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


  • SkinnyM

    Well, that should help a lot. Many thanks for the detailed answer!

  • laeion

    Hello guys,

    I started to follow this thread a few years ago, but I decided to register here because I have just run into a problem that I can't solve alone. I learn a lot from this thread about hard surface modelling and I don't have problem with mechanical objects but I challenged myself with an TetraPak milk carton box and it just don't want to look like as I want it to be :( . I can feel approximately where the problem is but I don't know how to approach it. My problem I think is the varying bevel along the edges and parts were sharp folding occur. Maybe I could model the folding separately? Or should I create the base box first and extrude ? Or use manual topology ? Here is one of my attempts and a reference image.

    My 20th attempt:

    Some reference like picture:



  • parikshittiwari

    This is the complicated part of my model that I am facing a lot of issue with. I tried several different methods to fix this but none of them are working out correctly for me. The peculiar thing about this shape is that while it looks like a sphere, the edges are going inside like a C shape instead of being round. Also note that the size of the holes on the left and right is different from the holes in which the dials are placed.

    This is one attempt in which I tried to boolean a sphere with a cube and then cut the holes out of it but this is giving artifacts because of the the holes being cut at random places (I have tried fixing the topology but that doesn't really solve it entirely) and also, it is round instead of the pinching shape the reference has (see what I mean in the next images).

    I want the flow to match the red curve but most solutions that I can think of are giving me a flow similar to the yellow curve.

  • Yahska
  • laeion

    @parikshittiwari, I created this quickly, I hope it can give an idea how to approach that shape:

  • Yahska
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    Yahska triangle

    @parikshittiwari Regarding the flow of the red curve, I found some real gun scope references on Amazon and the shape seems similar to what you've created using the Sphere and Boolean workflow. Although, if you look at the middle image it seems to give the illusion of the red curve flow but it could've been exaggerated a little bit in the concept. It should be fine as long as you follow a real life reference in this case.

    Now, instead of the Boolean you can also try this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ioxnMq-9io&t=4s

    Hope this helps!

  • parikshittiwari

    Thats a very good way of doing it. Thanks for the advice, really helps to understand the unique approach here.

  • parikshittiwari

    Thanks a lot for searching for the references and I really didn't think it could just be an illusion. The shape itself was very tricky precisely because I was being meticulous over the flow but you solved that for me.

    The YouTube video also teaches an extremely useful trick so thanks for that too, much appreciated.

  • parikshittiwari

    Another question for my model here.

    If you look at the area marked in red, it basically has a cylindrical shape with one cylinder(green light one) inside another cylinder(the silver rail containing the lights) and then another bigger cylindrical shape at the bottom holding it together with the top square part. I can't see to get the scale right for this entire part here.

    If I try to follow only the silver cylinder part and adjust scale then I can't seem to find a way to add the black cylindrical plating at the bottom of it since it feels too small.

    If I make something really big to fill up the entire space then the edges of the entire middle body crosses this section of the body which doesn't seem to be matching the reference so I am a little confused as to what I should be doing here.

  • snakedogman
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    snakedogman polycounter lvl 8

    I think the answer (as always) is in the realm of "moar geo". If you are modelling an (extreme) closeup of any object with any kind of detailed appearance (especially with sharp, uneven changes, like these sharp folds) you need enough geo to support the attempted level of detail. If you are doing this for like a high quality extreme close up for a commercial, the model you show is very low poly as well as uneven. If it's a game object that will only be seen from a distance, it's fine or a bit too detailed (it could literally be 6 polygons and a texture/normal map). If you want to catch the kind of details shown in the photograph, you need pretty extreme high amounts of geo to hold those subtle deformations. Probably a combination of modelling the basic folds and sculpting the details would be ideal in that case.

  • naman

    How to model this ?

    I am working on this gun part but after subdiving it's resulting in a strech in the model. Can anyone tell me how to fix this even after subdividing.

  • FrankPolygon
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    FrankPolygon veteran polycounter

    @naman Resolving this type of smoothing artifact is a fairly common question and there's a number of different ways to approach the order of operations and topology routing. This thread has lots of great examples provided by the community so it's generally worth the time to have a quick look for how other artists have solved similar shape intersections.

    A few of pages back @wirrexx shows how to blend similar intersections into spheroid shapes using n-gons and a couple of pages back there's a write-up that covers several different solutions for merging edge loops from shape transitions into the sides of cylinders.

    Most approaches to resolving this type of smoothing artifacts can be boiled down into either using the existing geometry as a support loop by offsetting the intersecting shape or terminating the perpendicular edge loops in a triangular quad or n-gon.

