How The F*#% Do I Model This? - Reply for help with specific shapes - (Post attempt before asking)

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  • sixbysix
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    sixbysix polycounter lvl 5
    Thank you both! @sacboi ; I think how easy it is to manipulate the mesh (make additional cuts etc) is also a consideration, wouldn't you say?
  • KungFuCactus
    Hi, I use Blender and have been trying to make these diamond shaped spikes (see Figure 1) on the back of this revolver's hammer. So far I haven't been able to find a solution that creates them without causing massive smoothing errors. The final model will be baked down to make a game-ready asset.

    Figure 1 - Diamond Spikes on Revolver Hammer



    At present, I have tried projecting a grid of squares onto my geometry and remaking this part of the hammer with the correct kind of geometry and bending it to shape. So far I've been going for a couple hours and I can't think of anything else. I would be grateful of any help (see Figure 2 for current state). If you happen to use other software I am well versed enough to translate some techniques into Blender.

    Figure 2 - Current State



    In addition, I would like to ask if using subsurf modelling is the best way to go about creating hard surface models. This revolver project has been going on for a while, and I spend most of my time struggling to fix all the issues so that the subsurf algorithm won't mess up the smoothing rather than actually creating the shapes. The boolean workflow sounds promising, but I know it has difficulty making smooth curves easily. Sculpting is very versatile, but I don't know very much about it. Any information about a good workflow for hardsurface modelling would be much appreciated.
  • Mahaweilo
    Hi @KungFuCactus
    The easiest way to get those Grid details on your Geometry would be just using Normal / Height Details in your texturing program. If for some reason this isn't sufficient enough I'd create a plane with the general outline of the diamond details and project / wrap this plane on top of your existing geometry so you basically have a floater with just those diamond grids.

    Yes subsurface modeling is the standard practice for creating hard surface models. What you can do is try and use multiple workflows in one piece they don't have to be exclusive. I often use the boolean workflow in conjunction with just normal subsurface modeling and you can do a damage pass in your sculpting packet of choice. Remember if you bake down your details from a high poly model it doesn't matter what the wireframe looks like as long as you have a clean low poly :D

    If you want to know more information about good hardsurface modelling workflows check out the polycount wiki as there are tons of articles explaining more about the different workflows. Also this thread is a gold mine of information :)
  • Zoddo
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    Zoddo node
    I am a Max user and am currently at work, so can't show any images.
    What I would do to create those diamond shapes on the cock;
    Is to create more loops, and from the quads > extrude all the faces that you want to become diamonds outwards > scale everything down a little bit > create meshflow or crease sets to make the diamond shapes sharp for the turbosmoothing.
    And then you can bake that detail onto a low poly mesh.

  • Zoddo
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    Zoddo node
    @Thanez That's a nice way of doing it. My way would be a little more hell with geometry creation.
    Thanks for posting this!
  • sacboi
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    sacboi polycounter

    @KungFuCactus in addition to the above advice offered thus far, another technique that'll achieve the Knurling pattern non-destructively on the hammer is by utilising Blender's modifier stack using the addon Speedflow.


    https://twitter.com/pitiwazou



    ...also in answer too your subd hard surface query, the same applies. Non-destructive workflows are really the cornerstone enabling both efficient and effective asset generation, either pre-rendered or realtime for that matter. As a point of interest I'll link this BlenderArtists thread: 


    NITROX3D: A new hard surface workflow for designers


    An extremely insightful discussion, well practically a dev forum, in all intents and purposes : P

    NITROX3D Manifesto


    An Introduction to Non-Destructive Techniques in Blender for Industrial Designers


    by Chipp Walters


    WHAT IS NITROX3D ?


    NITROX3D is the short name I will use to refer to a collection of non-destructive techniques and strategies for creating HD (Hard Surface) models in Blender. The acronym stands for:


    N on-destructive I terative T echniques for R apid O bject e X ploration in 3D .


    It’s basically a Non-Destructive Hard Surface Modeling. workflow which helps create product and concept designs quickly. The techniques work with the Open Source 3D software Blender and uses Blender’s non-destructive modifiers, which in CAD terms is often referred to as parametric tools.


    The point of parametric CAD software is to allow designers and engineers to go back and change parts of an object’s design, including wall thicknesses, fillets, and boolean operations. These industry CAD systems are expensive, difficult to learn, and have many drawbacks including very high pricing, lack of realtime photoreal renders along with an inherent inability to quickly and easily adjust for proportion. It also focuses on the complete documentation of an object, including draft angles, bosses, rib structures and molding requirements, which are typically not necessary for concept design models.


