Polygon Modeling, Post your creations: A New Beginning

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  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,236
    edited December 1969

    Roygee typeth :

    Anyhow, jonstark is arranging Hex to be ported into Carrara, so then we’ll all be smiley!

    OK - the working box thing - fine, as long as the poly you select is perpendicular - if not, the duplicate is sloped. Got it right by adding in a temporary perpendicular grid and using that as the selection. Thanks for getting me on the right track, though

    Here’s the completed boat - not quite as smooth as I’d like - should have used more profiles.

    Great, thanks Jonstark - remind me to get the crew together and buy you a litre of beer :)

    Roygee wonderful boat. Good idea about faking it with an extra poly. Just crazy though you change the angle of the working box and err what else does it do apart from giving you an axis to duplicatte around? Is it just so you can grid things up?

    Thanks for starting this thread Gareth.

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    Roygee typeth :

    Anyhow, jonstark is arranging Hex to be ported into Carrara, so then we’ll all be smiley!

    Great, thanks Jonstark - remind me to get the crew together and buy you a litre of beer :)

    Lol I wouldn't get my hopes too , my only tool in persuading DAZ is 'good common sense' and I have my doubts about it's usefulness in this situation. Plus I find I don't have much 'good common sense' to spare! :) Still, DAZ should put all the Hex tools in Carrara, dammit, so let's all hands and sing 'we shall overcome' and eventually maybe there is gold at the end of that rainbow?

    So I was up later than I should have been but knew I didn't have much time to fool around, so I thought I would give Gareth's method a quick try, mostly because I wanted to fool with pushing a box around like gelatin (am I right when I think the term 'box modeling' derives from the method of starting with a single cube and poking/prodding the polys/points/vertices and extracting/extruding from there?). I got a little ways, still running into some troubles, but learning cool new stuff along the way :)

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  • GarethGareth Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    @Jonstark, now that's more like it! your making really good progress. Box modeling is pretty much moving vertices and edges one by one :lol:

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited September 2013

    Thanks Gareth!

    I'm running across something that's probably easy but I haven't yet figured out how to do it. How can I connect a line/edge between two vertexes that in space? Like in my example pic, if I've got 3 sides of a polygon and I want to draw a 4rth side/edge so that I can fill it in, how is this done? I'm probably missing something basic here...

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    Post edited by Jonstark on
  • GarethGareth Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Select two of the edges and click bridge. :)

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  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    Dang, I must have tried bridge 30 different times, but it was always selecting two vertexes, for some reason my brain never considered the edges.... :) I'm rendering something at the moment, but now I'm dying to get back into the modeling room to try this out.

  • GarethGareth Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I've been working on new characters for the Twilight Zone Challenge but got sidetracked with the Carrara Skies Lightdomes 1 kit and then got even more sidetracked with the Statuary and Marble shaders and then i decided to whip this up from the character i was/am modeling and now it's gone 3am... my oh my oh my time flies when you're rendering :lol:

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  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    Wow! It's really inspiring to see what skilled hands can do, and that's been true throughout this thread for me. Am I correct in believing that you modeled the eyeballs separately and put them into place after the rest of the face was done? Very impressive (as always, Gareth!)

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,242
    edited December 1969

    I’m running into a problem when I tried to duplicate the approach. I’m able to draw my polyline and duplicate it no troubles, and selecting the polyline and the one before it seems to connect the two beautifully with a ruled surface, but for some weird reason the polygons for the new section don’t seem to be connected to the section right before, so I’m ending up with panels that look connected until I try to, for instance, soft select a poly in one section to maybe push it out or in a bit and make the overall shape more what I want, yet it just pulls that section out and away from the one it looked like it was connected to, revealing the space. Is there some setting I missed which would keep things connected? I tried dragging a loop around all the completed sections and applying weld to it all, but it didn’t seem to work. Not sure what I am doing wrong…

    jon - can't say I've found any problems with sections not welding - though I've only done this in Carrara a couple of times. What you could be running into is something that threw me when I first tried. In Hexagon, the polylines become part of the mesh, but in Carrara they remain apart from the mesh. What happened is when I tried to move a vert, I would inadvertently select a vert on a polyline instead of on the mesh.

