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Working with subdivision surfaces

From: Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Video: Working with subdivision surfaces

Now let's take a look at Subdivision Surfaces. This is basically a modifier that does pretty much the same thing as the Subdivide command in the Object Tools Panel. But this is more interactive, it's basically live so we can actually modify an object and have it subdivide at the same time. It's really great for character animation and anything where you need organic shapes that animate. So I am going to go ahead and select this box and expand out my Properties Panel just a little bit so I can get into my Modifiers and then I am going to add Subdivision Surface.

Working with subdivision surfaces

Now let's take a look at Subdivision Surfaces. This is basically a modifier that does pretty much the same thing as the Subdivide command in the Object Tools Panel. But this is more interactive, it's basically live so we can actually modify an object and have it subdivide at the same time. It's really great for character animation and anything where you need organic shapes that animate. So I am going to go ahead and select this box and expand out my Properties Panel just a little bit so I can get into my Modifiers and then I am going to add Subdivision Surface.

Now notice what happens, as soon as I add this, it starts subdividing this particular surface. So if I want I can add more subdivisions in my View and also more in my Render. Now with this you got to be a little careful not to add too many because you can very easily get millions of polygons if you bring this up much above three or four. So you have to be very careful with this. But we can actually dial in Resolution and we can have a different resolution for the Viewport and for the Render, which can be really, really nice.

Now what really is cool about Subdivision Surfaces is when you start editing the original mesh. So right now I am in Object Mode, if I hit Tab I am going to go into Edit Mode. Now what shows up here is the original box. So if I were to delete this, okay with no Modifier that's my box. But when I put the modifier back on you'll sea that it actually subdivides that. And so as I add more detail in terms of subdivisions I have a smoother object.

Now what's really cool is that I can actually modify the original mesh, in other words that original box that I have and it will actually, the underlying surface will follow along. So if I were to select for example some of these vertices here, I can actually start making a very curved surface, and that's pretty cool. And if I wanted to go into Face Edit Mode and Shift+Select a couple of faces I could actually go through and use some of these Object Tools such as Extrude Region and I can make an extrusion, and let's go ahead and do another one here.

And now notice how as I do this we get additional detail, but also that detail is smoothed. Now one of the things you probably should be aware of is that that smoothing really depends on how close together the edge loops are. So, if I were to go into Edge Mode here and Alt+Select this edge, you can see how when I slide it this way the more distance I have here, the more curve I have. If I push it closer you'll see that this curve is tighter.

So this can actually control how much curvature we have in our model and this is another reason why Edge Loops can be important particularly for this sort of modeling. So if I drag this Edge Loop in here you'll see it's tighter or it's looser. So as you start modeling one of the nice things you can do is to actually model with a Subdivision Surface applied, in that way you can model your object simply and then you can see the smoothed or more complex result as you model.

But the actual model that you're using is the simple box rather than the more complex curved surface underneath. And we're going to be using this a lot more during the course. So go ahead and practice editing this object and get used to how Subdivision Surfaces works, because we are going to be using those a little bit more later in the course.

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This video is part of

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Blender 2.6 Essential Training

94 video lessons · 23782 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 2.7) 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 2.7) 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 2.7) 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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