Best object to start a complicated model?

Up until now I have been using a NURBS Sphere with a Lattice to model a fish, but I am limited. If I make the Lattice too detailed, it doesn’t morph the way I want it to.

So my question is what is the best way to model something with a bunch of detail? Is a NURBS object a good place to start? And is there a better way to pull/morph sections of an object without the Lattice? I am trying to find a way to click on my object and add points that I can pull and stretch and such to shape it the way I want.

Oh, and it will be animated, so I need it to be easy to animate later.

generally most people start models with a square. For your fish model, the lattice is working ok right now, but a cubes generally work better for most things. Also, i’m pretty sure that nurbs aren’t very easy to animate, but im not sure because i’ve never tried.

Generally its best to start modeling with the most simple shape you can (a square, a box, mayby a single vertex, whatever works for you), and add only the vertex loops you need, with subsurfing doing the work of creating the organic shapes for you. If you intend to animate a fish mesh, do yourself a favor and research “subsurf modeling” on this forum and on the web in general. When you begin to try to morph your mesh with an armature, you’ll be glad you did. The Bones of an armature can act on a mesh in a predictable way only if you’ve placed your vertex loops in the right places. I’d say that approach would be far simpler (and better documented) than attempting to do it with a lattice and a nurbs surface. But hey, innovation is always a welcome thing here! (There’s a tutorial for animating a worm with a lattice in 3DWorld issue #91, but I think it’s really more complicated than most animations would need.)
As far as pulling and pushing verts, your best bet is the “connected” button and a dextrous finger on the mouse wheel. Also, you could try sculpt mode to work it in a different way. (I use both liberally.)

cube or plane… some even use a single vertex :smiley:

Set backround image, create plane, shift click one vertex, delete other three, move to where I want to start and then extrude extrude extrude. Maybe some facing in there too. :wink:

I start with NO vertexes! :smiley:

Well, more, I start with a plane or whatever, delete all the verts, and start ctrl-clicking an outline of the first area I’m going to want to extrude. Works good for flatish things (was making some funky gearlike objects yesterday) and for the profiles of tube shapes.

When I first read your replies I was completely confused. So much that I almost gave up on blender.

Then I went through a tutorial on creating and animating a character. I got as far as making his face by extruding and creating new vertex loops. Then I got bored for now.

After rereading your posts, it all makes sense. Crazy. So much work to do to even get to animating the thing so it’ll be a while before I have a test to share with you all.

I may start with something simple then go back to my character.