Theoretical SUB-D


That’s why it’s kinda important to get the shape right before you start adding detail :wink:

Seriously though, when that happens to me, I usually detach the detail to a separate object, remodel the area where the detail WILL BE and prepare the surface. Then I deform the detail (depending on the type of detail this might or might not be a good idea, also depending on how big changes you need to do) with bend, FFD or whatever, and re-attach it. Make a hole where the detail will be, place it there and then fill up the holes. This won’t work all the time, but it works on smaller things. For example the 3 box-like things on the top of the hip.

Detaching things to simplify is another good idea. For example, I detached the center brown part so I wouldn’t have to worry about the grooves from top to bottom on the thighs. You can usually hide it pretty easily if you do it at the right places.


Btw, if you want to change the size of the hole. If you set up the flow of the mesh in a good way around the hole, it won’t be THAT bad. But it requires some trickery with edgeloops and all that stuff…


This is where I start to have workflow problems. It’s impossible to get the shapes right before adding detail. Often I need to see the details there in order to figure out if I made the shape right in the first place… a process which has me ending up in endlessly repetitive backtracking, doing things over and over again.

Anybody else get driven batty by these things, or is it just me? :annoyed:


3D IS masochism :wink:


take a look at this


Originally posted by E.T
3D IS masochism :wink:

That’s rather less than encouraging, ya know! :sad:

…Especially since it’s so true… ugh…


i figure its gotta be some sort of fetish, why else would i hurt my head this way :smiley:


Hi! i’ve been following this thread since start, and it’s without a doubt, the best thread on the forum - period. This is good stuff we can all use, from a newbie like me, to the more skilled and experienced modelers.

I like the idea that this turns out to be something where you discuss a actual problem with a model like the images FEDE posted. and you see, how, but most importantly WHY you should make changes to your model :applause:

Keep it up!!



Quite the information-packed thread so far, am lovin’ it all. It’s been good and interesting links that has been provided (thanks to all), and I can only hope everyone will continue posting more :slight_smile:

Oh yeah, I wanted to ask something. It’s… er, maybe it’s really a non-issue, just something in my head and such, who knows. Maybe a few people besides me can benefit from the answers.

It’s in the super-basic-quadmodeling-tips genre: When beveling an edge, do we just bevel it once? I’ve seen models before, that featured what looked like a couple of bevels, to make more of a curve (ie. the edge is beveled, then the two resulting edges beveled again). Is there a default-ish number of times you all tend to stick to? Or rather, does the mere idea of more than on bevel confuse and infuriate? :slight_smile:

And another question: I’m used to lowpoly modeling, where tri’s and turning edges was on the daily menu. It’s clear we don’t welcome tri’s in our meshes as already discussed, but then do we care about edge-turning the invisible edge in a quad? I have great trouble resisting going in and turning the little bastards, habbits and all, but I don’t think the MeshSmooth process even takes them into account? It it was made clear that we are to leave them the heck alone, I for one could probably break that habbit. It’s the uncertainty that keeps me hooked :slight_smile:

Anyway, great idea with these discussion/technique-exchanging-threads (this, and the one on vehicle-rigging). I really hope things can keep going. Certainly is a welcomed, and most interesting, addition to reading the otherwise very specifc questions and answers that forms the basis of this forum.


gaggle said…

I’m used to lowpoly modeling, where tri’s and turning edges was on the daily menu. It’s clear we don’t welcome tri’s in our meshes as already discussed, but then do we care about edge-turning the invisible edge in a quad?

Egad, I hope not!! That would be weird!

Especially considering that Epoly is much better for this sort of modeling than Emesh, in that it eliminates the invisible edges almost completely. :smiley: They redraw themselves as you go along-- you can go cutting things and dividing edges all you want-- heck, you can even delete edges without making holes in your mesh-- and no invisible edges and weird vertexes will pop up. There IS no Turn function. There is a ‘Retriangulate’ button, that I suppose you can use if you want to, but I don’t think invisible edges have any effect on a subdivided mesh. Cast off your invisble-edge worries and be free! :cool:


Preach it sister!

(What she said is right, no worries about invisible edges when it comes to meshsmooth. It’s all about the visible stuff :))

As for the beveling, it depends on how much detail you want. One bevel is usually enough. The more bevels you do, the more detail to keep track of and fiddle with. The resulting smoothed mesh gets heavier too. I usually only do one bevel to get rounderd edges (usually a fairly low value to get the highlights on seams etc). Never needed to do more than one actually.

I’m a gonna dig up the robot head I did some time ago and show the mess that is :slight_smile:


Ok, here we go again. This is a good example of how you shouldn’t do it. It works, but it’s a mess.

