to deform properly. This is an industry standard, simply because it works.

Anyway, that's just my $.02, and I'm sure many will disagree, so take my words with a grain of salt.



05 May 2003, 09:23 PM

sorry, didn't realize it could start a flame

however, thanks for answering my questions guys :cool:

ivo D
05 May 2003, 09:55 PM
yep.. loops are very important,creating the right topology..

it is good to let loops represent muscle stretching and wrickling..
when you smile you get dimples in the side of your cheek..and a sort of circle around your mouth when it wrickles.. all flows on in the entire model

this is a very good site/tutorial..

it shows how the loops must gow ,flowing over the body, to create the best deformation.. the site is temp..down :(..

05 May 2003, 10:57 PM
that site is awesome

thanks for the link


05 May 2003, 03:28 AM
hmm, trying to get my mesh to be a square when it turns circular

i've even tried weighting the edges/verts

Dave Black
05 May 2003, 04:29 AM
That's wierd. I thought we fixed the problem in my forum.

Lemme know what's up.



Dave Black
05 May 2003, 07:01 AM
You know, I was going over some of my notes today, and I realized this question was brought up earlier and not fully addressed.

"How can I make square holes with Sub-D"

I'm going to make a little animated .gif tomorrow(5/30/03) to show how to properly structure the mesh to get past that annoying little problem.

I'll be back in the morning.



05 May 2003, 02:32 PM
thank you very much

i really appreciate all the help you constantly provide for us in this community!!!

btw, i'm trying to get it square so that I will be able to bevel it out some to create a place where a logo will go :)

Dave Black
05 May 2003, 04:41 PM
Ok, buddy. I've whipped up this little .gif to illustrate a bit better one of the methods you can use to get nice square holes. Keep in mind, these steps are adding global detail, where on a real model, you'd want to localize it werever possible to keep your poly count down.

Anyway, hopefully we can talk about it more once you've viewed the animation.

Here it is:



05 May 2003, 05:27 PM
thank you very much for taking the time to make that animation, it has helped somewhat

however, my mesh when smoothed still i need to make alot more edges?? i have made more edges then before and i am not weighting my edges, is there still a way to get a nice square result in this limited amount of room that i have? thanks again!!

Dave Black
05 May 2003, 05:54 PM
I see your problem. Your "vertical" edges are not "tied-off", meaning they need more sub-divisions to increase the tension in those areas...

Notice in my .gif animation how I did that. All the edges get tied off and framed by adding more rows of geometric detail.

I painted over your pic...



05 May 2003, 05:58 PM
Godamnit 3dz, get on msm or at leat answer my emails since you're obviously alive :P

05 May 2003, 06:15 PM
sweet 3DZ, i got it!! :beer: :beer:

Dave Black
05 May 2003, 06:25 PM

Where in the hell have YOU been?! I did'nt get any emails...sniff...sniff...

I can't use MSN at work anymore because of some stupid new "security measures", but I can get to my hem...

Of course, you also have my super-secret work address... ;)

Miss you man...sniff..sniff.



Awsome, dude! So glad it made sense. That's one that made my brain fry when I first tried to figure it out...hehe.

Best of luck with whatever you're up to. :D



06 June 2003, 12:04 AM
First off thanks a lot for this thread it has taught me soo much. I really appriciate all the work that has gone into it. It so much better than anything I was taught at school. I couldn't wait for the pdf so I just got stuck in and read the lot. It's been well worth the effort!!

I was wondering if any of you had a solution for cutting a star shape into the side of a cube or just into a plane. I came up with a solution but I'm sure there will be problems with it. Any thoughts anyone?

06 June 2003, 01:02 AM
Originally posted by Mikp11
First off thanks a lot for this thread it has taught me soo much. I really appriciate all the work that has gone into it. It so much better than anything I was taught at school. I couldn't wait for the pdf so I just got stuck in and read the lot. It's been well worth the effort!!

I was wondering if any of you had a solution for cutting a star shape into the side of a cube or just into a plane. I came up with a solution but I'm sure there will be problems with it. Any thoughts anyone?

looks fine to me unless oyur going to smooth it. is should still work if you select the edges to be sharp. you could even drop out the extra geometry in the middle and make those diamonds just meet in the center.

06 June 2003, 09:28 AM
Yeah if I smooth it it does go all melted, how would you solve this problem? Would I just need to add some cuts near each point of the star to stop the smooth making it look melted? Joining all the diamond in the middle is a good idea, it would save a few polys.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.:thumbsup:

06 June 2003, 09:34 AM
wow i'm quite impressed with myself when I use the same kinda methods as 3DZealot..

such as the "making a square hole" bit


06 June 2003, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by Mikp11
Yeah if I smooth it it does go all melted, how would you solve this problem? Would I just need to add some cuts near each point of the star to stop the smooth making it look melted? Joining all the diamond in the middle is a good idea, it would save a few polys.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.:thumbsup:

It depends. If I was making it so that someone could take a low rez .obj and smooth it in a diferent package, Id make the cuts as you suggest, and also I'd extrude without moving the outline of the shape so that the edges remained sharp as well.

IF It was in Lightwave or MAya Id just weight the edges or points acording to my needs and make it sharp that way

06 June 2003, 01:42 PM
When you say etrude without moving the lines do you mean extrude by 0.001 or something or can you extrude by 0? I think I get it. Does that mean that the smoothing won't create a ronded edge because the two edges are so close together or even there will be a rounded edge but it will be so small you don't see it. I think I am begining to understand this Sub-D stuff, it's been a bit like a maths lesson but I guess knowing the theory will really help when I get better at modeling or even the theory will make me better at modeling.


06 June 2003, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by Mikp11
When you say etrude without moving the lines do you mean extrude by 0.001 or something or can you extrude by 0? I think I get it. Does that mean that the smoothing won't create a ronded edge because the two edges are so close together or even there will be a rounded edge but it will be so small you don't see it. I think I am begining to understand this Sub-D stuff, it's been a bit like a maths lesson but I guess knowing the theory will really help when I get better at modeling or even the theory will make me better at modeling.


To avoid problems with mergeing vertices later on you can extrude to some amount that isnt obvious. sometimes you may need to do it twice depending on how close the nearest geometry is.

I dont know so much about thearoy... I just sort of made it up as I went along. Make it do what you want it to, trial and error.

Essentailly you have the idea. What will make you a better modeler is knowing your subject, use reference, some day you may not need reference for realistic stuff but that is unusual in this industry. AND of vourse make some models and be VERY critical of your own work. A critical eye is essential.

06 June 2003, 06:46 PM
this thread is soo cool...
i love 3dzealotīs work...hope he finishes it anytime soon!


06 June 2003, 08:33 PM
Yeah 3dz, hurry up! And answer the emails I've sent to And empty your private message folder, it's full. And take out the trash while you're at it :)

06 June 2003, 04:35 AM
just a friendly reminder for max gurus in here :applause:

I'll always waitinnnnn..zzzzzz... :D

06 June 2003, 08:49 AM

IF It was in Lightwave or MAya Id just weight the edges or points acording to my needs and make it sharp that way

you can do that in max. Its part of the whole Nurms toolbox. You can weight and crease edges and points.


06 June 2003, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by eek

you can do that in max. Its part of the whole Nurms toolbox. You can weight and crease edges and points.


You must have missed some of that message that I wrote... I said that you could do that unless your pipeline uses multiple programs and you need to output an .obj or some such. in which case the person on the final package to be used would have to pick the edges that are supposed to be sharp... or You could just build the bias in the mesh itself and save the pipeline some hassle. I just got off a project that I used Maya for the modeling but 3D studio Max was the program that it was rigged, animated and rendered in. This ws so they could use V-Ray. Its also becuase it was a 3DS Max House.

