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.
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: