Been struggling with this for awhile, and finally decided to ask for help from the experts.

I have a cylinder onto which I'd like a groove at goes across it diagonally and also vertically down the cylinder. I'm having trouble visualizing how to do it, and still have good topology.

I've tried knife, knife project, moving individual verts, etc. Something tells me there is an easier and cleaner way to do it, so that I have clean topology and no shading artifacts. Am I right?

I've added two pictures of this scenario for reference.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ If the model is complex enough / unpredictable enough to be worth a non-destructive approach, you might consider this $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Dec 24 '18 at 11:20

As your shape is a cylinder, you could greatly simplify your work if you use a Simple Deform modifier:

  • Just create your shape as a flat map, avoid any ngons, make a topology that will allow you to add some edge loops when you'll need to sharp the angles.
  • Extrude what needs to be extruded.
  • Give it a Simple Deform modifier/Bend mode, with a Deform Angle of 360°.
  • Give it a Subdivision Surface modifier and a Smooth Shading.
  • To make the joint at the 360° junction, you'll need to apply the Simple Deform and then W > Remove Doubles.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the response, Moonboots! I’m new to Blender, so unfamiliar with everything those modifiers can do! I’ll give it a whirl. I really appreciate your help! $\endgroup$ – Joe Acello Dec 24 '18 at 4:07
  • $\begingroup$ I've edited to give a bit more details about the modeling, in a way the modifier part is the easiest ;) $\endgroup$ – moonboots Dec 24 '18 at 10:37
  • $\begingroup$ I've been fooling with this approach, and it looks like the groove's width widens as due to distortion/stretching as it wraps. It's hard to tell from the pictures...is yours doing the same? $\endgroup$ – Joe Acello Dec 24 '18 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ ...and thanks for the added modeling details! Very helpful! $\endgroup$ – Joe Acello Dec 24 '18 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ no it should be the same width all around, hard to tell what's your problem $\endgroup$ – moonboots Dec 24 '18 at 20:09

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