Dave Black
06 June 2003, 02:58 PM
This whole issue of wieghting was mentioned way back at the beginning of the thread.

I can't agree with Rich more. I aviod weighting my verts by any means nessasry, as it can really complicate production. Not to mention that you are not always the only person editing one file, and eventually, someone will erase your MS modifier and reapply it to test some effect.

Just bake the correct smoothing tensions inot the mesh, and you'l be golden from the beginning to the end.



06 June 2003, 04:08 PM
Thanks so much for that animated gif demonstrating how to model a square hole. I have a question about your process. When you say subdivide after selecting edges and ring, do you mean you tesselate or do you just slice new edges to represent the subdivision?

The reason I'm asking is that I can reproduce your results but not exactly as you show in the animation. In MAX 5.1, I've tried the subdivide modifier with bad results and tesellate, no matter the edge tension setting, always adds more edges than your example shows. As I said, it works with making cuts in the areas you show as subdivision but I cant get the results via any other method. This is really tedious and I'm sure you dont do it that way. Hopefully you can show me what I'm missing. Your method certainly seems so much easier! If you need pics of what's happening in my case just let me know and i will post them on my web site. TIA

Dave Black
06 June 2003, 04:22 PM
When I said sub-divide, I really should have said "Connect". Just grab each ring and hit the "connect" button. This will effectivly cut the edges in 2.

Try it that way. Works like a charm.

Sorry for the confusion.



06 June 2003, 05:15 PM
Got it! Soooo nice and clean! Another technique added to my small knowlege base and experience.

I read the description of "Connect" several times in the user reference, still I didnt understand it. I even used it once or twice while doing a tutorial but never was it explained as well as this example demonstrated. Good stuff!

Thanks again!


06 June 2003, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by 3DZealot
But I figure most of these guys know the basics, I'm just illustrating the idea behind the primitives thing.


well im loving this thread but 3DZ can u make a more specific tutorial for the eye and mouth for noobs like me?

because i really want to learn how to do that :)

Dave Black
06 June 2003, 07:26 PM
Yeah, I guess I could. Once I finish my challenge entry for this month, I'm going to sit down and finish out the FAQ, and some video tutorials. If you are interested, you can signup for updates by sending email here:

Glad you're enjoying this discussion!



06 June 2003, 06:15 PM
a while ago, someone on 3Dbuzz asked for help on modeling a perforated sheet. i remembered the technique pointed out here by celticdog for creating a hole in a quad, and build on that using array. here's the 3Dbuzz thread (, showing what i came up with.

just wanted to give a heads up, credit where credit is due, you know... and it might be a nice addition to this wonderful thread.

06 June 2003, 02:59 AM
Are all points on a poly in a technically poly based model supposed to be coplanar with each for each poly they make up?

06 June 2003, 02:00 PM
No. The interior edge that divides every quad into two triangles will add extra curvature to the model. If surface curvature is important in my model, for example I'm modeling lower-res for games, then I pay attention to those mostly-hidden interior edges, turning them as needed.

06 June 2003, 05:10 PM
low poly modeling is generally the only time you'll have to worry about that too

06 June 2003, 05:16 PM
yup :D :D

06 June 2003, 08:46 PM

But there shouldn't be any hidden edges, so those two triangles making up that quad you were t alking about should actually just be two triangles with their edges visible if it's a true poly object right?
In that case the verts would still be coplanar with the poly's they are defining. It would just be two triangles, not a four sided poly with an invisible edge

06 June 2003, 08:52 PM
We're talking about 3ds max, right? Every model in 3ds max is made of triangles, Editable Poly, NURBS, Patches, whatever. As I understand it the quad/edgeloop thing is just an interface on top of triangles.

The four verts of a quad can be coplanar but don't have to be.

Here's a pic that might help explain.
The verts for both are in the same positions, but the interior edge is flipped. No smoothing, but it is still a quad.

Does this make sense?

This link might help. The info is a bit old, needs fleshing out. Maybe someday.

06 June 2003, 10:40 PM

Oh yeah I already know what you are talking about I just mean like in a real poly based system do are all verts in a poly coplanar. Like in a true poly system there are only poly faces, like topologically there are just visible edges and the vertices that make them up and that's it. I'm just trying to figure out if in a true poly system all verts in each poly face are coplanar because it seems like they would have to be, otherwise it's seems like it's more of a mimicking type of system.
It seems like a true poly modelling system wouldn't have anything but coplanar faces, so like if you did have a quad polygon in Max with vertices that are skewed so they didn't form a flat face (like in your exmaple); instead of it looking like a contorted polygon, wherever a bend occurred across the poly face across hidden edge, it would actuallly require a visible true edge to be there for it to bend like that otherwise.

06 June 2003, 11:09 PM
Can you point me to this "true poly" system? I'd like to see it.

As far as I can tell, only very exotic rare hardware handles pure polygons. All the rest use just triangles. All games use triangles. All modeling programs convert to triangles at some point, to display on your screen.

Sounds like kind of an esoteric discussion to me.

There are other modeling systems that don't use polygons, voxels, wavlets, etc., but mostly they convert to triangles to display. Unless you have a bizarre unusual 3d monitor display.

Cool topic.

06 June 2003, 11:34 PM
Yeah, well, my background is from mathematics and physics so I guess I'm trying to understand something about 3d modelling that is more abstract or pure than how it's practically implimented in 3D programs for making stuff (like in Max). I guess that's where/how I'm getting mixed up about things.

06 June 2003, 03:12 AM
What about Mirai and Wings? Do they use coplanar quads?

From a practical perspective, coplanar quads would be kinda awkward to use yes? Kind of limiting if I am understanding things right. You'd need more polys to define the shapes you want than if they can be non-coplanar. Or maybe I'm just too drunk to understand properly... :beer:

06 June 2003, 04:45 PM
yeah, it would be impossible to do a twisted loop of true flat quad polys, right? <edit>uh oh, this is possible, when the quads are trapezoid or parallellogram ....</edit>

I just try to keep them as flat as possible, otherwise add detail or if i see a diagonal of the quad goes the wrong way, i'd make it go the other way with edit triangulation.

How important is the triangulation anyhow?

it gives a nice feel to the mesh if all triangulated quads run the same way, so the hidden edges form loops too. and i guess it's faster for a videocard to display them as it can be computed as tristrips or wafers and all that low level technical 3d stuff.

06 June 2003, 05:53 PM
The triangulation isn't important at all if you put a meshsmooth on it. It only uses the visible edges for the tesselation. How important the triangulation is for the gfx card I have no idea :)

06 June 2003, 08:41 PM
This is an interesting mathematical question: Does a polygon (any number of sides) cease to be a true polygon once one or more of it's edges are no longer coplanar with the rest of it's edges?

edit: as a side note I've been refering to more than just quad poly's. If you bent a quad poly face at it's invisible edge the idea is that to keep the mesh made of true poly's the bend woudn't really be able to occur unless that hiddenedge was visible i.e. the quad poly would either change into to two triangular polys or upon skewing one or more vertices of the quad poly the program would automatically make the appropriate edges visible to keep the mesh composed of actual polygonal faces.

See the idea is that a true polygon mesh has no hidden edges to manipulate because there shouldn't be hidden edges in the first place in a true polygonal mesh. Yes the shape may get converted into triangles in the end for rendering but that's not what I'm talking about.

06 June 2003, 08:44 PM
real edit: :)

Sorry if this is off topic it's just that I think the whole discussion here about edge loops and stuff is topologically cool (with subd modelling) and I thought maybe this thread would be the most pertinent for the question I've been having, like someone else is most likely to know here.

