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I'm learning Blender and started a project to model an old Leica camera I have. The top section of the camera has a very awkward solid shape, I've bitten off more than I can chew!

In my limited knowledge I basically started with a cube and simply extruded bits, moved vertices around, used edge loops, and added a subdivision modifier. I'm really struggling with all the differing slopes and edges.

Clearly I've approached it in a way which is not really working well, is inaccurate, and not efficient. I'd like to know how people would tend to tackle a shape like this?

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    $\begingroup$ For a project like this, I strongly advise you to set up a custom shortcut key for the subdivision operation. You can do this by going into Edit mode on a mesh object, and in the top menu under Edge, right-click Subdivide and choose "Add Shortcut". You can set whatever key you want but I personally use ALT+W. You can count on using this all the time. Further: If you use Smooth Shading, you can say "Mark Sharp" (also Edge menu) to make a smooth crease in the mesh. You can change how sharply the Subdivision Surface modifier rounds objects by increasing or decreasing the Crease (Edge menu). $\endgroup$ – hatinacat2000 Nov 3 '19 at 15:16
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    $\begingroup$ ...But if I were you, I would not try to model the entire camera at once. I would use primitives (i.e. cubes, spheres, cylinders and capsules) to block it out first. The process will be much clearer and faster this way. $\endgroup$ – hatinacat2000 Nov 3 '19 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the tips. $\endgroup$ – Jamie Nov 4 '19 at 16:51
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don't worry, with training you can do much better. try to see how others model or what they use. I'm not a hardsurface modeler but here is my solution to this shape using box modeling:

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use bevel when you can. or other modifiers.

other method includes but not limited to: modeling with boolean (for easier workflow try hard-ops or booltool addons) then retopology it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Really useful, cheers. I've now got to grips with how to use the bevel mod. and the Mean Bevel Weight. That was new to me, so thanks. I'm trying to replicate your method to learn more. You've nailed the shape but I'm puzzled how you got there. Can I ask: (imgur.com/a/uH2507K) are those edge loops that somehow terminate at that point or did you subdivide the top faces then use scaling with Proportional Editing to get the rounded slopes? $\endgroup$ – Jamie Nov 4 '19 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ when doing dirty bevel (no modifiers) press f9 (in blender 2.80+) and you get lots of cool option. try to play with them to get the hang of it. the model is the result of bevels on top of another. also you need some small cleaning in some steps. try bevel on sharp objects. you can make them rounded easily. press f9 and try all the settings. $\endgroup$ – Mobin Nov 4 '19 at 20:14
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I guess there are several ways to do it, here is a try:

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