I made this black object in Blender. While the shape and shading is good, it looks very highpoly for something that will be duplicated 7 times. Is there a better way to do the topology to reduce the polycount while still retaining the shape?

Hi! I am trying to model this cylinder into a the cube, and tbh Im a little lost on where to start. I could bevel the edges with a high fraction, and boolean a cylinder into that corner, but then I would lose the hightlights, as it gets too soft. Would be a great with a tip, on how to approach this at least! Thanks

@abronee There's a discussion about merging similar shapes a few posts up and the last couple of pages of also have examples of how to add intersecting surface features to curved geometry. It's definitely worth taking the time to read through some of the existing documentation in this thread to see if any of those solutions can be applied to the shape in question.

It's considered best practice to start by blocking out the shapes, matching the segments on the intersecting curved shapes and adding supporting geometry where needed. If you run into any major problems while modeling the shapes: post some images of the mesh in shaded and wire-frame mode, describe the issue, attempted solutions and how you would like to improve the results. Seeing exactly what's wrong with the mesh will make it easier to give accurate feedback on possible solutions to specific problems.

Hello. I'm modeling a bike part and there's a tricky area where 3 curved sharp edges meet at 1 intersection. I'm not sure if it's possible to fully avoid a triangle/ngon. I suppose they might be necessary evil, but I'm not sure how to place them in a way to avoid excessive loops. There was one attempt from me in 3rd picture, but I believe it's not elegant solution There's link to blender file if it helps https://drive.google.com/file/d/1akP9WgfKCi07cV99FqY3wA5SLPHkzBv9/view?usp=sharing (in 2nd pic, blue edges are marked as max bevel weight for adding support loops via bevel modifier)

@tonpix In this case it would be a lot faster to ignore all the support loops and just bevel your edges upon weight or angle before subdividing your mesh (bevel with modifier and don't collapse it)

Really you shouldn't be afraid of having ngons or triangles, as long as the end result is what you want visually. You are working on a hardsurface model so you can get away with a lof of ngons.

since you're using Blender, I highly recommend Boxcutter, HardOps and Meshtools for your hardsurface models as it speeds up your modelling.

Also the problem why you get so many overlapping lines etc. at this "intersection", is because you try and connect so many vertices into one corner and subdivide it later.

So what you can do too is make the corner more broad, so that it's not a 90degree corner with one edge. So adding another corner to it so that the overall shape is closer to your end-result when subdiving might also help.

There's more than one way to do this but start by matching the number of segments in the cylinder to the adjacent geometry in the quad sphere. Join the two shapes by using either a boolean operation or a bridge edge loop operation. Clean up any stray geometry before and after joining the shapes. Duplicate the joined features into a quarter shape segment using the split, copy, mirror and rotate tools. Add a mirror modifier to complete the rest of the shape. Below is a basic example of what this could look like.

It's also possible to use shape primitives and a series of modifiers (array with empty rotation offset, mirror, boolean and bevel) to perform most of the previously mentioned modeling operations in non-destructive manner but for such a simple shape this excess complexity may not make sense. The tools, order of operations and amount of geometry needed will vary depending on how closely the model will be viewed and the desired goals for the project. Adjust accordingly.

Hey people! Every now and then I face a problem of merging three+ edges with bevels of different sizes applied to them. And every time I end up either using booleans as a starter, or I do these corners by hand entirely. But there must be a more elegant solution. Do you guys have any tips how to tackle this?

@martianlion It should be possible to create this geometry automatically with a bevel / chamfer modifier. Depending on the application's tool set: the width of the round over can be controlled by weights, groups or base geometry. Check the application's documentation to see what options are available in the latest version.

Here's an example where the size of the round over is controlled by edge weights. The edge weight along the top of the mesh decreases towards the back of the shape which results in a tapered profile.

Here's an example where the size of the round over is controlled by the underlying geometry. The relative size of the adjacent surface area is used to determine how large or small the round overs should be. Adjusting the position of the existing support loops around the outer edges will change the size of the round overs.

Another option would be to create a very coarse cage mesh and use basic subdivision to round over the edges. What method makes the most sense depend on how accurate the curves need to be and what tools are available.