06 June 2003, 09:02 PM
Having the program automatically create edges to keep the polygon coplanar would be very bad from a workflow point of view. You need to be able to "bend" polys to keep modeling without too much hassle :)

07 July 2003, 07:15 AM
we're such nerds .....


07 July 2003, 05:34 PM
Just want to quickly thank everyone who's contributed to this thread especially 3DZ, Gnarly and Urg.

I've learned so much more on this thread than with all the Max manuals put together.

Thanks and keep up the good work!!!

07 July 2003, 05:41 PM
Awwwwwwwwgeee, here I've been outta touch dealing with no-comp issues, and somebody still remembers me. I feel all smart!!

I have a few more questions and ideas to toss around... I'm gonna take a bit to review the thread and then probly bring that stuff in, if it ain't too late.. bah, I might have to wait till after siggraph though, mighty busy this week.

07 July 2003, 10:59 PM
I did read all this threat and wow, great job guys. I've learned a lot of tecnical things :buttrock:
Hope you arent tired talking about subdiv :D

So... I'm starting to make my models prepared to animation and I'm trying to create edges loops for it. But in some cases, I get confused... when making the model, I think there will be an edge loop and doesn't, visa-versa. Then, I'm starting to study more its principies to make wanted results in one shot. Hope you got it, so moving on... :thumbsup:

Heres an model example:

With this structure, I have an edge loop and here it is:

BUT, why the edge loop is breaked when I create this under poligon? It shouldnt get going?

Fine, weld the vertex and back with the edge loop:

And here's another way that edges loop continues but dont know why:

So the point is, what principies EDGE LOOP folow? How i'm going to know theres going to be an complete edge loop?

07 July 2003, 12:44 AM
The edge loop stopped because u had a pole over there
wich means 5 edges coming out from 1 vertex.
u need to have 4 edges coming out from each vertex in the edge loop if u want it to be continues.

but i don't think u will have too much problems with deformation in this pole over there (correct me if i'm wrong please)


07 July 2003, 01:07 AM
Hi Snot and tnks for this quick reply. :)

Reading the dicussion in this threat about poles, I tought too this was the problem but, i've made some tests. See the pictures below please.

Ok, here in this first picture I have an simple object with a simple complete loop:

Than, I split an edge to make a pole. Selecting an edge and hiting Edge Loop, I got the same Edge loop. :shrug:

After, I've created a polygon, to see whats going to happen with the loop, and again, the same edge loop.

I dont understand, some times, edge loop dont care about Poles, and some times yes. What I'm missing?

Dave Black
07 July 2003, 07:32 AM

Your example is a special case, and it really is more about how you look at it. When you select an edge, then hit the "loop" command, the edgeloop works itself around the object until it hits the pole. The problem with this example, is that the pole is right at the end and the beginning of the loop. It's an illusion. It is terminating at the pole, but because it started there, it will find the entire loop. I'm finding it difficult to explain, so please forgive the vagarities.

Try making another pole at the other end of that edge, and you will see that the loop won't make it all the way around, as it will encounter a pole before it terminates at it's origin. With this example, the loop does not begin and end at a pole.

Hope some of that made sense.

And for the record, a pole is a vertex with 3, or 5 or more edges. A vertex with 2 edges is an orphan. There is also one acception to the "pole stops edgeloop selection" rule. If the pole or poles exist along an open area, ie, around a hole, poles can sometimes be selected. Peter(Urgaffel) can fill you in more on that one.

Anyway, I hope that answered some of your questions. Welcome to the thread, BTW.



07 July 2003, 10:10 PM
Ok, Iíve read every page in this thread and some more than once.
Because I have to work to eat I havenít had much time to devote to my latest project. However, I have one problem that is recurring and I canít seem to solve to my satisfaction. How to repeatedly create notches or insets into 3D volumes via SubD / MeshSmooth techniques.

Currently my project is an Aircraft and I canít seem to cut out the ailerons and tab surfaces, for future animation purposes, to my satisfaction. No matter what technique I use I always seem to have an area on the surfaces that is not clean.

Enclosed are a couple of images of what I'm trying to do and also a MAX 5.1 file so you can play with the actual part involved. Every time I get the corners nice a crisp the slope of the wing/aileron area shows a crease or raised line and the inside corners of the Tab cutout, under magnification show a problem that may or may not show up when applying materials.

This is the MAX 5 file for revue (

I really have learned tons from this thread and hope I can finally get this thechnique right.

Thanks, John

07 July 2003, 10:12 PM
I perfectly understood 3dzealot!

So, down here is a picture with 2 poles "breaking" the edge loop.

Tnks 3Dzealot and tnks again Snot!

Count on me to help you guys if some question comes up in this thread and count on me too if some tutorial comes out from this thread.

07 July 2003, 10:46 PM
How do u know what is the begining of the loop and what is the end??
I mean it's a circle. circles don't have begining nor end.

and does a pole that appear in the begining or end have a different affect then a pole that appears in the middle when animating?


Dave Black
07 July 2003, 11:40 PM

To answer your questions in no particular order:

I know where the begining and end of the loop are because the exist at the same point.

As for how a circle has no beginning and no end, that's true in it's most fundamental geometric form, but this ain't geometry class. That "loop" is not a circle. It's a contigious set of edges bound by common verts. A "loop" does not have to be a real loop. It's just a term for the structure of edges, and how they relate to each other. That's why a "loop" can terminate anywhere. Poles are really important, else we might as well be using nurbs. It's all about locate refinement, and if there is no way to break the loop, the darn thing will stretch across your entire model.

BTW, when YOU draw a circle, it has a beginning and an end. When the function goes out to find the loop, it has to start and end somewhere as that's what the rules for finding a loop dictate. Because in his example, the pole is at the extent of the loop selection, it appears to select THROUGH the pole, but in actuallity, is is selecting TO the pole.

A pole is a pole. It will always cause some stange effects when rendered and when smoothed.


Glad that made sense. Out of all the stuff asked so far, that one was the hardest to explain. :D



07 July 2003, 12:00 AM
Hi again. Backing some pages, I've noticed some peoples are using scripts to Chamfer edges living the original edge. I'd like to share how to do this in 3ds max 5 without any scripts... See the result below and a little tutorial.

"Chamfered" Edge living the original Edge:

Create a Box for this experiment:

Enter in the Sub-object EDGE and select an edge or a group of edges:

With the tool Chamfer, the Edge will be chamfered but it will not leave the original edge of the original structure. That isn't what we want:

So, to automate this, lets use the EXTRUDE. With the single or group edges selected, hit the extrude button:

Set zero to the Height of this extrusion:

And with the 'Extrusion Base Width' parameters, you can set the distance between the new edges from the original.

Whit a little cut, we can make it all quad, if you want...

07 July 2003, 12:37 AM

Yet another nice variation of chamfer! Ive learned soooo much from this thread! MeshTools also has a chamfer command that leaves the original edge. Quite Nice but very quirky as far as undo is concerned.

Dave Black
07 July 2003, 12:55 AM
Dzignguy: Just found your post on the previous page...we must have posted at the same time.

To get rid of that hard transition, turn on your constrain to edge function(if you are usnig R5), and move the edges down and away from the edge that makes up the primary corner.

-------------------------------------------- <----- Slide this edge
-------------------------------------------- <----- leave him alone
-------------------------------------------- <----- Slide this edge

See, the idea is that the closer edges are to one another, the more tension they create when smoothed. So if you just slide the surrounding edges away a bit, it will soften the transition.



07 July 2003, 02:35 AM
Ok, got that!!! Now, how do I get that corner relatively square? Ive tried and tried everything I can think but still no joy!.......This ole guy is sure missing something......

Heres the Change:

The Change rendered and smoothed:

However, still another and seperate problem arises.The corner is rounded too much.

