Hard surface and organic modeling are two significant types of polygonal modeling used in 3D animation, such as films and video games. Each type has its unique purpose when used by animators. Read on to learn the differences between hard surface and organic modeling.

What Is Polygonal Modeling

Before diving into the differences, we should first define what polygonal modeling is. Polygonal modeling is a method of modeling objects by utilizing polygon meshes to represent or approximate their surfaces. It creates 3D objects from smaller components known as tris, which are triangles, or polys, which are polygons. Every poly or tri is a fully flat figure whose points and connected edges define its shape. You can use the tris or polys to create complicated models of every shape.

Differences in Hard Surface and Organic Modeling

Hard surface and organic modeling are both different variations of polygonal modeling. People, animals, plants, and other living things are commonly represented using organic modeling. Meanwhile, hard surface modeling is intended for inorganic items such as tables, chairs, automobiles, and other objects with hard surfaces.

Critical Components of Hard Surface and Organic Modeling

Organic models will almost always need to be composed entirely of quads or four-sided polygons. While polygon modeling software may create complete organic objects, they are frequently taken into sculpting software to create more intricate details. Animators will typically use reference images and videos of real-life animals, people, or other organisms to use as inspiration.

Because they are static, hard surface modeling is more forgiving for animators. It is more forgiving because the type of polygons you use isn’t as important as long as the end result is pleasing to the eye and satisfies the requirements.

For prospective animators, learning the differences between hard surface and organic modeling is essential. Hard surface modeling tends to be easier to understand at first before moving on to organic modeling. The two types of modeling can also blend for different projects, so it is essential to grasp both for potential jobs. If you’re interested in learning more about modeling and other facets of the animation process, MoGraph Mentor offers workshops and classes to hone your skills. These include an after-effects workshop where you can learn to animate complex scenes. Feel free to contact us with any questions about our services.

The Differences Between Hard Surface and Organic Modeling

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