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Subdivision Surface Modeling training video

This video tutorial from Andy Brown is all about how to approach the modeling of hard surface (vs. organic) model with multiple interlocking parts. When approaching any kind of complex model it is best to have a plan or methodology that will allow you to complete the project in an efficient and controlled manner. In this video album we show you how to develop and apply such a plan as you tackle modeling a high-resolution game or film asset. The video is for anyone wanting to understand the fundamentals of modeling with Subdivision surfaces. We start by exploring efficient ways of creating initial stand-in geometry, which will not only be an invaluable tool for testing the design of the object, but will also act as a starting point for the final model and other people in the production pipeline.

We then explore the decision-making processes involved in tool section and workflow as we construct part of a “mech” using Subdivision surfaces. We then use basic animation rigging in MODO to make sure the model has adequate clearances for someone else to animate.

Please note: This video tutorial does not cover how to model the entire “mech” model, but rather focuses on the detailed modeling of one portion – making an ideal introduction to hard surface subdivision modeling in MODO. The entire final mech model is included as content however. Also, this video tutorial was developed for MODO 401. Users of later versions of MODO will find the tutorial useful, but will have to adapt some instructions to new techniques found in more recent versions of MODO. The videos are narrated in English.

Detailed descriptions of video tutorial segments

Video segment 1

Devising an approach to modeling the geometry

During this project we assume that you’re a modeler in a studio that’s just been passed a series of drawings of an asset that needs to be built. Focusing on just one element of the design we look at ways of quickly but accurately mapping it out in three dimensions so the design can be tested. During this process we make use of mesh presets for quick access to appropriate geometry and also MODO’s rigging tools to ensure that the integrity of the geometry can be maintained in extremes of movement.

Video segment 2

Creating clean subdivision surfaces

In this video segment we investigate some fundamental techniques for turning the stand-in object into a subdivision surface. We start by looking at a number of techniques for joining geometry to create a clean subdivision surface and elaborate on the design to suggest how an object might have been manufactured and constructed. Finally we detail the object based on how the object works mechanically. During this process we look at how to utilize mesh presets, how to control a subdivision surface, how to judge mesh density and flow, and how to effectively make holes in a subdivision surface so that surface continuity is maintained.