Some Newbie questions


New member
Hi Folks
i create my own character with the character tutorial from David Ellis and it works pretty well. Only when it comes to the uv mapping i have big problems because my character is mutch more complex like the tutorial character. I think i still have some basic points i dont know. so some basic questions - i hope someone can help a newbie here :)

1) Do you create character always from one box and pull every element like head, arms, body, feed from this single element? Or is it better to create the elements seperate and put them together later? do you merge the elements then together? becaus when i want to animate the character it must be one mesh or?

2) is there a point when you move from working with subdivision to manipulate the polygons directly? the subdivision is pretty cool but how do you get some details like fingernails? It seems to strong to form out these small details.

3) how is the work with textures instead of uv mapping? Is there a sign when to use this or that?

Thanks alot for you time!!!




Well-known member
Hi tom79

1- Both methods are useful but it depends on what your building. It’s usually quicker to pull
from one object, but not always possible. I often use a combination of both techniques.

2- The coarseness of the mesh is directly related to the finest detail you need, like fingernails. You can add a
Catmull-Clark Subdivision to the model and reduce the Subdivision Modifier to gain more actual detail.

3- If the model is one color or all solid colors corresponding to polygons,
you don’t need to use the UV Mapper or uv unwrapping.


Active member
2- I'm finding the strategic use of creases to add helpful detail when using subdivision modeling, though it can sometimes be a little cranky when bending characters.


Active member
Actually, it's not possible to really answer those questions without writing a book of a few hundred pages.

1) In my opinion it's not only about what you want to accomplish but your personal preferences (later on, when you have more experience). And just to mention: There are other modeling methods that are equally useful like patch modeling (first create a cage of curves and then connect the points to create the polygons) or starting with a single polygon. It depends on your knowledge, your preferences, the model, the software you use and your experience what to do to create a certain model (experience meaning simply this: Most of the cases I do use box modeling, so it's just so familiar to me that I sometimes use it where an other method I know might be better suited). To get a real, useful answer to this question you need this experience and this knowledge, i. e. some other tutorials and maybe a book or two, trying out all those things you'll learn and building stuff). The tutorial section here has some good things to begin.

2) Actually the more edges you have, the more hard looking details you get. A subdivided model doesn't have to look soft in any way. And while creases may be useful in some circumstances, in reality no edge is ever as hard (and I know, you'll have probably to look up what we mean with creases. In short we can tell certain edges not to subdivide. It's not realistic, but very often you can get away with it). To get more detail you need more polys.

3) A texture can use an uv map. You probably mean procedural textures with which you can avoid (to a certain degree) to use bitmap as textures with or without an uv map. You can get away with a lot without uv mapping (even some very complex models with a lot of different materials), but (sadly) UV mapping will not go away that soon. It's tedious, but if you're used to it, you in all probability will find it a boring task but will not have much problems with it (actually the difficult thing is just to find the right edges to unwrap the thing. And if you have a model consisting of 10'000s or even 100'000s of polygons that can be very, very hard for the most experienced 3d modeler out there).

To be honest, those answers are not really meant to be that helpful to you. Instead I have given them to satisfy your curiosity a little bit and sending you in the right direction of the tutorial section in this forum. It's a lot of stuff to learn, methods, techniques, tools and concepts, but if you really get into it, it's very rewarding, artistically of course, but intellectually, too. But you have to learn from the beginning, and in my opinion you should start with simple things (i. e. not necessarily characters) and from there go to more and more complicated stuff. You need only some knowledge that's in todays world quite easy to achieve (later on you can use videos meant for other software and still profit from it) and self-reflection (which you need in any art to grow).

And soon you'll see why you got three completely different answers to your questions from three different people :).