any way to make a smooth taper like for a lizard's tail?

I can’t make my character’s tail taper smoothly to a point. Is there a good tool for this, or do I just need to practice and increase my skill? Also, how do I keep good topology? Because whenever I try to taper the tail, I end up with several triangles in the topology, as my edge loops get too close together. But I need those edge loops further up on the model. Should I just delete the offending edges in the tail? I will probably post some screenshots later, if you want to see what it is like.

Does a lizards tail really taper to a perfect point, I don’t think so, so why should yours.
The end can be a quad and a subsurf modifier.

For specific advice you should supply more info


point.blend (89.9 KB)

Thanks for the advice! However, I still don’t know how to make the character’s tail taper smoothly towards the end.

The part below the plane here is meant to be a lizard/reptile-like tail, but obviously it isn’t looking particularly good. For further information, I am making this as a basemesh for an enemy in a videogame I am making. That is why it isn’t subsurfed/multiresed yet.

Did you want that plane as part of your body? Because it is. That is due to adding an object while in edit mode of another object. To avoid doing that, make sure you are in in Object mode before adding an additional object. You can always use command CTRL + “J” to join them together later…

As far as your tail goes… You are on the right path as far as I can see.

You need to add loop cuts, CTRL + “R” while in edit mode and scroll your mouse wheel (if you want) to add multiple purple cuts, accept it by Leftt Mouse Button - (LMB) and then they will turn orange and now you can space them out as a unit or individually, if desired. By going back and unclicking individually after creating them, this allows you to move them indy. Because when you create multi loops you are auto selecting all loops at that time. Make sense?

Edit mode> select created loop> “E” and axis desired “X”,“Y” or “Z” or “G” to ‘free form’ your tail out.

Here is a file to preview they helped me get started. This is a cylinder with loop cuts. I removed the face or bottom of cylinder.

Using the Edit mode and the face selection icon (looks like a box at the bottom of your view port) Select the face or bottom hit “X” hit faces to delete it.
While still in edit mode hit CTRL + “R” to then use the loop tool. As in the file. I switched the icon from face (the little box) to edge. Select the edge at the bottom hit “S” to scale it down. Now move up the loops to gradually ‘season to taste’.

I was having the same problem with one of my models. I was using a skin modifier though. I found I had to do it mathematically to get a perfectly smooth transition. So, say you’ve got two different diameters for a cylindrical object at either end, and you want a smooth taper between. What I did was I took the scale/diameter/radius/whatever of the larger segment, and subtracted that of the smaller one from it, then divided the difference by the number of segments/loops/verts/whatever that I had to scale up in between, that will give you an increment to add to each loop starting at the small end and working your way up to the large end. So the first loop after the small diameter would be +1 of that increment, the next loop would be +2 of that increment, +3 of the increment, etc., etc., until you get all the way up to the large end and you should have a perfect taper.

I described this in greater detail with visual aids in the “Working with Cylinders and Torus” thread in this same forum. Although it actually turned into working with skin modifier. Oh! And come to think of it, this method probably depends entirely on perfectly evenly spaced loops! Which probably isn’t going to be the case most of the time, so duely note that…

You should learn and explore the use of proportional editing before turning to modifiers and such like, specially at a beginner’s level. It’s more powerful and predictable and provided in Blender for just these situations.

edit: I was going to show all the ways to do this but I can’t even come up with a number there are so many… :evilgrin:

Here’s one that might apply to your model the best.

After the bridge edge loops I used an addon that you would have to enable in your user preferences. To use the curve tool select some loops spaced evenly and call the tool. It is not strictly necessary but smoothes out the distribution of the geometry nicely. Note that the loops you select as key loops have a profound effect on the shape of the output - in this case, I accidentally eliminated one of the bends by picking four loops instead of five!

You have to learn how to use the proportional editing feature with a lot of practice. In this case ‘connected’ and ‘linear’ was the right choice… The radius is adjusted with the mouse wheel or in the F6 dialog so that you don’t see the bottom verts move at all…