I want to start a discussion about an important aspect of surfacing: patch layouts.
This seems to always raise varied opinions, as it should, and it is a topic that I personally feel fuzzy about. Fuzzy being a nice way of saying... absolutely stumped.
When are patch layouts beneficial, and why?
When do patch layouts become a nuisance?
I think it is heavily dependant on the model at hand, and the construction techniques for that particular model to get from start to finish.
Somehow though, when I see a big surface with not a lot of topology, it just feels...wrong. I want the rounded off bits to be separate surfaces curvature continuos, I want the straight bits to be the simplest geometrically as they can be to represent the shape it needs to be. I do not want this big mental surface pulling all the weight! What is wrong with me though? Because by the same token, all I feel I am doing is getting more boundaries and in turn more discontinuities to worry about!
To sum up a few pros and cons, the way I see it (do not know if I am right about these) on patch layouts:
- Simpler, but multiple surfaces mean less tension on the surfaces resulting in less pinches, bumps, inflections or dimples.
- Makes editing the model easier and more cordoned off, making a G2 round bigger will not disturb the rest of the model.
- Aids the construction of a model by providing more framework to work with, during curve and especially surface creation.
- More surfaces means more boundary edges, which in turn means harder to maintain continuity.
- Seems like it only really starts to become highly beneficial in high end class-a surfacing for auto or aero with higher order surfaces.
Anybody else feel the dilemma sometimes?
We could get some insightful dialogue going