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Old 10-26-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
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Sheri None
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Wink Modeling Theory

I am new to 3D modeling, but love it so far, and I am wondering where the best place to get information is. I am not talking software specific, there is a huge amount of that out there, but information that will help make me a better 3D modeler?

The kind of questions I am looking for answers to are:
How do you know when to use quads, triangles, etc.?
How do you get the best edge flow?
How do you best lay out a project?

Things that professionals make decisions on but these are the things that you don't seem to find in software specific books. I already know which software package I like and I know how to get the training on it. I am looking for the other type of training I can't seem to find...

Last edited by cgidesignart : 10-28-2010 at 02:46 AM.
Old 10-28-2010, 11:11 PM   #2
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Patrick Boisvert
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How do you know when to use quads, triangles, etc.?

-Whenever you want to use your mesh in a sculpting package
-Where there is a deforming joint / a character's face etc. (areas that deform a lot)
-When i want to quickly select edgeloops of a model, i keep it all quads as long as possible (before optimization), this speeds up uv mapping & rigging process.
-When i want a predictable surface outpout from a subdivision modifier

Fun fact: Triangles are automatically turned to quads by the subdivision algotrithm, the drawback is usually pinching.

Fun fact: 2: even with an all quad mesh, you might see some pinching occur in specific areas that are known as poles, areas where quads are redirecting the flow of the edgeloop. To minimize this, a base mesh could be built as a grid instead of a partially edgelooped mesh.

If we're talking about a subdivision model, then you need to use those poles to your advantage by placing them in areas that aren't supposed to be perfect (the best use would be hinting at bone structure under an humanoid or creature's skin)

-When i'm doing an optimization pass on a game character/object. Any edges/polygons that don't contribute to the silhouette of the model can be "collapsed", the end result is usually a few tris leftover.
-When i want to round out the silhouette of a character/object without adding unecessary geometry, i'll cut the "jagged" area and smooth it out by moving the new verts i've added.
-Game engines automatically triangulate meshes (or at compile stage), because that is how computers handle geometry.

How do you get the best edge flow?

-By understanding the surface you are trying to recreate.
-By starting with a simple blockout shape, as you get more experienced, it tends to not matter anymore...also depending on your technique i suppose.
Old 10-30-2010, 04:27 PM   #3
London, United Kingdom
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 61
Psyk0 gave an excellent answer.

Somebody put me onto this page when I was starting out in 3d and if you read though the entire thread it will suddenly click with you. Learning what poles are and how to control them will seriously help your modelling.
The Pole
Lionhead Studios
Old 10-30-2010, 07:07 PM   #4
Richard Jones
bristol, United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by ghib
Psyk0 gave an excellent answer.

Somebody put me onto this page when I was starting out in 3d and if you read though the entire thread it will suddenly click with you. Learning what poles are and how to control them will seriously help your modelling.
The Pole


Have been looking for something like this for the last three months!, everything i came across, just did not explain it well enough.

Thanks +10
Old 10-31-2010, 07:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the link.
I was looking for this for a long time.

my blog
Old 11-06-2010, 03:59 PM   #6
Pete Molinero
Join Date: Mar 2010
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I agree, that is a great thread about poles.
Old 11-15-2010, 01:23 PM   #7
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hredjtzj jtrjrz
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im not sure if im allowed to advertise a product here but there is a good book that i can recommend to you.

"Computer Graphics for Artists: An Introduction" by Andrew Paquette was one of the books I had to read for my first year of my studies (game architecture and design/3d art for games and entertainment). We read it additional to a full time course by Mr.Paquette himself so it was only guiding us through the course but I think even if you read it on your own it can proved you with a lot of useful information.
What I liked about it is that it is not software specific at all but rather teaches you what makes a good 3d model and what pitfalls to avoid as you start out.
Old 11-15-2010, 01:23 PM   #8
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