2
$\begingroup$

This should be so simple. I’m trying to create the vestibular organ.

inner ear diagram

I am trying to connect two 8-faced low-poly pipes.

enter image description here

I have tried carefully deleting and connecting the mesh at the base which creates awful geometry and horrible artifacts.

I have tried creating a 16-faced base to connect them to. It became impossible to make the base round and was way off.

I have tried a Boolean Operation but there is a sharp crease that even merging select vertices doesn’t seem to reconcile.

Any recommendations?

Also, I am in this position because I couldn’t find a way to create this shape. Does anyone know how to wishbone a Bezier Curve that could accomplish the clean split-off in the reference?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for writing a fully thought out and annotated question which is greatly appreciated $\endgroup$ – Moog Oct 18 at 20:41
2
$\begingroup$

I don't have enough reputation to add extra links to my initial answer in response to John's request in comments above, so adding a second answer to do so. Here, I rebuild the same piece, with minor improvements to my first approach:

In response to the request for my workflow in building the last example... I started with two unjoined, Bezier curves (which I converted to Meshes, though you can't see that here):

enter image description here

I joined them:

enter image description here

I deleted the "center" where the T-intersection needs to be built:

enter image description here

I deleted the "extra" bit of center/right-hand-side tubing with L-select:

enter image description here

In top view, I added a few extrusions to limit the amount of intersection I would need to build; also, I rotated after each extrusion, still in top view, to maintain the soft angle of the curve. These were extruded with Shift+Z to keep the tubes of identical height:

enter image description here

I then added all of the "easy" connecting faces by selecting 2-4 verts as needed and tapping the 'F' key a bunch of times. I did this first on the outside, and then in the middle of the top part of the T-intersection:

enter image description here

enter image description here

I then loop-selected the verts in the two spaces that were still not covered by faces, and noticed I needed an extra vertex to get nice quads (although perhaps larger/with more extreme angles than I would ideally like; that could be cured with a bit of moving around loop cuts, or maybe using a third Bezier curve for the right-hand-side tubing, with 2 extra cuts running its length...). To get that, I added a loop cut to the middle-of-T-intersection faces, and filled in the remaining gaps with 4 more taps of the 'F' key:

enter image description here

This is a little bit angular-looking in the T-intersection, so I then:

  • turned on Shade Smooth, to see how angular it will actually look at desired render settings
  • grabbed everything except the ends of the tubes and used smooth vertices (which I have hotkey'd to Q, not that that's necessary) twice.

In the original image, I also played around with smoothing different subsets of vertices to get the look to about where I wanted it -- more art than science, there.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1'd both your answers because you've put a load of work into helping the OP and folks don't seem to upvote enough round here $\endgroup$ – Moog Oct 18 at 20:39
1
$\begingroup$

Does it need to be a single mesh with nice manifold geometry? If not, two overlapping Bezier curves seems to get pretty close, although the point where they separate is a little more angular than the reference image:

enter image description here

This might also be an interesting place to try metaballs? You'd obviously have to put more work than I did into making them tubular, but just quickly reshaping them and converting to mesh seems to get something you might be able to quickly clean up to serve as the vestibular organ's T-intersection (which you could then connect to Bezier curve tubes that have been converted to meshes, deleting the unneeded parts of the metaball-T-intersection), there:

enter image description here

On conversion, they seem to naturally get -- um, not exactly pretty topology, but I think it is manageable, at least (and could perhaps be easily cleaned up further with a quad remesh or some such):

enter image description here

Also, here's a quick attempt at "carefully deleting and connecting the mesh at the base which creates awful geometry and horrible artifacts". Does it exhibit the kinds of problems you were worried about? :

enter image description here

enter image description here

I did leave a few tris present, but think they should be easy to remove if need be.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Great suggestions. The final render will be translucent, so I’ll have to double-check on the overlapping Bezier curves to make sure there’s not a lighting issue—otherwise, I think it’ll do. Thank you. If anyone has any other suggestions I’m still open. $\endgroup$ – John Oct 17 at 0:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also just threw an example of my quickly attempting what you had described before -- "carefully deleting and connecting the mesh at the base which creates awful geometry and horrible artifacts". Were there particular artifacts/elements of horrible geometry you were worried about, here? $\endgroup$ – NeverConvex Oct 17 at 0:23
  • $\begingroup$ I realize now it wasn’t working because I had chosen to distort the tubes—as you see in the photo—before connecting them. I realize now that’s simply not a good workflow for the wishbone shape. I’m going to try this way and merge first. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – John Oct 17 at 11:21
  • $\begingroup$ I had tried a handful of ways of deleting quads on each pipe, do you mind sharing what cuts you made to join them? I deleted half the diameter of each pipe towards the base (tapering off a bit as it went up the mesh). $\endgroup$ – John Oct 17 at 11:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sure -- sorry for the slow reply, busy week. I don't have enough reputation to add more than 8 links to my original reply, but I've added a second answer with my full workflow documented in it. $\endgroup$ – NeverConvex Oct 18 at 20:27
0
$\begingroup$

Just realized the blisteringly simple solution. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this.

enter image description here

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.