    Which approach makes the most sense will depend on whether or not the shape is constrained by adjacent geometry, how sharp the edges need to be and whether the transition into the cylinder needs to be exactly at the mid point. The following example highlights the basic concept and both approaches can be resolved to all quads if required.

  • naman
  • Deqa
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    Deqa polycounter lvl 7

    Having trouble with the chamfers on this truck cabin. I start from a cube, chamfer or bevel all 4 edges of the cube, and then try to inset for the window, inset for the driver side window... but then I realize, it's really hard to control my bevel loops, subdivision, and get it to look like the truck cabin from the reference. It ends up just looking like my attempts below.

    Especially this flat transition from the cabin's chamfer to the window. Ultimately, it's a mess of too many edge loops, and too many chamfers / bevels to create this cabin's curved edges and flat transitions!

    Any help would be appreciated to try to get this closer or what order of operations I should follow. Chamfering a cube first and then trying to inset for the windshield or adding control loops for flat transitions doesn't seem to work.

  • naman
  • naman

    Someone help me on this. How to model this without strech.

  • ZacD
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    ZacD sublime tool

    I'd model separate pieces as separate models.

  • laeion


    Thanks for take your time to answer! I think you gave more answers than questions I had :) ! I had an idea for your method (manual adjusting mesh) but my first tought was, that nobody do this way, .. but then I was wrong! I hope that I will find a little time, to try these modelling methods! I follow your threads, but honestly never heard about soft hard surface modells, I think I found something new to learn!


    Well, I'm not working in the game industry, so modelling is a hobby for me at the moment. I don't make my modells to commercials or games, therefore my goals are different. I more like to create stylistic renders/animations instead of photorealistic. So I targeting more something between high poly and low poly. (mid poly?) I don't know this is a good approach, but since this is a hobby project for me I used to challenging myself to modelling something with minimal polycount but over lowpoly.

    If I created some useful modells I will post them here for some critique!

    By the way the style what really catch me is this (Arseniy Chebynkins work:



  • solitudevibes

    Please, someone help. I just cant wrap my head around on how do i model this?

    Last image is what im aiming for

  • solitudevibes

    Hi guys, ive reached a dead end and i cannot progress any further.

    IIts the bottom part of the handguard that gives me so much trouble. The curve at the bottom and the inset that ends with 2 edges connecting into a single vert. I tried extruding and using booleans but it just does not work. Please, tell me how do i even start making this absolute nightmare of a model

  • hututuzhang

    Hi guys,How to make it round?

  • ZacD
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    ZacD sublime tool

    Use more edge loops, extend the loops down and through the hole instead of looping around the corners, that'll pull out the corners like you're seeing.

  • hututuzhang
  • bittermelon

    Hello everyone. This is my first time trying to model something but I was wondering how I would be able to get a sharper edge on this? I'm trying to create a Pokeball. Thank you

  • hututuzhang

    I saw it, thanks.I imitate your wiring,The problem has lessened, but it remains.

    I would like the effect to look like this,Or maybe this is an effect that cannot be done?

  • solitudevibes

    @FrankPolygon amazing breakdown! thank you, Frank

  • sacboi
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    sacboi insane polycounter

    Cheers Frank, nice of you to mention other contributors too this thread.


    Also imo, that weapon foregrip looks very juicy indeed 👍️

  • hututuzhang
  • Raphael_Bouch

    How the f* do I combine these ?

    Hi ;) ! I am modeling a radial engine cylinder and I have some real issue combining these "heat fins" into the main cylinder corpus in a subd friendly way. As you can see the fins are pretty dense and their position seems incoherent with the cylinder body although I they are placed exactly as they should be based on blueprints.

    Here is the .blend in question if anyone wanna play with it, thanks in advance !!!

  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d ngon master

    You've kind of answered it yourself - in order to combine such fine/thin details onto a large, not very dense mesh - your cylinder needs to have a lot more segments to support that sort of intersection, which in return gives it some supporting geometry without pinching.

    I'd advise simplifying, and thickening the fins up (for more readability, and so that you don't have to go too dense with your cylinder)

  • hututuzhang

    Hey guys, I want to ask how to model this?

  • naman

    Hello, I want to create this without any hard line. Can someone help me with this. It should be one object. I have tried multiple ways but not working.

  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx ngon master

    do you have a better reference. If i understand it correctly, you want the cube part that goes into the cylinder to be softer? just even out some of the edges that are close to the area more.

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