Spline modeling in Blender. Is there such a thing?

Hi all,

How does one do spline (or patch) modeling in Blender? Is it spacebar-Add-Curve? Why do I see NURBS stuff under curves and under surfaces? Does this have anything to do with NURBS? What is the difference? All the books I have talk about spline modeling as being the best for organic modeling such as character modeling, but in a previous topic I started people were telling me subsurf modeling is the way to go. I am so confused. The more I read, the more confused I get. This does not seem like it gets any easier. I want to model cartoony characters, so which way should I go, spline (patch) modeling or subsurf or NURBS? PLEASE HELP! Thanks.


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nurbs aren’t as flexible as spines, but in blender are as close as you’re going to get

nurbs surfaces are made entierly of quads in a grid pattern

splines dont’ have this restrition, but also aren’t in blender

instead of wanting splines in blender, it is usually a better idea to learn how to use surbsurf [on a mesh]

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Is it spacebar-Add-Curve?

Use Add-Surface-NURB Curve. You can loft selected splines with FKEY or Make Segment from the Surface menu. There are Make Cyclic options for both u and v directions.

Surface Curves can be lofted. Curve Curves cannot.

Patch/Spline modelling for characters has largely been replaced in the industry by subsurf modelling which is quite a bit more flexible. The reason you find so many patch/spline modelling tutorials is because they existed for all the major packages before subsurf modelling became common. Spline modelling is however still used extensively for parts design/industrial uses since cutting tools and other machinery can easily be programmed to follow the mathematical splines. So for modelling your characters subsurfs is the way to go. I suggest you google for the infamous “Joan of Arc” tutorial which while not written for blender, shows most of the techniques now commonly used for character modelling.

example of subsurf modelling:

Hope this helps,