Theoretical SUB-D

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  01 January 2003
Iain: Thanks, man. Can you take a second and explain poles? I don't think many users understand the term. Good one to know.

Gaggle: On the whole macro thing...That's a really good idea. I'll look into setting that up.

mrfandiwagon : Great link, man, thanks

Gnarly Cranium: I promise we will get into cutting details in, well, more detail. I'm still not 100% sold on it.

Thanks for the posts everyone, let's keep 'em coming!


Now with more ninjas!
  01 January 2003
Wow, great info threre Iain.

As far as i'm concerned, Iain's word is like the bible. He has helped me a coupple of times, usually with one aswer only, and works every time.

I'm happy with those defenitions and will take it as being that.

Can we now move on to some serious modelling techniques? For one i don't feel that box modelling is the way for me, i'm trying to attempt poly by poly and would love to see what others have to say.


And, Iain, when you putting a site up again. Loved the work you had there.

  01 January 2003
A pole is a vert with less than or more than 4 sides. We know an edgeloop is a line of edges running through consecutive 4-sided verts, as soon as it hits a pole it is terminated, so from a workflow PoV poles are to be avoided if possible. Once you get to the "tidying up" stage they don't matter so much.


Verts that have 6 or more edges can cause shading anomilies in Max due to the way they are subdivided, so they should be avoided like the plague. You get a sort of "flower" pattern on the surface that can't easily be hidden with the material. I've actually had this happen on a 5-sided vert before, but it's rare and I defy anyone to model anything even remotely complex without using any 5-sided verts at all. BTW, this is the reason I always avoid 6-sided polys even on flat-ish areas. When you subdivide a 6-sided poly you get....a 6-sided vert!

Trying to model with no poles is just a slightly different approach to trying to model all-quads and you will most likely end up with the same mesh eventually, but the two are incompatible during modelling. Of course, my approach is only possible because Max's Epoly object is quite happy with 5-sided polys, you couldn't work that way in Emesh (or even LighWave).

There are better explanations in that second link I posted if you want to know more, but that's my take on it.


Sorry Fede, I'm not putting a site back up until I have some more work to put on it, so it may be a while. And don't take what I say as gospel, try this stuff out for yourself and come to your own conclusions, you'll learn more that way. Hell, I even use tris now on purpose sometimes because I experimented to see what they did to a mesh and learned to predict them. If I'd just listened to everyone else's advice I would still be religiously avoiding them.

Last edited by Iain McFadzen : 01 January 2003 at 03:48 PM.
  01 January 2003
Thanks for the explination, Iain.

In case you have'nt seen this before in the wild,
Here's an example of a 6+ sided vertex's shading errors:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg shading_error.jpg (11.9 KB, 3214 views)
Now with more ninjas!
  01 January 2003
Aye that's the fella. Thanks, my Max was rendering so I couldn't demonstrate myself
  01 January 2003
Scripted plugin for primitive...

check this thread for 3DZealot's primitive as a scripted plugin :
  01 January 2003
That's really cool, man.

Works great. I so have to get into scripting more. That's just awsome.


Now with more ninjas!
  01 January 2003
Iain, i see what you are saying. I think that being very early in my career i'm kind of afraid to mess around instead of trying to get it right first time round.

I hope i can use this thread in this way, if not delete the post.

Here are three situations that i'm not sure off.

is this bad topology or is it fine, and how do i fix it?

Is this also fine or what's the story?

and finaly

When i chamfer an edge in epoly i get tris, and am not sure how to fix that. If i target weld the tri vertex then i have the two edges next to the chamfered one with some npolys.

any suggestions please.

Thanx guys.

  01 January 2003
Hey, man, it's totally fine to post questions like this.

That little quad at the top probably should be removed. Just weld 'em together.

On the second one, you could just divert the middle loop to the vertex underneath it, and then remove the offending middle vertex.

For the last one, if you chamfer an edge, that's pretty much what you're stuck with.

Hope that made sense.

EDIT: good call on that last one, guys...Do what they said.


Now with more ninjas!

Last edited by Dave Black : 01 January 2003 at 05:40 PM.
  01 January 2003
the last one i usually solve using the following method if i absolutely WANT to have quads

that way you eliminate both tris and ngons . . .

problem is that this solution results in poles
  01 January 2003
That's how I'd do it 'Noxx. You wouldn't get there until the tidying up phase anyway, so the poles wouldn't matter.
  01 January 2003
Interesting post from ages ago on Spiraloid:
Matt Clark
The Pixel Hive
  01 January 2003
Good one, Matt, thanks.

Looks like five siders might not be all that bad if used properly. Good way of terminating detail.



Now with more ninjas!
  01 January 2003

In response to your question about methods...

I've finally rested on a tecnique, illustrated a bit on the first page, that really seems to work well. It allows for maximum creative control, while retaining all the positives of box-modeling.

The poly by poly method I think is now being called "Detail Out"...not sure who coined the phrase, but it seems to fit.

The cool thing about it, is that you can still use you box-modeling techniques whenever you want. That extrude button is only inches away.

I just have found that starting with the closest shape, not just the simplest shape works best. A box requires alot of modification in order to get the curves right. It can be overly daunting, and perhaps not very intuituve. It's also a bit harder, IMO, to get the topology correct when deriving from a box. Perhaps it should be called the "whatever works method".

I'll write some more and post some pics of the technique later if you are interested.

Anyone else?


Now with more ninjas!

Last edited by Dave Black : 01 January 2003 at 06:13 PM.
  01 January 2003
Man THIS is what user forums are all about! This is a great thread filled with a fantastic exchange of ideas and suggestions. I know I have always just cut, connected and smoothed and re-did it another way if it didn't turn out the way I wanted. But listening to you guys really gives me a good idea of how deep this topic (of sub d's) really goes. Thanks 3DZealot and all of you who are contributing to this thread, I know I for one am learnig alot from it.
Jim Sim
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