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Algae998
12-20-2007, 08:49 PM
Hello LWers,

Ive run into a wall. Ive searched for this throughout the forum but I cant seem to find anything on this. How do I combine or merge objects or meshes into one single mesh???

I like to model with primatives, mainly because Im still new to 3d. What Ive planned on doing is making my 3d model (out of multiple primatives), exporting it, opening it in Zbrush and fine detailing or painting it there. The problem comes in when trying to subdivide in Zbrush.

In my attached images, Ive made a gasmask filter made of 4 discs for the rings, body and tube all on the same layer (image 1 and 2) and then exported it. When I import it into ZB (image 3) and subdivide it however many times, I get the following results (image 4). I believe this is due the "shrinkage" of the meshes during a subdivision since the objects are not a single mesh. (I have experimented with other single mesh objs and this does not occur)

So far the only way around this that Ive found is to build the model in ZB, which Im more accurate in LW for mechanical stuff, or to draw out the outline and use the lathe tool. If someone could point me in the right direction as to combining meshes to avoid this, I would greatly appreciate it!!

RudySchneider
12-20-2007, 08:57 PM
Construct > Boolean > Union. Just don't forget to merge points (hotkey "m") afterwards. You may also need to add a bit more edge reinforcement to maintain "tight" curvature.

SplineGod
12-20-2007, 09:05 PM
It shouldnt shrink like that. You might subdivide it a bit more before exporting from LW. Also theres nothing wrong with modeling things the way you did. Spending the time to make single seamless meshes can be a waste of time.

RudySchneider
12-20-2007, 09:32 PM
Algae998 ---
I threw together a slightly modified (bandsaw) cylinder, and a couple of lathed rings, in a similar fashion to your model. I then did a boolean union of the three, merged (and cleaned up a few) points, and used Catmull-Clark subdivision, resulting in this:

THREEL
12-20-2007, 10:55 PM
Evening Aaron,

Do you need to have the vertical cylinder protruding into the top and bottom rings? I might just have a solution for you, but I need to know the answer to this question.

AL

Algae998
12-20-2007, 10:57 PM
I dont know much about boolean, other than the subtract trick, but I cant quite get it to work. Should I have all of the objects in the same layer?
If I select the entire model, boolean isnt available, only speed boolean and if I select union, the entire model disappears.

If I take the rings, for example, and throw them into another layer, then do the boolean > union, the rings appear in the other layer but are not selected if I hit the "]" key to select all the polys.

Algae998
12-20-2007, 11:01 PM
Hello Al,
I do suppose the vertical cylinder needs to protrude into the rings, only for the look that the rings are molded or formed from the can. If it isnt protruding there might be a gap between the 3 objects.

THREEL
12-20-2007, 11:03 PM
Hello Al,
I do suppose the vertical cylinder needs to protrude into the rings, only for the look that the rings are molded or formed from the can. If it isnt protruding there might be a gap between the 3 objects.

I'll see what I can come up with for you, but I'm not sure I'll get it done tonight. We'll see!

AL

PS--Can you show me top and bottom view as well?

Algae998
12-21-2007, 12:03 AM
I sure can. I hope these are the views you are looking for. The specific design really isnt too important since I will probably be working it over in ZB, just trying to prep the 4 objects for export is where I stumble.

THREEL
12-21-2007, 12:23 AM
I sure can. I hope these are the views you are looking for. The specific design really isnt too important since I will probably be working it over in ZB, just trying to prep the 4 objects for export is where I stumble.

Hey Aaron,

Is this similar to what you're looking for? It is all one piece and hollow on the inside. Here's a render and the files for you to decipher. You may have to load an image from :lwicon:'s content directory to get the surface to load.

See how much of the object's construction you can figure out on your own. I'll try to answer any questions you may have.

I started out with an 8 sided flat disc and went from there.

talk to ya L8R!

AL

Algae998
12-21-2007, 12:49 AM
Haha, great job on the canister. The only areas Im foggy in, I believe, is on layers 6 and 7, but I will have to take a closer look. Other than that it looks great and easy to do :). This way seems a bit more cohesive than trying to line up primatives and getting their size correct.

THREEL
12-21-2007, 06:34 AM
Haha, great job on the canister. The only areas Im foggy in, I believe, is on layers 6 and 7, but I will have to take a closer look. Other than that it looks great and easy to do :). This way seems a bit more cohesive than trying to line up primatives and getting their size correct.

I'm glad your getting the idea, Aaron. Don't you love it when the light comes on over your head. :D

In Layer 6, I selected the bottom 8 points of the top ring and hit "e" for Extender Plus. With those points still selected I used move (t) to move those points down to see the new geometry that was porduced by using Extender Plus.

