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Indents in Mouse

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Hi;

     I'm trying to model a computer mouse and I'm trying to create the transitions between the different parts of the mouse i.e. on the picture shown its those little indents where the

     plastic on the mouse changes colour.  

 

    I tried selecting edges and using bevel but I get bad results as in the last image... But it seems the way to go maybe

 

   Anyone know how to do this?

 

Thanks.

mouse.jpg

line.jpg

line 2.jpg

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For the strip in the center alone I'd start with a 1x1 plane and extrude it out, rotate scale the new extrude, repeat till the shape wanted is got.

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Please take care to post in the right section. I have moved this to Modelling for you.

 

Modelling-wise, you are basically doing that wrong; the mouse is not a cubic form in the first instance, and if you start with a segmented box like yours, you will be fighting the model all the way.  And now is definitely not the time to be cutting in edges...

 

You need to establish the primary polygon flow first, and you need to do that very low poly, and ideally out of a single plane object, and do that using symmetry and subdivision surfaces right out of the gate. SDS should be doing most of the work here. 

 

Another important thing will be reference images. To make this accurately you need at least 2 (and preferably 3 or 4) orthographic views of it.

 

Lastly, I wouldn't do the seams with bevels either. I'd get the basic form modelled, then split that up to build it as it was built in the real world out of 3 different bits of plastic. That way the seams will take care of themselves, and you will have 3 parts you can easily texture separately. But this is not vital - it could equally stand as a single model with seams and texture selections, but whatever you do, make the flow of polys follow and define the seams, so that they become a breeze to cut in later, and SDS is working with you (rather than against you) all the way through...

 

Your starting point should look something like this... notice how in just the first 5 polygons I have almost perfectly defined that first seam.

 

Hope that points you in the right direction...

 

Starting Point Mouse.jpg

 

CBR

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Here's Stage 2, with the whiter bit now a separate model...

 

1796648053_Stage2.thumb.jpg.59020d1ffaff979344984d5f7a9003f7.jpg

 

In this section the important step was to alter the edge flow on the corner to fire the middle loop back on itself, in a way that gives us eminently suitable topology to put the slight bulge in the corner that occurs there, whilst evenly meeting the counter poly loop that runs along the back of it to where it meets the other part, and all the time doing it with the mininum number of points I can possibly get away with...

 

279920845_Stage2b.thumb.jpg.8cd73ec8fb8e85ada0fc0a91349727ce.jpg

 

 

This is one of those rare instances where SDS point weighting is a valid move and can be deployed to great effect, here used to keep the straight bits straight whilst SDS curves the surfaces only where we want it to...

 

CBR

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With Stage 3 we add the base. To get the complete shape we only needed to wrangle 30-odd polys and adding control loops brings us up to just 132 total.

100% quads, no complex poles, decent topological efficiency whilst maintining (fairly) even distribution and relative polygon scale to the maximum extent the form permits.

 

896908305_Stage3a.thumb.jpg.14091595394ccffc474ec0a103f48a0e.jpg

 

960235312_Stage3b.thumb.jpg.bd324115b6243b11bbd6407a0ff34502.jpg

 

Having defined our seam lines and primary poly flow, and having used inner extrudes on the bottom and top surfaces to neatly redirect that edge flow around their perimeters, we are now ready for additional subdivision, initially to the top section, which will 'establish our curvature' (in other words nail it down, or bake it into the geo) and that will give us topology density more suitable for cutting the slit and MMB hole. We will also add thickness to the parts, which will make the seams all in one go for us with zero additional effort.

 

Stg_3.thumb.gif.01d306d5e525889f40485a06a3d0b4de.gif

 

CBR

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Hi CBR

 

Thats really nice work. i made something similarly abstract shape recently and had to cut it into two parts, once working on the second part the lines / seams didn't sit together anymore, you mentioned point weighting above, is that how you kept those seems in same place ?

 

And more generally, are there any rules for edge loops Vs weighting for achieving shapes. I struggled to keep my two seems in the same place.

