Hey all so I was hoping somebody can comment on their own experience, or give me some advice on subdivision modeling. I’m working on modeling some quadrupeds. I’m thinking I really need to change my approach. What I’m doing now works okay. Eventually I’m able to achieve the shapes I want, but it takes time.
Basically my approach is to first gather reference images. Specifically the silhouette of the animal. A side view. I insert the image into the background of my viewport in my modeling program (Maya in this case).
Then I will insert shapes and roughly block them out based on the major parts of the body in the reference image, like the torso, neck, legs and head. I usually use spheres for this. Then I will proceed to combine the shapes (based on ref image) by deleting faces where necessary (where the morphed spheres meet), and snap and merge vertexes together until all of the shapes are one cohesive model.
This approach has worked for me, but it takes a lot of time, because there is a lot of manual pushing and pulling of faces, edges and vertexes. After finally getting one cohesive model, and a good base mesh to work with, I’ll go in and start adding edge loops to increase the poly count and improve the topology. Especially around the areas that were merged together.
After I have a cohesive model that matches the silhouette in my reference image, I’ll go and start adding the details like the eyes, nose, mouth, feet etc.
Like I said, this approach works, but I feel like I could be using a better method. Something that is less time consuming, and something that introduces less topology issues.
I find with hard surface modeling, you can usually stick to just extruding faces and edges to achieve the shapes you want. However, organic modeling seems to need a different approach. I’m not sure I have found the best one yet.
What do you guys think, how could I be doing this better?