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I'm having problems modeling the crenels (battlements, castellated parapets) of a rook piece. The basic modeling is easy, the problem comes with subsurf modifier. I can't achieve the shape I'm looking for.

rook piece

Any combination of bevel, edge loops, creases, gives me artifacts, or I lose the circular shape in the top view.

Here is the blend file, if you want: http://www.pasteall.org/blend/31339

basic modelling

edge loops

bevel

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You never want triangles on a mesh you are going to subdivide as they will result in pinching.

The images above seem to have some, introduced by the bevel tool probably.

Using a pair of edge loops to sharpen the rings, and then a pair of edge loops top and bottom per crenelation you can get close to the shape you want. But there is some blockiness when you look down from top view.

edge loops

If you want a smoother circumference, you can

-select the face loop you have inset near the top and hide them. (Hiding faces will prevent edge loops from continuing past them when added.)

-Add some additional "spoke" edge loops as shown. As there is one ring hidden, the loops won't cross the entire object, creating some ngons in the inset area.

spokes

-Scale the new short edge loops up just slightly on the not z. scale the entire section above the hidden faces down about half that much to split the difference

I know, I just said don't use triangles and then here I go introducing poles in to your mesh, but they are nicely tucked away, it works and it's easy :P

top

ortho

http://www.pasteall.org/blend/31346

Source: I just finished watching 4 hours worth of topology videos by Jonathan Williamson, the cg cookie guy.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's just what I wanted, thanks. I discarded the option to make a lot of loops to make the top part rounder, as it creates too much topology, and distorts the circular sections below. But with the hide trick, it becomes a nice solution. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – DavidGasku Sep 2 '14 at 15:51
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    $\begingroup$ While studying your solution, and trying to make all the 'spoke' edge loops at once, I've discovered the Subdivide Edge-Ring command (in the search box). The nice surprise is that you don't have to hide the ring, and the best of all, it keeps the circular shape in the perimeter! Hope you don't mind if I add this technique to your solution. $\endgroup$ – DavidGasku Sep 2 '14 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidGasku not at all. that's downright handy. $\endgroup$ – Aspire Sep 3 '14 at 19:13
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Add EdgeSplit modifier, set to less than 90 degree and then use MeanCrease only on the top of model.90

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