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Chapter 10. Organic Modeling > Modeling Summary

Modeling Summary

Now that you’ve finished modeling the head, here’s a brief recap of the major points of this section:

  • SubPatch surfaces are great for modeling freeform organic surfaces such as heads. To get the best out of them, however, give some thought to the underlying structure of the control cage. An easily editable cage relies on the following:

    Get the grid-like structure of the control cage to flow with the natural contours of the model. Your model will be easier to read in Wireframe, and it makes shaping the surface predictable and straightforward.

    Get the right number of control polygons to achieve the appropriate curvature in various parts of the model. Too many and the surface will be hard to shape, too few and you won’t get the definition you need.

  • To tackle complex subjects such as heads, break them down first into smaller, more manageable parts.

  • Prioritize which parts are the most important in the model and start with them. On a face, these are the mouth and eye areas.

  • Use background templates or images so that you don’t lose track of the bigger picture. This helps keep the head’s proper proportions.

  • Model each part independently, concentrating on achieving the optimum polygon structure.

  • Quickly lay down the control cage geometry—a row of points. Spend the time on actually sculpting the SubPatch surfaces into shape. Select individual bands of points or polygons at a time to work on if you’re having trouble.

  • “Grow” new geometry out of the existing mesh—using the Extender tool or any other means—when you can. This helps keep your polygon structure consistent (and it’s generally quicker).

  • Where the separate areas eventually meet, try to find elegant ways of joining them together by doing the following:

    Use five- (and three-) patch intersections of quad polygons rather than triangles.

    Plan ahead and try to get areas that will join up to have a similar number of polygons at the border edges.

    Have the seams occur in the natural creases of the model.

    If the final parts of the model are tricky to join, hide any untidy seams in places where they won’t matter.



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