I really appreciate your help, I dont know how you get around as much as you do. I see your moniker everywhere. In any case a big thanks!!!!


Dave Black
07 July 2003, 03:22 AM
Hey, John, you're almost there. You just need 2 more edge loops to weight that corner.

I posted a small .gif animation back on page 40 that should give you some ideas. I'm away from photoshop right now, else I'd draw them on your posted pic(might get a chance to do that later).

For now, have a look at the .gif animation here:

Be back soon...



07 July 2003, 09:25 AM
I've always found that the inside of corners like what your showing are the hardest part of modeling, it is the only thing i ever stumble on when trying to make a good looking model

I never really use the technique 3dzealot uses for inside corners cause on rounded objects it always adds creases to unwanted areas, so i spend most of my time seeing what i can do to make corners look good without uses that technique

i looked at your model and tryed somewhat copying it and seeing if i could work out the corners..this pic below is the best I could do to make it looks smooth and keep the inside corners

I also have the .3ds file if you want to look at it in max

07 July 2003, 11:37 AM

Thanks for the reply. It looks very good without materials or shaders so I will give that a try. I'm not sure but I think that leaving isolated "orphaned" vertices can lead to problems later and in shading. Thats not my experience just what Ive read............... I love the ease of this ......whats the scoop on this 3dZ?

Have your gif file broken into single frames so I can look and look and look......... : -) I think I understand what you are saying but my brain is fried so when you have a little time and can get to Photoshop I'd appreciate an addition to my screen dump to show me what edge loops need to be added.

Thanks again people, I really appreciate this help. Once I get this one down I will be a long ways to getting My connie ready for showing......


07 July 2003, 02:28 PM
Ive done some more experimenting and there seems to be something different in the way the mesh smooth works with your cube with a square hole that has a floor in it and one without a floor. I removed the floor and deformation of the surface quads directly adjacent to the corner start to tear and the crease starts to show in the render........ Am I seeing this wrong?

No floor in hole:

Floor in hole:

Am I doing something wrong here? This shight deformation carries out all along the horizontal line enough to show a crease in the rendered image.......

My aileron experiment with the same edge loops as the Square hole in a cube: Obviously I'm missing something

07 July 2003, 03:04 PM
3DZealot already gave you the right answer!

Add two more edges and you're done (see attachment).

Also read through the basics once more, once it 'clicks' it's real easy. :)

07 July 2003, 03:52 PM
Respectfully, You obviously know your stuff, I visited your page, the work there is great!!!!! I can only hope to get that good!

However, I guess you didnt look at the file I had on the previous page. Ive, done that and been there. For some reason, it doesnt work on this least the way I have it configured. When you add those two edge loops an obvious crease shows up all along the horizontal edge loop. I admit this is probably caused by the way Im building this shape but untill I understand where its wrong I'm stuck....... I could easily model this thing as one shape, wing, aileron, and tab, and add material and bump map to show the aileron and tab but I want to animate the surfaces so I have to model the seperate parts and this "notch" seems to be my achiles heel..........I'm also building the wing flaps that retract from under the wing and the same problem works ok because there is a "roof/floor" in the flap compartment of the wing. As you can see I'm really confused......

Thanks much for your reply!


Dave Black
07 July 2003, 05:06 PM



07 July 2003, 05:20 PM

this kind of looks like one or two verts arent welded?
it looks odd to me


07 July 2003, 07:02 PM
Thanks again for having the patience to keep me on the right track! I still get a slight crease with that configuration. I attribute that to the fact that the aileron surface is curved both in the verticle and horizontal directions. I must have had a badly constructed file the first time as that weird corner thing is gone now in the newly constructed volume. The crease goes away on a flat surface like the one you display in your last post. Interestingly the more curve I put in the verticle direction, perpendicular to the straight, horizontal edge loop, I get proportionately increased creasing. Oh well at least now youve shown me how to keep it to a minimum...... Thanks again and on the the next challange....

Reeves1984: You could be right, but I didnt find one. I think that particular render was missing several edge loops.....


07 July 2003, 07:03 PM
yeah i thought that because,
its not that the edge isnt sharp, its just not right,
and the mesh seems to be pulling around the place on the wire you posted

07 July 2003, 07:45 PM
3dzealot, can you for the first time show an example of an inside corner on a rounded surface for once? we all know it works with flat surfaces fine

Dave Black
07 July 2003, 08:38 PM
You know, Holosynthetic, instead of undermining everything I say and show here, you could politely stop and ask me to go into something further.

If I were to take another five minutes, it could be cleaner, but the point here is to reduce the edge weights by increasing the standoff distance between the edges. This model is all quads, and has no shade problems. With a few more minutes, the curved surface could be smoothed out more, but alas, I'm on a deadline...



07 July 2003, 08:55 PM
Thanks for the compliments Dzignguy :)

The crease you show here is indeed a nasty one. This is one of the main disadvantages of subdivision modelling for mechanical objects: you end up with loads of edges in places you do not want them.

The crease is there because those two edges are so close to eachother, so to get rid of it you should spread them out a bit.
Since you need them close to eachother at the corner it might be nice to add (yet another!) edge.

I've edited your object, the creases are as good as gone. I've also tweaked the end of the wing a bit, the 'inner' control edge was missing, giving it a bit of a wierd rounded corner.

For a nice round corner try to give the two 'control' edges exactly the same distance from the 'corner' edge. Also be careful not to make the rounded edges too small. It would be a shame if you did all that hard work but it wouldn't even show up in the final render :)

As you can see I've also 'fanned' out the edges in the front of the wing. This is not absolutely nessecary as you don't see a crease because the wing is perfectly straight from base to tip (the general rule is that you can go mad with triangles and edges close together if they are in a perfectly flat surface).
Still it's good practice to even out those edges, it looks nicer and maybe the wing will bend a bit when animated...

Here is the tweaked version:

07 July 2003, 08:58 PM
3DZealot: There is no denying it works now since the two of us have been showing it at the same time...
Believe in the ways of the subdivision Ye nonbelievers! :)

07 July 2003, 09:03 PM
Thats perfect! Now I got it! I thought I had tried all the possibilities and yet here you go again................Ok I'm a devoted fan.... for sure now! many thanks!


Dave Black
07 July 2003, 09:08 PM
Go on, give props to Marcel too. He did, after all, go to way more effort to show how it works. :D

But, hey, I'm really glad it's making sense now!

Keep those questions coming!

BTW, speaking of Marcel, lookup his wip thread in the focused crits forum. He has a little pistol there that will blow your mind...especially checkout the wireframe.



07 July 2003, 09:14 PM
You and 3DZealot are on my big time thanks list. I didnt see your post, when I posted last. I just saw 3DZealots reply. Yet another way of doing the same thing, perfect! If I achieve anything with this stuff in the future it will be due to guys like you and 3dz who give without alot of thanks and in some cases a little disrespect from morons like me. You guys have made a believer out of me for sure!!!!

Thanks again,

Ive read and read cause I believe in doing my homework but this is honestly the first time Ive ever seen this technique illustrated in these two different ways. Amazing! Great Stuff!

07 July 2003, 09:14 PM
i love you guys, or this thread or whatever....

Dave Black
07 July 2003, 10:51 PM

Man, I'm really glad you're finding this usefull. Ain't it cool once you start getting it?

reeves1984: The feeling is mutual. :D

Love tha city BTW. Very inspiring. Very.



07 July 2003, 02:22 AM
Hey..... I use Marcel's method when I model!:thumbsup: With edge constraint set in max 5 this is a great technique! Zealot, nice job~ different approach I'm off to experiment!:wavey:

07 July 2003, 03:18 AM
Now now, love is all well and good, but there are more important things in life. Such as the SubD faq. Eh 3dz? ;)

Dave Black
07 July 2003, 03:36 AM
Damnit, Urg!

