Fundamental Menu / Modelling Menu Next


Here Glen Moyes shows us the fundamentals of Subdivision Surfaces, one of the most important areas of 3d modelling.

Subdivision Surfaces allow us to smooth a polygonal object to create nicely rounded models for both organic and mechanical models.  This technique is widely used by artists because it allows us to use a low resolution model (called a hull or cage) which is converted to a high resolution rounded model.  Subdivision surfaces also provide a the base for more complicated forms of modelling like Digital Sculpting.

Running Time: 4 mins 44 sec


Knowledge of these concepts is required:
The Polygon , Multisided Polygons

Glen Moyes is starting a company called Lumaglyph and ran workshops on modeling theory for 2 years. Glen is a generous teacher and Blender guru. You can watch his tutorials on ShowMeDo , and read a great article by Glen called "To Those Learning 3D" on his website.

XSI (coming)
Maya (coming)

Subdivision Surface: A popular method of modelling using a "low resolution" polygon mesh which is then smoothed to produce a well rounded model. It's advantage is producing high polygon results while only creating a low polygon base mesh. This term is commonly shortened to SubDivs or SubD.

Some programs have different names for Subdivision Surfaces, Cinema 3d calls them Hyper NURBS, Lightwave used to call them Meta NURBS.

Base Mesh: The subdivision model without applying any smoothing. Also called a cage or hull mesh.

Smoothing Artifacts: Unwanted smoothing problems caused by bad topology

Inline Edge: An extra line of topology that allows control of corners in Subdivision modelling.

Pole: Where 3, 5 or more edges meet. While 4 meeting edges might be called a 4 sided pole it is rarely refered to as one because it is considered normal in subdivision surfaces.

Topology: The wireframe pattern of a mesh.

Polygon: A flat surface that forms the basic building block of a 3d model

Quad: A four sided polygon.

2010solar | | 2011-01-05 16
The main th...
Arthur - beginner 3d | | 2010-04-16 15
Thanks! Its wonderful!
SuperTamal - You make it look so easy | | 2009-04-10 19
You make it look so easy guys keep it up :D great work
Mahela Munasinghe - Woow! | | 2009-04-04 08
This is one great website. Ive been struggling with the basics because all the
other tutorials on the net assume that the reader has Some modeling experience.
I'm a hobbyist and so experience in modeling is hard to come by. Anyway..
Congratulations for making a great website.
banor | | 2009-01-07 06
Bravo, Glen Moyes! I have just really discovered this website and it's an
excellent resource, and I like your videos!

Keep it up! This will be super
useful for explaining concepts to Blender "students," especially at long

Bravo, bravo, bravo.
Benjamin Bailey
accessoire - Good quad explanation | | 2008-12-28 17
Thanks this video was good. Especially the end. The smoothing part was maybe a
little bit to short for beginners but ok. The explanation why quads is great! I
know since aeons to use them instead of poles but I never really found an
explanation WHY you should use them.

Thanks I love your stuff and I was happy
to see blender in the video lol :P!
Dipingo - Nice work Glen | | 2008-12-28 16
Very nice work. You have set the bar very high for the rest of us. :)

I hope I
can achieve half that quality in my production.

I have a couple of questions I
would like to ask you out side of the forum if you get a chance.
zcreem - Nicely done again | | 2008-12-28 11
Thanks for this yet another high quality production video, I really love the
style you have on these.
Only registered users can write comments!

3.26 Copyright (C) 2008 / Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."