Edge Loop Techniques?


I am trying to get my head around edge loops and maintaining a mesh composed of quads, but for some reason I am finding it hard to absorb. i always end up with a triangle somewhere or a 5-sided bastard. Does anyone know any sure fire techniques on this issue? Or where there is any comprehensive inof or tutorials? I have searched a lot on google and there seems to be remarkably little on a subject that seems essential to any 3D modelling i would think…
Thanks for any help



Kurv have some free Silo tuts by Glen Southern that deal with this to some extent, there are about 5 to download which are all based around 1 project (40mb each approx), Glen models a head from scratch & deals with tri’s & ngons throughout…

Hope this helps you out…

http://www.kurvstudios.com (registration required)


there is a very good mov tutorial. a recorded modeling session by glen southern.
you can find it for free at

register, and enjoy


I am half way through the southern tut. Its a great tut. he does a great job of walking u through Silo and his box modeling technique, how ever i feel that a poly to poly is more effecient way of modeling a head because to fix the edge loops in a box model is a pain in the Ass. I am in search of a good poly to poly head model video tut if i find it i wil post the link here. but hey try the southern tut u m ight like that workflow.


Don’t worry too much about avoiding tris, particularly if your just starting out. They are not as evil as people make out and most models will have some tris in them. If you model entirely with quads you WILL have poles (vertices with greater or fewer than four edges attached), it’s unavoidable and poles can be just as problematic as tris. The main thing is keep what tris you do create as close to equilateral as possible, avoid long thin tris at all costs (avoid long thin quads too!)

Take a look at some of the experts meshes, you’ll see tris in most of them and even if you can’t see any there are probably some hidden in a nostril or ear or something lol!

As a matter of interest, Stephen Stahlberg, one of the best organic poly modellers around creates models with tris, n-gons and poles galore and his models are FANTASTIC! He also pretty much ignores edgeloops! So you see all rules are made to be broken!

The main thing is to get loads of models under your belt and don’t worry too much about the rules. I promise with a bit more experience it will all become a lot easier! - Baz


Baz ,

Thank you for your reply, I been trying to get a grasp on edge loops, topology and using quads for a while now. The reason why is because i hear and read all this stuff about deformations and if u want to animate or pose a face in a certain way that it wont deform properly, so i been trying real hard to get quads only. Can u answer something ,

well first can u link me to some of that dudes work i wanna see it, second does he animate any of his work or have u animated any of your work that doesnt have strict edge and topology i would like to know your feedback.


Hi first off I’m no expert, I’ve been modeling a few years now and feel I’ve kind of got the hang of it but I’m no further along than intermediate!

If you want some names to learn from: Bay Raitt (more or less invented edge loop modeling!), John Feather, Ken Brilliant, Martin Krol, Tony Jung, (of course there are loads of others too!) I don’t recomend you copy Stephen Stahlberg, he breaks all the rules and gets away with because he’s an EXPERT! If you look at meshes from the guys I mentioned above you won’t go far wrong!

Edge loops are really important, they actually make the modeling easier, produce a lighter mesh and one that will deform well. I model with obsessive attention to edgeloops and use quads as much as possible but I don’t worry too much if there are one or two tris here and there. What I said about avoiding long thin polys (especially tris) is important too, they will cause pinching more than anything. Another good tip is change poly size gradually, don’t suddenly change from big square polys to small thin ones. Generally try and keep your quads squarish and any tri close to equilateral.

That should avoid most problems. I don’t animate but I do try and model with animation in mind because a mesh that will animate wel will also pose well for stills.

Here’s some links to Stahlberg

His homepage

An interview thread

And a thread he started on topology


thanks for all your info mate…

there i was , beginning to feel a right dirty boy coz i had some tri’s hidden up the nostril area!!!

anyway, good to know


i think BazC’s suggestion is best u can get.
just model for now, the more u model, the more feel for edge-loops and dealing with them u will develop.
disrigard animation completely for now (if u are a beginner).
it’s gonna be a long time before u can animate something close to decent (characers).
…rigging is a beast of it’s own.


hey check this out i followed the timelapse and his technique is awesome here is my nose


this one is a render from c4d but its modled in Silo.


“thanks for all your info mate…”

You’re very welcome! :thumbsup:


This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.