Then, I copied Layer 6 & pasted it into Layer 7. I selected one of the very top points of the bottom ring & hit "i" to get the ID of that point on the Y axis. I copied that number in the Y axis box, deselected the point, & selected the 8 points at the bottom of the new geometry. I hit "v" for Set Value and pasted the number that I copied from the one point in the Set Value box. Also, I made sure that the Y axis was selected in the Set Value dialogue box.

Once I got those points lined up, I hit "m" for merge, unchecking the Keep 1-Point polygons box.

You could probably do this same object with hexagons & get very similar results. It would save on polygons that way, when you subpatch it & bring it in to Layout.

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

AL

Surrealist.
12-21-2007, 11:12 PM
Nice job Al. :)

IMI
12-21-2007, 11:30 PM
Aaron, you could probably get the same results by using multiple bevels on either a low-res subpatch disk or a hi-res disk not in subpatch.
The rounded edges could be done with edge bevel. The bevel tools are a pretty quick way of getting fairly complex shapes, fairly quickly. Check 'em out. :)

THREEL
12-22-2007, 07:57 AM
Nice job Al. :)

tHANX, Richard! I must say, you have been one of my best mentors on this forum. Something I've been meaning to ask you. Are you from the west side of the pond, or the east? It's just something I've been wondering.



Aaron, you could probably get the same results by using multiple bevels on either a low-res subpatch disk or a hi-res disk not in subpatch.
The rounded edges could be done with edge bevel. The bevel tools are a pretty quick way of getting fairly complex shapes, fairly quickly. Check 'em out.

Mike: Much of this was done with Bevel. I used Extender Plus to make the geometry between the rings. And, yes Aaron could crank up the number of sides on the discs and most likely get away without subpatching, but I think you'd have to crank it up a bunch to get it as smooth as subpatching IMPO.

IMI
12-22-2007, 10:43 AM
Mike: Much of this was done with Bevel. I used Extender Plus to make the geometry between the rings. And, yes Aaron could crank up the number of sides on the discs and most likely get away without subpatching, but I think you'd have to crank it up a bunch to get it as smooth as subpatching IMPO.

Ah, I should have noticed where you said you started from a disk. ;) My bad.
I just wanted to mention that subpatching isn't the only way to go about it. For what it's worth, I agree 100%, and I rarely do anything but real boxy, angular stuff without subpatching.
I do have problems though, sometimes, in using subpatch and bevel for things like the inside of a glass or a tube. It can be difficult to follow the exterior of a curved surface without causing the interior to poke through. Lathe is a good way around that.

Algae998
12-22-2007, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the tips on the model everyone! In a sense its pointless for me to model in subpatch mode because when I import it into Zbrush the subpatch is not read. These tips will be very handy for my next project that I am going to start today, which will be tank. I do wish there was a way to just merge the meshes of multiple primatives since I am very sketchy at modeling with bevels and extending. I do suppose that is the down side to learning 3d modeling/animation with all of these new programs coming out; you dont learn the very basics of modeling (pushing points around and such).
Ill post my progress when I can. Thanks again!

THREEL
12-22-2007, 03:46 PM
I do have problems though, sometimes, in using subpatch and bevel for things like the inside of a glass or a tube. It can be difficult to follow the exterior of a curved surface without causing the interior to poke through. Lathe is a good way around that.

Mike: You could, also use something called Smooth Shift (Shift + F) to make a glass like that. Just make your interior, copy it to another layer, flip the polys, if they're not already facing out, and then, run Smooth Shift on the object. Copy both of those layers to another layer, just incase something gets messed up, and merge the 2 together. You wouldn't necessarily have to do that with something that has a shape like a glass, but it comes in real handy for something that doesn't have a basic shape. It's nice to know more than one option. It has helped to build my modeling skills.



Thanks for the tips on the model everyone! In a sense its pointless for me to model in subpatch mode because when I import it into Zbrush the subpatch is not read. These tips will be very handy for my next project that I am going to start today, which will be tank. I do wish there was a way to just merge the meshes of multiple primatives since I am very sketchy at modeling with bevels and extending. I do suppose that is the down side to learning 3d modeling/animation with all of these new programs coming out; you dont learn the very basics of modeling (pushing points around and such).
Ill post my progress when I can. Thanks again!

Aaron: Do you have a manual? Look up the part about freezing Subpatchs. All you have to do is select the parts that you want to Freeze and hit Freeze (Ctrl + D) If you are freezing the whole object, you don't have to select any polygons. This will give you the geometry you need and un-subpatch the object.

