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3D Primer – page 1

3D Primer  page 1 | page 2 | page 3 | page 4 | page 5

1.01 Why write the 3D primer?


I have wanted to write this article for several years and for several reasons. Firstly, when I started modeling finding answers to my questions was extremely difficult. I could always get an answer but it took time to find a tutorial that helped me or an artist that could explain the issue at the level I needed to hear it.

Also, I have spent a small fortune on buying books that don’t actually explain what I need to know at the time I need to know it. My thoughts on this are that as a new user you don’t actually know what you don’t know yet.

Some examples of these issues would be:

Generally speaking artists/modelers are happy to help out someone new. Especially if that new user is using the same program. However, when you have been modeling for years it is very difficult to go back and see through the eyes of a new user which can often lead to frustration for both parties. As a new user you may not even know some of the terminology: What is an N-gon? Where will I encounter a Pole?
Software Blinkers: Some modelers only ever use one program either because the studio/house they work for requires it or they have been using it for so long that it would seem pointless to change. Or they were introduced to a free modeler like Blender or Wings and have an unshakable loyalty to it.
Someone very early on in your modeling career will say to you ‘There is no substitute for practice` or `Create as many models as you can and you will pick up the skills as you go along’. Whilst I agree with both these statements there is nothing more frustrating than to hear it when you are just getting started.


You do need practice but it helps to understand how to achieve something by having it explained to you or even better seeing it done. Likewise, you do need to create lots of models to try out new techniques but it helps to have someone tell you why your meshes don’t smooth well.

I have used a lot of reference from Wikipedia as I find it invaluable as a source of information.


Littered throughout these webpages are incidental information paragraphs like this one. Please feel free to ignore these as they are, by their very nature, incidental. They are snippets of information I have added for interest but are not essential to the modeling process. Look out for the  ‘I’!


1.02 How to use the 3D Primer


As a new modeler it can be very daunting to ask even a simple question. Posting in a forum can be intimidating at first and most people lurk around for month before making a post. This primer is intended to give you a one-stop look into the world of Subdivision modeling and the confidence to dive straight in a create something.

This Primer and any accompanying videos are laid out so that you can:

  • Get a feel for where Subdivision modeling came from and why we need it. See 2.0 About Sub-Division Polygonal modeling
  • Understand what types of modeling there are and when to use each type. See 3.0 Types of Polygon modeling
  • Get to grips with the most common Polygon tools/Commands and see them in action. See 4.0 The Tools of the Trade
  • Use the reference and Glossary section as a database to find out even more. See 5.0 Reference Material and Glossary

Primer  page 1 | page 2 | page 3 | page 4 | page 5