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Even subdivision of polygons - Subdivide command :

Current C4D Subdivide command is very limited and rather useless when used on n-gons.
C4D draws new edges from each polygon edge, even if those edges form one straight line, it also connects newly created points with points outside of the selected polygon. In most cases such result is useless.

C4D Subdivide command does not provide preview when adjusting its parameters.
Result becomes visible only after Subdivide command is applied.

We need in C4D proper polygons subdivision command similar to one in Softimage :

In Softimage subdivided polygon sides made of collinear edges are considered as one edge, even if made of several edges. As long as those multiple edges form one straight segment (are colinear), they are considered to be one side of polygon, and during subdivide operation such side is split in the middle : Softimage produces what user expects in most situations :

selected n-gon before subdivision
C4D subdivision
Softimage subdivision (+ type )

 

 

Softimage offers 4 types of polygon subdivisions: Plus, Diamond, X, Triangles :

Plus adds edges from the geometric center of a polygon to the midpoint of each side :

1 iteration
2 iterations
3 iterations

Diamond draws edges connecting the midpoints of a polygon's sides. It works with tile option (top row)

X draws edges from the midpoint of a polygon to each of its corner vertices. It works with tile option (top row)

Triangles triangulates all quad and n-gons :

Of course Softimage Subdivide can be applied simultaneously on multiple polygons:

 

 

Even Subdivision of Edges :

In C4D edges can be split with: Edge Cut tool, Connect Point/Edges command and Loop/Path Cut tool (single pair at a time)

Let's compare their usability with Softimage SubdivideEdge in following example :

We need to split 9 times, a pairs of edges on 5 n-gons :

In Softimage we just select the edges to subdivide and apply SubdivideEdge Op with required number of subdivisions :

In C4D this is more complicated : C4D Edge cut tool creates rather useless connections (left image),

C4D Connect Points/Edges (center image) applied several times seems to produce more or less what we want, unfortunately it created bad polygons. Also, when applied in sequence, it can split only to 2, 4, 8, 16 ...

On single pair of edges, C4D Loop/Path Cut can be successfully applied, but if you have to split many pairs, it becomes annoying, because you need to split each pair, one, by one. In our case Loop/Path Cut had to be applied 5 x to produce what Softimage can do basically in one click.

This is why we badly need a proper subdivision tool for edges in C4D. It could be achieved by improving C4D Edge Cut and Connect Points/Edges tools.

 

Why proper n-gon subdivision is needed in C4D ?

Eg. to quickly create arrays of holes on a polygon using point bevel :

 

 

 

 

 

Splitting of single polygon :

C4D Create Point tool provides just one way of splitting a polygon when a point is added inside the targeted polygon - new edges are created from clicked point to some of polygon vertices, the rest is randomly triangulated. Such result is usually useless :


Effect of C4D Create Point Tool :

 

Sofimage Split Polygon Tool offers more clever options :


Original n-gon
Left click
Middle click
Right click


Notice that Split Polygon tool operates on just one polygon at a time : It splits the polygon currently under the mouse pointer. It ignores any selections of polygons.

When applied on non-quadrilateral n-gon, the Cross-split is similar to Edges Midpoints split, the difference is that Cross split draw new edges to n-gon sides (considering colinear edges as one edge), while Edges Midpoint split draw new edges to all edges :

An n-gone split 3 times with 3 consecutive left clicks (Cross split) :
Cross split
Edges Midpoints split

 

 

 

Dicing of multiple polygons :

C4D loop cut tool allows dice single polygons, if applied two times, but C4D lacks a tool to dice at one run multiple selections of polygons.

Dicing whole object
Dicing selected polygons with defined XZ values 2 and 5 and in Grid mode

Please refer to description on the right side of Softimage Dice Polygons tool for suggestions how such tool could work in C4D.


 

 

 

 

 


3 subdivision operators in Softimage :

While C4D provides only one tool for polygon subdivision and smoothing, Softimage offers 3 operators with their distinct parameters:

SubdividePolygons Operator - Subdivides polygons
SubdivideEdge Operator - Subdivides edges
Mesh Local Subdivision Op - Subdivide and smoothens polygons


C4D Subdivide tool dialog

 

Description of Softimage Subdivide Poligon/Edges command :

Polygons and edges can be evenly subdivided using the Subdivide Polygons/Edges command.
Depending on selected components type (polygons or edges) different operators with different options are used :
For polygons SubdividePolygons operator is used, while for edges SubdivideEdge operator is used :

SubdividePolygon Op


Divides one or more polygons evenly.

 

To subdivide polygons evenly

1. Select some polygons, polygon clusters, or polygon mesh objects.
2. Choose Modify / Poly. Mesh / Subdivide Polygons/Edges from the Model toolbar or press Shift+D.
3. In the SubdividePolygon Op property editor, set the options as desired:

Subdivision Type determines the shape of the new polygons:
Plus adds edges from the geometric center of a polygon to the midpoint of each edge.
Diamond draws edges connecting the midpoints of a polygon's edges.
X draws edges from the midpoint of a polygon to each of its vertices.
Triangles triangulates all quad and n-sided polygons.