@FrankPolygon Thank you, you're the best. Using the initial geometry to determine all these shapes at once instead of doing bevels first, and then trying to connect them is... Welp. Great idea, and so simple too. Thanks again.

Search back a few pages, there are a few options kindly shared that discuss various methods too resolve topology issues by using existing geometry to support mesh cage transform functions once subdiv is applied.

@Tosyk When searching this thread there isn't always a direct copy of any specific shape but there are often examples of similar shapes and similar smoothing artifacts. Looking at how other artists solved similar problems can help inform which topology strategy would work to resolve a specific mesh smoothing problem.

The previous page has a number of discussions about merging shapes into curved surfaces and different techniques for adding surface details. A few pages back there's a discussion about adding louver details to a car part with compound curves and there's also another discussions that covers how close is good enough when it comes to matching segments on curved surfaces.

The big challenge here is there's a lot of compound curves coming together in one spot. When working on curved surfaces it's generally considered best practice to match the number of segments across intersecting geometry whenever possible. Right now there isn't enough geometry in the outer profile to support the grille segments. Solving this problem will require blocking out the surrounding shapes and figuring out how much geometry is required to support each segment of the grille.

Cars from that era had a lot of stamped sheet metal parts. Some grilles were stamped out of a single piece of sheet metal and others were brazed or welded together from multiple stampings. Stamping technology was relatively primitive back then so complex parts like that had to have very soft transitions, otherwise the metal would tear during the stamping process. The grille in the reference image has very soft, rounded shapes which suggests that most of it was a single piece stamping and that soft curvature is something that should be replicated in the actual model.

Modeling individual parts of the object separately is a good strategy for optimizing the topology but it's also important to ensure that there's enough geometry to support the complex shape intersections that occur on surfaces with compound curves. Study the shapes in the reference image, consider how closely the object
will be viewed by
the player and how much texture resolution is available for this
specific part. This will help determine the appropriate edge width of the support loops.

From there the basic idea is to block out the shapes,
determine the appropriate amount of geometry required to hold the shape
details and match the segments of the intersecting geometry whenever
it's reasonable to do so. Keep in mind that each grille segment doesn't
have to be a perfect match with the adjacent geometry: in most cases
close enough is good enough.

Too little starting geometry and too many mismatched or over manipulated
curve segments tends to result in severe mesh deformation which
produces severe pinching, stretching and undulating smoothing artifacts.
Instead try to use the appropriate (yet optimal) amount of geometry
required to support all of the detailed shapes and shape transitions.

There's a number of different ways to model this but here's an example of what this process could look like. Ideally the grille would be modeled as a separate part but in this example the grille is still attached to the base mesh to demonstrate the importance of matching the segments to surrounding geometry.

To recap:

Establish the underlying shapes and determine the appropriate amount of geometry required to hold shape details that fall along surfaces with compound curves. When working with curved surfaces it's generally considered best
practice to match the segments of intersecting shapes whenever it's
reasonable to do so. Make sure there's sufficient supporting geometry around shape intersections.

Modeling the individual parts of an object separately can be an ideal way to approach complex assemblies. Just be sure that each sub mesh has adequate geometry to support surface details. Avoid both unnecessary complexity and over optimization.

When encountering difficult topology problems on complex shapes, study the references and take the time to research existing solutions for similar topology or modeling problems. Apply solutions from similar problems and evaluate the results.

@FrankPolygon thank you for you detailed and most structured explanation sir! this was not only helpful but also interesting reading.

The reason I came here is because I faced difficulties which I can't solve myself. I should say that I'm always patiently looking for a solution before I start to ask anything. It seems my eye got blurred after few days of attempts. Also I have this so far and I'm pretty satisfied with the result:

Hi guys, I have never modeled such shapes and I have a problem and the question is if I modeled the shape correctly and if the mesh is normal, you can see that I have a problem with setting up the smoothing groups at the seam, can anyone know how to achieve good shading and nice mesh?

@FrankPolygon thank you for you detailed and most structured explanation sir! this was not only helpful but also interesting reading.