Actually, Peter, are you back home yet? I've got some stuff for you to proof...Oh, and make images for. :D



07 July 2003, 12:46 PM
Nope, not home yet. Won't be home until the 11th of august actually. However, I can still proof read and give you a hard time about most things :) Just send stuff to my hotmail addy and I'll read and reply. Images would have to wait though... Unless you'll do them.

I expect a mail from you within three days, or I'm rerouting my return trip to go by your house. I'll buy a katana here just for you ;)

08 August 2003, 08:05 PM
Hi I'm new here and I've been enjoying this thread.

I've been trying to learn to do complex structures(mostly mechanical) using sub'd modeling and this thread alone has done more to help than any of 3ds max's tutorials.

I have major problems when I try to model something organic or something with lots of curves.

Any Tips?

Oh, I was watching Martin Kroll "Freak"
What techinque does he use to model the belts so that bend so perfectly around the rings and the body.

How does this tech. tranfer from mirai to max
(or AutoCad).

Sorry if I sound very noobish(cause I am).

08 August 2003, 02:13 AM
I think that it's mostly about eyeballing it. Mirai has some good tools for local rotations (looks like it anyway :)) which makes it easier.

I can think of two ways to do it in max: one is of course doing as Martin does, extrude, rotate, extrude, rotate.

The other is a bit more experimental since I don't have max in front of me, but it should work :) You could draw a spline where you want your belts to go then use conform to "tighten" the spline around your character, then use "extrude along spline" to create the mesh. Could work, and I'd gladly try it before posting it, alas, no max for me... (I think it's called conform anyway, it's one of the compound tools)


did you get the mail 3dz?

08 August 2003, 09:53 AM
awsome work guys:) :beer: so much for my poor overfilled brain

*stagger, stagger, collapse*

08 August 2003, 07:34 PM
Hey there, I am fairly new to 3d, and i have been captivated by sub-d...bay raitt's, pixar and others that use sub-d.

anyways i have read all of this thread, and tutorials from everywhere but i have a few questions i was hoping the modelers from here could help me with.

here we go, using max 5
in 3d world mag... july i think, they had a sub-d tutorial. but when i read it, it doesn't ever really subdivide the model. its actually just a cube that has been converted to edit mesh then meshsmooth mod on top. How is this sub-d modeling? or is just the concept of using low-poly model then letting the computer interpilate (sp?). in other words is this tutorial using the idea of sub-d or is it sub-d modeling?

While doing this tutorial i noticed that it asks me to convert to edit mesh, then add meshsmooth. Can i do convert to edit poly, then add meshsmooth for same results?? i tested it to find no difference, and i read up on poly and mesh, I dont see any difference. so should one replace the other? or does one have benifits over the other??

I followed another tutorial, on line. and it takes you on path of "edge loops". pretty much used cut and used the edge loop theory from bay raitt (i think thats what he works with) anyways when we end the tutorial it doesn't say to add meshsmooth or subdivide modifier. so this kinda is continueing the meshsmooth question i had. Is the subdivide modifier used in sub-d modeling? you would think, but when i apply it (i am probably doing something wrong) it just divides my quads right in half making them all tris. when i render it out i dont see a difference.

So could someone correctly point out the actual process of sub-d modeling? i am about half and half, just not quite there yet... ooh yeah I am using max 5 at the moment. thanks


Dave Black
08 August 2003, 08:14 PM
Ok, first off:

Editable Mesh, and Editable Poly are very different. Editable poly allows you to use all the "sub-d" style tools while modeling, i.e., connect, select loop, etc. There is more to it, but for the sake of brefity, I'll stop there.

You can use MS on an EM, and on EP. They usually will smooth the same. The are some cases where this is not the case, but overall, that's how it works. In any tutorial, you can use EP instead of EM. The only differences will be in tools, not final output.

Sub-d usually refers to a low-poly control cage affecting a high-poly output mesh. So, appling a MS mod to a cube is sub-d because you are smoothing a control cage(the cube) into something else.

The Subdivide modifier is not to be used for this sort of thing. Ignore it for now. Use the meshsmooth modifier.

As for the process of sub-d modeling, it's pretty much just creating lower poly geometry to control a high-poly smoothed model.

Sorry for the poor reply, but I'm on a deadline and quite hurried.



08 August 2003, 09:14 PM
dont apologize, you said enough. thanks for the subdivide modifier comment. that was just confusing me. thanks for clearing up the meshsmooth questions i had.

kinda makes me wonder , besides game devs, who doesn't use a meshsmooth?
thanks again
if i have any other questions, i will be sure to post...


08 August 2003, 09:26 PM

You might be interested in my thread here:

I started it after going through the 3D World tutorial you are talking about. The problem with the tutorial, is that you always used rounded extrusions (for example, you extruded the leg sockets, which were round, and the ridges on the top and bottom, which were rounded off). In other objects, you might have a curved surface, and then want to pull a hard edges panel out of it or something with hard edges... like a square or something. Anywho, so I posted some questions about this and have been getting good feedback. The dummy object I'm using is the 3x3x3 segmented box you start with in the 3D World Magazine...

It's taken me a while to grasp the concept of control edges, but I'm slowly getting there. This thread might help since we both are jumping from the same tutorial.

3DZ posted an animated gif earlier in this theory thread that demonstrated adding in control edges. Very cool.

Good luck,

08 August 2003, 03:52 AM
thanks a lot sledge...


08 August 2003, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by BigBoy
Hi I'm new here and I've been enjoying this thread.


What techinque does he use to model the belts so that bend so perfectly around the rings and the body.

How does this tech. tranfer from mirai to max
(or AutoCad).

Sorry if I sound very noobish(cause I am).

The technique I usually apply to get this effect is to chip a peace of mesh off of my poly object... wait some pics will do better I guess...

Take a mesh and select an area (edgeloop would ne best I guess) you want to put a peace of geo on. Then detach it from the poly object but keep it in the object as a copy. This will be the base from wich to work from.

Now hide the unselected mesh to only keep this:

Now detach this again, same method. Extrude the result, extrude value= 0. Why because extrude does it by the normals, we don't want that. After you extrudet it by zero, scale the selection! (in my case on the x and y axis). This will leave you with a something looking like this:

08 August 2003, 11:21 AM
Now select the back faces/element (this is why you should detach twice) and flip them. Now in vert mode weld them and a new element is born that fits exactly over the original mesh:

Now tweaking can take place, use edge constraints or whatever you like... It gives a good starting point I like to think:

Hope it helps somehow, and I don't claim to have invented this technique, I just can't remember where I've seen this before...

Hope my english is ok enough :)
Cheers Johan

08 August 2003, 01:01 PM
I must again recommend the Solidify plugin. I don't remember the exact url to find it, but you should be able to google it with 3dsmax solidify or maybe find it at It does exactly what Johan just did, although with a few spinners instead of having to extrude/detach etc. It adds thickness to anything you want thickness added to :) VERY USEFULL PLUGIN

08 August 2003, 01:05 PM
i really should get that methinks

heres a link i found for me, incase your really lazy

08 August 2003, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by urgaffel
It does exactly what Johan just did, although with a few spinners instead of having to extrude/detach etc. It adds thickness to anything you want thickness added to :) VERY USEFULL PLUGIN

No doubt a very usefull plugin, but it doesn't do exactly the same as what I did...
1. You need to completly detach the selection... mine works as subobject... (could give you more control) and when you're done with solidify, you need to reattach if you want to move the vert or edges... and most of the time I think you do...

2. Solidify pushes along the normal! With 'carved in' edges this is very problematic, scaling would be better here! This is also my biggest problem with solidify.

