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In this video Greg Petchkovski explains how a the *topology of a model can drastically affect the smoothing of a model.  He demonstrates key concepts to avoid unwanted smoothing artifacts. A must watch for anyone wanting to model with sub division surfaces.

*Topology is simply the wireframe pattern of a polygon mesh.

Running Time: 5 mins 29 sec


Knowledge of these concepts is required:
Subdivision Surfaces

Greg Petchkovski is an acclaimed modeller and concept artist.  He has worked on many high profile projects and won many awards for his personal work.

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.

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.

Jenson - Reducing Unwanted Detail | | 2010-04-27 12
I'm currently struggling with the "reducing unwanted detail" part of
your video. I was wondering if anyone knows of any dvds or tutorials that show
techniques on how to reduce unwanted detail in all parts of the human body.
That last example showed the hand and that was a HUGE help.
SuperTamal - thx | | 2009-04-10 19
That was very helpful! Thank you so
v3rd3 - Terrific Tutorial... Thank you | | 2009-02-18 18
This is an extremely clean explanation of how to avoid n-gons. Thank you so
waufrepi - fool | | 2009-02-15 19
Thank you all so much. I've been stumbling around in the dark! It's great to see
a concepts focused series that builds decision making knowledge.
guest - great | | 2009-02-09 14
well laid out and essential
pauljs75 - Very neat | | 2009-02-08 08
This video should be made part of an indoctrination for any and all 3D newbies.
It pretty much explains the behavior of Catmull-Clark subdivs in a concise and
effective manner. (I just wish he'd speak up a little louder, but other than
that spot-on.) And the solutions it presents for typical problems are a nice
touch too. It's also nice that it's presented in an application agnostic way, so
anyone working from FOSS to a high-end commercial suite can use exactly what is
Allisson - fantastic world of animation | | 2009-02-03 17
very good, broadened my horizons.
mohinder - hand topology | | 2008-12-29 18
That was excellent!

It would be great if you could expand on the idea of
re-routing edges as on the hand.

That concept blew my mind.
xxclusiveasad | | 2008-12-03 16
Great tutorial. Thanks!

Would also like to see a video on blendshapes or mesh
Leo - yes, what tool? | | 2008-11-26 22
I think elte asked a good question. This type of tutorial presentation is soo
unusual that I just want to ask whether there's a software out there for
tutorials only because this definitely looks like no 3d software, right?

So are
u guys using autodesk tutorius? Not sure what that is tho.
andrewsilke | SAdministrator | 2008-12-03 10
The tutorials have been created in 3d software then rendered to give them a
similar look. Greg made this one in 3ds Max and I use Maya, some of the other
guys have started theirs in Blender and look very good too.
joshua | | 2008-11-10 11
wow. what a fantastic video. great insight into topology!
andrewsilke | SAdministrator | 2008-11-10 04
Cheers guys thanks for the feedback, Greg used 3dsMax for this one, all animated
and basic rendering. Gorilla was made in Maya and the fur is Shave and Haircut
by Joe Alter.
Anwar B. - Well communicated | | 2008-11-08 05
Sweet and straight to the point. Well done.

snoopbaron - Thanks! | | 2008-11-08 04
That was very helpful! Great tutorial!
bob - I like it | | 2008-11-07 22
This site is fantastic. the tutorials are simple but complete and the production
values are exelent.

Just as a suggestion i'd like to see a video about poles
and their role in controlling the flow.
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