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Sketchbook: Frank Polygon

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FrankPolygon
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FrankPolygon veteran polycounter
I'll be using this sketchbook thread as a place to warehouse write-ups that wouldn't really fit anywhere else. Most of the content will cover concepts and fundamentals related to hard surface modeling with some broader commentary on the creative process.

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  • SnowInChina
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    SnowInChina interpolator
    yo frank, freaking beast
    need to read this later, happy new year to you
  • LaurentiuN
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    LaurentiuN interpolator

    Amazing breakdown man, your modeling/baking/texturing is top notch!

  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky

    Fantastic breakdown. Now that's "paying close attention to detail."

  • FrankPolygon
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    FrankPolygon veteran polycounter

    @LaurentiuN Thanks! Usually find that texturing isn't as fun as modeling but having clean bakes does make it a lot more enjoyable.

    @Alex_J Thank you. Always trying to push quality and efficiency. Ironically some of the write ups take longer than the production work.


    Currently working through a very brief overview of the modeling, unwrapping and baking for this project. After that the intent is to work through posting the back log of modeling write-ups from mentoring and some other thoughts about texturing and game art in general.

  • RRRabbit

    Thank you so much!!! Your article and cases helped me a lot, wish you a happy life!

  • sacboi
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    sacboi insane polycounter

    Per usual, knocked my socks off 😀

  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx ngon master

    Agree with Sacboi, you are just *bows down*

  • FrankPolygon
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    FrankPolygon veteran polycounter

    @RRRabbit Thanks for the comment! Glad the write-ups were helpful.

    @sacboi Thanks! It was a bit shorter and took longer than expected but happy to hear it was on par with the previous write-ups.

    @wirrexx Thank you, really appreciate your support and contributions to the how do I model this thread.


    Upcoming content: Next few posts will be a mix of visual process breakdowns for hard surface shapes, along with some additional thoughts on other art processes.

  • KebabEmperor
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    KebabEmperor triangle

    frankpolygon is a higher being, we can just sit back and admire his work.

  • tatertots

    Thank you for another awesome write-up, Frank. So informative, and it's really great to be reminded to use modifiers and procedural geometry as much as possible to make the work easier. Thanks for that! You inspire me to do some more hard-surface modelling. Soon as my bad monster-sculpt is finished xD

  • FrankPolygon
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    FrankPolygon veteran polycounter

    @KebabEmperor Thanks for the kind words. Just comes down to making a lot of sample models and sharing the results.

    @tatertots Thank you and you're welcome! Glad to hear that these posts encourage artists to continue exploring subdivision hard surface modeling.

  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx ngon master

    Frank As I am getting more custom to Blender, would you mind if you have the time, to show the second process with a video. One of the thing I found i have a hard time with blender, is trying to match segments. This due to Blender breaking the ability to adjust segments when an item have been moved.

  • KebabEmperor

    That's why you use modifiers like Screw, Bevel and Radial Array. Modifiers are non-destructive, you can adjust values anytime you want and it makes trying & failing easier.

    With experience, you will get to know how many segments you need for details depending on their scale, visibility, etc.

  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx ngon master

    that's not the issue for me, I come from 3ds max bg. Adjusting a primitive when rotating and moving is very easy. In Blender I have to use modifiers that need to be on the right axis from the get go to actually make that work. Rotating them makes them change shape sometimes, and that is something I am not used to.

  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx ngon master

    really apprecaite you going over and beyond for me! Thank you once again for taking care of the community.

  • sacboi
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    sacboi insane polycounter

    "Most of the modifiers in Blender inherit a transform orientation that's based on the object's stored rotation. Managing this, along with object origin points, does add another layer of complexity but also provides flexibility in how things can be setup. Transforms in object mode can be stored and reset but the same operations in edit mode cannot, since they are directly changing the mesh. So, it's often helpful to keep the object's transforms zeroed out to match the global values. Depending on the follow up questions this topic could become it's own write-up or video."

    Indeed succinctly put, had struggled with this very issue for some time when first starting out so similarly curious in your approach.


    @wirrexx

    "really apprecaite you going over and beyond for me! Thank you once again for taking care of the community."