Full head

Bad idea. I tweaked it a little just now to see if I could clean it up a little, but it would require a little more time than I want to spend on it at the moment. The biggest problem area is the hole on the upper left. Quads, tris and 5-sided polys fight for attention, and they are all different sizes which fcuks up the shading and flow of the mesh. IF this was an organic model, I would never do it like that. At least I would try very hard to avoid it. This however is a robot, so you can get away with a lot. The shading isn’t perfect, but it looks ok with a meshsmooth set to 2 iterations. One iteration is in the picture, and as you can see, it’s not perfect.

The hole to the upper right is better off since the quads are more even. A little special circumstance in this case is the beveling of the corners. To get sharp “plates”, you need to bevel some corners, as you can see here. This might cause some trouble with the rest of the mesh to get it flowing properly. One thing that I did wrong was rotate some of the holes. Oh well…



I have a question.

It looks almost as if the holes have no chamfered edges.

If we wanted the transition from the plates to the holes to be more dramatic, I’d think you’d add a chamfer to them as you have on other parts of the model.

If you did so, how would that effect the shading?

Thanks for posting that man!




They have a chamfer, but it’s too wide, so the shading and tesselation is “soft” if you see what I mean. Thikn of it as a low crease value. Just do a very low value bevel/chamfer on the edges around the hole and you’ll get a sharp edge. If you bevel a loop, the shading will look nice, if not, you have some cleaning up to do :slight_smile:

Check this to see a tiny bevel. That’s how I got the sharp corners on the plating.

For those who wonder what crease is, it’s a feature in the meshsmooth edge and vertex subobject. Never EVER use crease in meshsmooth. If you delete the modifier, all your info will be lost. If you edit the mesh below meshsmooth, it will be fcuked up. It’s pretty fcuking useless really… Better to bevel edges. That way you don’t have to worry about sharp corners dissapearing. And you get the nice highlights too :wink:


Look at the hole in the upper left, you see that the faces almost swirl around the hole. That is bad. :slight_smile:

And now I should remodel the whole damn thing :cry: But I can’t be arsed. Maybe some cleanup… :wink:


Thanks, man!

My question was more about how the extra bevel would effect the mesh topolgy on your curved areas. If you have a chamfered edge, then I guess it answeres my question.





Chamfering edges CAN play tricks on your surface so it’s good to keep it in mind before you start playing too much. However. For grooves or the seams between the plating, I usually cut a line, chamfer it once. I make it as wide as I want the groove/seam to be, then I bevel the faces inwards/downwards to get the first beveled edge. OR you can extrude inwards (er… intrude? ;)) and then select the edges and chamfer those to get a little more control/interactivity on the smoothing.

Since chamfering edges creates a new polygon, the smoothing is affected (it gets flatter) as Sam pointed out. This flat area is what you use to get the nice highlights you see on real world objects.

Bunch of pictures showing simple chamfering and how it affects shading on a sphere:

Select an edge loop
Chamfer once, select the newly created polygons
Negative extrude, local
Select the edges at the edge (har har) of the groove
Chamfer with a value you feel is good. Turn on Show End Result to see what it will look like
Alternative angle
Close up of the chamfered edges. Value 0.5


Good stuff, man, I think it’l help alot of people.

Another good example of chamfer effects is on the first page of this thread on my mouth progression image.

You can see that a slight chamfer allows the smooth shape of the surounding area of the mouth to change to a harder edge as it approaches the lips.

Pretty soon, I’d like to post a scene for us to play with regarding a problem that seems to still be in debate:

Retaining curve structure while cutting into an organic shape. Especially when the shape being cut is highly intricate and/or complex.

I’ve gotten alot of PMs and emails about this, and I think it might be good to go over it in more detail.

Thanks all!




I’m up for it :slight_smile:


I’d like to go back to the cutting a circle out of a sphere question and offer another way of doing it besides booleans or 3d snapping vertices to another object. I just learned about ShapeMerge a little while ago and it comes in very handy for just these kinds of situations.

You basically project a spline onto your object and use that to cut out your hole. I did a quick test and I think it works pretty good. I’m posting a series of pics showing the steps. The first picture shows how I tried to line up the circle shape’s points to sphere’s points as much as possible before doing the ShapeMerge. And then there was some cleaning up to do, but nothing more than if you’d used a Boolean operation. I then added some thickness so you could see the result better.


Hi, ive been reading the posts on here for a while and decided to join in ,

I model nearly everything using the subD method.
i start from a close shape then fiddle with vert placement and create loops etc till im there.
Here is an example of an indent in something with chamfered edges all round.

THe image on the left has no meshsmooth, but thechamfer makes it look very nice as cut metal.
THe meshsmoothed on the right has a very curved touch,
Tightening the chamfer from 0.2 (in the pics) to 0.1 would obviousley make the corner much sharper

i tried out the differnt smoothing options and i decided that i like epolys nurms subd as its fast and produces good results.
THe hsdf modifier is also not bad as it allows a good flexibily on the subdividing, and then optimization of the mesh
anyway Good discussion.



Fatassasin: how does a meshsmooth react to the hole?

Jharford: Looks good. Can you post a wire?


Heres the wire