What's the Best Way to to make Filigree and Ornamental 3D Objects?

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  • musashidan
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    musashidan insane polycounter
    Ah! That makes lots more sense with the photo, thank you! I've seen support loops used before, and I enjoy using them, but tend mis-interpret the difference between when its best to use them and when not to use them in accordance with a reference to game assets.

    I suppose our workflow for these (in accordance to games) would be that anything that we model is most likely going to be baked into a normal map. ...and the support loops help create that normal map, yes? I also notice that your extruded edges, the ones you used to make the support loop on, aren't at an exact 90 degree angle, I assume this is for a normal map as well?










    I think you might be mixing up what support loops [in-line edges/control loops] actually are. They pertain to sub-divisional modeling(your high-res mesh) and how the smoothing algorithm interprets the surface based on the topology of the polygonal mesh. They are generally used to control how soft/hard an internal/external corner is.(amongst other things)

    In @Steppenwolf 's example this type of 'edge-extrusion' modeling is typically approached by laying in the important face/edgeloops to define the major forms/directional changes which are the foundation of the rest of the surface. Modeling in this fashion - purposely setting up face/edgeloops where you need additional detail - sets you up perfectly for using control loops, as you can predict directionality.

    A game mesh(low-res mesh/polygonal mesh) doesn't have to concern itself with the above except for maybe chamfering edges or easy UV layout or silhouette/face normal issues due to badly aligned edges. The topology isn't nearly as important as in a sub-D mesh.
  • Steppenwolf
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    Steppenwolf polycounter lvl 10
    Ah! That makes lots more sense with the photo, thank you! I've seen support loops used before, and I enjoy using them, but tend mis-interpret the difference between when its best to use them and when not to use them in accordance with a reference to game assets.

    I suppose our workflow for these (in accordance to games) would be that anything that we model is most likely going to be baked into a normal map. ...and the support loops help create that normal map, yes? I also notice that your extruded edges, the ones you used to make the support loop on, aren't at an exact 90 degree angle, I assume this is for a normal map as well?

    :) thanks for sharing all of this, its really fun to talk about. For the image below, I now know I need to use better support loops and get rid of the 90 degree angle that's extruded straight down. Do you see any other topology improvements? I really like this piece and I want to get it right. It's the shield on the side of the piano, almost like the hero filigree. I Imagine that i'll be using most of the low res topology to enforce the depth of the shield and leaves while also using it to convey the silhouette. So I wonder how much the topology matters, even though I'm very picky about getting it nice and tidy.





    Yes i model the downward extrusions pointing outwards a bit on purpose (even tho it's not like that in the refs) so that when i bake normal maps it catches more depth info. In Blender it's easy to model it like that to begin with since you can model with a line and then fill in the polygons. What you could do instead is select the downward loop and add push to it (don't know the specifics of maya) so they scale outwards evenly all along the mesh.

    Your mesh has a lot of triangles that will cause you issues with smoothing. Check out the blender thread that i linked a few posts earlier to learn how to model this in all quads. Ther's some good info in there that applies to all poly modeling programs in general. You can get away with some triangles here and there for hard surface modeling as long as they are on a flat surface. But ther's barely ever any flat surfaces on these ornaments so it's better to avoid this and learn how to model all quads in all circumstances.

    I recommend you watch Grant Warwick's Hard Surface Essentials video to get a better understanding of support loops.


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