some modelling questions and queries!

hello blender-heads :slight_smile:
had many questions regarding performing usual modelling tasks. so instead of creating many separate threads, i thought of creating this thread.

so here are the questions

  1. is a perfect topology really that important for still renders? i mean if the surface looks smooth enough after applying sub-surf, then will it matter if the topology is a little crooked?

  2. how do you go about modelling objects with perfect dimensions? for example lets say i am modelling a Tyre, how will i ensure that the dimensions (width, sidewall height) are in scale with the real thing?

  3. sometimes while modelling curvy objects, it happens that some cut needs to be sharp. if i use an edge loop it leaves a sharp crease on the surface. edge crease creates a mad looking surface. so how do you
    make something sharp without using an edge loop or shift+e.

  4. how do you create stripes or lines like this on a object without using textures?

  5. any tips on how to keep the models looking clean and sharp without using crazy no. of edge loops.(my PC is damn slow)

  6. while modelling cars how do you create or fill the panel gaps?

  7. is it any better to use extruded surfaces instead of a simple plane where there are glass surfaces?

OK so these were some ques that came to my mind.
hope will get my queries answered :smiley:

1:Topology doesn’t really matter that much on a hard surface like a book for example.Still it’s better to practice good topology because your mesh will feel and look much cleaner and it will be easier to modify later on.

2:You can turn on metric under the scene tab to get accurate measurements,also in the N toolbar while in edit mode you can enable various info check boxes under mesh display yo get the length and angle of various edges or faces.Things don’t really have to be perfect,just judge things with your eyes (people usually post their work in the Critique section to find faults in their work that they aren’t sure about or something they might have missed)

3:You can remove the crease on the surface with supporting edge loops.creating sharp edges shouldn’t be a problem once you learn proper topology.

4:They are usually modeled in,you need to know proper topology to do it properly

5:Good topology.You don’t need allot of edgeloops,just enough to define the shape of your object and the details.

6:People go about various ways of doing this,some simply leave it open and other use a black mesh on the inside.

7:not sure i understand this question

i didn’t get the 3rd ans

lets say i model the above posted stripe. if you look closely there is a very small stripe. if i model that wont there will be a very sharp line there?

for the last ques i meant that do the windows need to be solid modeled or should a simple plane is enough?

ja12 thanks for the link.

1: if its a model for your own personal usage and not to show off your modeling skill on a portfolio page, then the topology is between you and the render gods. if it looks good rendered go for it. but topology, or i should say “clean” topology is a measure of modeling skill, so if you intend to make this a career, it would be a good idea to always practice it.

2: you can use blender like autocad, if you need high precision. it depends on what your doing with the model really, if you are making a precision model for CNC or 3d printing, then you can use a bunch of booleans to make your life easier. what i usually do when im designing something for printing, is treat 1 unit as one millimeter. you can do things like E Z 10.5 to extrude 1.5 mm in the z direction. etc. for holes and shafts, easiest way to keep them accurate is to use the radius parameter in the tools panel when you first create it, and do a boolean operation to join it. of course the boolean tip is only if you intend to 3d print/CNC, as slicing programs don’t care how the surface looks as long as its manifold.

3: not sure if i understand you properly on this one. your saying you need a cut, like an opening, in a curved surface, and im guessing the corners look bad? supporting edgeloops and the mark crease tool are really the only ways to go. surfaces with openings need to model the opening in from the start to avoid problems later.

4: as DCBloodHound suggests. lay in some extra cuts where you need the stripe, select the polygons, and assign them to the stripe material. you could also unwrap just that strip and apply a texture to it if you need lettering, like in your reference image.

5: What DCBloodHound said.

6: mesh inside, black material. 0 specular intensity (just incase). if the gap is small enough you could probably just leave it as it’ll be unnoticeable.

7: for a building window. use a plain. for a car window, treat it just like any other surface on the car. think curvy.

Check the below file,note how the edges are sharper when edge loops are together (like the top) and rounder when they are more apart (like the ones on the bottom)

It’s a very basic mesh though and you will have to take allot of things into account on more complex models.Modeling becomes allot easier once you learn proper topology,you can basically block model something and then use the knife tool or the many other tools to start shaping the topology.


Top.blend (474 KB)

I think you are asking if car windows need to have thickness or not. The answer to that is if they are never rolled down and viewed in close up a single surface is fine. But you will not be able to show any refractive effects, only reflection, tint and transparency. For the majority of auto renders this is sufficient, even if it not strictly realistic.

thanks Dave_k for all the answers :slight_smile:
and bloodhound thanks for the blend file. got the topology thing. will have to practice it a bit.
and druban that’s what i was asking. so i think i got my answer.

and another ques comes to my mind is that how do you inset faces individually? like if need to inset all the faces of a UV sphere and extrude all the newly created faces. how do you do it, individual origins don’t work.

something like this. but like every face of the sphere

i knew i saw a video on this topic, and i found it on my first try looking:

had this same need when making a mace model, this method is what i eventually settled on. just like he says in the video. select all. alt+E>individual faces then you can either use the smooth trick to create a psudo inset, or you can just move the mouse to extrude and then scale the spikes as you need!

In Blender there’s an Inset Individual functionality, select all the faces you want to inset and press I 2 times

And for inset individual + extrusion you can press I 2 times, holding CTRL will allow to give extrusion (inset depth) when moving the mouse

thanks Dave and sanctuary. both the options worked flawlessly. thanks a ton.
so another modelling question. guess i am very curious. how do you model something like this? modelling the grille is not that difficult but what about the boundary? yeah that’s not that important but what if i want to go for close up shots. that would look weird won’t it?


