Beginner's Question to Understanding Dense Meshes / Topology

Pretty noobish to Blender still. I’m working on my modeling / topology skills with a scene I’m making, and in my research how others would model something like a macbook pro I was curious if anyone more experienced had thoughts on this question I have.

(I don’t know if links are allowed but if you can search for Macbook pro in sketchfab, I’m directly referencing one of the $9.99 premium models. I’ve attached a screengrab as well)

It’s clearly a hero model with lots of attention to detail, and there are many quads on the flattest parts as a result of the precise radiusing of corners, openings, and port cutouts machined into the laptop body elsewhere. I understand that to get that detail results in lots of extra edges and quads flowing around the flat surface of the laptop, and this model seems to do a good enough job of spacing out those quads/edges. But it does feel still like there’s many that are unnecessary and just inflating the file size.

Is this a normal workflow and expected outcome for modeling something like a machined product like this? I see there are a number of poles which also seem necessary and placed well enough to allow for smooth openings around those cutouts.

Your evaluation is correct. And I see at least 2x more extra polys for a model like this.

I cover this in my tutorial.

Techniques applied here:.


It’s obvious enough that they used a lot of polys to get the finely machined detail – the exact shape of the keys and of the holes where the keys sit. And where there is fine detail such as the speaker covers. I think that one of the arguments for “more polys” is that rendering algorithms seem to work “one face at a time” and if the face is large it sometimes doesn’t look quite right to the eye. I see this particularly with shadows and reflections – with lighting effects. Sometimes I’ll do a test render, spot some areas that “look flat,” subdivide those faces a couple times and it just looks better.

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You cannot answer your question without specifying the intended usecase.
Is it for a game engine, is it a concept model, is it supposed to be printed or is it supposed to be a “proper” sub-d mesh?
I would not take the Macbook as a reference.
Sure it will render fine but the topology is overdone and seems messy.


"Yeah, that’s worth repeating: intended use case." At the end of the day, topology decisions are “just a Tool for the Job.™” There are, in fact, no absolutes.

Obviously, those who wish to sell models like this one “will err on the side of caution.” As very well they should. Whereas these might not be the same standards that you should observe if you are creating a project-specifc model for yourself. “Satisfy your client, and don’t borrow trouble …”

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Well if you want my opinion some people are just sloppy modelers. And it goes no further than that.

These patterns here only happen when subD is on:


So with SubD as the use case pretty clear, I have seen worse. But there are tell tale signs in this model that the modeler was not concerned about poly count. And there is nothing wrong with what the modeler did here in terms of how the model will render in this case. But it is sloppy from an efficiency stand point. And just bad habits all over. Habits that you learn to loose over time. And sometimes you need it trained into you. This reminds me of the many modelers who have come under my tutelage. Sometimes you have to drive these things home over and over until they get it.

Once you do get it, it becomes a zen thing to find a balance in your models where even the wires themselves are a beautiful thing. :slight_smile:

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