Bevels are pretty straight forward. Just pick the poly (s) that you want to bevel hit Bevel (b) & Numeric (n), give amounts to shift and/or inset to create new geometry. For Extender Plus, just pick the points that you want to grow new geometry from hit Extender Plus (e) and then, use one of the modify tools, usually move (t) or stretch (h), to find your new geometry.

Hope this helps!

AL

IMI
12-22-2007, 04:15 PM
Al, I never tried smooth shift in that way, but I'll give it a go. Thanks for the tip. :)
I've used smooth shift alot in the past for similar things, and every now and then still do, but I've largely tossed it aside since MultiShift came along.

THREEL
12-22-2007, 04:25 PM
Al, I never tried smooth shift in that way, but I'll give it a go. Thanks for the tip. :)
I've used smooth shift alot in the past for similar things, and every now and then still do, but I've largely tossed it aside since MultiShift came along.

Use which ever one works best, Mike. :thumbsup: I've always said there's more than one way to skin a cat. It's nice to find as many options as possible to complete a task, because what works well on one thing may not work well on another and vice-versa. Explore all the options.

AL

IMI
12-22-2007, 07:20 PM
It would be interesting for a few of us, or a group, to decide on some model, maybe from a sketch or a picture, outline how we would go about modeling it and then stick to that and upload the results for comparison, with some screen grabs showing various key points of the development. :)
That's what's missing around here - challenges. Would be cool to get a challenge forum going.

Algae998
12-22-2007, 09:35 PM
I agree, a challenge forum would be a great thread to follow. Other sites have challenge forums, ranging from newbies to pros, and it really helps for discovering new ways or even polish up on some skills.

I havent had a chance to really work on anything today because Ive been running around getting some of my work printed at a local college and searching for poster frames. Im anxious to get to work on the next model and test out the canister further. In the picture Ive uploaded, it shows the canister without the changes applied. I decided to go ahead with the print of this particular model because of the time remaining for getting it printed and framed for christmas. I do kind of like the boxy/flat sided appreance of the canister, but it could look better using your suggested methods...plus its difficult to paint or texture a model with that low of a poly count (in ZB).
Let me know what you all think of the model and if I should rework those canisters.
I hope my girlfriend likes the prints, which are 24" x 24", because they are already framed :D .

THREEL
12-22-2007, 09:42 PM
It would be interesting for a few of us, or a group, to decide on some model, maybe from a sketch or a picture, outline how we would go about modeling it and then stick to that and upload the results for comparison, with some screen grabs showing various key points of the development. :)
That's what's missing around here - challenges. Would be cool to get a challenge forum going.

This might be a cool thing for William Vaughan to get going with all his tute vids and all. Maybe, he could pick the object to build, and then, he could challenge us on how to build it. There could be a team of judges from Newtek, or something.

We could keep track of the models in layers (through screengrabs) to show construction progression and try to keep track of our total modeling time. Also, I think there would have to be different levels of expertise. I don't how you'd police something like that. I guess you'd have to take everybody on their word.

Also, the modeler would need to specify what version of :lwicon: they use. I'm on 8.5, myself.

Just some things to think about.

AL

IMI
12-22-2007, 10:09 PM
Aaron, that came out pretty cool. Not sure what it "means", but it looks good. :)
You know what though - there's so many ways to go about painting textures. You could take those Zb textures an apply them in Layout and mix them with some procedurals and bake them out to new textures with a whole lot of detail, even on a lo-res mesh.
Or, you could use your lo-res mesh to make a UV map, but crank the poly count way up in ZB and still use the resulting map on your low-res mesh.
There are many possibilities, especially when LW and ZB come together. :)

Al, that'd be awesome if somehow William Vaughan could be coerced into managing a challenge from time to time. :thumbsup:
I'd settle for them just setting up a Challenge Forum and letting those interested go to town on it. The last organized challenge I'm aware of that happened here was an interior lighting challenge. Someone uploaded an empty room and the idea was to light it as best as possible. It got a whole lot of response and there were quite a few images uploaded. So, there is a certain amount of interest in that sort of thing, at least.

Algae998
12-23-2007, 02:34 AM
Haha, thanks IMI. The yellow can's logo is my girlfriends signature/logo and the green can's design is my logo. We both like to paint, she like to spray and I like airbrushing and spraying to I figured the gasmask could hold the two cans together. The idea came to me and I ran with it.

Maybe we should just start a challenge? Just post a thread on the Community forum and see where it goes. Maybe something like create your own character, or a vehicle? I suppose if its labeled as "CHALLENGE - ..." it would get a bit of attention. Just some thoughts :)