Modeling details into a hard surface.

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  12 December 2009
Modeling details into a hard surface.

Well I just wrote a lengthy post and then when I went to submit it it discapeared sooo Im just gunna cut to the chase.

I bought the december 2009 issue of 3d world it gives you some hints on how they modeled the drop ship from district 9. Most of the stuff explained is pretty novice information and I want to delve deeper. For instance you look at the wire frame for the model and notice these circular indentations and details that have no edges connecting it to the stucture. I think maybe its floating geometry but looking at it it appears to be modeled into the structure with a few edges added. I try to recreate the same thing in my modeling program and subdivide but my mesh explodes doesnt look right so I think maybe they dont the other problem I have is that the edges you cant see are creating really bad smoothing all over the mesh.

I have the images but I think its wrong to post them...unless its ok to post a blown up area to show what I mean. But I need help figuring this out.
  12 December 2009
You could at least draw the topology in paint and post is really hard to know what you mean by the description alone...only thing I can say now ist that NGons don't go well with SubD (in general)...but you know this yourself...
  12 December 2009
One thing you can do is collapse(bake) the mesh to a sub-D surface and then model in the extra details.That way the original sub-D topology is respected and the new detailing won't affect it.Just make sure to save a copy of the mesh in a state were you can jump between smooth/non-smoothed.
  12 December 2009
Ok here are some examples. The first is a simple object I modeled showcasing the idea behind what was going on in the drop ship. It isnt subd'd but rather has bevels instead. This causes some ugly smoothing when the smoothing angle is around 60. When I put the smoothing angle down to 0 it looks great but then the problem is that each face can be seen. The drop ship doesnt really have any curves in the structure and is fairly flat so if it did have curves modeling with a smoothing angle of 0 would look terrible probably.

I also have a picture of some of the detail in the drop ship so you can get an idea of how the pieces are put together.

I hope this helps
Attached Images
File Type: jpg example2.jpg (63.2 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg example.jpg (35.9 KB, 49 views)
  12 December 2009
The D9 Picture is definitely not a SubD Mesh. It is old school Hard Surface Modeling. With some Bevels, like your model. No need for Quads .

To get rid of the faulty Gouraud shading, do the Vertex Normal Blending by Hand instead of relying on an automatic soothing and/or add additional segments to the Bevels...
  12 December 2009
and when you mean do the vertex normal blending by hand you mean select the areas that would have smoothing such as curved areas and assign smoothing to them but areas where it is flat assign no smoothing. I know in max you can select faces and assign different smoothing to them but I use XSI which has a mark hard edges/vertex or set the crease value. I guess I will just play around.

In your opinion which do you prefer hard surface modeling or sub d. Or a combination of both. I like subd but when you get into complex detailing it can be a real pain.
  12 December 2009
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