Plus
Diamond
X
Triangles

Iterations controls how many times the process is repeated on the polygons that are created at each step.
A value of 1 subdivides each polygon once; 2 subdivides each polygon and then subdivides each subdivision; and so on
This option has no effect when Subdivision Type is Triangles.

Iterations = 1
Iterations = 2

Tile When it is on, all but the last iteration is of the type Plus and the final subdivision is of the type specified. This gives a tile-like pattern when working with quadrilateral polygons. When off, all iterations are of the specified type. Tile has a visible effect only when both Subdivision Type is Diamond or X and Iterations is > 1.

Type X, Tile on
Type X, Tile off

 

How Softimage subdivision works for non orthogonal n-gons :

 


SubdivideEdge Op

Divides one or more edges evenly by adding points, and it optionally subdivides polygons by connecting the corresponding points on multiple edges.

 

To subdivide edges evenly
1. Select some edges on a polygon mesh object.
2. Choose Modify Poly. Mesh Subdivide Polygons/Edges from the Model toolbar.
3. In the SubdivideEdge Op property editor, set the options as desired.
Tip: To see the vertices created by the edge subdivision, press T to switch to Point mode.

Subdivisions The number of edges into which to divide the selected edges. 1 = no new edges.

Curvature Continuity Modifies the position of the new point(s) based on the surrounding surface curvature. A value of 0 gives a flat result (no curvature), while 1 gives full curvature continuity. You can enter smaller and larger values for an exaggerated effect.

Parallel Edge Loop Adds a new point at the same position on all parallel edges.

Connect Connects corresponding points on opposite edges, if multiple edges were selected.

Parallel Edge Loop - OFF
Connect - OFF
Parallel Edge Loop - OFF
Connect - ON
Parallel Edge Loop - ON
Connect - OFF
Parallel Edge Loop - ON
Connect both on - ON

 

Two distinct polygon subdivision tools in softimage:


Subdivide Polygon/Edge
(described above) adds edges on existing polygon surfaces without modifying object's shape :

Local Subdivision Refinement smoothens the geometry with one of two methods :
Catmull-Clark

Doo-Sabin

 

 

Description of Softimage Split Polygon tool :

Split Polygon tool interactively subdivide n-sided polygons into n new polygons :
eg. triangle splits into three new polygons, a quad splits into four new polygons, and so on.


To split polygons

1. Select a polygon mesh object.
2. Choose Modify / Poly. Mesh / Split Polygon Tool from the Model toolbar.
3. Move the pointer over an existing polygon. The targeted polygon turns red.
4. Do one of the following:

Left-click

Middle-click

Right-click

Cross split

Vertices split

Edges Midpoints split

polygon is split using a cross pattern centered on the point you clicked upon. New edges are created from the point you clicked to each edge. For quadrilateral polygons, two collinear pairs of edges are created, resulting in a cross shape.
It draws new edges from the point you clicked to each vertex of the targeted polygon.
it draw new edges from the point you clicked to the midpoint of each edge of the targeted polygon.

If desired, you can activate snapping while using this tool.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as necessary.
6. When you have finished splitting polygons, exit the Split Polygon tool by pressing Esc or choosing another tool.

Notice that SI Split Polygon tool operates similarly to SI Subdivide Poligons : Polygon collinear edges are considered as one side of polygon, and treated as if it wasn't divided by multiple points. Only Edges Midpoints split does not follow this rule, there all edge segments are used - this may be Softimage bug, as it is inconsistent with other methods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description of Softimage Dice Polygons tool

 

Specifying the Cutting Planes
The cutting planes used for dicing are specified by a combination of the Style, Frame, and Merge parameters in the Dice Polygons Op property editor.

Style selects the axes to cut along. The result is a crisscross pattern across the Z = 0 plane (XY), X = 0 plane (YZ), Y = 0 plane (XZ), or all planes (XYZ).

Frame determines which set of axes to use:

  • Global uses the scene origin as reference.

  • Local Object uses the object's own center as reference

Merge determines how the components are diced:

Number of Slices X Y Z : Sets the number of slices in each direction using the X, Y, and Z sliders. The slices are spaced so that they evenly divide the bounding box with respect to the reference set by the Frame parameter. These sliders are not available when Grid-like is on.

Grid-like Uses equal spacing between slices in each direction. The required number of slices is calculated automatically.

Grid Size The distance between slices when Grid-like is on. Values are in Softimage units.

Point Snap Tolerance : Allows to remove small edges and polygons created by dicing. Very small edges and polygons can appear when a slice passes close to an existing vertex. These small components can be removed using Point Snap Tolerance slider. If a new point created by the dice operator is closer to an existing point than the tolerance value, the new point gets snapped to the existing point and welded. As a result, some of the new edges are no longer exactly parallel to the cutting plane, but no existing points get moved.

Disconnecting Edges Allows to break the object apart into separate, disconnected polygons and islands of polygons along the new edges. It creates pairs of boundary edges instead of simple edges. The effect is the same as if you selected all new edges created by the dice operation and then chose Modify Poly. Mesh Disconnect Edges.

Selecting Edge Loops : selects all edges or boundaries created by the dice operator

X