View Full Version : what tools do you guys use to add detail

08-06-2005, 11:26 AM
Hey, I am trying to get into subpatch modelling, ive been only modelling for games so far, but id like to learn to learn how to model with subpatches.
So far ive been able to model a head then turn it into subpatches but i was just wondeirng what do you guys use to add more detail in places, for example the eyes. I initially thought that ppl would subdivide polygons but then that creates 5 sides polies, so you cant really subpatch properly anymore. So what tools do you guys use, for situations like thaT?
thanks in advance

08-07-2005, 04:41 PM
I'm no expert (or even at all proficient), but Surrealist described some good techniques in this thread:


Might check it out. For myself, I use Extend Plus a *lot* (shortcut "e"), combined with Move, Rotate, Shrink, Drag, etc.


08-07-2005, 06:36 PM
- smoothshift, move, rinse, repeat

- extender as mentioned

- bandsaw, and knife

- weightmaps for fine-tuning

- template drill in stencil mode

- displacement maps

- If I get the dreaded >4 polies, I cut, and repatch to get rid of them

That's the major part of my list, and I'm no expert either. Just depends on what I'm trying to make on what I'll do to make it.


08-07-2005, 10:18 PM
Thanks mTp :)

I think I put this link in the other thread but just to be sure here it is:


Though this starts out on the basic tools it gets into some very good techniques using modeler tools. I have been learning that the technique is key. What you do with the tools and how.

Another great rescorce is Larry Shultz website at www.splinegod.com there is a link there for online training. He has some great videos many exerpts are free to watch.

This link is also invaluable for head modeling and character modeling.


You'll learn lots about adding detail from all these guys. :)

08-08-2005, 01:00 PM
I couldn't live without Add Edges, Extender and BandSaw Pro.

08-09-2005, 05:03 AM
thanks for the replies
just to be sure bandsaw is pretty much the same as Cut (shift u) except that its interactive right? ive never actually tried using bandsaw, i always tend to use cut

08-09-2005, 11:45 AM
Bandsaw allows you to specifically place not just one cut but many, so you can precisely determine where they go. In addition, it will automatically follow the "loop" of polys based upon the two or three you select so there's not a chance to miss the cut, and create geometry that may screw your model up. It can still happen but the possibility is reduced.


08-09-2005, 12:48 PM
Yea just add to hoopti, bandsaw is specifically intended for edgeloops and segments. It's sister tool, bandglue found in Construct/reduce/more does just the opposite and will merge a loop or segment.

I consider all these tools in the same class:

Smooth Shift
Extender Plus

Now yes most of those are in the extend group anyway and cut is not.

(Extrude is not in this class because it can cause problems in subatch. You have to delete the base poly and merge points. Otherwise it would be the same in essence as I describe below)

The reason I consider these all as one class is becase they all create the same kind of geometry. Hold your haunches, let me finish. That is they will take a selection and create new geometry with five polly points at the corners and leave you with an edge loop. If you perform this twice you have one clean edge loop.

Hold on, not done yet...

Edge loops are important to the polly flow of the shape of course but also to creating detail especially around places such as the mouth and eyes where you want to continue to add loops to create ridges such as the eyelids. There are of course many many uses for this.

The technique of using suppershift over and over to pull out a convex shape or pull in a concave or to create ridged edges etc. is really just a technique that is creating a new series of edgeloops within a mesh that are surounded by 5 poly points. The key here is to get your edited mesh - if possible - away from those 5 poly points. Certainly not always possible or completely necessary but the point is that it creates edgeloops. This is where bandsaw pro comes in as one of it's uses.


Now of course there is a difference between how Bevel treats the selection. This sets it appart from Cut, Supper Shift, Smooth Shift, Extender plus, which all allow you to select more than one poly and create the edgloops around multiple polys whereas bevel only alows edgeloops around one poly at a time no matter how many are selected.

Then there are differences between suppershift and smooth shift as far as interactivity but beyond that they are the same. Extender Plus allows you to have a tool such as move or size active and continue hitting e to create new segments or loops.

Cut is set apart again only becase it a) actually subdivides - calulates the center of the selection whereas the other tools put geometry right on top of the selection and b) it is customizeable in that you can have it subdivide in ways that cut the mesh differently in the corners etc. In its default setting however, it gives you the same geometry as all the other tools with the exception that it actually divides.

OK alot here but the point here is understanding whst these tools do with the geometry. Thier use then depends on the situation and of course the preference of the user.

08-10-2005, 02:05 AM
thanks a lot to both of you for your replies, thats a lot more information than i expected and is deifnately helping me fill the gaps i had about those tools. I guess ill have to play around with them sometime such as bandsaw and extender which sound pretty interesting instead of using the ones i usually use to accomplish the same job.

08-10-2005, 10:00 PM
Here is a book I will buy as soon as comes out:

(WORDWARE PUBLISHING INC., Wordware Publishing - June 2006 , Paperback, 500 pages).

"Learning to model is one of the most difficult challenges a 3D artist will face, a process often hampered by books and online tutorials that teach users to perform a set of tasks but rarely explain why. More than a mere exposition of the software, this book is specifically designed to transform new users into confident 3D modelers. It features techniques for visualising objects in 3D space, explanations on every facet of LightWave Modeler, techniques for modeling with polygons, splines, and subpatches, and detailed tutorials for building a wide range of professional quality models."

A book for anyone who wants to learn the tools in modeler :dance: :dance:

08-10-2005, 10:29 PM
Sounds like a good book. I'm down with that paragraph if it delivers. You must review it for us if it does. :)