Join Henry Santos for an in-depth discussion in this video Subdivision surface modeling (SubD), part of MODO Essential Training.
- [Instructor] In previous chapters, we've seen 3-D meshes that have very jagged and sharp edges. Right now, with this lesson, I'm already in the 402 model, and we have these two tables, and they're very hard edges. What we can do is smooth this out, so ultimately, this is a tabletop, and it's not supposed to be octagonal, although that looks kind of cool. While I'm an item selection mode, I'm going to select this model here.
Actually, this model, and what we'll do is smooth this out by adding geometry. The quick way to do that is by going to the mesh edit tool groupings here. We go to subdivide, and SDS subdivide. Now, there's a key command for that, it's the D key on the keyboard. Hit D, it smooths it out. That looks like a pretty smooth mesh there, but that's an awful lot of polygons.
What we can do in this other table is keep the same number of polygons, but have it look smooth. The key command for that is the tab key. Hit the tab key, and it smooths it out. If you want it smoother, you have options to do that. What the tab does is it turns this mesh, or represents it as a subdivision service. There's an algorithm, a calculation going on in the background to smooth this out, and that calculation can be controlled by a setting here on the right side of the screen, in the properties panel, while we have that selected, under services.
Let's expand this out, there we go, by hitting those two arrows at an angle. It optimizes or maximizes that panel. We have the surface settings, and the subdivision level is set to one. That's the lowest setting that we can have when it's smoothed out like that, but as we increase that value, even when we get up to five, notice that it's pretty smoothed out.
Now, if we hit the tab key again, it toggles back to regular polygon preview. Hit the tab key one more time, and we have it smoothed out. One thing to remember, as we are looking at this in the viewport, we have the subdivision level set to five. Right below that, it says render level. If you're going to render this out, and you want to maintain this level of complexity, or this smoothness, you need to make sure that your render level is also that high.
While you're working on your project, maybe it's not so critical for you to have it smoothed out all the time, because if you have a whole bunch of these models that are subdivided, virtually, it may slow down your process. What you can do is reduce your subdivision level to two, and it's still a little bit jaggy, and your computer won't bog down if you have a bunch of complex models. Here, let's take a look at the base, that is already smoothed out, but if you hit the tab key, we see that it's very jaggy, but it's very efficient.
If you hit the tab again, it smooths it out. Now, another thing to look at, and it will be easier to see show with cubes, we will go ahead and hit basic, and I'm going to create a unit cube, Let me move this over, drag it up. Let's duplicate this guy with a tool that we've seen before, mirror. Okay, great, so we have two cubes.
I'm going to select this cube, and I'm going to open this up, the properties panel on the right side here. I'm going to make it so I can see the item panel. When I had that cube selected, I'm going to hit the tab, so that smooths it out. For the other cube, I'm going to select that, and I'm going to hit shift tab. I'm going to select both of these, so they're both visible. If you can see, the first one was just with the tab key, the second one was with the shift tab.
The shift tab actually creates a Catmull-Clark subdivision surface. The second one is subdivided by a Catmull-Clark subdivision surface. Otherwise, they call it a Pixar sub, or a P sub, and that has a different calculation, a different algorithm, and it actually looks more round. When you have a whole bunch of detail here, you can go either way.
Now, if we go back to the surface editing feature here, will you notice that we have Catmull-Clark, and subdivision. We can change the subdivision level of that regular sphere to be increased, or the first cube. The second cube, it becomes a little bit more sensitive. The second cube, I'm going to enter in another number, three, and you notice it's getting smoother as well.
Five, it's a little bit more sensitive there. There's two different ways that you can subdivide a geometric shape to get the overall smoothness of your 3-D model.
- Building simple 3D models
- Working with primitive and preset objects
- Using deformation and duplication tools
- Subdivision (SubD) surface modeling
- Understanding replicators
- Creating a fusion model with MeshFusion
- Adding lights
- Shading with materials and UV mapping
- Painting and sculpting
- Animating your scene
- Rendering and exporting renders