Is modeling a model with subD cage improper?

Hi. I’ve heard that modeling a character strictly in a subD mode is bad practice. I’ve heard that because then you don’t know where your placing the actually verts of the low poly model.

I recently got the “Secrets of Organic Modeling” with Taron from Gnomon Workshop. He primarily works in that mode and will switch a section of the model to poly mode at times to see what the geometry is doing.

I also got the “Modeling a Human Head” with Kevin Hudson also from Gnomon. It was interesting in contrast because he basically worked the opposite way. He’d box model and switch to subD mode for small tweaks.

I’d recommend both dvds. Was interesting to watch two approaches to the same subject. Is either way “more proper” than the other? Or was what I heard just a misconception? I’m interested to hear your opinions.

Well if Taron works like that it can’t be such a bad method. Whichever method you use just go back and forward with your subds on and off so you can pick up on any problems.


Thanks for the reply. I was worried my first post would sound like I was suggesting Taron was a sloppy modeler. There was one point when he shut subD completely off and the geometry looked weird, but it was for a second and I am not familiar with Lightwave so could have been something with that.

I liked his style because it seemed very sketchy and sculptural-esque. His was more entertaining to watch and I picked up a few tips, but I think Kevin Hudson’s dvd helped me more with some things I was struggling with.

i usually tend to model with subdivision off the view but i put it on then disable it in the 3dview that way i can easily just press that little button to see how it looks with subsurf. i dont think its sloppy, aslong as your end product is what you want it to be it works.

One advantage I noticed of his method was you quickly see if your topo is creating problems on the subD mesh and can fix it before moving on.

I recently learned that, too. In my opinion, it’s best to model with subD turned off, then switch back for adjusting. After all, the more accurate your low poly, non subD model is, then the better your subD model will look.

Whichever yields good results is good. If you’re doing mechanical modeling, it’s definitely a good idea to model stuff with subsurf off, because your sizes need to be exact. But with organic models, whatever works, works.