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Summary

Distinct advantages exist when modeling in subdivs: the model is a complete volume and has one continuous skin. These advantages are outweighed by NURBS patch modeling when it comes to characters. Luckily, the subdivision surfaces can be easily converted to NURBS or polygons. Keep in mind surface flow at all times. Before you start on a fairly laborious model, consult the character-rigging people to find out their technical criteria. Take the time to draw a variety of character proposals before you even switch on Maya.

Think of modeling in subdivs as creating a volume and then adding to it with the extrude face functionality. Be judicious with the surface flow, and add detail with the Split Polygon tool. Try to do 3D sketches of the model before you commit to the final version, as in the first exercise. Sculpt away with the subdiv vertex, and then add detail with hierarchical refining for areas such as the toenails in the final dog. It is important to keep a relatively simple shape in regard to the poly proxy/level 0 so that edges can be creased, as with the nose detail on The Jerk.


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