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Modeling Hard Subdivision Surfaces

Modeling Hard Subdivision Surfaces

Video Tutorial for MODO 401

This video tutorial from The Foundry’s Andy Brown is all about how to approach the modeling of hard surface (vs. organic) model with multiple interlocking parts. When approaching any kind of complex model it is best to have a plan or methodology that will allow you to complete the project in an efficient and controlled manner. In this video album we show you how to develop and apply such a plan as you tackle modeling a high resolution game or film asset. The video is for anyone wanting to understand the fundamentals of modeling with Subdivision surfaces. We start by exploring efficient ways of creating initial stand-in geometry, which will not only be an invaluable tool for testing the design of the object, but will also act as a starting point for the final model and other people in the production pipeline. We then explore the decision making processes involved in tool section and workflow as we construct part of a “mech” using Subdivision surfaces. We then use basic animation rigging in MODO to make sure the model has adequate clearances for someone else to animate.

MODO image by Richard Hurrey

Model concept by Rich Hurrey

Please note: This video tutorial does not cover how to model the entire “mech” model, but rather focuses on the detailed modeling of one portion – making an ideal introduction to hard surface subdivision modeling in MODO. The entire final mech model is included as content however. Also, this video tutorial was developed for MODO 401. Users of later versions of MODO will find the tutorial useful, but will have to adapt some instructions to new techniques found in more recent versions of MODO. The videos are narrated in English.

Purchase the Subdivision Surface Modeling Video Tutorial

Product Platforms Price
Subdivision Modeling $35.00

Subdivision Surface Modeling Video Tutorial


2 video segments
Total running time: 1 hour 46 minutes

Experience Level:

Beginner to Intermediate MODO user. Basic MODO or 3D modeling knowledge useful.

Software Compatibility:

MODO 401 (sp2 or later). This Video Tutorial was developed using MODO 401. The concepts can also be used in later MODO versions.

Product Format:

Videos are 1280 x 720 QuickTime (H.264).
All files delivered via electronic download.


Upon purchase your Training Video and associated files will be available for download through your Registered Training page. The Training Video is licensed to each individual and is not a studio-wide license. If you have a coupon code, please enter your code in the next step.

  1. Detailed Descriptions of Video Tutorial Segments

  2. MODO video by The Foundry

    Sample clip from the first segment of Modeling Hard Subdivision Surface Video Tutorial.

  3. Video Segment 1

    Devising an approach to modeling the geometry

    During this project we assume that you’re a modeler in a studio that’s just been passed a series of drawings of an asset that needs to be built. Focusing on just one element of the design we look at ways of quickly but accurately mapping it out in three dimensions so the design can be tested. During this process we make use of mesh presets for quick access to appropriate geometry and also MODO’s rigging tools to ensure that the integrity of the geometry can be maintained in extremes of movement.

  4. MODO video by The Foundry

    Sample clip from the second segment of Modeling Hard Subdivision Surface Video Tutorial.

  5. Video Segment 2

    Creating clean Subdivision surfaces

    In this video segment we investigate some fundamental techniques for turning the stand-in object into a subdivision surface. We start by looking at a number of techniques for joining geometry to create a clean Subdivision surface and elaborate on the design to suggest how an object might have been manufactured and constructed. Finally we detail the object based on how the object works mechanically. During this process we look at how to utilize mesh presets, how to control a Subdivision surface, how to judge mesh density and flow, and how to effectively make holes in a Subdivision surface so that surface continuity is maintained.

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