    All of this complexity makes CAD systems poor choices for designers when they want to quickly ideate on a few concept or product designs for review.


    NITROX3D combines the power of CAD based parametric modeling with the ease of editing found in polygon based modeling. It excels at providing many of the above features but focuses on quick iterative changes for proportion and detail studies. Because NITROX3D works with Blender’s EEVEE rendering subsystem, it provides instantaneos photoreal feedback-- which is most helpful for designers in both reviewing their work and presenting it to others.


    The NITROX3D workflow creates simple polygon geometry which when combined with the power of Blender’s modifier stack, provides fast and iterative parametric modeling-- and has the added advantage of being able to easily change the level of detail (number of polygons) for any object created. This is especially helpful if you’re looking to create Virtual or Augmented Reality experiences for design reviews. Because EEVEE is so fast, 5 minute animations of a product design can be rendered over a lunch break at HD resolutions.


    While not required, NITROX3D can use a Blender only kit bashing system called KIT OPS to drag and drop onto models familiar components such as connectors, displays, screws and bolts, vents and other details with just a few clicks of the mouse. This again expedites the overall concept to finished product design as these objects are already modeled and part of different libraries called KPACKS. More info on KIT OPS can be found at kit-ops.com 42.


    WHAT IS IT NOT?


    NITROX3D is not a set of Blender addons. In fact it uses ZERO addons and instead focuses on the breadth and depth of the native Blender modifiers.


    NITROX3D is not CAD (solid modeling) and it is not meant to take the place of CAD for final design drawings. While NITROX3D can be very accurate, polygon modelers are not typically used in industry to create documentation files. Because Blender and other modelers like 3D Max, Modo, Maya, Cinema 4D, and SketchUp are polygon based, they are called surface modelers. Surface modelers can be used to create manifold or “watertight” models for 3D printing, but not with the ease and accuracy of CAD based solid modeling software used in production environments.


    While basic subdivision surface modeling can be used, it’s important to stress NITROX3D is not a workflow for creating organic objects, like cars. characters, vegetation and the like. It is more tuned to working with geometric hard surface forms.


    While there are certainly some objects which may struggle within the confines of the NITROX3D workflow, it is truly surprising the number of complex objects which do work and can in fact be simplified to only a handful of polygons.


    WHO IS IT FOR?

    This introduction video series targets Industrial and Concept Designers. Designers understand a good part of the time creating a design is the continued refining of scale and proportions after the first pass. NITROX3D allows for multiple iterations of tweaking a design, with the added benefit of being able to use libraries of existing components, including decals and materials, to add the finishing touch to a concept design.
    Being able to actually work in a realtime photoreal environment, allows the designer to visualize exactly how light and reflections will affect surfaces. This critical design phase is called CMF (Color, Material, Finish) and can actually take as much design time as form creation.

    WHO IS IT NOT FOR?

    This first video series is not a comprehensive “HOW TO” for NITROX3D. It is also not a beginner modeling course for new Blender users.
    It’s goal is to explain the NITROX3D workflow and theory, and show many examples. It does not use any of the non-destructive workflow addons (of which there are many), and instead tries to provide a basic foundation and understanding of how the modifiers work with simple geometry to create complex forms.

    WHY THIS VIDEO SERIES?

    I’m a big believer in the 80/20 rule which states “get 80% there with 20% the time and effort.” My hope is many designers think similarly. This new workflow does exactly that, and cuts down on time spent doing customer tweaks.

    Professional designers know iteration is the key to a successful design. Years ago in graduate design school we would create 50 different sketches for a simple radial symmetric 12 ounce shampoo bottle, then choose two favorites and create 50 refinements for them as well. Somewhere between 40-50 you actually find the one that “works.” As designers gather more experience, much of this iterative workflow becomes second nature, but it’s still important to be able to adjust and quickly review new refinements to an existing design.

    Scale and proportion are two of the hallmarks of a great design-- and NITROX3D workflow simplifies both in a huge way. I’ve personally used this workflow on a number of client based projects in the past year, and wanted to continue to pursue it and share my findings by trying to model some existing designs to see just how well it works and how far it can go.

    So, let’s push a few polys around, add some modifiers, and see what we end up with!