My 2 eurocents

08 August 2003, 06:30 PM
Phew! Just finished reading through the thread... took me a whole damn afternoon! :surprised
Anyhoo, after downloading all sample files and following the tutorial gifs, I have a couple more questions for anyone that might want to answer them... They're actually regarding 3DZ's last GIF tutorial. When you say subdivide faces, do you mean to use tesselation, slice plane or cut with midpoint snapping (or none of them :P).
The other issue is what do you mean when you say to subdivide the rings, and what is exactly happening?

Many Thanx! And lets keep this thread growing!

Carl :beer:

Dave Black
08 August 2003, 07:05 PM
I'm sorry, man. I knew that would probably mess someone up.

Ok, the term "sub-divide", is simply refering to the use of the connect command. BTW, you don't need to ever snap midpoints again. You simply select a "ring" of edges, and hit the conncet command. Good stuff.

As for sub-dividing the rings, you can just do what I mentioned above. Select an edge. Hit the "select ring" command, and the hit the connect button. It's really no big deal, but I totally should have worded that better. Sorry, man!



08 August 2003, 07:45 PM
so do you use the "cut" tool at all?

08 August 2003, 08:04 PM
The results are OK but I still feel I'm not doing it as quickly as I could... Have to go to dinner now, when I get back I'll list all the steps I'm taking. Oh yeah, and how about a walkthrough on square whole on spheres/rounded surfaces?
Thx for the help!

Carl :beer:

08 August 2003, 05:12 AM
Originally posted by JHN
No doubt a very usefull plugin, but it doesn't do exactly the same as what I did...
1. You need to completly detach the selection... mine works as subobject... (could give you more control) and when you're done with solidify, you need to reattach if you want to move the vert or edges... and most of the time I think you do...

2. Solidify pushes along the normal! With 'carved in' edges this is very problematic, scaling would be better here! This is also my biggest problem with solidify.

My 2 eurocents

1, you can apply modifiers on selections, so you do NOT need to detach completely, you can detach as element and have solidify applied to said element. That goes for any modifier btw, for example Push, which I use together with softselections to inflate/deflate areas. For example muscles. Bigger/smaller biceps ;)

2, Yeah well... Not much I can say about that other than this: You could scale the edges of the outer faces (er... hard to describe with words, sorry no pictures yet) using edge constraint to get the result you want. It would probably work fairly well, I just can't test it here (no 3d soft).

My 0.02kr

08 August 2003, 11:56 AM
@urgaffel: I'm not flaming or anything, at least it's not my intention, but solidify doesn't work in a subobject selection, at least with me it doesn't. And this is offcourse pretty logical in my p.o.v. Since you're creating new geometry, what if you have edges as selection, how will it build new geometry from that. I know about push mod's etc on subobjselections... So check your version and tell me if your's does work on subobjselection!?

Well with the above limitation, it's almost as much work as the method I use :p

Can you confirm this? Maybe I can wright a script that does this in one click...

Cheers Johan

08 August 2003, 04:36 PM
but solidify doesn't work in a subobject selection, at least with me it doesn't.

nope it doesnt, not for me anyways.

08 August 2003, 12:55 PM
Oops, my bad. Didn't work here either :) I should learn to check first and tell later. Oh well, I'll do my homework next time. (I was a week away from any computer with max, I wanted to reply asap :blush: )


So, you have to detach the faces to a separate object, but that can be a good thing! If you want to work on the belts alone that is, without worrying about selecting verts/edges from the rest of the model! (Peter tries desperately to justify the use of solidify so as to not lose face completely)

(and it's not as much work as your method... Detach-solidify-scale (and reattach if you want them as one object instead of separate) vs detach-detach-extrude-scale-flip-weld)

Sorry, I'll stop bickering.

08 August 2003, 01:29 PM

But now I want to move the belt along the surface....

I think I will write a script that does my method in a click... I think I will call it "Local solidify or how Urgaffel does like solidy better" :)

Cheers Johan

08 August 2003, 01:32 PM
Er... If you want to move the belt along the surface it's going to create a whole world of new pains regardless of how you made the belt in the first place ;) I mean... The end results would be the same using our two (competing! :p) methods so moving the belt is another topic altogether... Or?

08 August 2003, 01:38 PM
So is the belt the new edge loop that you move along to the meshes edge to make corners sharper? Or is that maybe farfetched? :beer:

08 August 2003, 02:00 PM
@Urgaffel... true, I ment to say, move the belt and the edgeloop(and surrounding faces) together... Not sliding but moving... point is that I like to be able to edit all my edge/vert/face selections in one model. When times come to rig or texture, I then will break my model in peaces... Just my workflow... So you're observation is right, but I feel that as an element it's easier to mod the poly's then as different object... Workflow convention created over time I guess... :)

@CC, I don't really understand your question, the belt is an separate element and does not really interact with the other geometry, so I guess not!?

08 August 2003, 03:46 PM
Oh... never mind then :D I though "belt" was a term for some sub-d work... I didn't know you were talking about your mesh, sry

08 August 2003, 02:57 AM
Mind if i change a the subject a bit?

I had a question, do any modelers here like to model with meshsmooth applied, and go down to the sub-object level of your choice, then use show end result? so you can see your low-poly 'cage' and in real time model and see your results??

Also is there another way ,besides instancing, to have your high-poly model beside your low-poly cage. model on your fave sub-object lvl and have it update in real time to the left or right of your cage?? that way your cage and meshsmoothed version dont get all tangled and hard to see...

last, what scripts does everyone here use? i just got cspolytools, took some advice from a modeler that sub-ds a lot. i am running meshtools also but i think max 5 has all those tools already, someone plz correct me if i am wrong...

i probably could have asked this else where, but i was hoping to get the "sub-d" fans if you will.

thanks guys


08 August 2003, 03:05 AM
Originally posted by Strang
I had a question, do any modelers here like to model with meshsmooth applied, and go down to the sub-object level of your choice, then use show end result? so you can see your low-poly 'cage' and in real time model and see your results??

Yep, now and then. If I need to tweak a curved surface I usually do that with show end result on. There are scripts so you can bind it to a key and toggle it on and off easier :)

Also is there another way ,besides instancing, to have your high-poly model beside your low-poly cage. model on your fave sub-object lvl and have it update in real time to the left or right of your cage?? that way your cage and meshsmoothed version dont get all tangled and hard to see...

Depending on your object, you can model half, and use a mirrored reference with a meshsmooth to see how it will look. Important to use reference and not instance. I have a tendency to have the character I'm working on to the right, then have a copy of the bodypart I'm working on a little to the side as an instance. For example, working on arms, you can detach the arm from the body, make an instance and place it so it's easier to model for you.

If you model with the arms at a 45 degree angle for skinning later, you have to struggle with not being able to use x/y/z constraints since the arm is rotated. Detach the arm and make an instance, rotate it so that it's aligned to x/y/z and model on that instead. Since it's an instance, you can see how the whole char will look :) Clever use of referencing helps too if you want to mesh smooth one part and not the other.

last, what scripts does everyone here use? i just got cspolytools, took some advice from a modeler that sub-ds a lot. i am running meshtools also but i think max 5 has all those tools already, someone plz correct me if i am wrong...

Well, there's that show end result script, and max 5 comes with meshtools 3 on cd2, then there's cspoly tools, some of bobos tools comes in handy now and then, an updated layermanager and some cool polysculpt tools from herman saksono aka hormon ( ) and the solidify modifier. There are more, but these are the ones I can think of now...

