Floating geometry, ngons, and poles

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  08 August 2010
Floating geometry, ngons, and poles

Hi. I'm playing around with Maya in preparation for a college class and i have a few questions.

1. Floating geometry - How are screws/teeth/nails/etc. added to a scene to make it look realistic?

Are they simply modeled, and then placed in the location they are needed (effectively cutting through other geometry's face/edges), or are they added into the geometry (by making a hole of the nail's dimension, and then inserting the nail model)?

2. N-gons - Is a mesh not supposed to have any, or can they exist?

I'm finding it hard to build a mesh only with squares, i find that having a few triangles/n-gons doesn't modify the smoothness of the object, but i don't know if it is good practice.

3. Poles - Whenever i have a surface, and extrude a face from it, i end up with a pole (vertex with 5+ edges). How bad is it?

I've read that a mesh should be composed of squares and crosses (vertices with 4 edges) to achieve a good smoothing result. However, it seems almost impossible getting that result.

Hope you can clarify my long-lasting doubts.
  08 August 2010
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