Modelling an Animal Head Using Poly Radial Tugs

The Basic idea

Treating a mesh like a ball of clay, an animal head is created from just a few tugs and pushes. The mirror field is left ticked so that only one side needs to be tugged to create a symmetrical shape.

How Long Does it Take?

To do the actual tugging, the
robot tugs takes less than 1 minute!


Start the robot demo by moving the mouse to the top left corner of the 3d window and selecting:

poly radial tug demo


All of the titles for the robot demo operations will be shown here in bold beginning with the operation number followed by the title itself. Any comments  for the operation will be explained under the title.


0. Create a New Seamless File

Click on the new smls file button

1. Build a Sphere
While the part is selected the button is clicked to create a SphereBuild node that references the selected part. The part is the node that contains the triangles while the BuildNode is the node that generates the triangles for the part. The staves and bands for the BuildNode are increased to 32 and 16 so that we have enough triangles to be able to mould our mesh like a ball of clay.

The sphere is centered at it's center by leaving yCentred checkbox ticked.

Lastly the sphere is rotated on the X axis at a right angle so that the staves run from the front of the sphere to the back of it rather than from the top to the bottom. This is done because the triangles are better structured this way if we are to tug out a nose from the front.

2. Convert White Part to Blue

In the previous operation we used a build node to generate the triangles for the selected part. Because build nodes update the triangles for the part each time we change a field or open the file, they would undo any work we do if we were allowed to tug at the vertices. This is why before we can tug the vertices contained in the part the part must be converted to a blue part. In performing this command all build nodes that reference the converted part automatically get deleted.

3. Mirror Triangle Structure

The triangle structure for the right and left sides are made to mirror each other exactly by clicking the button.


If you have trouble seeing the difference in the 2 images above, look more closely at the triangles in the middle for the 2 spheres and see how the triangles do not mirror each other for the non mirrored image like they do for the mirrored image.

Because the mirroring the 2 halves will leave the triangles no longer joined in the middle the join close vertices for all shown parts command is used to join them back.

4. Tug Ears & Nose

By default the tug radius is at 0 (single vertex tug mode). If the buttons are clicked up (click on the upper part of the button) the radial tug's radius is increased and made visiable. The circle in the 3d window is the visual clue that displays the radius for the tugs:

All of the vertices within the radius when tugging are influenced but the further the vertices are away from the center the less they will move.

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