Modelling theory and the Ideal

Hello all,
I have been trying my hand at both organic and mechanical modelling since picking up Blender about a year ago. I have noticed a lot of different styles here in the forums, and I’ve tried a lot of tutorials from Greybeard’s videos and the wiki pages, as wellas anything else I see here on Blenderartists or on Blendernation.
The question I have is if there is an ideal model philosophy when composing art - is it better to completely model one surface with extrusions arising from that surface, or is it better to seperate parts as child objects to better make use of different levels of subdivision and detail that aren’t always readily available in pure loop cut fashion?
I ask this becaus eI have noticed on some mechanical wireframes the use of a seperate mesh object "sitting " into the skin of the main object as a detail item, instead of loop cutting and extruding a face. I also noticed that a lot of detail is possible this way, detail I can’t seem to get from working with a single object.
With my cgharacter mesh and the mechanics around him, I had seperate meshes for each part, creatively centered and parent/child coordinated to get stuff worked out. I didn’t join these into one object, since some is heavy subsurf and some is not.Unwrapping was easier this way, but I held off from adding the “extra object” details from my mechanical parts because I fely like I was cheating. I did it with a paying job, however, since the video object had to be really believable, (still in progress,but can’t show it under NDA) and I only have so many hours to model, texture, light, and animate it.

I guess i’m looking for any kind of hints as to what level of perfection is attainable, and if I’m actually working at a professional level or still not getting it.:smiley:

I certainly am no pro - but I can tell you that it sounds like you’re doing it “right”: use one mesh where it makes sense, and don’t where it don’t! A pro just means you get paid for it (lucky stiff!:yes: )and the people paying for it are happy. Usually that means does it LOOK good.

Especially for the mechanical objects, you pretty much NEED to have different meshes because of just the issues you mentioned. I have a hard time getting over that sometimes too. “Oh no, it’s not one mesh!” Partly however, it’s because Blender has some, er, areas where further tool development would be nice. Eg bevelling for one. Unless you’re going to be zooming right into the feature’s “non-join” corner of something that looks like it should be a single object, no one is likely going to even see the difference. Might have to do a little bevelling to round out the edges, but that’s better than a huge polycount when you don’t need it!

As others have said… it’s all fake anyway. What difference does it make if you “cheat”? The only thing that matters is the end result and if you got it done on time.

Organics tend to be single mesh, mostly because you need multiple armature rigs (I think) if you have separate meshes, and a single rig is easier to pose and control than a bunch of parented ones. USUALLY.

However, if your animation is simple enough that you can get away with using separate pieces, and it’s easier for you, go for it. For the pros that use NURBS patches, I believe they must use separate objects when they model (I believe they join them somehow after modelling - maybe convert to mesh?).

It’s all about workflow and anticipating problems. Tris & quads, loops, nice UV unwrapping, etc etc are all about “problems” that can trip you up when you try to do something after you’re done modelling, be it animating or rendering.

Be glad you’re getting paid for this and crank it out!