    +1

  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx ngon master

    @FrankPolygon yeah i dont lurk here.. just happened to turn the webpage on! :D Thank you

  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx ngon master

    ok just watched it. MIND F***ING BLOWING! thank you

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G sublime tool

    Very nice video, thanks 👍️

  • sacboi
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    sacboi insane polycounter

    @FrankPolygon

    Awesome, appreciate the time and effort spent on describing your workflow with that accompanying vid which I think clarifies quite nicely reasoning behind each operation in more detail when utilizing a non destructive subd workflow. Certainly in my humble opinion a efficient time performant process that I'll look further into potentially applying for an upcoming personal project - thanks again for sharing.

  • RocketAlex
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    RocketAlex polycounter lvl 5

    I wish I'd spotted something like this thread long ago. This could be used as a modelling book lol. Awesome works. 😯

  • tatertots

    Awesome video, Frank! So good to actually see the process with the modifiers, that you're using to sub-d model efficiently. It's one thing to know you should use modifiers, but another to actually see them being applied in a workflow and seeing how you can actually use them to their fullest.

  • Oreazt
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    Oreazt polycounter lvl 7

    If you're taking requests for videos, I've been pretty stumped trying to figure out how to do pic 5 and 6 of the pistol in this post.

    https://polycount.com/discussion/comment/2731641/#Comment_2731641

  • itaibachar
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    itaibachar polycounter lvl 8

    This is awesome education!

    I have a question, regarding the :

    Modeling process 2 (≈ 3-5 individual operations.)

    • Fill half cap - 2x.


    How do I fill the gap of these uneven edge loops?

    A 'Fill' command doesn't work.

    Thanks!

  • FrankPolygon
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    FrankPolygon veteran polycounter

    @tatertots Thanks! Appreciate hearing how the video was helpful. Figuring out when it makes sense to use modifiers, instead of directly editing the mesh, is definitely one of the challenges to incorporating them into an existing modeling workflow.

    @Oreazt Sketching shape profiles with flat primitives is something that will be covered in at least one upcoming write-up and that will probably get it's own video as well. Depending on how long it takes to make that content, I will look at making a shorter video covering the process used in that previous example and tag you when the video is available.

    @itaibachar Thank you. The exact process for creating faces between edges and closing non-manifold shapes varies based on the application. When using Blender there's a few different operations that can be used. Each behaves differently so it may be necessary to only select half of the edges for the tool to recognize the open area of the shapes.

    Additional documentation for these types of tools can be found in the manual:

    https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/modeling/meshes/editing/face/fill.html

    https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/modeling/meshes/editing/vertex/make_face_edge.html

    https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/modeling/meshes/editing/edge/bridge_edge_loops.html

    https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/modeling/meshes/editing/face/grid_fill.html

  • itaibachar
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    itaibachar polycounter lvl 8

    Thank you for taking the time to reply and explain so much!

    I actually work in Maya, but trying to learn the concepts as you show them.

    Cheers!

    itai

  • itaibachar
  • Brandon.LaFrance
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    Brandon.LaFrance Polycount Sponsor

    Dammit, Frank, your constant stream of incredibly useful content is out of control. Seriously, this thread gets its own permanent, dedicated tab in my browser, and I reference it constantly. It is my first recommendation to anyone asking me for help or advice regarding sub-d modeling. Just wanted to say thanks!

  • FrankPolygon
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    FrankPolygon veteran polycounter

    @Brandon.LaFrance Really appreciate your support! Glad the write-ups are helpful and thanks for recommending them.

  • chien
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    chien polycounter lvl 11

    @FrankPolygon just come to this thread, i saw your process to optimize for topology. do you process also for hi poly baking?

  • bewsii
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    bewsii polycounter lvl 9

    This thread is just absurd. After 14 years of modeling (off and on) as both a hobbyist and professional, your methodology has me rethinking my entire workflow.


    I'm an oldschool 3ds Max user who loves hard surface modeling and has mainly focused on vehicles, where booleans are mostly an afterthought since there's so few flat surfaces in that space. As I've recently gotten back into 3d I've been branching out into weapons and other assets which lead me down a rabbit hole of finding ways to become more efficient and able to work quicker, which is how I found your thread. I've been blown away by the way Blender handles booleans (though Max's ProBoolean, and tools like LazerCut by KeyHydra are very nice too) and how artists like yourself are using them to create insanely complex objects that I'd spend days modeling with traditional SubD methods.


    I may have to learn Blender here soon. It just seems too good to pass up. lol

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