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Subdividing meshes

From: Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Video: Subdividing meshes

Probably one of the most common ways to add detail to a Mesh model is to subdivide it. Now there are two ways to subdivide models in Blender. The first is to just subdivide them by themselves; the second is to do what's called subdivision surfaces. We are going to get into that in the next chapter; we're just going to look at subdividing by itself right here. Probably the easiest way to look at subdivision is to just take a simple cube, which I have here. So let's go ahead and zoom in on the cube, and right click to select it and then in order to subdivide, we do need to be in Edit Mode.

Subdividing meshes

Probably one of the most common ways to add detail to a Mesh model is to subdivide it. Now there are two ways to subdivide models in Blender. The first is to just subdivide them by themselves; the second is to do what's called subdivision surfaces. We are going to get into that in the next chapter; we're just going to look at subdividing by itself right here. Probably the easiest way to look at subdivision is to just take a simple cube, which I have here. So let's go ahead and zoom in on the cube, and right click to select it and then in order to subdivide, we do need to be in Edit Mode.

So I am going to hit Tab and then I am going to hit the A key to make sure we have everything selected. Now if you scroll down here in the Mesh Tools Panel, we've got an option here called Subdivide. So once I click on this, you'll see an option comes up here in the bottom and also notice how the Mesh has already subdivided. Remember, we only had one face along each side of this cube, now we have four, and basically that's what subdivision is.

It takes one face and it cuts it into many pieces. So the number of cuts we have is a variable that we can use right here. So if I bring this up, you can see we have two, three, four cuts so we can actually add more-and-more detail. Now one of the things you'll notice is that the detail that I'm adding here is still keeping the shape of that cube. I'm just adding additional faces. If I want, I can also work with this Smoothness parameter to smooth out those edges.

So as I bring my Smoothness up, notice how this kind of actually starts to go towards a sphere. In fact, if I bring up the number of cuts even more, it's going to get even more spherical. So this is actually really great way to turn a square-shaped polygonal object into something more organic. Now we have a couple of other options here. One is called Fractal and that we probably are not going to use that a lot because what it does is just randomizes those vertices, and generally, we probably don't want to do that.

And then we also have the Corner Cut Pattern and we can do it either as a Fan, Inner Vertex, or Path, almost all the times we're going to keep it on Inner Vertex. Now another thing with this tool is that we don't have to subdivide everything at once. So I am going to go ahead and click off of this and then hit Ctrl+Z to undo. So I am going to bring this back to the way that it was. Now I am going to go ahead and hit A to deselect and right-click on this top face and let's go ahead and just subdivide that top face.

So I am going to go here into Subdivide and you can see how already the geometry is changing a little bit because I am only subdividing part of it. So as I add more cuts, you can see how it's trying to make sure that I can just cut this face and still keep it connected to the others. And if I add smoothness, you can see how. Again, I can just subdivide part of the object and not just the whole thing. So I am going to go ahead and deselect this and Hit tab to go back into Object Mode.

Now probably the most common use of subdivision surfaces is in organic modeling. So I've got this head that we've kind of been working with and this is a very low res version of this head. This is kind of just a very low polygon version of this. This is basically how you'd probably model something like this. So I am going to go ahead and hit Tab to go in Edit Mode and make sure that all of my faces are selected, and let's go ahead and subdivide this. Now again, if we subdivide this with smoothness, notice how it starts to get a lot more organic.

So if I have one cut, two cuts, notice how we are actually getting a lot more detail in that model. Now one of the things you need to be aware of is that each one of these cuts quadruples the number of vertices. So one cut will make one vertices into four, two cuts will make four into 16, three cuts will add 64. So you're geometrically multiplying the number of faces that you have in your model. So be very careful.

If you get much above three or four cuts, you are going to start getting so many polygons that you may run out of memory in your system and that sort of thing. So be careful; don't go too high on those number of cuts. Also, another thing to be aware of is that the more detail you have in your model, the harder it's going to be to animate. So typically, when we actually subdivide, we subdivide as little as possible and then when we get into using subdivision surfaces, that's where we can kind of go crazy with the subdivisions to get things really super smooth.

But at this point when you're modeling, you don't want to go too deep into subdivisions; just enough to give you the room you need to create the shapes that you want.

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This video is part of

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Blender 2.6 Essential Training

94 video lessons · 22732 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Downloading Blender
      34s
    4. Notes on Blender 2.7 NEW
      2m 8s
    5. Using Blender on a Mac
      42s
    6. Using Blender on a laptop
      36s
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 49m 18s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode (Updated for 3.7) NEW
      5m 3s
    6. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    7. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    8. Extrusions
      5m 18s
    9. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    10. Subdividing meshes
      5m 12s
  5. 50m 31s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 48s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 36s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 2s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 26s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      8m 4s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 45s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor (Updated for 3.7) NEW
      7m 43s
    4. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    5. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    6. UV mapping a character (Updated for 3.7) NEW
      6m 35s
    7. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    8. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    9. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    10. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    11. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 39m 59s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 2s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 24s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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