Keep sharp edges in low-poly assets

Hi all,

i’m new here and pretty new to 3D- modeling.
how is it possible to get sharp looking edges in low-poly models?
As an example: I got a cylinder and i want it to be well rounded at the sides, but the top and bottom edges should keep sharp.
What is the best practice in this case? Subdivide when starting off? But i don’t want to get the model too complex.
And when i keep the subdivide count low and subdivide after blocking out, i get those rounded edges.

Would be glad, if you got some advice for me.

Thanks in advance

Add a crease (Shift+E) on the edges you want sharper with the subsurf modifier
Mark edges as sharp (Ctrl+E/mark sharp) and use the edge split modifier above the subsurf modifier
If you don’t use the subsurf modifier shade the sides faces as smooth and shade the end faces as flat
If you don’t use the subsurf modifier you can mark edges as sharp and use the edge split modifier or the AutoSmooth option in the object data properties

We also now have split normals in 2.71

Thank you for your very quick reply!
I tried marking as sharp first, but didn’t get the result i expected. But the “Add a crease” option worked like a charm.
Thank you very much for your help!