Join Ellery Connell for an in-depth discussion in this video Polygonal modeling techniques, part of Modeling for Product Visualization in MODO.
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In this video, we'll have a look at Polygon Modeling tools that also look at subdivision surfaces. And oftentimes are tools that are missed or looked over, but can help you make your modeling work flow quicker and more efficient. Especially when it comes to the models that are typically be created with pure polygons when you're modeling for Product Visualization. So let's select a Polygon, here on the side of this cube, and then we'll look at some Modeling Operations that are often left out of the typical modeling workflow. A lot of people will cover Bevel, Smooth shift and thick.
And that's a lot of the tools that are used for typical polygonal modeling. So let's look at some of the other ones that are not as commonly used. So, Sketch Extrude will be one, and then Spikey, is another one we'll look at here. We'll use those tools in order to create something that you might not think of immediately for creating your polygonal models. So, with one polygon selected, I'm going to enable Sketch Extrude, and then click in the View Port. And that will turn on a handle that we can use to make an extrusion. So, by default your mode is going to be set to Sweep, and, Uniform will be disabled.
That means that, as you drag this out, every time that the, sketch draws a node, or a knot, you'll see that it's adding in an edge on each of these places. So, if I turn this to uniform, you'll see it'll actually even it out a bit. And then if I change this to Edit Path, you can go back in and have control over the actual path that you've created for your extrusion. I can also go in and Delete Nodes, so I could delete not here.
And that will remove, any node that I click on will allow me to simplify my path, and make it easier to work with. There, you can see that I've got something a lot easier to work with. So now if I go back to Edit Path, I can move this around. And since I have that Uniform button checked, it doesn't matter where I move these. It's going to keep the same amount of faces, and it's just going to spread them uniformly across the entire surface. So, other options that you have with the Sketch Extrude that can be very useful are this Scale.
Which if I decrease this, is going to scale it down to a certain percentage by the end. So, if I decrease this down to zero, it'll go all the way down to a complete point. I don't want to go that low cause I don't want this to disappear completely. So lets go down to say 60% and if you also want you can turn these so that every individual face will twist. You can see it will twist the end point as much as you go here. So I can use this to very quickly create a nicely twisted shape. Okay, I'm actually going to turn that spin back off for this, and there we go. So let's go ahead and drop the tool.
Now this might be relatively useful for creating something with subD's. Because if I go ahead and subdivide that, you can see I've got something very nice and clean and smooth that's been created. But this can also be very useful if you are creating anything mechanical, like an armiture or anything that needs to have a frame. So just something to think about here. Using polygons for what they do best, so they look like straight flat pieces. You think about things that are straight and flat, I can utilize here. So, I'm going to select by double-clicking this, all of the polygons.
And then we're going to go down here to our friend Spikey, which will take every polygon, and it will divide it into four even triangles. So, let's go ahead and click, and you can see that I've got all these even triangles now. And it basically creates a point in the center of each quad. So, now I'm going to hop over to my Bevel tool, and I can just double this inwards. If I turn off Group Polygons it will allow me to do this. But another tool that you may want to use if you're not working with actual extrusion along with your Bevel is the Inset tool. We have Shift and Inset here which are actually parts of the Bevel tool, so just something to think about.
You can split apart your beveling work flow actually into the two distinct parts. So if I do that and click, you can see that I have control over the Inset on each of these, which is just part of the Bevel tool. And this can allow you to have a little bit more control than you would just over the Bevel. Because you can simply Click and Drag and you don't have to worry about the handles being there. So in this case, I'm just going to Bevel inwards a little bit, and cut out those faces that are there. And in this case, I think I'm just going to grab the whole top here and get rid of it.
So, just cut that out. And now I'm going to double-click on this to select it. I'm going to go back to my Thicken tool and I'm just going to pull everything here outwards just a little bit. And now you can see, I've created a really nice framework very quickly. Now this can be useful as you're creating models for things like your background props, things that might appear in reflections. So in order to show something like that for creating a simple props, so for something for a background like a rig that would be holding a light or a camera, something like that. I'm going to go ahead and hold Shift and create a another cube here. And then I'm going to go to Polygons, select the Top Polygon, use the Bevel tool and just drag that up.
And let's go up a little bit higher. In this case, I'm just going to add in some segments, in order to make it relatively even, 9 ought to about do it. And then I'm going to cut off the top there, so we have a nice open face. And I'll do the same on the bottom, in this case, just cut that out and double-click on those pieces there. And let's go back down to the Polygon tab and choose Spikey and click, choose Inset. Click and Drag to get the right amount of inset here I think cut one what I've got left now in this case I have Double Sided Polygons turned on.
So, if I look at this in a non-wireframe view, you can see that I get the depth of that rigging without having to thicken it. So, if you're just using this for something like a reflection, something like this can really help to add a lot of umph and a lot of emphasis to your reflective objects. So I could take a couple of these, let's go ahead and take this and Copy and Paste it and move it over. And I could hang something like lights, if I'm using Polygonal Lighting down in between these. And then if I see this in a reflection, I'll see the effect of a real, constructed lighting rig in my scene.
Remember that when you're modeling with polygons, one of the keys is to not show the polygons. That might seem like something problematic but really as long as you're keeping polygons flat, that's not a big deal. So let's go ahead here and look at some things that, that might be problematic. A lot of these are going to be up in the deform tab, and anything with soft by it, is probably going to be an issue. Usually smoothing also an issue, because it's going to be taking those polygons, and it's going to try to make them appear something other than flat. And that's when you'll really run into problems with polygons, is when you don't have flat polygons.
So, I would also stay away from any of the sculpting things like that, as again, those are going to ruin some of the continuity that happens. You'll lose those hard flat edges, and, that can be really a problem when you're creating these kind of things. Now one thing that you will want to consider, and this is a side note because it has to do with shading. But that is going to be using Rounding. You see here I have a 20 millimeter rounded edge here. Let's actually increase that a little for this, we'll go up to 50 millimeter. And there you can see that I get that little bit of rounding happening and I didn't have to model that.
Again, for things like reflections or props that are going to be in the background, not the star of your scenes. Using things like that will really speed up your modeling process. So consider those work on making your polygon seen without being visible themselves. It's kind of like special effects in movies. You know they're good when you didn't know that they were there. With good Polygonal Modeling, you know it's good when you don't see them specifically. So using those kinds of techniques you can use Polygons really to their best advantage.
They're quick, they render fast, and for creating simple, solid body objects, they can be a very good choice to get your modeling done quickly and effectively.
- Intro to 3D for product visualization
- Benefits of polygonal modeling
- Polygonal modeling techniques
- Modeling with SubDs and PSubs
- Sculpting concepts and retopology
- Setting the scene
- Building geometry for particle generation
- Particle generation tools
- Using blobs