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I'm trying to make a rubber mat that is basically a big flat cube with lots of little holes (cells). It makes sense to me to model each cell and use an array modifier to construct the overall mat.

The problem I'm having is one i frequently run into in other areas too, which is how to add geometry as you go along without creating shading issues.enter image description here

In this particular example, I need to go from a square outer edge (4 verts) to an octagon (8 Verts) into a circle ( I can get away with 16 verts). I've done this by a combination of extruding and subdividing, which works okay(ish) but generally creates shading and edge loop issues.

My question is - Is there a proper way to perform this kind of extrude and subdivide modelling? Or am I going about it the wrong way completely?

Many thanks in advance!

Sam

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in my opinion you are going fine, remember that there are many ways to achieve what you want in Blender, so in this case I see two other possibilities.

Option one:

You can add the flat base geometry.

enter image description here

Select and erase these vertices

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Add a mirror modifier like this

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And then extrude

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Option Two:

Use Boolean

Add a cube

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Add a 8 vertices cylinder

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Add a Boolean modifier to the cube like this

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To look the cylinder in wireframe only, go to Object menu > Display > and set Maximum Draw Type to Wire

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Repeat the previous steps with the other geometry, at the end you will have something like this

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Now when you're ok with the look, just apply the modifiers and done.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for such a helpful answer! I'm going to give them both a go right now - I really like your viewport shading setup by the way $\endgroup$ – pezzatron Dec 18 '18 at 16:13
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    $\begingroup$ For the viewport shading press N and a new menu appears, go to Shading > enable Matcap > enable Ambient Occlusion $\endgroup$ – Francisco Arleo Dec 18 '18 at 16:16
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You could do it this way:

  • Create a plane, subdivide it 5 times. Create an octogonal circle, subdivide it once. Duplicate and scale down this octogone and make it a circle with W > LoopTools > Circle.
  • Join the vertices of these shapes with the help of W > LoopTools > Bridge.
  • Extrude to have a 3D shape.
  • Give it a Subdivision Surface modifier and a Bevel (Weight) modifier so that it makes the circle smooth but keep the angles of the octogone sharp.
  • Add your Array modifier, put it above the Subsurf modifier and enable Merge and First Last options, so that it joins correctly between the duplications.

enter image description here

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