AK Hard Surface Modelling

Blog Entry 23/04/2017

Now my final project is all but completed, I’ve been continuing my practice of hard surface modeling techniques, As I felt this was the natural progression of the work I did for my spaceship assets. I could attempt to understand where I could have used different techniques or workflows to achieve a higher standard next time. I’ve been following a hard surface modeling tutorial to learn as much as possible Bergholz, T. (2017)


Floater elements we’re a big sticking point whilst I was creating my assets. In the later changes when I was modeling my spaceship assets, everything was attached and also welded together. This approach added loads of work when it came to any cylindrical geometry added to a flat surface, creating so many connections that it made the mesh look messy. My new approach which I started to employ with my final project was to push geometry into different meshes and so long as I had deleted any back faces I didn’t need to connect any vertex’s together resulting in a cleaner mesh but also the added benefit of making the unwrap much easier.

The standard edge chamfer modifier is the process of selecting an edge and chamfering it to add extra edge loops creating an ever curvier edge. Though this method is great for unique parts of a model it does result in often messy geometry which needs cleanup work. What the tutorial showed me was that the next step in hard surface modeling can be achieved with the drop down chamfer modifier in combination with a turbosmooth. This chamfer uses the smoothing groups assigned to the model to place edge loops around different smoothing groups giving it a slight curve but mainly to protect the hard edge from erosion when it came to turbosmoothing.  With that turbosmooth though you start chewing into any poly counts but its effects are as I stated before a real step up in terms of quality when it comes to hard surface modeling workflow.

The Array Tool was a new tool that I learned which could save so much time when it came to creating repeating geometry. All that had to be done was to create just a single instance of the necessary geometry and reset the centre point to where the center of the completed object would be. When the Array tool is used you tell it how many copies you want, and increase the values on whichever axis you’re working on until the geometry goes full circle. At this point, you can weld everything together to achieve what looks like something which has taken much time to model but in fact is something which was relatively simple to create.



Bergholz, T. (2017). Ultimate Weapon Tutorial – Complete Edition – 3Ds Max/Substance Painter/Marmoset. [online] Gumroad. Available at: https://gumroad.com/l/ztGD [Accessed 23 Apr. 2017].