Sub-Objects in floating geometry?

Was watching a video for 3ds max on floating geometry and they added detail to a surface of another object without booleans and without keeping the object above the surface of a model. In other words this floating geometry was flush on the face of another object without the detail being hidden behind the mesh. The artist in the video called it a sub-object. Does anyone know how to replicate this? I would be very happy to get something like that working in blender.

Heres the link to the video I watched:

You got it wrong. It’s still floating, it’s the shading and the fact that the details are face-snapped onto surfaces that makes it look like it’s modelled in. If you look closely at e.g. 8 minute mark you can clearly see this.
And a “sub-object” in Max is an element: vertex, edge, face, etc. It’s called that for generalization: objects in Max are built using the modifier stack, and modifiers can have different sub-objects. Mesh elements for meshes, mirror plane object for symmetry, etc.

You can use Blender’s face snapping to easily snap objects to surfaces of other objects, just make sure the origins are positioned correctly.


floating_geometry.blend (108 KB)

Oh I see. Its just really close to the surface. Thanks.