View Full Version : Reducing geometry

supa noob
02-24-2008, 06:48 AM
Hello LW users.

I need some help here 8~
Iím very much a beginner.

So as an exercise Iím trying to sub-patch model the bike from the film Akira. Not the most original idea I know.

I decided to break the bike down into elements.
Hereís the start of my front fairing.

Iíve got the Ďwingsí the windshield and the headlight all ready to push around into the right shapes.

But as you can see I have way too many wires and points to move.

Hereís the back of the model so you can see the control loops better.

When I start to drag or move/taper/size etcÖ I can get the shapes I need but I also get horrible pinches and crimps because of the excessive amount of polygons.

Please help me with my work flow. Iíve spent hours and hours on this and gotten nowhere (the pictures here are from an earlier model, you donít what to see the mess Iíve ended up with!)Ė well I guess Iíve learnt that I canít push around a complex mesh and try and fix it afterwards.

Whatís the best way forward?

Tidy up my existing mesh (at this point before I deform the blocks)? In which case I would appreciate some advise on how to go about this.

Start again and make all the elements of the bike separately, get them how I want them and then Boolean them together (adjusting the mesh as I go)

Start again and use another method eg. bevel the whole thing roughly and extrude more detail?

Something else

02-24-2008, 08:05 AM
Being able to model complex models comes with practice, although you have done the right thing by breaking down the machine into smaller pieces.

You might find it easier to try something a little less challenging to hone your skills on and develop your techniques first. I went through a very similar level of frustration when I first started modelling, but the only to improve is to keep practising and build your modelling confidence up.

Sorry if I can't give you any direct 'how to model cleanly' advice - for me it was just something I developed over time, by looking at other peoples models and from following many, many tutorials!

02-24-2008, 04:34 PM

I think that you have too many polygons. If you have already done my subpatch tutorial, take a look at the one on creating contour in the Lightwiki.

Also take a look at this thread (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79909&highlight=shoe):

And this one (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76228&page=2&highlight=fins).

For some ideas.

Down the thread a ways I post some examples such as this:


Basically for something like this, you can start out with a good polyflow on a flat piece and then extrude it, then taper and tweak from there. Think simple.

02-24-2008, 05:21 PM
I think that you have made so far looks great but as you know, the details you have added could be done without having to all all the extra geometry.

Using too many polygons is something that all beginners do imo, and as you get better you will learn to create those same details while using less polygons. A lot of it comes from knowing the tools and when/where to use them, something that you will gain with experience.

What i would suggest is if you want to create a cleaner mesh its often better to start over rather than spending a lot of time trying to clean up the current mesh. Each time you re-make it (which u may end up doing several times) you will put into practice all the things you learn while building the previous versions, meaning you re-create it quicker and most likely better. You can always use the previous version as a guide (stick it in the background layer) to model around to get the shape, but get the shape with less polygons.

What took you an hour to make for the first time, will probably only take you 10-15 minutes to make again due to what you gained while making that first one.

supa noob
02-26-2008, 05:15 AM
for your help.
all your advise is very valuable and appreciated.
I wont try to clean my mesh after the damage has been done as you suggest.
Its hard to throw away work and re-do it even when its ugly and never gonna fly! 8~ the temptation is to keep hammering at it until it gets fixed. but i know thatís not going to happen.
I have to work smarter.

I'll keep you posted.
who knows one day in the distant future, perhaps when the sun has turned into a red giant and the human race has been enslaved by hyper evolved plankton, i may complete this model and post the results here.

02-26-2008, 11:02 AM
I wont try to clean my mesh after the damage has been done as you suggest.

Actually as part of the learning process, you could attempt to clean your mesh up and see where you can make economies and better loops. Sometimes doing things the hard way can improve you, because you'll see where you went wrong and realise what NOT to do in the future!

02-28-2008, 06:20 AM
i use merge polygons... select two or more in a row and merge them into one.
it leaves the points so you will have to delete them too...always work in poly mode while doing it and then switch into sub patch.

good way of modeling for this kind of objects is using splines..and then patch them to create the geometry.

anyway i dont think you have too much polys exept maybe in the second model.... where ever there is a straight surface you dont need that much polys... only at the ends to make the bevel..... so try to merge those polys, clear the points afterwards..and your done.

to find the polys with more then 4 points always use statistic window...its much easier to see where is the problem.

02-28-2008, 11:52 AM
SubDModeling is a science and an art. When you model a lot and you see other's work, you start to recoginze certain patterns that you can repeat under certain circumstances. Once you regognize these patterns you can start to codify them.

Now since you are not reinventing the wheel here, there is no need for each modeler to take as long as the other guys who have figured it out. As the community grows, the learning curve should shorten if people share what they know. This is why doing tutorials is so important. There is no reason you should take a year to figure out something it took another guy a year to figure out. This should take you only a few hours.

So by doing tutorials you are shortening your learning curve and saving yourself time in the long run.

1) Read the manual

2) Do tutorials

3) Model a lot

4) Figure some new things out

5) Share what you know.