Theoretical SUB-D


Where can I find this Sub-D??? In Max 4.2??? And in which menu???


Modifiers -> Meshsmooth
F1 -> Meshsmooth


I’d just thought I’d mention, I never have a problem with slice…

but then again, I dont know how connect works…



Connect takes 2 or more selected edges and creates a new edges(s) between the selected ones. Therefore if you select a ring of edges and use the connect command you create a new EDGELOOP that lets you have more control over that portion of the mesh. Connect is the most useful command together with Solid Chamfer (Meshtools & CsPolytools) to make sharp edges when using meshsmooth.


I see…

well i’ll try and have a play around with it if i remember


keep em coming… here’s my take on it - all polys can be divided down to tris and quads somehow… if nothing else, any n-gon needs a single point put smack dab in the center… this will create a pie shaped sort of thing with a whole lot of tris that share a single middle point. In lightwave, lately, I’ve been working with a game programmer that wants all tries, so I use this technique a lot… if I see quads or n-gons show up, just open stats window and delete em all… look to where they were, add one point, and walla! Now just connect the points fall la la and we have all tries that will work in a game engine…


That sounds really tedious… I don’t know how to do this in lw, but in max you can just create an edge divding the quad/n-gon into tris…


Wow, this is the most amazing thread I have ever read anywhere.
I have been studying Sub-D for some time now and I just couldnt get all my questions answered until now.
I still have lots of questions but I feel a lot more confident about going into more advanced modelling now.

Personally I would love if someone would make a thread where he or she would disect? a poly character and explain subd techniques used on the different parts of the character. The starting point, work flow, hints, tips, tools used, methods etc.
It would be the greatest reference ever and I would bow in the dust forever in grattitude.

3dz abd urgaffel you have made a hell of a contribution to this thread along wih anyone else I forgot to mention.

Thx a lot ppl. :applause:


Oh… my… lord…

Nearly one year after this thread was first posted I find it. DAMN!! I could have used all this good info for a whole YEAR!! cries:cry:

Thank you so much guys. This was the best thread I have ever seen on the internet regarding 3d modeling bar none.

I spent three days reading through the entire thread and every reply from page 1… it was quite a learning experience. It wasn’t helpful, though, that I’m not on my normal computer (in fact, I’m out of my own country right now) so I don’t have access to any 3d software to play with the ideas I learned here.

Regarding some stuff that 3dz and others were talking about, specifically how if you increase detail in a poly geomety in that “jet engine” mesh, you’ll flatten the area that’s smoothed. The problem is inherently within the ring-connect, as someone has stated. One programmatic way of solving it was proposed with a “tension” setting for the connect property. I propose an even better solution.

Subdivision modeling uses the catmull-clark algorithm to insert subdivision vertices and connect the resulting verts with edges, I think that was how 3dz explained it. Another way to find curves between points is to use a bezier method. Four points are the minimum to establish a curve, two points being endpoints, and two more points outside of them are the anchors that define how the curve is shaped. I’m sure you’ve all seen bezier curves like the shape tools in 3ds max, or illustrator, or flash.

Using this idea, I think a tool can be written to “connect” while keeping the mesh’s curvature.

It’s easier to illustrate with a picture. I don’t have any graphics software or ftp with me at the moment, so some ms paint will have to suffice. Please bear with me (see attached image).

The surrounding vertices on an edge are used to derive the bezier curve. The midpoint of that bezier is then used to find the point at which a new vertice is created. This process is done to all selected edges until the connect process is complete. The completed edge loop should not lie on the original edges, rather, a new edge loop which follows the “general curvature” of the topology. This allows the meshsmooth keep doing its job, AND the detail of your control mesh can be increased.

I’m pretty sure a script like this can be written. I’d write one myself … I know my C++ and Java pretty well… but I don’t know maxscript :frowning:

Any questions?


That’s a great idea. Also, since you’re dealing with bezier handles, adding a user defined curve shouldn’t be too hard. Something akin to the “tension” setting we talked about earlier. You’d just have to scale the bezier handles so the mid point would be higher or lower… Learn maxscript! Please! :smiley:


if somebody makes a script like that i’ll kiss them


This whould result to a patch like surface
imagine that…
polys to patch!


That would be an excellent tool for all of us. I’m sure that most of us have come across a situation like this and it would be great to have an edge loop interpolating the curve of a surface.
How about a similar thing with a rounded surface and a surface poly gets subdivided (quad into 4 new quads) and the new center vertex gets positioned at the right location to follow the surface curvature. This would use 2 such beziers that you’ve spoke of… But I’m getting ahead, hehe… Lets see if this gets developed. Anyone gonna plug it to Discreet? :smiley:

Carl :beer:


How would this Differ from a patch? would every vert have handles for all 4 incoming vectors?



ok, now don’t slap me on the face or

i have read some threads about Sub-D, and i read the intro. of this thread but something was missing , actually a useful information is missing,


and is it the same as adding meshsmooth to a poly model ?

if not, what is/are the difference between them ?

sorry if this Q. was repeated, but i couldn’t find the answer :shrug:


BPT for Maya will work with that bezier-curve-based-edgeloop-adding (what a word!) … it will be ported for max with version 2.0… its currently the most powerfull modellingtoolset i’ve seen so far, i hope the 2.0 will come soon :stuck_out_tongue:


wow it broke fifty pages :applause:

well i was working today (i’m making somewhat of a switch from max to learning wings3d), and i had a bit of a revelation about how inefficiently i was modeling. i thought i’d figure out how to make a .gif and show the crap way i was doing things versus the better way i figured out.

modeling without thinking first (600k)


here’s the second one (600k)

ok sleep time


Great video/animated gif jumbo :slight_smile: Nice to see you get so much more efficient with them polys. Hopefully I can learn how to use some of that “planning” you talk about :wink:


jum’bok makes a very good point. I’m just learning all this stuff and I have found it difficult due to problems like he outlined. It’s especially hard for newbies because it gets frustrating when you don’t know how to fix it when you back yourself into a corner. I recently did a car tutorial and after that things really began to make more sense. The tutorial showed me a poly by poly edge extrusion method, rather than box modelling where you start with a box and therefore more complicated thinking is required. It made it much easier for me to learn this way, because as I modelled I was working on a small area which when meshsmoothed behaved more predictably than if I’d had started with a box. Oh well, just my 2 cents…