Subdivision vs. Nurbs


Is there general theory as to which modeling method is better for what situation?


Based on what experience I have so far I’d recomend you learnd know both. Nurbs may be the answer to the model on monday morning and subDs may be the way to go for another object that after noon.


I agreed with ME3D…you should learn both of them cause they’re very different and both of them are friends…so there are no “VS” thingy between NURBS and Sub-D. :slight_smile:
NURBS is great for non-organical conceptual modeling like this stuff
While Sub-D is great for organical structure like character or creature :slight_smile:


… on the other hand, there’s a specific workflow for both styles of modeling. if you don’t master them both, you really won’t be able to make a very nice model with either. that said, it seems the workflow for subDs is a lot faster, though the final product can sometimes be harder to work into dynamics than nurbs. also it can make you lazy and you end up with lumpy stuff :stuck_out_tongue:

i like nurbs because of their high detail and crispness. this style of modeling isn’t as intuitive as subDs/polygons, but the final product is of really high quality (if done correctly).

really a matter of personal preference in the end. if you just want to bang out some models quickly, go with subDs BUT START WITH POLYS - and use maya 5’s smooth proxy to help you visualize the final product. otherwise you could get stuck with horrible technical difficulties.


Now that you brought it to mind MrFace, we should mention there are specific advantages in texturing(displacement\bump) that are is more what I was leading to with my earlier statement.
Modeling a car tire and want to just use diplacement for the tread…then Nurbs is your answer for that piece of the model. In the end its always better the more you learn. I really have nothing more to say now.


well i’d say that nurbs are way better for doing correct technical stuff because you are workign with perfect mathmatical surfaces…
so SDS is definately better for organic modelling, you can model faster and more intuitive and you’ll get organic forms way easier…


I still confused with how NURBS works though iv learn how to use it several months. I think Subdivs still my fav. But, i still must learn NURBS more … hehe :rolleyes:

But, i think NURBS in Maya is lil bit limited, cos i found several troubles wit Maya’s NURBS like merging/blending trimmed surface to an isoparm or capping a hole. That can be easily done in Rhino3D … :shrug:


I am just starting out so I don’t know too much about these methods but I promise not to ignore one in favor of the other. I don’t think I suggested that either should be ignored. I don’t understand where that idea came from.

I was looking to set a sense of what the strengths of one were vs. the other. It sounds as though subdivision are more useful for organics were nurbs are more useful for technical applications. Do either have a significant advantage when it comes to character rigging?


Originally posted by soulhill
I don’t understand where that idea came from.

from your thread title :slight_smile: and the fact that in Cg people tend to stick to their methods and apps, and defend them. ppl here are trying to emphasize it’s your choise what you use, so no war necessary :slight_smile:

you got it. organics - > subd/polysmooth, tech -> nurbs. Personally I suck with nurbs and apparently they don’t like me as well so I haven’t any experience on character rigging with nurbs but I suspect, that instead of the vertices being attracted by the joints, the curve manipulators are attracted to the joints. So basically it would be the same but again, subd’s can be more intuitive where some people like the smoothness of nurbs


i don’t know about this absolute seperation of the two between organic and non-organic forms. personally i love the look of a well modeled body using nurbs. on the other hand, i know that subds work fine with making cars, etc (though i’ve had problems with maya’s implementation of subds…). really the differences are in speed vs. clean lines.

i guess. :stuck_out_tongue: really when it comes down to it, it’s best to learn both, but focus on the one you do best with :slight_smile:


I have been working with nurbs in maya for the last two days and I have to say that I really like results that I have gotten so far. Its not as hard as they say but I am coimg from Max were nurbs are like poking your eyes out with a hot ice pick. :eek:

Do you guys think that NURBS is the main reason why new products look so round and aerodynamic. I wonder if it’s the software influencing the designers.


i expect it’s had more influence on architects, weirdly enough. now anyone can visualize frank gehry-style buildings with no trouble at all! :stuck_out_tongue:


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