Modelling Advice

Hey all :slight_smile:

I just recently started Jonathan Williamson’s “Mastering Modeling in Blender” course. I’ve learned a lot about good topology in the past few days along the various tools used in achieving it. I’m starting with little to no modeling experience (besides fooling around on my own for a month or two - using bad technique of course), but now that I’m learning how to do things the right way, I think I’m getting better.

After seeing How to Train Your Dragon 2 I thought I’d try my hand at modeling a dragon. Not the best beginner’s challenge, but why not shoot for the stars, right? Anywho, in about a half hour I’ve come up with this head:


It’s not half bad besides looking like a pretty goofy rendition of Toothless, so I’m not all that disappointed. That is, I’m not all that disappointed when my model’s subsurfed 2 or 3 times. Without the subserf the model looks sloppy:



The topology isn’t terrible - but I feel like I’m using the subserf to cover up mistakes.

I guess my question is this: is my modeling technique flawed or just unpracticed?

Am I doing things totally wrong, or do I just need more time?

Thank you for any assurance/critique you can give :slight_smile:

Need more views of the wireframe to know anything about the topology, since topology is about more than just the shape of the object, but also about correct flow of polygons to facilitate proper rendering/shading and animation.

From what i can see, and purely from a stylistic standpoint, the head appears too flat, more like a salamander or frog, than a dragon (as they are typically portrayed in film and illustration). But that has to do with the style your going for and is not strictly a good or bad thing. Give us more wire frame shots so we can see the front/side etc!

I’ve done some work on it since my first post, so I’ll just give you the .blend file. Thank you for your willingness to help :slight_smile:
Dragon.blend (540 KB)

Thank you for any assurance/critique you can give

If this is the first thing you’ve done 220 verts is a little too early to ask how you’re doing etc. – carry on and check back, read the manual, spend lots of time modeling, ask how you can do something, spend lots more time modeling… The subsurf thing is normal - even I look better subsurfed.

Thank you DruBan, I realize I’m posting somewhat early in the game. I appreciate your feed back :slight_smile: I’ve definitely got more modeling to do haha

well, i’ll add one thing now. your modeling on the “wrong” axis. most blender tools for animation and mirroring work on the X axis (red line) so the width of your model should usually be along the red line, and the depth, or front and back of your model, should be along the Y axis, the green line. this isn’t really a big deal until you start trying to rig and animate. there is a very handy option for mirroring a pose, like for a walking animation (or a flying animation in the case of a dragon =)) that only works along the X axis. as well as the X-axis mirroring for bone extrusion in edit mode. you can also turn on X-axis mirroring for a symmetrical model that you’ve already applied the mirror modifier on, but find something you need to adjust.

I didn’t read all the posts above. I’m not a pro yet either, but if you sculpt creatures like that and then do your low poly, you probably be done by now. That is the the way I see most people do low poly hardsurface modeling, such as cars, weapons, houses(architecture) other assets. It is a good start though because I didn’t start that way and I can model weapons high to low poly but I can’t model vehicles yet( cars tanks etc…in low poly) Blender have T-Splines!!?.

In the end you are going to want to have the least amount of verts and faces as you have to have. So when you render out your computer does not have to process them. When I started 6 months ago I did not know this, SO I would add a mesh and hit “W” and subdivide incase I may need a face later… (Big Buzz sound) WRONG. Also check out modifiers if you are not getting the right look out of a smooth. Oliver Villar has some awesome tuts on Youtube, I did his coffee cup. The organic shapes and materials were a good base to start.