    Got over this by selecting the whole mesh, hiding it and deleting the polylines.

    I know that in Hex, if you leave stray polylines in the model and export as .obj, it can cause problems in Carrara - don't know whether leaving polylines in Carrara would do the same, bui better to be safe and delete what is no longer needed.

    Gareth - that is some seriously great modelling - we once had a Blender user come on Hex forum and swear blind that there is no way you can model organically using box modelling - you have proven him so wrong!

  • GarethGareth Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Jonstark. :) Yes, the head was modeled first then the eyes (that are vertex spheres) where made after.

    Thank you Roygee. :)


    Hahaha take that Blender guy! :-P

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,021
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Jonstark. :) Yes, the head was modeled first then the eyes (that are vertex spheres) where made after.

    Thank you Roygee. :)


    Hahaha take that Blender guy! :-P

    The Blender guy probably couldn't find a tool or control that was needed. ;-p

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    So I wanted to try out the method Roygee mentioned for boat creation earlier today at work (I was working a double and it was a slow day :) ). I found if I started with a ruled surface, and thereafter lofted each section together, it seemed to work pretty well. I had some problems figuring out how to apply symmetry, but later figured it out when I was done and started the tutorial Head wax recommended for modeling an organic figure. Here's the boat (nothing to write home about, but I'm slowly learning). Thanks again for the tip Roygee, obviously I have a fair ways to go, but between you and Gareth and Headwax and the rest of the forum gang, I feel like I'm making progress.

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  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    Then I got started on the tutorial to make an anime girl from the feet up, starting with a cube and box modeling from there.

    I don't know if I'm doing it right or not, but I do feel like I'm making progress, and what kind of amazes me as I went along is how seldom I'm clicking on a poly or an edge to move it, and instead I'm mostly clicking on vertexes to model the shapes I want. Like 90% plus is moving vertexes. I don't know why, but when I pictured modeling in my mind's eye I always pictured moving polygons and big shapes, not little dots lol. As you can see, I've only made it slightly above the waist so far, but doing this methodically has also forced me to learn several things about how to insert new lines and vertexes into an existing facet, finally figured out how to make the symmetry thing be in the right place, how to smooth an object and switch back and forth to the smoothed and unsmoothed to see what's going on, and several other things that I'm blanking on right now.

    Also I learned that modeling is fascinating and much more fun then I thought it would be (honestly I thought it would be a tedious chore). I get an inordinate amount of pleasure when figuring something out and seeing the result improve, and it seems I blinked and my double shift was already over, the day just flew by :)

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  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,242
    edited December 1969

    Hey, you're doing great - yes, modelling is great fun and very therapeutic - the hours just fly by :)

    You want to watch your edge flows so you don't end up with a lot of N-gons (poly with more than 4 edges - they can cause havoc) For instance, you'll see where the top of the boat meets the hull -you have a lot of edges that go nowhere - they either need to be continued all the way around the hull, or terminated in a diamond-shaped poly before meeting the hull. From what I can see, you have more edges on the top than are needed to define the shape.

    head wax taught me many years ago that an edge which does not define a shape change is wasted - what you should be aiming for is all polys to be 4-sided, evenly spaced - this makes smoothing - well, smoother :)

    See the attached pic to see what I mean by terminating in a diamond-shaped poly - now both the grids have an equal number of edges where they meet and will have good edge flow when they are welded. This is a great way of reducing the number of edges where needed - you will see a lot of this if you examine a good mesh, such as V4.

    Cheers

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,149
    edited December 1969

    @Roygee - thank you so much for all of the great advice you are giving in this thread. Please share more. For example, what are the pros and cons of doing the initial organic shape without worrying about N-gons, and allowing the (smooth-convert) function to create the quads?

    @Jonstark - Great start. I think you'll see why I say I wouldn't bother opening another program if I just wanted to model some props to fill out a scene I'm working on in Carrara. And, you'll see why seasoned pros wish Carrara's vertex modeler had more tools and functions.

