Digital Apprentice Hard Surface tutorials

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Digital Apprentice Hard Surface tutorials // Tutorium Requests

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Post by The Master Elite // Jan 9, 2009, 6:07am

The Master Elite
Total Posts: 107

I found some GREAT Hard surface modeling videos for use in Max, but also found they can be applied in TrueSpace using its Workspace SubDivision tool to produce the same results.

You'll need to be a member of their forums in order to view them, but the basic concept is quite simple.

1. Make a double sided plane. Set it to 2 by 2 polygons.
2. Enter edit mode and sweep one of the faces.
3. Now exit edit mode and try subdividing it 3 times. You'll see it looks like a messy lump. With more complex meshes, this object will smooth out a great deal and deform, leaving many details looking quite unlike what you intended.
4. Remove the subdivision and re-enter edit mode. Now comes the important part. To make the object subdivide to produce smooth results without the deformation, you need additional adjacent geometry to support the countours of the mesh. Begin adding edge loops to the edges of the mesh wherever you want the edges to stand out on the mesh.
5. Now that there are edges reinforcing the details you want, we will see how the subdivision looks after this. I make the mesh color darker so you can see the edges better.
6. And behold, we have a smooth hard surface.

This technique can be applied to anything you wish to model, whether it be armor, vehicles, tools, characters, or even whole scenes.

Post by The Master Elite // Jan 11, 2009, 4:12pm

The Master Elite
Total Posts: 107
Anyone found this useful or is this concept/technique common knowledge already and I not a commoner? :p

Post by ghost--scout // Jan 11, 2009, 5:08pm

Total Posts: 85
I did not know anything about this but I have a few uses in mind in an ongoing project, thanks for sharing!:jumpy:

Post by v3rd3 // Jan 11, 2009, 7:03pm

Total Posts: 388
I stumbled into a similar solution literally 2 weeks ago. The only difference was I used the bevel tool on the exterior edges. I didn't think to add any interior edges for which I think what you are showing is a more elegant solution.

Post by Nez // Jan 12, 2009, 3:33am

Total Posts: 1102
I think this is relatively common knowledge to those who are already good at subdiv modelling or have read up on it some - there are a few good examples floating around in threads on the forum already showing similar situations. Jack Edwards, Blakeo, Daybe, Prodigy and WickedWitchoftheWeb are all excellent at this kind of think, just for starters....

For many of us, we may be aware of some of the principals, but not so great at actually managing the execution (myself included) and there may well be plenty of others who haven't seen this sort of thing before - it's actually quite logical and mastering the use of extra loops is fairly key to getting good subdiv modelling - but I'm a long way off it personlly!

Post by The Master Elite // Jan 12, 2009, 11:21am

The Master Elite
Total Posts: 107
Well really objects just need an edge loop wherever you want a hard edge...the closer together those 3 edges are, the harder the edge. :)

Basically you just want hard edges wherever you want a hard edge...the placement will also affect the bulging of larger surfaces in hard surface work. is a privately held community resource website dedicated to Active Worlds.
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