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SplineGod
10-22-2003, 10:21 PM
I thought I would share this here on the forum. One of my students had a question about other methods of creating ears, in this case using splines. The trick with this is to quickly layout the ears in 2D then smooth shifting to get the mythical "3rd" dimension. :) This took about 10 minutes.

Heres another way to do it with splines:
In fig 1. I simply lay out the splines to follow the contours of the ears and also divide it into 3 zones.
Once the splines are laid out I make sure the inner most splines are divided into a 4 sided patch (orange arrows).
In Fig 2 I then add splines that will make sure the whole thing is divided up into 4 sided patches. The innermost 4 splines will determine where the other splines (orange arrows) radiate from
In Fig 3 I use the patch command to create polys inside each spline patch.
In Fig 4 I do a little detailing and spin quads to tweak it.
As you can see I smooth shift Zones 2 and 3 in and then smooth shift zone 3 in further.
The time on this is about 10 minutes
Im also including a ZIP (http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/examples/spline_ear.zip) file with the LW object with each stage in different layers for you to look at.

http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/examples/spline_ear_steps.jpg

hrgiger
10-22-2003, 10:38 PM
I wouldn't normally use splines to do character modeling but I think this is a very good example of a complex piece of geometry that is easily made with spline cages. I think I will definately try that on my next model. Thanks Larry.

SplineGod
10-22-2003, 10:54 PM
Thanks Steve,
Its what Ive mentioned in other places about using splines as a layout tools for SubD cages (polys). This is a good example of how very few splines can control a larger amount of geometry. The splines easily define the form as well as indicate the flow.
The trick would be to also reduce the polys in such a way so that it can be welded or merged into an existing head. The areas where I would do the reduction would be behind the ears where any potential problems wouldnt be seen. :)

hrgiger
10-22-2003, 11:45 PM
I used to have problems with merging geometry where there were different amounts of points to be joined but I find that pretty easy anymore. I find it unnecessary to hide those points behind the ears and such as it's pretty easy to still make 4 point polygons and maybe the occasional 3 pointer. I just had to get past the idea that all my polygons had to be in neat rows. Like here is a head I'm working on now and here is the geometry around the ears. You can see the face geometry is fairly simple but I wanted more detail in the ear. You can pretty easily merge the ear with the head without creases just by trying to use 4 point polygons, no matter which way you put them. It doesn't look neat in the wire but I don't get any seams or creases in the render. You can especially get away with this here as the skin here isn't going to be moving much for animation.

I'm sure you already know this but just wanted to give a general tip about joining the ears to the head...

SplineGod
10-22-2003, 11:51 PM
Cool, thanks. :)
I typically dont model my ears separately from the head. I do get a few people who have a hard time "growing" the ears out from the head so I like to show other options or methods. :)

riki
10-23-2003, 12:19 AM
Thanks Larry can we see a perspective shot.

SplineGod
10-23-2003, 12:43 AM
Sure thing! Just download the zip file containing the object (which is in layers). :)

riki
10-23-2003, 12:50 AM
uuuuggghh how did I miss that. many thanks :D

SplineGod
10-23-2003, 01:00 AM
lol, Im too lazy to do it myself :)

Bones_3DFC
10-23-2003, 06:11 AM
Did you have to weld the vertice - or, two points - where each spline
meets the next?
Is there a way - how to put this - to ...
Create a Spline, then, upon creating the second Spline - the
Second Spline 'auto-welds' it's tail to the head of the last Spline?

Hoping this question makes sense - even if stupid.

Splines are an intuitive way to go - like drawing - you really get a flow.
But then all the welding feels like extra work, and turns me off.

hrgiger
10-23-2003, 08:53 AM
Originally posted by Bones_3DFC
Did you have to weld the vertice - or, two points - where each spline
meets the next?
Is there a way - how to put this - to ...
Create a Spline, then, upon creating the second Spline - the
Second Spline 'auto-welds' it's tail to the head of the last Spline?

Hoping this question makes sense - even if stupid.

Splines are an intuitive way to go - like drawing - you really get a flow.
But then all the welding feels like extra work, and turns me off.

Yes, where the splines meet the points have to be connected/welded.
As far as auto welding, not that I'm aware of at least in the sense you're talking. What you can do is make a spline, and then draw out a bunch of points to make another spline. What you do then is select your points in order and hit ctrl-p to make your spline. Just include one of the points from your first spline in that string and then when you make your second spline, it will automatically be connected to the first. Hope that makes sense.

You can also just try to get the points very close that you want to weld and use merge using a small distance.

Bones_3DFC
10-23-2003, 09:09 AM
Oh yes.
Very good info - I would not have otherwise dug around for it.
Would you believe I never properly used the merge panel ?
Heh ..
You forced me to explore that - I know it seems obvious - but I
get caught up in certain ways of doing things and then something
this easy seems like learning the hard way.
But you made me look and think.
Thank you for the info! :)

SplineGod
10-23-2003, 03:59 PM
Im with you on that. I hate welding splines too. It runs counter to my well cultivated sense of laziness. ;)
What I do is to pick existing points and hit ctrl p to make a spline as steve suggested.
You can almost eliminate the whole welding step.
Download the free spline tutorial I have and youll see what I mean. :)

Bones_3DFC
10-23-2003, 04:43 PM
Oh yeah!
A bunch of people at our forum did this particular tutorial.
I'll take the plunge :)
Thanks!