    When it comes to humanoid modeling, I've been starting from the hip and working outward. Also, I've been initially trying to preserve similarly sized quads, as generally discussed. When I started the Paul Bunyan character (see WIP pics in other thread), I started with a vertex cube, split vertically in half. Without symmetry turned on, I extruded, without linking, downward to start the thighs, and then backward to have shapes for buttocks. I then extruded, this time with linking, to start the torso. This is my base shape. Only then do I turn on symmetry and extrude for the rest of the humanoid.

    I use an existing figure for general proportions (ratio of leg length to torso, etc.), by modeling what I call "stage 1" in the assembly room.

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,149
    edited December 1969

    And here is the Paul Bunyan mesh. Face and beard completed with toon render in mind. Hair ignored because hat added as prop (might have some hair poke under hat). Advice welcome.

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  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,242
    edited December 1969

    For example, what are the pros and cons of doing the initial organic shape without worrying about N-gons, and allowing the (smooth-convert) function to create the quads?

    For me, there are only cons in that approach :) Sure, smoothing will give you quads, but they will probably not give good edge-flow and you can get some unwanted results. There is always the danger of making a twisted (non-planar) N-gon and in Hex, that is fatal and no way of fixing it - so I play safe and make sure I only use quads from the start.

    That is a really nice Paul Bunyon you've made there :)

    Something I learned at a big cost in time and effort yesterday is to define any model destined for rigging as a full-body morph before attaching the rigging - just in case some morphing is required along the line.

    I'm so glad this thread was started - I'm seeing and learning more about the Carrara VM than in all the years of use. Hope a lot more users jump in and have a go. Maybe if the powers-that-be see it actually being used, they'll pay some attention to modernizing it!

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:

    You want to watch your edge flows so you don't end up with a lot of N-gons (poly with more than 4 edges - they can cause havoc) For instance, you'll see where the top of the boat meets the hull -you have a lot of edges that go nowhere - they either need to be continued all the way around the hull, or terminated in a diamond-shaped poly before meeting the hull. From what I can see, you have more edges on the top than are needed to define the shape.

    head wax taught me many years ago that an edge which does not define a shape change is wasted - what you should be aiming for is all polys to be 4-sided, evenly spaced - this makes smoothing - well, smoother :)

    See the attached pic to see what I mean by terminating in a diamond-shaped poly - now both the grids have an equal number of edges where they meet and will have good edge flow when they are welded. This is a great way of reducing the number of edges where needed - you will see a lot of this if you examine a good mesh, such as V4.

    Thanks Roygee, I'm actually learning a ton and I appreciate the tip about the diamond-shaped poly. When I was doing that second boat there were several tools I hadn't figured out how to make work correctly (including the symmetry tool, which I was perplexed by when I noticed it was giving random effects, but only later realized I had to not just choose a specific x y z plane but also had to select my object and then use the command to center my symmetry plane in the object, so I started trying to get the same effect on either side with vertexes by pushing/pulling while eyeballing them, so things got a bit complicated pretty quick. Another tool I'm starting to get a grasp on that I didn't know much about when doing the boat was the 'scissors' tool. So when I hit too many tesselates and broke the top into too many polys, I didn't really know how to fix, so there are way to many polys as a result :) I'm getting a much better fix on my scissors tool now, and I can see how it changes the display to indicate whether it's hovering over (and going to delete) a vertex, or an edge, or a plane. Now with tesselate and the scissors, I feel like I have a ton more control. Pretty basic stuff for most people, I'm certain, but for me it was an 'aha!' :)

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    Gareth, I saw that lumberjack in the WIP thread and I was bowled over, looks freakin' fantastic! I totally forgot we can model in the assembly room, that seems like an ingenious way to model over a reference figure. I'm also guessing we could load up a backdrop with a photo reference and model over that too?

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:

    I'm so glad this thread was started - I'm seeing and learning more about the Carrara VM than in all the years of use. Hope a lot more users jump in and have a go. Maybe if the powers-that-be see it actually being used, they'll pay some attention to modernizing it!

    I completely agree! If you had told me 2 years ago I would have been thrilled to see a forum thread on modeling I would have thought you were talking crazy, but this modeling thing is actually a lot of fun, and even though I don't have an artistic bone in my body, with time and a little bit of willingness to try I'm astonished what can be accomplished.

