View Full Version : Subpatch workflow question

05-04-2007, 08:12 AM
Thanks to all the expert advice here, I've finally managed to get past my subpatch "block" and actually make some progress on Ablan's Giraffe tutorial (I'm just a smooth shifting, band sawing, Oops - band gluing fool :))

I was studying Surrealist's knife example he kindly posted in this thread:

and I really don't have a clue as to what the step is between the sketch and the first wireframe image - what I mean is how to layout the first set of mesh in an irregular shape and maintain the 4 polygons.

I'm guessing there are probably a few different approaches to this - my first idea was to just use the Sketch tool for the outline, but then I'm not sure how to subdivide that without getting the dreaded >4 polygons (there might be a tool for this somewhere I haven't found yet).

Second guess was to "box" model out a rough outline and then use Smooth shift/Band saw, etc. to divide up the mesh.

I'm also guessing that the "holes" could be made using the Drill tool - would that create >4 polygons and need to be fixed?

I've found the Sketch tool quite intuitive to use for drawing out an irregular shape (like an acanthas leaf), but then I hit the wall when trying to add polygons that will subpatch correctly.

Any suggestions are appreciated!


05-04-2007, 08:56 AM
I find an easy way to trace a shape by drawing out a single box and then using extender to extend your shape out two points at a time.

05-04-2007, 08:58 AM

... calm down Grasshopper! You seem to be all over the shop. The Tao of Geometry awaits you ...

Just rephrase the question starting with what you are trying to do!


05-04-2007, 09:06 AM
Meshpig is %90 blind remember? Or the pig runs on less than %10 eyesight gas. :jam:

Even with my huge screen, I read posts like a missing person.

:help: not

05-04-2007, 01:36 PM
Heres an example of starting off with a box.
One thing I do also is to sometimes model the legs separately and
bridge them into the torso. I also sometimes rough out some areas with splines and then add details in subpatch mode like this:

05-04-2007, 02:30 PM
I like to start with a hexagon or an octagon poly (Create>Polygon>Pen) and then just use extender-plus (e) with the move (t), stretch(h) and size (H) tools to sculpt using a ring of selected verts. I make sure to move, stretch and size the verts in each viewport perspective for every new extension of polygons. This works best if you have a backdrop drawing or photoreferance in your viewport like splinegod shows.

Extender plus works by selecting verticies and activating the tool (e) for a single extension of verts/polys. You have to activate the tool each time you wish to make another extension.

05-04-2007, 03:35 PM
You can also combine Jasons method with splines and do a multirail extrude

05-07-2007, 08:12 AM
Thanks! I thought I'd try something simple (a Photoshop "puzzle piece" shape). I started with a box and used smooth shift, band saw, etc. but it's obvious I have some problems with the polyflow as I'm not sure how to handle the larger areas.

I've attached a couple of pixs to show what I mean and maybe someone could give me some advice as to 1) where I went wrong 2) how I could correct this?

05-07-2007, 09:35 AM
Since you got it that far I would just start welding points and minimize the amount of verticies needed to get your shape. In a production line it would be easier to manipulate the puzzle piece if you were working with many pieces or a larger scene filled with a lot of objects. But really this is completely useable. If it looks good in a render then you're golden. If things are boggin down your scene, it's time to optimize. It really just depends on what's in the scene.

05-07-2007, 09:53 AM
This type of bending happens a lot when sub-patching. Sub-patching will "round" an object out, such as your puzzle piece, especially if it is extruded up with one ploy between the top surface and the bottom surface. (Does that make sense?). One thing that you can do is to triple the top polys, but that can cause creasing, and the other thing that several people do is cut the top and bottom surfaces (in your situation) and paste then right back in. The edge polys will be smoothed and the top and bottom should follow the conturs.

With the puzzle piece, the EPSF loader might have worked better for the overall shape, so you wouldn't have to start with a box. You can export your puzzle piece as an illustrator vector file and then import it into LightWave. And get something like this...46076

Create a polygon by selecting around the edges then hitting 'p'. Mine came out with a pice missing but when I extruded it the other side came out ok so I deleted the bad poly and mirrored the other to make it like this....46077

No need for subpatches here, just some smoothing, but if you do subpatch you should use CC because I've noticed it follows the conturs better and you can tweek the edge weights in the areas that don't play nice.