Best or not method i can’t say, but a quick one is :

  • make sure you have the addon Extra Objects enabled ( File -> User Preferences -> Addons, in the “Add Mesh” category)

  • go to Object Mode

  • in the Add Object menu -> Mesh -> Extra Objects -> MiscObjects -> add a Honeycomb

  • Press F6 (or in the operator panel) , increase number or Row and number of Columns :

  • Make a planar mesh that will use the silhouette of your opening , make sure in Object Mode it is a different object from the honeycomb structure

  • Select it , hold SHIFT then select the honeycomb object

  • Go to Edit Mode and click on the Knife Project button

  • result :

  • Press CTRL+I to invert the selection and press X -> Faces to delete it

  • Extrude to give it a bit of depth

  • Now back to Object Mode, select the other object and go to Edit Mode

  • From here extrude that object to give it depth

  • in Face selection mode, hold ALT and click in order to select the face loop of the boundary

  • Press CTRL+I to invert the selection and X -> Faces to delete it

  • Select All, press SHIFT+D to duplicate the selection.

  • Press I (inset function) , move the mouse so the thickness of the inset become 0, then hold CTRL and give depth

  • Select all, press W -> Remove Double, then CTRL+N (the SHIFT+D duplication is because the inset depth wouldn’t have kept the original faces, and we still want them)

now you can move the object where it should to serve as the boudaries of the honeycomb

sanctuary, awesome man. i knew i will get some kind of answer, but was not expecting a full fledged tutorial. that’s why i love blender and the awesome community behind it :slight_smile: . i completely got the answer… thanks a lot

i have another query. i have heard about a tool, the loft tool, which is very useful in modelling disk brakes. do you guys know how to use that?

With Blender you can (and you should considering how usefull it is in modelling) enable the Loop Tools addon from file -> user preferences -> addon in the Mesh category.
One of the functionalities of the Looptools is a Loft features.
You can read about this Loft function here :

Looptools is a truly awesome and useful addon - perhaps the first addon anyone should enable for modeling. But the bridge and loft tools have, if I am not mistaken, been overtaken and now only replicate the functionality of the new and improved Bridge edge loops command which I think is a little faster and offers more options.

I woud be very happy to have someone (maybe Bartius Crouch) point out some use for them that is still not in the built in command…

thanks sanctuary and druban. thats one nice there. will really help in modelling some parts.
also, what does the ctrl+a function do? when do you use it?

sanctuary one more thing. the tutorial you provided is for straight grilles but what about the curved grilles. how do we model those parts?

CTRL+A is to be used in Object Mode with an object being selected, it allows to “apply” the transformation (rotation, scaling…) you have done in - Object Mode - (as when unapplied it will impact many edit mode tools, something you may want in some specific cases, but not there)
Note, if you have done the transformation in - Edit Mode - you do not need to apply them, they’re applied automatically.

CTRL + N is to recalculate the normals of your object in edit mode.
Blender does very badly regarding normals when you extrude or remove doubles, it’s supposed to have been improved (i had reported it as a bug during the RC tests of 2.71) but from what i see that fix didn’t made it for some reason into the “stable” 2.71 as i got the same bad results regarding normals even in simple extrusion, so you’ll have to press select all and press CTRL+N often when you’re extruding anything

Now for curved object, you can use the Curve modifier to make a mesh follow a curve.
But an alternative could be this .
When you’re at that point of the tutorial up there

  • Press CTRL+I to invert the selection and press X -> Faces to delete it

Stop after having done this, then :

Create the curvature as a mesh, there i am using a sphere bellow both the honeycomb and the mesh i used to “knife project”

Go to top view, select the honeycomb and in the bottom header enable the Snap button (the magnet icon) , set the snap to Surface , closest and enable the 2 buttons that are next to it :

Select all , then press G then enter or left click to validate, this will project the whole selected mesh on the surface of the object behind it (the curvature i need) , this will give the curved honeycomb i need.

Do the same for the object that has been used for knife projection, (though you may want to hide the honeycomb object by selecting it in Object Mode and press H) go to top view, select it , go to edit mode, make sure the same snap tools are setup and enabled, then press G , then enter/left click to validate.

Once done, disable the snapping tool (the magnet icon) or Blender will always try to snap things on surface of other object when moving anything

Back to object mode, unhide the honeycomb object (ALT+H) , and you should have both the honeycomb and the object curved as needed .
From that point you can resume following the previous tutorial

Note : if when projection the honeycomb on the surface of the curved object you notice the honeycomb does not curve that nicely, you may need then to select all the honeycomb and press the Subdivide button (or W -> Subdivide) in order to get more geometry and allow the honeycomb to snap more nicely in the curved object (on my test i didn’t needed to subdivide, the curving was nice)

thanks sanctuary. got the curvature part.
hey i modelling this car. would like to comment on its topology or anything that looks wrong?

from the shots, the topology looks ok, though im more of a character and environment modeler myself. a guy that makes cars could probably point out more than i could. so BUMP to front page!

i do notice that your headlights and tail lights are confusingly chunky while everything else is smooth. is this by design? or were you going for circular? if this is a static/render model. then you can go nuts with the details without worrying about polycount.