08 August 2003, 03:16 AM
thanks a lot urgaffel, i checked hormon out, been playing with other tools at the moment, i will check out bobo's stuff.

instanceing and refrencing, i will make sure i use them appropriately.

thanks again


08 August 2003, 09:10 AM
I dont think cspolytools [well make poly from selected verts is the only one I use],
I dont think it works with meshtools 3 :/

I'm not sure what i'm missing out on

Dave Black
08 August 2003, 12:54 PM
Well, then, you'd better be using Meshtools 2.5! There's really no reason to use meshtools 3. CSPolytools kicks a significant amount of ass. The "untangle selected poly" is totally awsome for converting polgons to perfect circles. Good stuff. "Chamfer while leaving original edges" also rocks.



08 August 2003, 01:11 PM
yeah I probubly should use them too
:shrug: :thumbsup:

08 August 2003, 02:22 PM
CsPolytools works with meshtools 3. Meshtools 3 are somewhat updated from 2.5, and some of the tools that are part of max5 are removed. So there's no reason not to use Meshtools 3... I think... :)


Yep, I'm using both cspolytools and meshtools 3.

08 August 2003, 03:39 PM
Simon, you can just install meshtools 2.5(instead of 3), and then CSpoly will work fine..... well the features I use do:thumbsup:

08 August 2003, 01:21 AM
I'd like to get back to the topic on the new primitive that 3DZealot came up with. What would one's workflow be like when using that primitive? I mean, usually I will "box-model" a head to flesh out the volume then cut, extrude, move verts, etc. to create the details. It would seem that edgeloops might be tougher to achieve when having to create eye sockets, nostrils, ears, and mouth all separate and then having to connect them back into a single mesh. I'm just looking for input from those who have created a nice head model utilizing the "3DZealot primitive".

Sorry if this question already came up on this thread. I didn't have time to go through all 48 pages.


08 August 2003, 01:33 AM
For that to work, you need to really know where you're going with it... A good example of modeling things separately and then attaching is the Joan Of Arc tutorial. He creates the eyesocket first, then the mouth and then the rest in between (so to speak...) It's some time since I had a look at it, but I think that's more or less what he did. Seriously though, check it out, it's a good tut (except for the steps that they forgot to show and/or write down :))

09 September 2003, 11:03 PM
Sorry to revive this thread, but it appears to be where this question belongs. I believe I understand the basics of the examples shown dealing with edgeloops and control edges for defining sharp creases in a mesh. However, most of these examples are using a 'whole' object (cubes, heads, etc.) for the selecting of loops and such. How does one use the techniques here for symmetrical models where you plan to model half, then use Symmetry/Mirror and welding to hook it back together (ie., a car)? It seems like this would prevent the use of selecting edgeloops and the like...

09 September 2003, 11:05 PM
It works as usual. Only difference is that the mirrored/instanced/symmetrified (new word!) part of the mesh won't be selected, but it will still be affected by changes. Just go about your business as usual.

For example, if you're using Symmetry, you can turn on "Show End Result" and see what happens. Using mirror/instance/symmetry won't stop you from using the usual techniques.

10 October 2003, 02:36 AM
good timing that this made it back to the front page, so i can post my unhelpful fanboy post without resurrecting the thread for no reason :D

i learned SO MUCH from reading this! i've been picking away at this thread over a period of a few weeks, and i'm really glad i read through it all. i've saved tons of helpful images and produced lots of little max files to try and reproduce the results in the examples.

i also finally got around to installing solidify and cspolytools as a result of this thread, which i can tell already will become a big part of my workflow.

i'm wracking my brain trying to think of something cool i can contribute to this conversation but to be honest i don't know all that much yet. it's great to see threads like this though, it encourages us all to share knowledge when we get the chance, and really is great for the community.

anyways enough blubbering, i'll continue to keep my eye out for threads like this and contribute to this one in any way i can.

thanks 3dz, urg, celtic, tony, chin, everybody!


Tony Richardson
10 October 2003, 05:10 AM
I agree with you guys, this thread needs to keep going! We have all learned a great deal from it, but there is so much more to be shared, it makes the head spin.

This is the highest regarded thread on the internet for sub-D modeling in MAX, lets keep it that way!

Great thread and a great bunch of people who have participated in helping others to help themselves!


ivo D
10 October 2003, 09:45 AM
heej.. yea.. the thread rulez.. in the beginning i was all over here, but now im not so much into the thread or any other..

really bad :S

so is the rest i think.. dont see people posting, maybe some dont know what to ad, but i know some stuff.. anatomy is not an issue and is widely discussed allready ,so lets drop that..

but how about robotic stuff, technical form.. so especially.. like motor block and robots.. ( i could say cars , but they are fairly simple compared to modelling a robot or engine)

just how to get those difficult shapes.. and when do you fuse objects to one object..

sometimes things aint good to get modelled so for example you connect a sphere to a block, and tadaa your ready.. but when do you do such thing.. and is it bad to let different meshes intersect to be showen as one..

lets show our technical meshes and how we made them.. i dont have anything yet and cant contribute now, im at school :(

* and done with no plugins , so no power boolean etc*

10 October 2003, 07:46 PM

isnt it about time u made a nice modelling video tut?

10 October 2003, 01:27 AM
just a small question here

Is it right to create edge loops with the slice modifier?

i used it a lot of times, but it seems to crash max pretty often.

Dave Black
10 October 2003, 02:01 AM

I honestly don't use slice at all. Have you been using Max 5.1 or Max 4 with meshtools 2.5? If so, you should probably be using the "connect" function instead. Cuts are usually fine, but slice has it's problems. I believe there is an updated version of the slice tool floating around here somewhere. I'll look into and get back to you.



10 October 2003, 03:44 AM
thank you all so very much for these wonderful posts on sub-ds! I shall find it very useful to me in the years to come!

10 October 2003, 10:53 AM
I try to stay away from SLICE also unless need a specific slice line. I have Select Ring, Select Loop and Connect shortcutted to Alt+D, F & Z respectively so making edgeloops is really a breeze.

11 November 2003, 06:14 PM
Where can I find this Sub-D??? In Max 4.2??? And in which menu???

11 November 2003, 07:47 PM
Modifiers -> Meshsmooth
F1 -> Meshsmooth

11 November 2003, 04:12 PM
I'd just thought I'd mention, I never have a problem with slice....

but then again, I dont know how connect works..


11 November 2003, 12:36 PM
Connect takes 2 or more selected edges and creates a new edges(s) between the selected ones. Therefore if you select a ring of edges and use the connect command you create a new EDGELOOP that lets you have more control over that portion of the mesh. Connect is the most useful command together with Solid Chamfer (Meshtools & CsPolytools) to make sharp edges when using meshsmooth.

11 November 2003, 07:07 PM
I see.....

well i'll try and have a play around with it if i remember

12 December 2003, 06:35 PM
keep em coming... here's my take on it - all polys can be divided down to tris and quads somehow... if nothing else, any n-gon needs a single point put smack dab in the center... this will create a pie shaped sort of thing with a whole lot of tris that share a single middle point. In lightwave, lately, I've been working with a game programmer that wants all tries, so I use this technique a lot... if I see quads or n-gons show up, just open stats window and delete em all... look to where they were, add one point, and walla! Now just connect the points fall la la and we have all tries that will work in a game engine...

12 December 2003, 10:36 PM
That sounds really tedious... I don't know how to do this in lw, but in max you can just create an edge divding the quad/n-gon into tris...

12 December 2003, 04:21 PM
Wow, this is the most amazing thread I have ever read anywhere.
I have been studying Sub-D for some time now and I just couldnt get all my questions answered until now.
I still have lots of questions but I feel a lot more confident about going into more advanced modelling now.

Personally I would love if someone would make a thread where he or she would disect? a poly character and explain subd techniques used on the different parts of the character. The starting point, work flow, hints, tips, tools used, methods etc.
It would be the greatest reference ever and I would bow in the dust forever in grattitude.

3dz abd urgaffel you have made a hell of a contribution to this thread along wih anyone else I forgot to mention.

