Join Ellery Connell for an in-depth discussion in this video Vertices, edges, and polygons, part of Getting Started with MODO 601.
In this video, we'll look at the basic components of 3D construction. Namely vertices, edges, and polygons, and how those are used in conjunction to make up 3D models. Now, in this example here, there is a simple sphere, which you can get in your scene by simply holding the Ctrl key on the Mac or the PC. And then, clicking on the sphere in the top left corner. That will place a simple sphere in your scene that will look just like this one. So, the basic, very basic component of 3D is a vertex, and vertices are simply a point in 3D space.
It has an x, a y, and a z position. Vertices by themself are not rendered. They're just a part of the larger 3D world, which is actually polygons. So, an edge is a combination of two vertices. So, you can see here's an edge selected. It has a vertex on the left and on the right. And that's an edge. So, in order to get something that's actually visible, at least three edges and three vertices need to be combined to create a polygon. Now, this is what's known as a quad, a 4-sided polygon. And 4-sided polygons are kind of the heart of a lot of modeling because they flow one into another.
You can have a triangulated polygon. So, something like this where we have two triangles here in the same space of that one quad. But if we have everything in triangles, there isn't really a geometric flow to things. So if I see with these quads, I have loops that run all the way around. I have loops that run up and down. And it makes it much easier to organize your geometry and get nice smooth looking 3D shapes.
Vertices, edges, and polygons can be selected by simply clicking and dragging across them, when you're in the proper mode. Right now, I'm in Polygon mode, which is noted up here in the top of the screen by the highlighted Polygon button. You can click on edges or vertices to switch between these. And then simply Click and Drag the select, the component that you want to. You can also toggle between these three settings with the spacebar. So, pressing space will move me to edges, pressing space again will move me to polygons, and then pressing space again will move me back to vertices. It's important to note that when I switch between the three modes, with the space bar, I retain the selection that I had made before switching out of that mode. So if I select, just say, these two vertices right here, and then these four edges here, and then this polygon here.
And now, if I toggle back between them, I can retain that selection. And if you want one more way to select those, you can also use the one, two, and three keys. Again, you will retain your selections and that makes it easy to hop back and forth between your different modes. So one, two, and three, using the space bar to toggle or by simply clicking on these you can quickly select and work with vertices, edges, and polygons. One more note about these is that if you hold the Option key, you'll see that all three of these options change from vertices, edges, and polygons to convert.
So, with a polygon selected, I can hold down the option key and convert that selection in two edges. Or holding it down again, I can convert that selection into vertices. Finally, if I have a group of polygons selected. This will say if I hold down the Ctrl key in polygons, we'll see that edges changes to boundary. Now, the difference between converting to just simple edges and converting to a boundary is that the internal edges aren't selected. Now, I just have this ring of edges that surround the entire polygonal selection. That way, you can quickly convert your current selection in one of these modes into the other modes.
So, learning to control and use vertices, edges, and polygons is key to making good 3D models. Knowing that one will always affect the others is also very important. Moving this vertex out will effect all of the surrounding edges and all of the surrounding polygons. These three components are tied together in the creation of the three-dimensional surface in Modo.
- What is MODO?
- Understanding 3D design
- The MODO layout tabs
- MODO fundamentals
- Working with modeling tools
- Materials, textures, and surfaces
- UV mapping
- Lighting and rendering