Need help with fixing bad geometry in Maya

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  04 April 2013
Need help with fixing bad geometry in Maya

I'm new to modeling, so I've come across a number of issues with bad geometry when designing my character model.


1a. The model that I'm currently working on has no problems in its normal polygonal view, but I get several holes and overlapping edges when I smooth preview (keyboard short cut '3') the model. (NOTE: I sort of fixed this problem (through a monotonous process in described in (3a.), but I would still like to know a couple good ways to avoid it next time.

2a. For a while, I would delete one random face that was sticking out of the finger and the entire back of the hand (just one section of the model) would be invisible. The geometry was visible when it was selected, but the 'faces' were not filled in.

3a. There were a lot of random edges hidden behind other edges of the model, so I had to extrude each edge and delete the resulting face to get rid of them (because the edges wouldn't delete by themselves for some reason). This also, for some reason, closed the gaps within the model. After I solved most of these problems, however, a random flat surface comes in my model when I smooth it. I can't explain it very well, so I'll try to attach a photo comparing the normal polygonal view and the smooth preview view (where the problem arises).

Reasons that I suspect bad geometry may have occurred:

1b. I was following a tutorial for hand modeling, and the person in the tutorial modeled his hand at the 0, 0, 0 origin. I modeled mine elsewhere and at an angle (with the intent of using a character sheet/plane to guide my model). The reason I suspect that this could have caused some geometry is because when the man extruded an edge in his tutorial, the edges came straight out along the x-axis. Mine came out 'weirdly' (overlapping/not straight). I then re-positioned the vertexes after each extrusion, so they looked 'okay.'

2b. There were a few tri's/n-gons (I believe they are called) in the model. The man from the tutorial I watched just left them as they were, but I heard that they were bad to have because it messed up the topography. So, I used the 'Edit Mesh' --> 'Add Divisions' feature to turn the tri's into quads. <-- (I'm not sure if this had a negative effect in any way. I mention this because these Divided areas were on the knuckles and I didn't really seem to have any problems using the 'smooth preview function' until around that point in the modeling process.

3b. My model has not been symmetrical throughout the process of its creation. Some vertexes on different fingers are higher and lower than the others, etc.
  04 April 2013
On the model you are going to want to make sure that you don't have any tris or ngons. There are some pretty visible ngons from that picture. You could just run those edges all the way around the hand. Its best to use the split polygon tool to fix edge loop problems. you may also want to check your vertices as well. they may not be merged. what is the reason you are using the smooth preview tool for anyway? this will not be rendered out in maya. to make a model smooth you will want to actually add more edge loops to the model and make it look smooth yourself.

Ryan Emerson
  05 May 2013
Ahh, thank you for your reply!
I must have misunderstood what an ngon was exactly. Just for clarification, the triangular area that I selected with the red box an example of an ngon?
I think I'll remodel it with the edges going around the hand. In the tutorial I watching, the modeler did something similar (with tri's) to create knuckles. I'm not sure why, but I still followed him anyway...
And I'm not sure if my vertices are merged, so that may be a problem... I also don't have any vertex snapping on (if there is such a function in Maya)--which may have caused the problem(?)
I was using the smooth preview tool mostly because (again) the modeler in the tutorial was using it. I did find it useful for seeing when problems came about when the mesh was smooth--which seemed to happen often. I also think it's beneficial for me, as a beginner, to see what a model looks like when it's smoothed with few polygons. As I start to get an "eye" for modeling, I'll probably ween myself off of using the smooth preview function as I begin to understand what a final model will look like. <--then again, maybe I just don't know what I'm doing and that might prove to be more of a detriment that a benefit.
  05 May 2013
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