Adding Missing Mesh Elements to a Model

Hello, I was wondering if I could get some help with a bit of an issue I’m having with the model I’m working on. Basically, the problem is that I wanted to include spines like the ones shown in the picture below onto my model:

…but I forgot to include them while I was initially shaping my mesh.

Is it at possible to add the spines to the model without causing too much disruption to the rest of mesh? If not, are there any other options, like adding the spines as a separate object to the rest of the model, or should I just leave the spines off if I can’t include them without it being a huge hassle?

Any input on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

separate mesh

I would create them as a separate object anyway, since it is also a loose element sewn in, in reality. - Else you could simply tighten the center edgeloops on the back and extrude the spines out.

Thanks for the responses, if I add the spines as a separate object, is it possible for the spines to move with the rest of the model when I animate it?

ofc. characters these days typically have 10-100 separate objects.

I probably should have phrased my question better; I’m aware that models have multiple separate object, but what I’m actually wondering is whether or not you can make a separate object deform with the rest of the mesh.

An object can consist out of different unconnected meshes, with different materials etc. Just use Ctrl-J to join everything together for animation. - That´s a cute dragon by the way. :wink:

correction, you dont have to CTRL+J them together as DM9 said…

anyways, no they wont deform. you will have a sharp edge where they meet.

if you want there to be a small bevel, then i advice you do something called a retopology.

first add the spine bones as a separate object, then retopology over it.

as long as the proper vert groups are present and weighted, you can parent as many things to your armature as you want and they will all deform properly. provided they all have the armature modifier, of course.

i think he means as in deform - subsurface deformation. we already established that armature deformation will work fine.

I’m kinda confused, so you can’t have a separate object change & deform in shape along with another mesh? That I have to recreate the mesh via retopology & add the spines directly to the main body in order for them to move properly with the rest of the body?

An object can consist out of different unconnected meshes, with different materials etc. Just use Ctrl-J to join everything together for animation. - That´s a cute dragon by the way. :wink:

Thanks:), it’s more of a dinosaur than a dragon, although the distinction it doesn’t really matter all that much.

There’s a difference between an object and a mesh. A model can consist of multiple objects, it can also be one object with multiple unconnected mesh parts, or it may be one object with one connected mesh. Any combination of those can be used, depeding on the situation.

Two different objects can follow one armature. It’s the armature deform modifier that links the mesh vertex groups with armature bones. But if the deforming geometry is not connected and doesn’t follow the structure the underlying object has, there might be some deformation differences because the weights aren’t spread across the same/similar structure. That’s with different objects, or unconnected mesh parts within same object.

If you model it in the main body, it will deform as it’s weighted, but probably don’t have to. People are saying it’ll be enough to have them as separate geometry. As such, the weights would be transferred from the main body to the spines to have it follow. If it doesn’t follow exactly, that might be unnoticeable. If it’s not good enough, there are other deform options to try and fix it, or rig it differently.

So if I’m (hopefully) interpreting everyone’s responses thus far correctly, my options are:

1.) Try to figure out how to shape the spines directly on the main mesh, so that way the spines will deform properly with the rest of the mesh without having to resort to weighting or anything like that.

2.) Add the spines to the base object as a separate object, which would allow me to shape the spines without having to deal with the hassle of working around the rest of the mesh’s topology. However, the disadvantage of this doing it in this matter is that I would to figure how to properly connect the spines to the main object, as well as weight them properly in order for them to move correctly.

3.) Add the spines to the base object as a separate object like in option #2, and then use retopology to create a new mesh from the old one that has the spines attached to the mesh itself. The downside of this option is that I don’t know how to do retopology, which I would say is a pretty big drawback.

I’m not sure which method is the ideal course of action to pursue, but I guess I’ll have to try something and hope it works out for the best.

I think you have hit upon a good lesson, not only for Blender, but for life.

I feel like you have a tendency to over-think things. I’m the same way, so if you’ll allow me, I think I can save you a lot of consternation:

Just do stuff and experiment and learn. You aren’t going to create much worthwhile on your first or second or even tenth project, so just have fun with it and don’t worry about doing it right or getting good results, let alone “ideal”. There are a dozen ways you could put those spines on that dragon, and all of them have trade-offs to take into account, and at your skill level (no offense) you aren’t equipped to even distinguish between them, let alone determine which one is best for your project. Try a few different approaches, see how you like them, move on to another project.

Or, if you really want to get good results, you’re going to have to really do your research. Learn how armatures function. Do storyboards for the animation you want this character to perform. Run a few dynamics tests. Make some material studies, and an animatic or two. And then, when you actually know what you’re trying to do, come back to the question of how to optimize your geometry for minimal rigging hassles, or fastest response time, or best dynamics in quick motion, or most realistic texturing, or whatever other of the multitude of criteria you may want to optimize on.

I know it’s tempting to try to solve the problem and learn the One True Way to do things, but it turns out that whatever works is generally good enough. So yeah, try something, and if it doesn’t work, revert to your backups and try something else.