 

Deck

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Thanks dude. No I didn't use point weighting to keep things in the same place, or as a final part of the model, but rather whilst building, to stop SDS rounding my corners at the edges of the model. You can also do it without point weighting if you use OpenSubDiv SDS and set boundary Interpolation to Edge+Corner, which you can see in action on my first post about this above, where that poly strip is under SDS but its corners remain razor sharp and unrounded, which was just helpful in keeping the back bit straight while I was getting the initial form.

 

Later on, once the model was split, I did find that often I would have all 3 model parts selected and editable at the same time, which is much more what allowed me to keep points together from the different pieces as the form got refined. Thank goodness we can select points from all 3 models at the same time !

 

As for rules about when to use this and when not, my general rule is to only ever to use SDS weighting if it is to stop rounding on the edges of models ! However I would use edge creasing (the same thing as edge or point weighting, but the industry standard name  for it - Max got there first ! ) a lot more if it only worked with OSD and UV mapped objects, which it doesn't, and hasn't done since its inception in R18 !! We are really missing out by not having that method available to us for that reason (and for this long ! ;) I have 'guesstimated' that I would save around 500,000 clicks a year if I could use edge weighting wherever it was appropriate, and didn't have to worry about whether that object would eventually be UV mapped ! That's a lot of clicks and a lot of hours wrangling curvature-disturbing control loops unnecessarily !

 

Look at old Arrimus over in Max lately - that guy barely ever adds a control loop these days - and the reason is that Max's crease sets are so good and flawless, and work with UV mapped objects that there he can use it almost exclusively instead of the traditional control loop workflow, which is how he is able to model stuff in a tenth of the time we are !! Indeed edge creasing as an overall methodology seems to be taking over from the old way in every program that has implemented it properly, which, I am ashamed to note, is all of them except Cinema  :/ I would hope MAXON realise this and fix it with the urgency it deserves, but I've been waiting a while now - 2 and a half years and (constantly) counting ;)

 

I do feel quite strongly about that, I have written to them several times about it,  and it is serious enough that it is almost a dealbreaker for me to continue using C4D. What keeps me here for now is that Cinema remains my favourite modelling environment, even though we have the serious problem above, and are still lacking tools like proper Symmetry, Proper Edge and Face constraints and Set Flow etc...

 

But then again I do notice that I seem to be the only person that cares about this, or at least the only one  who whinges about it with any regularity :) But I have to keep shouting, 'cos it has to get done if Cinema is going to remain the top-tier modeller its recent additions (new bevel, knife, slide tools etc) suggest it is aiming for !! :) My apologies if I allowed that to get a bit 'ranty' :)

 

CBR

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Added another level of SDS so I had enough detail to cut the MMB hole in and split the buttons part...

 

2134429478_Stage4.thumb.jpg.27bd73560424c8f85a91d445e0e6b501.jpg

 

On reflection I suspect I have made the hole in not quite the right place  (see importance of good reference! ), but the technique is what's important, so I'll probably leave that. If I did want to change it, I would just remove the thickness I added and make my changes nice and quickly on the single shell.

 

CBR

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Hi CBR

 

Thanks for your insists on that and the different subdiv options which i have looked at occasionally and then changed back. Cinema is my only experience of 3D and i struggle with it enough that I have no intention of splitting my energy to learn something else. I just googled "edge creasing" and I see it seems to be some sort of weighting for edges so i can imagine how useful that would be.

Sometimes it seems the more i learn the less I know !

 

Thanks for sharing, youve created a nice tutorial here. Mouse is tricky subject, I probably would have tried with a box too.

 

Cheers

 

Deck

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Here's a great example of why crease sets / edge weighting are so useful. Here Arrimus is making himself a crown (presumably for modelling prowess).

 

He makes one of 6 sections, adds his points, and then quickly and easily selects and assigns a crease set, which instantly allows his SDS to tighten all the edges he needs, yet remain curved where it needs to be. If he were to add control loops he would be at serious risk of affecting the overall circular curvature and it would take him a lot of time to distribute all those extra edges so that his curvature remained undisturbed. Hundreds of clicks to sort that out. And he can do it in about 5 with crease sets. And if he UV's that model, that won't give him wonky UVs ! If we tried that in Cinema, our UVs would be unusable.