  • KungFuCactus
    Thank you Mahaweilo, Zoddo, Thanez, Zoddo, sacboi. Ultimately, I used a heightmap to displace the geometry and constrained the axis to z. This way it wouldn't distort. The object was flat, but I bent it with a Lattice modifier, equivalent to FFD in Max.





    I used this pattern for the heightmap.


  • KungFuCactus
    Hi. The cylinder of this revolver is giving me trouble.





    The method I was using to make it was to create my details on a plane (the concaves, and locks), use an array to duplicate 6 times and make it circular by curving with a circle curve. The main problem I'm having is that the supporting geometry for the details is causing pinching.





    To fix this I made the geometry conform to a high poly cylinder.



    However this is causing other issues.



    Long story short there are too many problems being caused by this fix which was necessitated by the pinching. Please help me find another way to model it, preferably one that still enables me to modify it a bit when I need to.
  • sacboi
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    sacboi polycounter
    Your topology is too dense. Go back a couple of pages, there's solutions modeling indented cylinders flat then using Blender's modifier stack to bend (deform) back into shape. Also for those small indents causing artefacts I'd use floaters instead.
  • FrankPolygon
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    FrankPolygon polycounter lvl 3
    @KungFuCactus To build on what sacboi said:

    The uneven line segments around the notches are the problem. Keep the cylinder's edge segments parallel and use them as support loops. Inset and cutout geometry should fall between edge segments and not on edge segments. This can be done in the round or in a flat strip bent into a circle.


    Rough sketch of the basics.
    You may need more geometry to support details.
    Modeled flat and bent round with a 2X subdivision modifier.





  • dizzi
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    dizzi triangle
    Hello, 
    I have been having a lot of trouble with this piece, it has taken me several hours with multiple attempts but i still cannot get it right. 
    when i add thickness and apply the smooth modifier its really hard for me to maintain those edges on the cut in squares, and it just looks awful. I know that i could use booleans but i am being stubborn and i want to learn how to do this in maya.

  • Adesh
    Hi, I'm trying to model this track, but im not sure how im gonna unwrap and texture it.

    Here's what i have done so far

    I just want to know if im doing it right or is there any better way to do it.
  • FrankPolygon
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    FrankPolygon polycounter lvl 3

    Grid topology with even spacing and straight edge loops will fix a lot of those problems. Figure out how much geometry is needed to hold the sharpness in the corners and build off of that. This could be modeled flat and deformed or it could be done in the round. Either way you'll have to match the segments of the curved face plate to the geometry of the diamond cut outs.


    The smallest cut outs are a little ratchet but if it shades correctly then it's fine.
    It all depends on the acceptable level of sharpness and detail.



    Scaling down the inner verts will sharpen the corners but past a certain point you'll need to add more geometry to support the tighter loop.



  • markzhangdesign
    sorry just discover this thread. So figure just post here would be better. So I am using maya to model. any tips on maya helps better. 

    Specifically, I am having a real hard time struggling with creating smooth clean curved surface without lumpy / pinching areas.

    Was it the topologies? or some tools to fix this?

    Here is the concept and the 3D blockout. Thanks.


  • Adesh
    @markzhangdesign
     
    Hi, I'm no expert but I used to have the same problem as you and I found out that it was due to bad topology, vertices not aligned. Try to average the vertices which are causing the dents.

    Here is my result
    Also try to avoid unnecessary edge loops, its easier to handle fewer vertices.
  • markzhangdesign
    Adesh said:
    @markzhangdesign
     
    Hi, I'm no expert but I used to have the same problem as you and I found out that it was due to bad topology, vertices not aligned. Try to average the vertices which are causing the dents.

    Here is my result
    Also try to avoid unnecessary edge loops, its easier to handle fewer vertices.
    perfect Adesh! Can I have a look at the unsmoothed wireframe? I am really new to 3d modeling.  Thanks a lot. Your topology is way better, makes sense. 
  • markzhangdesign


    what I have come up with, seems a little better. Still not quite right. :(
  • Adesh
    Keep on modeling, you will get better over time.
    Here is the unsmoothed mesh

    I have attached the file, you can find it below. It might not be perfect. I would be nice if a mod looked at it, just to be safe. As im no expert, i dont want to teach you something that im doing wrong. :)
  • markzhangdesign
    Adesh said:
    Keep on modeling, you will get better over time.
    Here is the unsmoothed mesh

    I have attached the file, you can find it below. It might not be perfect. I would be nice if a mod looked at it, just to be safe. As im no expert, i dont want to teach you something that im doing wrong. :)
    big appreciation man. will keep practising. 
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