The
reason I came here is because I faced difficulties which I can't solve
myself. I should say that I'm always patiently looking for a solution
before I start to ask anything. It seems my eye got blurred after few
days of attempts. Also I have this so far and I'm pretty satisfied with
the result:

Nice!

I agree, can be challenging sourcing info or indeed how/what too query when a particular issue crops up in the first place?!

So just a teeny additional expansion upon Frank's typically detailed advice which in turn I'd personally recommend to also search term vehicle games - production - visualization artist / techniques / methodologies and so forth, basically relevant resources for your intended aim whether practice or otherwise:

(...a few tutes that proved useful over my time building a somewhat 'fluent' knowledge base, generating complex hard surface objects)

I found this tip which was wonderfully useful for the outer corners of this very pointy mesh - I was wondering if there might be such a magic key to what is essentially the inverse of that shape.

This is for a game so I think we can only have one level of subdivision. Naturally, this is right on top of the spaceship and highly visible. Any ideas how I can get this a little cleaner would be very, very appreciated! Thank you!

@lammer_228 Overall it looks like you have the right idea. Whether or not the shape is correct depends on what the model will be used for (hero prop, background prop, minor environment clutter, etc.) and whether or not the model needs to closely match the reference images. A lot depends on where the object will appear in game, how players will interact with it and what the overall goals are for the project.

It's generally considered best practice to place hard edges and UV splits along the natural edge breaks that define the object's surfaces and major features. Sometimes it's also necessary to place hard edges around areas with excessive smoothing artifacts or normal gradation. Evaluate how players will generally view or interact with the object and try to place any additional corrective hard edges where they won't be visually distracting or cause other issues.

Here's an example of how hard edges can be placed around the natural edge break that occurs around the perimeter of major shapes.

Keep in mind that it can be acceptable to have some minor gradation in a
normal bake, especially if the low poly mesh has very little geometry.
Run some test bakes to evaluate the best balance between shading issues,
normal gradation and hard edge placement. Remember to support hard
edges with the requisite UV splits.

When optimizing the low poly mesh it's generally considered best practice to remove any extraneous edge loops or surface geometry that doesn't directly contribute to the visual fidelity of important details or the smoothness of the object's overall silhouette. The transition area from the handle socket down to where the collar blends into the shovel's blade could use some optimization to remove excess geometry that doesn't really contribute to the overall visual quality of the model. There's also some excess geometry on the blade of the shovel that doesn't really add anything to the overall shape. This extra geometry could be removed to make the mesh more resource efficient or it could be reallocated to additional details on the back side of the blade.

Below is an example of a baked low poly mesh with a comparable vertex and triangle count.

When overall shape accuracy is a concern: take the time to research the object and locate additional reference material. The shovel in the original reference image appears to be a chain hardware store's house brand and it's generally made out of a single piece of pressed sheet metal. Here's a video that shows how pressed steel shovels are made. The steps on either side of the blade are usually folded upwards towards the front of the blade and the back of the shovel is generally open with a visible seam line where the two halves of the collar meet.

Modifiers like mirror, shell / solidify and bevel / chamfer can really speed up the process of modeling a base mesh that's usable as a starting point for both the high poly and low poly models. Working on a thin (single sided) version of the model and solidifying the mesh to add thickness really speeds up the modeling process and mirrors the look of pressed or stamped parts.

Here's an example of what this could look like. Starting with a well optimized base mesh and using modifiers to add the thickness and support loops makes it very easy to convert the high poly base mesh into a low poly model.

If you're happy with how it looks and it bakes correctly then there's
minimal return on improving something players won't spend a lot of time
interacting with. On the other hand, a hero prop or object that players
will regularly interact with should be thoroughly researched and the
model should match the reference images to a reasonable standard for the
project. Without knowing exactly what the model will be used for it's
hard to offer more specific advice.

Overall: what you have is fine for a background prop and there's some minor improvements that could be made by removing excess geometry from areas that aren't directly contributing to the visual impact of the piece.

To recap:

Place hard edges and UV splits along natural edge breaks around shape features.

Remove excess surface geometry that doesn't directly contribute to the visual quality of the low poly model.