    If any other Carrara users out there have always been afraid to venture into the deep dark super complicated modeling room, now's a great time to jump in and give it a try - it's way more interesting and fun than you think :)

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    Oh, another double at work flew by today in the span of a blink as I continued to try to follow the tutorial to model the anime girl. Getting further along, really enjoying the learning process.

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,149
    edited December 1969

    I totally forgot we can model in the assembly room, that seems like an ingenious way to model over a reference figure. I’m also guessing we could load up a backdrop with a photo reference and model over that too?

    Yes, you can use the backdrop in the scene tab to load a reference image. But, I think you'd be better off loading reference images in the vertex modeling room. I think you have to do it in the directional camera views. That allows you to load images from multiple sides (front, left, etc.). If you find a blueprint or other technical spec, you can model almost exactly.

    Not sure if Cripeman has a tutorial on loading reference images, but always worth checking. PhilW has a tutorial that models a WWI biplane using reference images from technical specs.

    You might try a used copy of an old handbook, even though there have been some improvements since earlier versions. I've seen used versions of the Carrara 5 handbook and the Carrara Bible on Amazon for less than a dollar. (new copies sell for considerably more). There is an old thread in the forum in which people shared their favorite references.

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    diomede64 said:
    I totally forgot we can model in the assembly room, that seems like an ingenious way to model over a reference figure. I’m also guessing we could load up a backdrop with a photo reference and model over that too?

    Yes, you can use the backdrop in the scene tab to load a reference image. But, I think you'd be better off loading reference images in the vertex modeling room. I think you have to do it in the directional camera views. That allows you to load images from multiple sides (front, left, etc.). If you find a blueprint or other technical spec, you can model almost exactly.

    Not sure if Cripeman has a tutorial on loading reference images, but always worth checking. PhilW has a tutorial that models a WWI biplane using reference images from technical specs.

    You might try a used copy of an old handbook, even though there have been some improvements since earlier versions. I've seen used versions of the Carrara 5 handbook and the Carrara Bible on Amazon for less than a dollar. (new copies sell for considerably more). There is an old thread in the forum in which people shared their favorite references.

    Wow, didn't know you could load a reference pic in the modeling room, but after you mentioned it was possible I started hunting. I found that when I just clicked anywhere on the scene other than my model that over in the 'Global' tab on the lower right hand control parameters there is a 'backdrop' option where it lets you load image files for the front/back, left/right, and top/bottom, this looks like the likely right place to do it, but when I tried to load a gif it let me load it but nothing became visible so maybe I'm doing it wrong?

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,149
    edited December 1969

    Jonstark said:
    diomede64 said:
    I totally forgot we can model in the assembly room, that seems like an ingenious way to model over a reference figure. I’m also guessing we could load up a backdrop with a photo reference and model over that too?

    Yes, you can use the backdrop in the scene tab to load a reference image. But, I think you'd be better off loading reference images in the vertex modeling room. I think you have to do it in the directional camera views. That allows you to load images from multiple sides (front, left, etc.). If you find a blueprint or other technical spec, you can model almost exactly.

    Not sure if Cripeman has a tutorial on loading reference images, but always worth checking. PhilW has a tutorial that models a WWI biplane using reference images from technical specs.

    You might try a used copy of an old handbook, even though there have been some improvements since earlier versions. I've seen used versions of the Carrara 5 handbook and the Carrara Bible on Amazon for less than a dollar. (new copies sell for considerably more). There is an old thread in the forum in which people shared their favorite references.

    Wow, didn't know you could load a reference pic in the modeling room, but after you mentioned it was possible I started hunting. I found that when I just clicked anywhere on the scene other than my model that over in the 'Global' tab on the lower right hand control parameters there is a 'backdrop' option where it lets you load image files for the front/back, left/right, and top/bottom, this looks like the likely right place to do it, but when I tried to load a gif it let me load it but nothing became visible so maybe I'm doing it wrong?

    Are you sure you have the correct camera chosen in the modeling room? See upper left of pick. It should match the reference pick loaded and enabled under the global tab on the right. This would be if I wanted to model Curly from the 3 Stooges.

