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Creating creases with edge weighting

From: Modeling for Product Visualization in MODO

Video: Creating creases with edge weighting

In this video, we'll look at adding edge weights in order to get sharp creases in your subdivision surface models. So, in order to get edge weights to work correctly, typically we'll want to work in p-subs. However, there is something else to consider when we're looking at p-subs, and that is the actual subdivision weight. So if I look at this mesh, you can see that it is a subdivision level of 2. I'm going to increase that to a subdivision level of 4 so that I get a nice rounded surface. And I'm going to select just a single edge, and press Shift+W, and that will put me onto the Vertex Map Weight tool.

Creating creases with edge weighting

In this video, we'll look at adding edge weights in order to get sharp creases in your subdivision surface models. So, in order to get edge weights to work correctly, typically we'll want to work in p-subs. However, there is something else to consider when we're looking at p-subs, and that is the actual subdivision weight. So if I look at this mesh, you can see that it is a subdivision level of 2. I'm going to increase that to a subdivision level of 4 so that I get a nice rounded surface. And I'm going to select just a single edge, and press Shift+W, and that will put me onto the Vertex Map Weight tool.

Now, if you click and nothing happens in your Viewport, you might not have your Vertex Map selected. So go to List, Weight Maps and select Subdivision. Now, if you have other Weight Maps going on, and this is where you could get off, and you might not be affecting your subdivision weight by doing this. So you can see, as I pull on this, that I get a sharp crease with anything above 40%. And that's because you can take the actual subdivision level, in this case 4, multiply it by 10, and that's going to be the percentage you need in order to get a completely crisp sharp edge. So if I decrease that, now when you get to something very close to the subdivision level, say like 38%, you'll start to notice some weird faceting around the edge.

And if I deselect this edge, you see, it still looks creased, even though it's trying to be rounded. Now, and that's because there's not enough supporting geometry to give us that slightly beveled corner there. So if I take this, and let's go ahead to my layer here and duplicate it. Let's hide the first one. And if I were to take this and go up to Geometry and Freeze, you'll see that the geometry is still evenly spread. So, even though I'm adding weight here in order to sharpen this, it can't pull my geometry towards that edge in order to give me more rounding.

Now, if I were to take something a little bit less extreme here, so let's go back, select that edge again, Shift+W. And let's go down to something say about half of our subdivision weight, so maybe 20%. Now you'll notice that this is working relatively well, and that's because my shading angle isn't having as much of a hard time shading around that. However, if, let's duplicate this again, if I were to take this and once again freeze it, you'll see that I still have the same underlying polygonal construction.

Here is my cube that has the 50%, or 20%, but half of the full weight. And then here is my cube that has about a 95% weight. You can see that I really don't get much benefit from that reduced weight. Now, if I wanted to get something that was softer than a sharp edge, but more than, than this 50% weight, let's go back here and hide these, I would need to add some supporting edges of some kind. And in this case, I'm going to select the polygons and press D. Now you'll notice that I lose my actual weight here. And if I go to my Vertex Map tool, you can see that I actually lose that when I use that SDS Subdivide.

So let's undo that here. You can see there's my weight. I'm going to press Shift+D, and make sure that I have (UNKNOWN) selected and do that again. You notice, whenever I make that change, I'm going to lose this weight. So, you don't want to be doing a whole bunch of weighting before you get the proper subdivision level, or else you'll have to go back and reweight it. So, now I'm going to press Shift+W, and let's go in here, and now I'm going to go with that same 20% that I was using. But now you'll see, I'm getting a much better surface here. It's much sharper. And that's because now it has some supporting geometry to help give me more polygonal division here.

Now, if I take this, and let's duplicate again, and let's hide that one, and let's freeze this one again, you'll see the reason why I get so much better subdivision is because I have a lot more polygons. So here is my lower level one. Let's unhide that. And you can see that I have a relatively low polygon count. It looks like we're looking at about 3,000 polygons. But if I go back to this one, it's looking much better, and it's giving me more crease around here, it's still rounding it.

But I'm looking now at over 12,000 polygons, so its quadruple the size. So, you need to be careful as you create weights with your geometry like this. In order to achieve subtle rounding, it takes a lot of geometry. So you have to be careful that you don't subdivide so much that you end up with way too much detail in the end. So the key to creating good, sharp cresaes with your Edge Weight tool and p-subs is to make sure that you have enough supporting geometry, and then you consider the amount of sharpening that you want to do. If you want to create less than half of a completely sharp edge, so, again, let's have a look at that here, let me go and remove some of these extra edges here. We'll go back to the base where we had it.

So if I wanted to create a completely sharp edge, then you're fine with a low amount of geometry. And if I need to have a subdivision less than half of the original, then you're also okay. And then the other way is to increase you subdivision level. You can do that either by adding subdivisions, or by going up to the subdivision level and increasing it. I can go up to a subdivision level of 6, and now you can see, I get a relatively nice crease here at 40%. And I can probably increase a little bit, even to 50% at this higher level, and still get a nice amount of curving. But that's because, one more time, if we look at it, our frozen geometry is very, very dense.

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Modeling for Product Visualization in MODO

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Ellery Connell
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