Consider how players will interact with the model when optimizing the poly count and placing hard edges.

@FeatherCritter That mesh looks a bit dense for a relatively flat surface on an in-game model. There's a number of different ways to approach modeling this shape and pure subdivision modeling may not make the most sense for this application. What approach makes the most sense will depend on how large the object is, how closely the model will be viewed, how players will interact with it, etc. It may make sense to block out all of the major forms first then develop the details and shape transitions with other modeling tools like bevel / chamfer, etc.

All that said: it appears that much of the problem with that particular corner is caused by the lack of supporting geometry below the chamfer and the way the poly strip in the inside corner transitions into the surrounding geometry. If that polygon strip needs to be there then it's probably worth the effort to continue that geometry out into a flat area where it's safe to terminate the loops without causing smoothing issues.

Here's an example of what the topology for the wide corner could look like.

This also works on chamfered surfaces. The key is to provide support loops for all of the major forms and shape transitions.

It's also possible to create sharp corners using a similar topology strategy to what was shown at the peak of the triangle shape.

What topology strategy makes the most sense depends on the underlying shapes and whether or not it makes sense to approach this model as a pure subdivision project. It's generally considered best practice to block out all of the major shapes since this makes it easier to figure out what topology strategies will work best and it also makes it easier to resolve shape issues before investing a large amount of work.

Hey friendo. You're gonna learn some math here, sorry. I see you didn't get the help needed, so here's a lesson in patterns.

Identify the largest repeatable pattern. In this case, i'm able to pizza this boi into 6 pieces. The base angle for this pattern found by 360°/6=60°

Now to break down one of these 60° slices. I do the top left one because it lines up with the x axis nicely, count 9 holes going along the X axis, and see that there are actually 9 different radial patterns within each piece. The 1st (center) hole is singular. The second has 2 holes, the 3rd has 3, (...) and the 9th has 9 holes in a radial pattern.

THE LEARNENING: In any pattern, the amount of Dimensions (lengths or angles) is always one less than the amount of Instances in the pattern. Here's an example of red vertices in two patterns. Pattern A has two vertices. Amount of dimensions is therefore 2-1=1. B has 3 verts, therefore 2 dimensions:

Yes? We can use this in a bunch of ways. One is to get the length we need in the first pattern. I want the 9th radial pattern to have 50mm radius. To get the distance between the instances, I go: Total length / (Instances - 1), which is 50/(9-1)=6,25mm

For my holes I choose you, six-sided cylinder, because you line up nicely with my 6-sided pattern as discovered at the very top. One way to do this is to set my grid spacing to 6,25mm, and use grid snaps to get the correct spacing, and make 8 copies.

For the first circular pattern, I'm already done, there's only 1 of them at the center. Good Job, me!

For the 2nd circular pattern, the angle is 60°/(2-1)=60°, yes? Yes.

... For the 5th with 5 instances, the angle is 60°/(5-1)=15°, and 5 instances. Yes?

... For the 9th pattern with 9 instances, we're gonna have an angle of 60°/(9-1)=7,5°. YES Oh shit I should've said this at the start. Anywhere Max lets you enter numbers you can hit CTRL+N and it'll let you do a little maths in there.

Boolean and cleanup time. As these holes will be on a flat surface, none of this will matter too much. If you're gonna sculpt on it, do something different maybe. IDK. Try and get things neatly into quads or tris to limit potential fuckery.

Complete the pattern by rotating it 6 times and welding vertices by a low amount.

For supporing geometry, grab all the polys and inset once by however much you want to

Then once again by a tiny amount if you're a baller.

Add some colorful lights, thiccness and a smooth modifier, and you've got yourself one neon porn strainer

Now you know all you need to know about patterns. Now go out there and get 'em

Hi, it's been a while since I've posted here ! I've started a new project and I'm struggling with what could seem a very basic shape. I'm trying to model a cupola. Here's my reference :

And here's what I'm struggling with :

I feel like the intersection isn't as rounded as it should be but yet I can't find how to manage it, also the top part is a mystery to me ...

