Ok I have started over 100 times trying to figure out how to model this efficiently. I have what I consider passable meshes using different techniques but I'm very new to Blender and know there's something I just don't know that I'm missing.

Here's a render of my current model...

Render of Nintendo Controller

Here's the mesh for the cutout geometry...

Mesh Topology for Nintendo Controller cutout geometry

This seems terribly inefficient, modeling it using a background image and sliding edge loops all day.

If you look in the upper left corner there's a contour that doesn't belong there, among other problems like too many verts, etc.

What guidance would you offer? How would you model this? How would you keep the geometric cutout tight while keeping the number of verts down? Do you use subsurf? Shrink Wrap?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you could provide. I've attached the .Blend file so you can take a look at it if that helps!


Nintendo Controller .Blend File

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "geometric hole" or "geometric cutout"? $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ The "Cube" part is easy, but to cut the hole out for the D-Pad controller (+ shaped void) was really difficult, mostly because I'm a Blender novice I'm sure) - As I type this I'm sitting here modeling it from scratch yet again to force myself to understand how to build good mesh topology. I think where I get mixed up is when you add a subsurf all hell breaks loose... $\endgroup$
    – Pete Lozzi
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ I think you have way too many unnecessary loops. Did you apply a Subsurf modifier? See topology guide for help $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ Is the question about mixing sharp and soft edges? $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ @cegaton I guess. I’m sorry it’s not more specific. Maybe it needs to be deleted and asked in sections... I think just a quick “here’s how I’d do it” few bullets would be helpful. Like would you start with a cube? Scale, apply Scale then Subdivide? Subsurf modifier? Confine the details that “make a hole” in the mesh by surrounding it with edge loops? I keep repeating the same process and it’s never as neat, clean and organized as it should be. $\endgroup$
    – Pete Lozzi
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 2:19

1 Answer 1


There are any number of correct solutions depending on your needs. I propose this one, because it keeps the element in a four sided square that can be edited quickly and incorporated into the rest of the mesh without difficulty:

cross shaped hole topology

And I would advise using a bevel modifier rather than a subsurf modifier in this situation. It gives those nice rounded edges while leaving you free to to structure your topology for ease of use, and you can use Ngons if you like. I like to use the "Angle" limiting method to only bevel sharp corners. But you can be as specific as you like using bevel weights.

enter image description here

If you must use a subsurf modifier, I recommend using the "Edge Crease" tool (SHIFT + E) where possible instead of adding loop cuts to sharpen corners. It makes the mesh shape far easier to edit.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you @dixiepig, this was a great help. At this point in my Blender experience I am like a sponge and any guidance is appreciated. I'm sure there are any number of similar examples out there for me to reference, but nothing like what I'm working on here so your guidance is very helpful. I just keep trying to model it in the same old ways and this will give me the ability to try a new direction... Thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Pete Lozzi
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 17:15

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