 

 

 

In the interests of fairness I should point out that if you DON'T need to UV map the object (as you wouldn't with this mouse for example) - ie can use one of the standard projections, then yes we can do this, and it works just as well as in Max or anywhere else ! But in a way that's even worse, because it shows us what we should, and sort of do have, and then doesn't let us use it in a professional workflow !!! Lol.  But also Grrrrrrr :)
 

CBR

 

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LOL, feeling yer pain , if it does come to cinema Im sure it won't be retrofitted to R18 so will be a while before I get too use it. I will investigate the other sud divs tho on an upcoming project.

 

Deck

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OK, here's what we could have weighted in the final model...

 

The problem: In the reference, the end of the button split is totally straight and sharp. In order to achieve that with control loops I would have to added 2 additional loops (4 including the symmetry), both of which risk disrupting my curvature in both directions (!), even to the extent to which it has been already established by subdividing it to L1. So my initial solution ? Leave it rounded ! It's a minisule detail you just can't see from a distance - and nobody is going to complain about that if they look at my pictures, because it's too small to see.

 

But doing my best to aim for perfection, we should really nail that exactly as it is in real life, and this is where edge weighting can leap to the rescue...

 

Here is what we currently have with no weighting at all - a nicely pleasing and well supported, but actually incorrect rounded end to that split.

 

1022941096_Noweights.thumb.jpg.8e87ab3a948987e927739bbfe3de6c4f.jpg

 

Ignore my edge selection there, that is irrelevant ! :)

 

Now, let's look at the underlying topology of that and change it so the end is more straight, like so...

 

1108082040_Weightthese.thumb.jpg.9cdbbd037b987d9efcf92804ae3b50ad.jpg

 

If we activate SDS now, we will still get the rounding, even though it looks straight without it, because that sharpness is unsupported.

 

However, If we SDS weight these edges to 100% we can sharpen the hell out of that without having to add any more control loops...

(note we already have some, so adding weighting now is actually a hybrid method !) In fact the presence of existing proximal control edges is what is going to make all the difference as to quite how 'Pro' our final weighted surfaces look ! It is rare that you can subsist on weighting alone.

 

Here is our L4 subdivided result using Cinema's Catmull Clark SDS algorithm, so not even OSD this time ! Here it makes no difference but on lower res geometry it becomes apparent that the OSD catmull Clark is actually slightly different in its rounding characteristics, and about 30% superior if we're really being honest :)

 

Top Tip: whenever using edge or point weighting, use one more level of subdivision than normal. Look how sharp it is ! Almost like there was no SDS there ! But of course we can tell it is there from the curves in the surrounding lines.

 

2045487905_CatmullL4.thumb.jpg.b342c5d852389f939315cf6c9d3b949c.jpg

 

and there is zero perceivable effect on the mesh / curvature, as we can see in this more distant shot...

THAT is what the makes the choice to use it here a valid one. If it caused ANY pinching or other surface artefacts that would be the reason to kick it to the kerb and do it properly with traditional control loops.

 

76460858_Nodisturbanceintheforce.thumb.jpg.0cfe410bcf44418479e65c7398548c93.jpg

 

We could also do it to the button cutout, but those edges are rounded like that in the reference so no need. But the rounding wasn't quite tight enough, so in this instance it made more sense to simply bevel an edge loop running across the model to give me 2 additional inner control loops that also preserved the curvature of that surface.

 

But there you go - a legitimate use for edge weighting, and we've got away with it because we had already subdivided the base mesh once, and because we already had some control loops doing half the work. Had we tried that on the low poly original the disturbance to the force (and our curvature) would have been catastrophically noticeable as surface shading errors.

 

Hope that helps explain where weighting has a place in a traditional modelling workflow...

 

Actually in preparing this, I have hit on something of a personal revelation ! I didn't use OpenSubDiv for this ! I used bog standard Catmull Clark, and the great news about that is that not only do I have a client-worthy result using edge weighting, but I actually COULD UV  map this wihtout problems, because Cinemas own SDS doesn't have the UV distortion issue !! So maybe it's not quite as urgent as I thought to get it working with UVs in OSD, which is the bit that's broken at the moment.

 

CBR

 

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