Well, aside from attempting to archive/pdf info people had shared here just for my own reference but also I find simply googling a specific modeling issue will often return a match to this particular thread.

## Replies

how do I merge these two pieces together into one piece as well as have it on all 4 sides?

Every now and then I face a problem of merging three+ edges with bevels of different sizes applied to them. And every time I end up either using booleans as a starter, or I do these corners by hand entirely. But there must be a more elegant solution. Do you guys have any tips how to tackle this?

outer shape is fine though

thanks, but that's what I need help with - to fix the topology.

I looked through several pages back and didn't find solution unfortunately

To recap:thank you for you detailed and most structured explanation sir! this was not only helpful but also interesting reading.

The reason I came here is because I faced difficulties which I can't solve myself. I should say that I'm always patiently looking for a solution before I start to ask anything. It seems my eye got blurred after few days of attempts. Also I have this so far and I'm pretty satisfied with the result:

One of the problem+ .obj : http://www.sashamorrissey.com/artwork/ShipHelpPleaseThankYou.objI found this tip which was wonderfully useful for the outer corners of this very pointy mesh - I was wondering if there might be such a magic key to what is essentially the inverse of that shape.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7d/ca/72/7dca726528b9c887de8a458631f8cbc3.png

This is for a game so I think we can only have one level of subdivision. Naturally, this is

right on topof the spaceship and highly visible. Any ideas how I can get this a little cleaner would be very, very appreciated! Thank you!To recap:Hey friendo. You're gonna learn some math here, sorry.

I see you didn't get the help needed, so here's a lesson in patterns.

Identify the largest repeatable pattern. In this case, i'm able to pizza this boi into 6 pieces.

The base angle for this pattern found by 360°/6=

60°Now to break down one of these 60° slices. I do the top left one because it lines up with the x axis nicely, count 9 holes going along the X axis, and see that there are actually 9 different radial patterns within each piece. The 1st (center) hole is singular. The second has 2 holes, the 3rd has 3, (...) and the 9th has 9 holes in a radial pattern.

THE

LEARNENING: In any pattern, the amount of Dimensions (lengths or angles) is always one less than the amount of Instances in the pattern.Here's an example of red vertices in two patterns. Pattern A has two vertices. Amount of dimensions is therefore 2-1=1. B has 3 verts, therefore 2 dimensions:

Yes? We can use this in a bunch of ways. One is to get the length we need in the first pattern. I want the 9th radial pattern to have 50mm radius.

To get the distance between the instances, I go: Total length / (Instances - 1), which is 50/(9-1)=

6,25mmFor my holes I choose you, six-sided cylinder, because you line up nicely with my 6-sided pattern as discovered at the very top.

One way to do this is to set my grid spacing to

6,25mm, and use grid snaps to get the correct spacing, and make 8 copies.For the first circular pattern, I'm already done, there's only 1 of them at the center. Good Job, me!

For the 2nd circular pattern, the angle is 60°/(2-1)=60°, yes? Yes.

...

For the 5th with 5 instances, the angle is 60°/(5-1)=15°, and 5 instances. Yes?

...

For the 9th pattern with 9 instances, we're gonna have an angle of 60°/(9-1)=7,5°. YES

Oh shit I should've said this at the start. Anywhere Max lets you enter numbers you can hit CTRL+N and it'll let you do a little maths in there.

Boolean and cleanup time. As these holes will be on a flat surface, none of this will matter too much. If you're gonna sculpt on it, do something different maybe. IDK. Try and get things neatly into quads or tris to limit potential fuckery.

Complete the pattern by rotating it 6 times and welding vertices by a low amount.

For supporing geometry, grab all the polys and inset once by however much you want to

Then once again by a tiny amount if you're a baller.

Add some colorful lights, thiccness and a smooth modifier, and you've got yourself one neon porn strainer

Now you know all you need to know about patterns. Now go out there and get 'em

I've started a new project and I'm struggling with what could seem a very basic shape. I'm trying to model a cupola.

Here's my reference :

And here's what I'm struggling with :

I feel like the intersection isn't as rounded as it should be but yet I can't find how to manage it, also the top part is a mystery to me ...