modeling tips?

i’m working on modeling this spa but i’m having trouble with the back end. i can’t figure out what to do about the steps and seats, etc. the only way i can think to do it is to run all these edge loops around the front and back of each step but that leads to a ridiculously unwieldy model with no easy way to modify it in the future. can someone give me some tips or hints on how i can go about modeling this area? i’ve attached my .blend and my reference image if anyone would be so kind as to take a look.


with something of that complexity, I would make an initial form out of multiple meshes, and then use the retopo tool to extrude a new mesh over that base.

Load the image into gimp/photoshop or something else (or print it out) and break it down into sections: use a pen tool to outline different sections that seem to make sense. Then do as Mordron suggests.

looks like a lot of “layers” so i would model in layers. do the holes and detail last. maybe tr using n-gons

thanks for all the input so far. i’ve been leaning toward the multiple mesh idea but i had second thoughts and figured i would pose the question to others who are likely more blender-enlightened than myself :slight_smile: whenever i break something into multiple meshes i feel like it’s somehow cheating and that I’m just not capable enough to do it ‘correctly’. i think the killer part for me is the stairway in the bottom-right corner. the way it intersects the seat in the center is difficult for me to wrap my head around.