View Full Version : Dolphin Tutorial?

04-05-2014, 03:05 PM
I've been working on the dolphin modeling tutorial recommended by a member of this forum. I'm very new to modeling and have a couple questions concerning the tutorial.
1.When I finish beveling a dolphin torso from an 8 sided disc, if I don't have a smooth taper(It pinches in in and also bulges in its shape), how do I correct this after the fact? I've tried to drag vertices and match them to the side view and top view of the dolphin to get its shape, but I end up with weird geometric patterns in the mesh.
2.I used the tunnel from the drill tool to make a hole on the top of the dolphin and and used P to create an 8 sided polygon. When I selected this new polygon(to bevel it) it's yellow dotted line was not at 90 degrees but at 80, so the fin was at an angle. If a polygon is at a weird angle how do I correct in a mesh?
3.Is there any basic info regarding polygons? I know that the simpler the shape the better,but how can I tell if I have a good mesh? Are there rules about polygons?
Maybe even a more basic tutorial explaining how to use the most common tools and their impact on polygons. Again to each and everyone who helps others with this program a huge thanks. All of your time is appreciated.

04-05-2014, 03:57 PM
Hi Bill. I created the dolphin tutorial I can try and help answer your questions.

1. The easiest thing to do I find is to select one loop at a time (resulting from each bevel you made) and scale or stretch them one at a time to smooth out your model. Use your top and side views for this to ensure you're getting a smooth taper along the body of the dolphin. I would recommend using scale and stretch tool for this. You can use the drag tool to move points individually. It may even help you to delete one side of the dolphin, make your adjustments, and then mirror the body over when you're done.
2. You can straighten out your polygon in a few different ways. The yellow dotted line you are seeing is the polygon normal. A normal tells you which way a polygon is facing. You can straighten out your polygon by using either the rotate tool on the selected polygon or alternatively, use the stretch tool (h shortcut key), hold down your ctrl key to constrain the movement, and drag downwards with your mouse. Its best to have your action center set to selection for this. After you've flattened the polygon, you may have to reposition it with the move tool.
3. It will depend on your mesh and what you are trying to achieve but I would recommend keeping your polygon sizes consistent (in both size and shape) for any given area. Obviously, areas like the area surrounding the eye is going to have smaller polygons then the polygons that run up and down the body but that is normal as areas of detail will require more polygons then larger surface areas like the body. And as you said, the simpler the better. Only add detail or more polygons where you need them to define the shapes you are after.

I hope that answers a few of your questions.


04-05-2014, 03:58 PM

.....Maybe even a more basic tutorial explaining how to use the most common tools and their impact on polygons.

I strongly suggest looking at this thread (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?77002-Hours-of-Free-LightWave-Training-(24-Hours-)) (It's the second sticky thread in the LW - General Techniques Tips and Tricks section of this forum).
Go to the second post and work your way through all the modeling tools. These were done a few LW versions ago, so some tools aren't there, but what is there remains very important and relevant.
You can't get any better then Proton Vaughan giving you the rundown.

Another fantastic resource for tool descriptions and usage, especially plugins, are Erikals Vids here (http://www.youtube.com/user/erikalst/videos).

Welcome and keep practicing.

04-05-2014, 04:21 PM
Thanks Steve and JoePoe. Definitely helps. This is quite fun.