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I need to extrude a circular shape from a surface that's basically just a grid of quads. What's the best practice to do this without screwing up the topology too much?

I basically want to have a circular face I can extrude, in order to have a cylinder like protuberance on the object, something like this:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ your question is too vague, could you please make a screenshot of your object, or a drawing of what you want? $\endgroup$ – moonboots Sep 17 '18 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ Done. Hope it's clearer $\endgroup$ – Eärendil Baggins Sep 17 '18 at 19:42
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Depending on your mesh, you will have to select a number of faces to use as a circular entrance to the hole. The density of your example image suggests to use 2x2 (4) faces.

  1. Select the faces and remove them. X
  2. Position the cursor at the center of the desired hole and set the pivo point to cursor mode.
  3. Select the vertices and make them to sphere ⇧ Shift⎇ AltS > 1 > ⏎ Enter.
  4. Smooth them with the loop tools space option.
  5. Add a circle with 8 vertices and bridge the remaining geometry. You know have a perfectly circular piece of geometry which you can extrude inwards.

creating a hole

The resulting topology
enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Off topic: Nice shader, how did you get that variable width wireframe rough look? $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Sep 17 '18 at 22:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Duarte I'm not sure why I can't find an answer, maybe add a Q&A if there isn't any yet. Unwrap > Reset. Then this. $\endgroup$ – Leander Sep 17 '18 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting technique, wouldn't have thought of that. Definitely deserves its own Q&A $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Sep 17 '18 at 23:49

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