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  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    I had the right cameras selected, but was still seeing no picture, but a little experimentation has revealed it was the type of picture I was using. Apparently you can't use .gif format pictures as the backdrop in the modeling room, even though it lets you load it up with no error messages, it displays nothing. However once I converted my picture to a .jpg it loaded up and is visible, ready to go.

    It's a little weird, because the backdrop function in the assembly room has no problems using .gif, but not a big deal as it's easy enough to simply change to .jpg :)

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    Still learning the ropes by going through the tutorial about creating the anime girl, this time moved to working on her face and head and built polygon by polygon by using the front and left cameras and building over a jpg image. I'm slowly gaining more mastery and confidence in learning the tools. So far one of my favorites is the target weld tool, I even put it in as a shortcut. I get a kick out of seeing the little line and snapping things together :)

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  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited December 1969

    Also since I never mentioned it, my review of the Dreamlight model master course... honestly I'm disappointed and I don't think it was worth the cost, even at the very reduced price I got it. The guy knows how to model, but he really knows how to model in Lightwave, and seemed to stumble around Carrara, trying to feel his way on the fly. Also the advertising for the product sales page highlighted that there are only 12 basic tools that every modeler needs to know and they'll be able to model in any modeling application that has those 12 tools.

    So naturally, I was expecting that somewhere in the course I would find out what those 12 tools are, how to use each of them, and where they are specifically located in Carrara (because while he was very upfront in his sales copy that he would mostly be teaching inside lightwave, the sales copy also specifically promised that he would also be covering the use of Hexagon, Wings, Blender, and Carrara).

    Not only was there never a video on where to find those essential 12 tools in Carrara specifically, never in any of the videos I've seen did he highlight what the essential 12 tools were. I guess rotate tool, scale tool, translate tool all count as separate tools maybe, since he did have a video on that... ? Anyway, I'm a little let down by it. I do think there is some good basics there, but it's hard to get to them when his teaching style is to doodle endlessly on the screen (not modeling, he has an open notepad type app where he discusses life, philosophy, the universe, how to make so much money selling your models if you have the right attitude, etc... all stuff I don't care about personally).

    I don't feel it was a total waste of money and time, but I can't recommend it. I've learned more in a couple of forum threads here then I ever did throughout the Dreamlight course. And just going through that tutorial Head wax gave the link to step by step, which is written for a different modeling app, so I constantly would have to figure out different ways of doing things than what was being showed in Carrara, has been a heck of a lot more instruction, as well, as tips from Diomede, Head wax, Gareth, Roygee, here on the forum.

    For all that, I do think I'm going to pick up Dreamlights 3d pin-up master course... it's only 15 dollars at the moment and I *might* learn something (maybe I will never learn lol...)

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,149
    edited December 1969

    Jonstark said:
    Still learning the ropes by going through the tutorial about creating the anime girl, this time moved to working on her face and head and built polygon by polygon by using the front and left cameras and building over a jpg image. I'm slowly gaining more mastery and confidence in learning the tools. So far one of my favorites is the target weld tool, I even put it in as a shortcut. I get a kick out of seeing the little line and snapping things together :)

    Great job!

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,236
    edited December 1969

    I can't believe what amazing meshes everybody is making!
    Jonstark thanks for the review on the tuts - I think you mirrored some previous comments - you've really picked everything up so well! That Joan d" arc tutorail is excellent - you know I used it to teach me how to model a surboard ( :) ).

    Diomede64 - Bunyan looks superb. ! If you keep it low poly there is a trick to modelling the knees and elbows that will help. It's really hard to describe but the idea is that at the back of the knees the verticie are welded and on the other side they are more spread out so that if you look at the knees from the side they are actually tris for the most part not quads - I'd have to find a pic to explain it properly but it just gives you neater bends - only necessary for a low poly figure though

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,149
    edited December 1969

    [quote author="Roygee" date="1379911709"

    Something I learned at a big cost in time and effort yesterday is to define any model destined for rigging as a full-body morph before attaching the rigging - just in case some morphing is required along the line.


    Another great tip. There are all sorts of little gems in this thread. I hate to think what happened to you but thanks for posting.

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