How The F*#% Do I Blend This? - Reply for help with specific shapes

[INDENT=7]How The F*#% Do I Blend This?[/INDENT]

Alright, so I see time and time again that people tend to have trouble doing certain things with hard surface shapes and Sub-D modelling. So I thought I would try something out there. I’m going to open this up to let people post a reference image of a simple, yet complicated shape (no motorcycles or tanks or stuff like that). And I will try, or maybe some of our other members can help out in this too, to give an example mesh. We’ll see how it goes.

A few rules apply to this however;

First off, if you’d like help with a certain shape all you have to do is this:1. Post an image, this can be either an example of a model you’re struggling with, or simply reference image of something you don’t know how to approach.

…and secondly, if you would like to join in:1. Multiple people can contribute to the same ref, if you think you have a better way, feel free to post. This is all about sharing ideas.
2. Include an image that has a wireframe overlay of the mesh unsmoothed as well as a smoothed shot with or without wires.
3. Include the object/model as an *.obj. If you do not have web-hosting, either check out MediaFire, Dropboxor Google Docs to name but a few. As an alternative, simply attach the file to your post.

This is an adaptation of the highly popular threadover on Polycount.

Some links and references worth a look…

Advanced hard-surface:
2013’s Flickr Profile

Hard-surface references:
Polycount Wiki

Hard-surface shapes:
esPhys imgur Profile

Perna’s image dump:
Google Drive

Pinterest hard-surface wireframes:

Hard-surface topology dump:
Russian site (FYI)

Arrimus 3D on YouTube:
Arrimus 3D channel

If I understood this correctly, we now can supply our own solutions for some topological problems?

I’ve started thinking that if in real life something is a separate object, then it definitely should be that also in 3D. That’s why I provided you this plane model that has wings that are separate from the body.

i have a hard surface model I’m working on that I am having trouble with. Will definitely post later today.

your plane can be made the same way you would make one with a rounder fuselage, with subsurf modelling, but subdividing your plane to begin with to achieve the more boxy shape.

If you have a solution to a complex shape share it, why not!?

@ArMan, not sure whether you’re asking for help or just sharing the model. Generally speaking you’d want to block the form out, subdivide it, collapse the modifier and then work off of the resulting mesh. It’s not important on flat surfaces, however on curved surfaces I see a lot of people asking why they get pinching and/or artifacts in the mesh.

Generally speaking there’s no simple solution, you can adapt the geometry to minimize pinching or alternatively add more resulting geometry that’ll hold the form and minimize surface defects.

AKA - Add the right amount of geo!

aiming for the stickies now aren’t you? :slight_smile:

However, how do I do a uniform extrude,

extrude along normals seems to fail me all the time
so does “shrink and fatten”

numerical input.

It was a response for that plane model you had in your post before you replaced it with those prints.

Oh that plane model I did myself a while back for a request on the Polycount thread. You’re right about modelling things separately, that’s a given - however you need to create a shell/basemesh that conforms to the form of the vehicle you’re making.

I was just demonstrating this with the image. Here, you can download and take a look at the file if you wish.

Here’s a model I’m currently working on if anyone’s interested… I’ve included a short explanation in the bottom image. Right-click and view the images for the full resolution.

For some things like tubes/piping/wiring/tape/etc., it’s just sooo much easier to use a path object. And it’s always possible to convert to mesh later if needed.

On meshes, bevel is your friend if you need to radius a corner really quick. And don’t forget the settings available underneath that tool.

However, how do I do a uniform extrude,

extrude along normals seems to fail me all the time
so does “shrink and fatten”

Look into individual origins setting for groups of radiating surfaces, or seting up custom transforms and assigning that as the axis for surface extrusions that project at an odd angle. They’re not the most obvious or convenient in implementation, but they’re still quite handy. And it may be of interest that some operations like scaling also behave different if origin is set to 3D cursor or active instead of median point.