Reference Tables for Subdivision Surfaces

This forum post was brought to my attention by a tweet from @sketchbookinc, it is a really handy illustration of polygons, stepping and moving poles. For those of you that are fairly proficient at modelling, then this is a handy reminder. Those of you new to modelling, there are some really good techniques demonstrated here that might stop you pulling your hair out.

Here’s one of the images, but visit the forum to see both. It is definitely worth it and they’re not my images to share, so it is only fair that I send you to the original post to see for yourself.

Polygon Table - Reference Tables for Subdivision Surfaces

Polygon Table

It seems the generous guy behind this is Pedro Amaro Santos, so I thank you Pedro for sharing this valuable information.

If you check the forum post, you’ll see it also contains a link to an interactive guide to creating elbows that Pedro has created. This is a great way to look at the different types of rounding you can achieve through SDS modelling and I’d definitely recommend having a look here too.

Elbows - Reference Tables for Subdivision Surfaces

Creating elbows with SDS

This is what makes the web such a fantastic place, people are so willing to share the knowledge. Awesome stuff, thanks Pedro!


Reference Tables for Subdivision Surfaces

Author: Tim

13 Comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ⓁⓤⓒⓘⓓⒶⓒⓘⓓ. ⓁⓤⓒⓘⓓⒶⓒⓘⓓ said: Reference Tables for Sub-D Modeling http://tinyurl.com/2wo6qly […]

  2. Toby
    Toby On May 8, 2010 at 4:07 AM

    Thanks for this link Tim, it’s insanely handy. I’m always confused as to where to split polys to keep even quads, this might just clear that up!

  3. illd
    illd On May 8, 2010 at 8:00 AM

    Hi Tim, I am a big fan of your work, and I want to thank you for sharing this. But to be honest I have no clue how and why to use this knowledge in reality. I suck at modelling but I know that its important to keep the polygon count low to speed up your rendertimes. But I don´t get it what this mambo jam-boo is all about – Why would it be worth to learn/undefstand all of this?

  4. Diamond
    Diamond On May 9, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    Thank you Tim. Understanding the why is so important in achieving the very best in any field, and as one using CAD and getting into the world of C4D this is a great early tip to keep render times down. Thank you for putting us onto this (and to the guy who put his work out there for us plebs ;).

  5. federico
    federico On May 9, 2010 at 6:58 PM

    “Hi Tim, I am a big fan of your work, and I want to thank you for sharing this. But to be honest I have no clue how and why to use this knowledge in reality. I suck at modelling but I know that its important to keep the polygon count low to speed up your rendertimes. But I don´t get it what this mambo jam-boo is all about – Why would it be worth to learn/undefstand all of this?”

    i agree with illd maybe you could shed some light on how and when to apply this information. I am fairly new myself; but very excited about learning how to model. I would like to get into the habit of practicing good habits early on.

  6. alex
    alex On May 9, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Whew!!! I’m pretty comfortable with modeling, what with spinning edges, terminating & collapsing triangles or splitting with edge loops, but DUDE!
    That gave me somewhat of a headache deciphering it, and I’m still not sure I gleaned anything from it .
    Way too “scientifical” . Just spin, terminate, collapse, edge loop split,… rinse and repeat Miles will give you clarity and comprehension.

    My two cents .

  7. Tim
    Tim On May 11, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    This information is really handy if you need to adjust the topology of a mesh. For instance, imagine you are modelling a face, you don’t want huge amounts of polygons for the whole mesh. However, you do need more detail in certain areas, such as around the eyes etc. One of the things the image I linked to shows you is how to step the detail in your mesh from low to high detail. This means you can start with low resolution mesh for the majority of your head and then step into higher detail around the eyes. Notice in the stepping structure how it demonstrates moving from 4 polygons to 6 polygons in 3 rows. The mesh is nice and clean and if you repeat this process, you can change from a low resolution to a high resolution mesh quite easily.

    Moving poles is also useful as poles tend to cause pinching in sub-division surface modelling. so if you have a pinch in an area that is not convenient (i.e. you can see it!), this shows you a few methods of moving the pole to a new location.

    The important thing when doing this is maintaining a clean flow and good loops if possible. These images are great reference to look at when you are having a blank moment and they will remind you of the various options available when fixing the topology. Of course this applies to any model that needs areas of high detail and then larger areas of low detail. By using this type of technique you will keep your mesh topology in good order and you’ll also keep your polygon count as low as possible.

    The elbows piece is a handy reference that shows where you’d need to make your cuts to achieve the different types of rounding shown. Again it is a handy reference.

    If you don’t want to use these kind of methods, then that’s up to you, spin, bridge collapse etc to your hearts content, but the time might come when you’ve modelled that TV for a client job and you need to add a couple of buttons without destroying your perfect mesh! The stepping reference is great for this, you can easily add detail to a specific area of your model without having to add loads more loops and cuts all the way around the model, which will inevitably compromise the smoothness and shape.

  8. Heerko Groefsema
    Heerko Groefsema On May 22, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    Thanks for the link and thanks for clearing it up a bit more in the comments! Good stuff

  9. illd
    illd On May 22, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    Thanks for explaining Tim. Now it makes sense to me 🙂

  10. vmedium
    vmedium On July 21, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    I was trying to find a larger version of the top image. It’s what I’ve been looking for my whole life (since i started modeling), but seems to be a bit small. Can you email me a link to it larger, or the book it came from to buy it? The links at the top seem broken for me.

    Thanks, your blog is excellent.

    vmedium

    • Tim
      Tim On July 28, 2011 at 10:40 AM

      @vmedium sorry but i only linked to the forum and if the link has gone then it’s well gone 🙁 Although this still works

  11. FragPl0x
    FragPl0x On August 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    @vmedium @Tim Actually it’s not gone – You uploaded it to your blog in full resolution so just save the image above, it’s only being resized by your browser! 🙂 Thank you Tim, incredibly useful, although admittedly for a relative newbie to organic sub-d modelling like me, slightly daunting!

  12. Pedro Alpiarça dos Santos
    Pedro Alpiarça dos Santos On March 16, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Hi, I’m the shameful author of these and would like only to say that I have a new presentation. http://oneupontherock.webege.com/?p=667

    Excuse me for complicating things a lot sometimes or being to abstract. I always try to handle these like puzzles, like games and not like take-away solutions.

    Cheers

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