Hard Surface modelling. Or how I gave up on 3d and became a McDonalds Fry Cook.

Counter of Polys
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Steve Schulze Counter of Polys
Inspired by my need for gainful employment, I decided to have a crack at this hard surface modelling the kids are all talking about.

I nabbed a neat robot guy concept from the interwebs (one by Izmojuki, I believe, who also concepted Josh Stubbles recent boxy robot model).
71875401.jpg

And knocked together a quick block out.
mrroboto.jpg
The high res version has thus far been a rather major exercise in frustration but you don't want to hear about that shit (writing out a sizable paragraph and then deleting it was cathartic enough).

I'm currently delving into the 50 odd pages of "How U Model Dem Shapes", but beyond that if anyone has any handy tips on making this process a little cleaner and more efficient with Maya, I'd be appreciative.

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  • sltrOlsson
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    sltrOlsson dedicated polycounter
    I think it looks like a good start. Though i would keep all geometry as clean as possible. Right now you have allot of triangles in there. Even though this is your blockout (or not) it's always good to keep the topology to squares. You always reuse something, even though you didn't think you would from the start.
  • divi
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    divi polycounter
    looks like a good start. the one advice i would give you is to not connect pieces together where you can get away with it. that takes care of a lot of the headache areas.
  • SaferDan
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    SaferDan polycounter
    sltrOlsson wrote: »
    I think it looks like a good start. Though i would keep all geometry as clean as possible. Right now you have allot of triangles in there. Even though this is your blockout (or not) it's always good to keep the topology to squares. You always reuse something, even though you didn't think you would from the start.

    aha I thought I was the only one that did this!

    It's a great concept! You might want to do it as part of the eat 3d competition - http://eat3d.com/forum/contests-and-challenges/challenge-4-high-poly-vehicle-modeling I am sure you will get plenty of help there as well as here!
  • [HP]
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  • dtschultz
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    I definitely agree with Divi. It looks good for a start, but I would break the main body into pieces just like it would be in real life. There's no reason to keep them unified (unless to pieces need to be joined together seamlessly), and it will create an unnecessary nightmare for you.
  • Quack!
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    Quack! dedicated polycounter
    I have found that making a blockout using only polygons that allow you to smooth is the best starting off point. This way you aren't rebuilding everything as your start to add support edges.

    Don't combine meshes when you don't need to as everyone has stated.

    There are alot of types of polygons that smooth well. You can have some crazy looking polygons on flat surfaces as long as it looks good in the high poly. I often terminate a support edge in the middle of a flat surface if it is easier then taking it the rest of the way around the mesh. This can cause a 'tug' on the support edge as you see in the pic below, but when smoothed the proper amount it won't be noticeable.

    Example:
    supportterminate.jpg

    Something I have started to do recently is I build my entire mesh as a piece that can be smoothed, but don't add support edges. This way I don't have to deal with removing support edges or modifying them as I work. After I have most of the detail forms knocked out I'll then go in and put support edges in and start smoothing. This also helps if you have viewport fps issues.

    Read every page of how do you model them shapes, from front to back. It is worth the few hours it takes.
  • SaferDan
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    SaferDan polycounter
    chaosquack wrote: »
    I have found that making a blockout using only polygons that allow you to smooth is the best starting off point. This way you aren't rebuilding everything as your start to add support edges.

    Don't combine meshes when you don't need to as everyone has stated.

    There are alot of types of polygons that smooth well. You can have some crazy looking polygons on flat surfaces as long as it looks good in the high poly. I often terminate a support edge in the middle of a flat surface if it is easier then taking it the rest of the way around the mesh. This can cause a 'tug' on the support edge as you see in the pic below, but when smoothed the proper amount it won't be noticeable.

    Example:
    supportterminate.jpg

    Something I have started to do recently is I build my entire mesh as a piece that can be smoothed, but don't add support edges. This way I don't have to deal with removing support edges or modifying them as I work. After I have most of the detail forms knocked out I'll then go in and put support edges in and start smoothing. This also helps if you have viewport fps issues.

    Read every page of how do you model them shapes, from front to back. It is worth the few hours it takes.

    See I do this and wasn't sure if it was right or not! Good to know someone else does it too! Although I guess it's just a case of if it works then do it!
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