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Modelling a Soap Dispenser

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Hi all, 


I'm trying to model the shiny section in the centre of the soap dispenser but I have no clue on how.



This is what I'm working with so far:



Any ideas or suggestions?


Much appreciated!


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I can see why you'd try and make this with an Oil Tank Primitive, but that's not really giving you helpful topology for that center detail. Arguably that is the most prominent part of the model, so the experienced modeller would base their mesh on this detail primarily and proceed roughly as follows... 


1. Get a (-Z) Disc primitive with an inner radius with 16 segments then make this editable.

2. Poly mode, select the lower half, disconnect and move down. Bridge the 2 sections, like below...




3. Using various polygon tools like poly pen, close poly hole, Line cut, extrude and bridge, fill in and expand the arched section until you have a section 6 polys wide initially. Take some time to even out the vertical loops at the top and bottom, and add 2 extra horizontal loops inside the arch ends to better define them under Subdivision later (as shown below).

4. Expand that out further until you have 32 polys in total with the arch at the center. The more evenly distributed the edges are, the better this will look when circular. Note mine are exactly equdistant, which I did with move quantize as I ctrl-dragged out my edges.




5. In order to get those holes at the bottom we need more subdivision than this, so put your mesh under an SDS object, set its mode to OpenSubDiv (catmull-clark), change the boundary interpolation to Edge and Corner, and the Level to just 1 in both boxes. Then make this editable (C).




6. Now add the edges you need to make the small holes, so add 3 horizontal cuts with Loop Cut, then inner extrude  each of the 4-square sections that will create, points-to-circle script (or scale the corners in to get circles), then ctrl-scale in to get the inner control loop, like this...




Delete the center polys if you want holes there (like I did), or leave them if they are just indents.


7. Now get a XZ circle spline and adjust its radius to the width of the dispenser (roughly 8 polys wide)

8. Select the mesh, hold shift and add a Spline Wrap Deformer. Drag the spline into the Spline field of that, which should give you this.




9. If the arch bit is not facing the front just rotate the spline in 90 degree increments until it is. If it is upside down, reverse direction in the spline properties.

10. Holding Alt, put the mesh under a connect object which will weld the ends together.

11. Take a copy of the connect, hide the original, then to make the new one editable. Optimize to make sure there are no stray points.

12. At this point you can select all polys and extrude negatively (with caps this time) to get some thickness for the lower holes.

13 Now you have perfect topology to make the chrome section, so select the inner polygons there, extrude them in (3 subdivs), and out again (same settings, but a little further) to get the center protrusion. 

14. At this point you can expand the poly selection a couple of times (U,Y) and then do Set Selection to create a tag you can use to put a different material on this part later.

15. Using Ctrl-Move and Ctrl Scale, make the top section, terminating it in a quad cap (no triangles).

16. Last detail is the top seam, so K,L to insert a loop, bevel that with 3 subdivisions, then extrude in the centreline of polys (no caps) to get that.

17. Put all that under L2 SDS (regular catmull Clark this time), and you're good to go...




There are other ways of course, but this is one of the best for producing perfect cylindrical details with no distortion round the holes, which would be something you'd work hard to avoid any other way.


Hope that helps...





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  • You are a genius! 


    Thank you very much for your help -  I'll let you know how it goes! 



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  • *These also should have been included in the first post - my mistake on this!


     I followed the method above and it produced very good results! However, I've tried to model the back section of the soap dispenser (box section) by selecting points at the back an extruding them - would this be the best way to go about creating the back section? 


     1) IMG_7252.thumb.jpg.ce7d2799b5103d3928ce8f2d23279b0a.jpg


    2) IMG_7251.thumb.jpg.6fad4911145faee6c249cd017d8dfcb6.jpg


    These are my result so far by extruding it:


    Is there a way I am able to make the rear box section edges less rounded without altering the main dispenser body (dispenser body is in a SDS)? I assume its settings that could be altered within this SDS or by bevelling edges maybe?


    In addition to modelling this section, I also have the task of modelling the inner details and making it open and close. 




    Advice on the best way to go about doing this too? 


    All suggestions appreciated, 



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    Hey Andy


    I've been back and had a look at this. The job you are doing now is about 100 times harder than the original problem ! :/ That back section is the same piece of plastic as the front, which means your loop structure must work for both sides at once, and there will be a lot of topology solving and stepping up / down.


    To be honest, you would need to be something of a modelling master to be able to make this as it is built in the real world. Even with my coming up on 20 years of modelling experience, this job would still challenge me. Unfortunately, because we're so massively increased in scope and difficulty, you can imagine that it is impractical to try and tell you how to do it in a single forum post. It would take hours and hours to try and explain !


    If this is a paid job for a client, then my suggestion is to outsource it to a modelling expert. I can certainly tackle it but would need to be paid to do so I'm afraid... Or I am happy to prepare you a 4 hour screen-sharing tutorial session, in which I will show you how to make it step-by-step, again, on an hourly rate. Please do PM me if you'd like to arrange this...


    Or, you can cheat, and make life considerably easier for yourself if you pretend you haven't noticed that the back and front are one piece of plastic, and make the back section from a completely separate model. Then it becomes a much simpler job because your front and back loops are independent. If that's a possibility, then I'd do that to save yourself a ton of time and work...




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  • Ah, well thank you for being honest and helping to get this far already! I think I'm going to cheat my way through it and forget about trying to make it open up altogether, as you said it would need a modelling expert and I'm definitely not that. Outsourcing could be a good idea, however, the cost would be a factor I would have to consider.


    Thank you for your support and advice, its greatly appreciated!




    • Namaste 1

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