Thx a lot ppl. :applause:

01 January 2004, 09:08 AM
Oh... my... lord...

Nearly one year after this thread was first posted I find it. DAMN!! I could have used all this good info for a whole YEAR!! *cries*:cry:

Thank you so much guys. This was the best thread I have ever seen on the internet regarding 3d modeling bar none.

I spent three days reading through the entire thread and every reply from page 1.... it was quite a learning experience. It wasn't helpful, though, that I'm not on my normal computer (in fact, I'm out of my own country right now) so I don't have access to any 3d software to play with the ideas I learned here.

Regarding some stuff that 3dz and others were talking about, specifically how if you increase detail in a poly geomety in that "jet engine" mesh, you'll flatten the area that's smoothed. The problem is inherently within the ring-connect, as someone has stated. One programmatic way of solving it was proposed with a "tension" setting for the connect property. I propose an even better solution.

Subdivision modeling uses the catmull-clark algorithm to insert subdivision vertices and connect the resulting verts with edges, I think that was how 3dz explained it. Another way to find curves between points is to use a bezier method. Four points are the minimum to establish a curve, two points being endpoints, and two more points outside of them are the anchors that define how the curve is shaped. I'm sure you've all seen bezier curves like the shape tools in 3ds max, or illustrator, or flash.

Using this idea, I think a tool can be written to "connect" while keeping the mesh's curvature.

It's easier to illustrate with a picture. I don't have any graphics software or ftp with me at the moment, so some ms paint will have to suffice. Please bear with me (see attached image).

The surrounding vertices on an edge are used to derive the bezier curve. The midpoint of that bezier is then used to find the point at which a new vertice is created. This process is done to all selected edges until the connect process is complete. The completed edge loop should not lie on the original edges, rather, a new edge loop which follows the "general curvature" of the topology. This allows the meshsmooth keep doing its job, AND the detail of your control mesh can be increased.

I'm pretty sure a script like this can be written. I'd write one myself .. I know my C++ and Java pretty well... but I don't know maxscript :(

Any questions?

01 January 2004, 02:49 PM
That's a great idea. Also, since you're dealing with bezier handles, adding a user defined curve shouldn't be too hard. Something akin to the "tension" setting we talked about earlier. You'd just have to scale the bezier handles so the mid point would be higher or lower... Learn maxscript! Please! :D

01 January 2004, 06:51 PM
if somebody makes a script like that i'll kiss them

01 January 2004, 12:43 AM
This whould result to a patch like surface
imagine that..
polys to patch!

01 January 2004, 11:22 AM
That would be an excellent tool for all of us. I'm sure that most of us have come across a situation like this and it would be great to have an edge loop interpolating the curve of a surface.
How about a similar thing with a rounded surface and a surface poly gets subdivided (quad into 4 new quads) and the new center vertex gets positioned at the right location to follow the surface curvature. This would use 2 such beziers that you've spoke of... But I'm getting ahead, hehe... Lets see if this gets developed. Anyone gonna plug it to Discreet? :D

Carl :beer:

02 February 2004, 09:10 PM
How would this Differ from a patch? would every vert have handles for all 4 incoming vectors?


02 February 2004, 05:13 AM
ok, now don't slap me on the face or

i have read some threads about Sub-D, and i read the intro. of this thread but something was missing , actually a useful information is missing,


and is it the same as adding meshsmooth to a poly model ?

if not, what is/are the difference between them ?

sorry if this Q. was repeated, but i couldn't find the answer :shrug:

02 February 2004, 11:55 AM
BPT for Maya will work with that bezier-curve-based-edgeloop-adding (what a word!) ... it will be ported for max with version 2.0... its currently the most powerfull modellingtoolset i've seen so far, i hope the 2.0 will come soon :P

02 February 2004, 03:00 PM
wow it broke fifty pages :applause:

well i was working today (i'm making somewhat of a switch from max to learning wings3d), and i had a bit of a revelation about how inefficiently i was modeling. i thought i'd figure out how to make a .gif and show the crap way i was doing things versus the better way i figured out.

modeling without thinking first (600k) (

02 February 2004, 03:28 PM
here's the second one (600k) (

ok sleep time

02 February 2004, 05:50 PM
Great video/animated gif jumbo :) Nice to see you get so much more efficient with them polys. Hopefully I can learn how to use some of that "planning" you talk about ;)

Ian Jones
02 February 2004, 12:00 AM
jum'bok makes a very good point. I'm just learning all this stuff and I have found it difficult due to problems like he outlined. It's especially hard for newbies because it gets frustrating when you don't know how to fix it when you back yourself into a corner. I recently did a car tutorial and after that things really began to make more sense. The tutorial showed me a poly by poly edge extrusion method, rather than box modelling where you start with a box and therefore more complicated thinking is required. It made it much easier for me to learn this way, because as I modelled I was working on a small area which when meshsmoothed behaved more predictably than if I'd had started with a box. Oh well, just my 2 cents...

02 February 2004, 12:57 PM
urg: thanks buddy! we can't let this thread slip too far down the page, eh? ;)

ian: edge extrude is great for control, but for certain things (specially non organic) it's nice to be able to take care of things all in broad strokes, to make sure the accuracy/consistency is there without days of tweaking. like anything, i'm sure deciding the method based on the situation is probably best.

for example [i haven't modeled a car, but] it seems like edge extrusions would work great for the body, and lots of mechanical actions would be best for the wheels etc.

Ian Jones
02 February 2004, 11:51 PM
Yeah your right, it is situation dependant... I just find it a little easier sometimes when I don't have to think about the whole volume constantly.

02 February 2004, 05:59 AM
yeah i know what you mean. i'm starting to think that i should start using edge extrude when modeling faces and let the edgeloops evolve, as true box modeling seems to be a more advanced method that requires you to know exactly where you're going with it. bit intimidating at first.

Ian Jones
02 February 2004, 01:03 PM
jum'bok, check out the modelling forum here at cgtalk. There's a link to a really detailed modelling tutorial that deals with the poly by poly method.

02 February 2004, 05:52 PM
julienj's dobby tutorial right? yeah that was just amazing! i was really stunned how good the likeness was.

i've got so many tutorials on my harddrives and favorites list, now i just need to actually do something with them hehheh :wip:

hrmm i was hoping this thread would perk up a little bit. i wonder if 3dz is still planning on making this into a pdf file some day. i hope he downloaded all the images, because the earlier pages of the thread are starting to get link rot.

anyways, back to class for me.

03 March 2004, 12:47 PM
this is possibly off the current Sub-D topic, but i found a wierd trick.

Take a model that has some fine detail and mesh smooth it

take a duplicate, convert to sub-D and the back to poly with Adaptive option box check.

Apply the same Hard/Soft normal option to them both. And the Sub-D conversion has cleaner shading in the detailed areas. I have no idea why the mesh is identical as far as i can tell and both have the same hard/soft option.

This may be just with me, try it and let me know =P

*edit - yeah BPT is god. =D

03 March 2004, 01:33 PM
Hmm, I guess that applies to maya yes?

03 March 2004, 01:37 PM
yes maya. sorry didnt say before! =D This is a sdsmax thread lol! found it in a search. O well already posted didnt I =P

ivo D
03 March 2004, 02:43 PM
hhm.. cant it be that when you ad a smooth modifier on your work mesh , it hasnt go the precise co ordinates anymore, but when you have smooth and ad a edit thing over it again(dsont know maya) it gets the precise coordinates back, so that the primary light source look better (shade)

03 March 2004, 03:29 PM
that might be it, it is esecially noticeble on a tight crease, I know one thing, i have retired the mesh smooth, and started using Sub-D and convert back with 1x division. The lighting is much crisper.