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So I've started trying to model stuff from reference. I've gotten fairly OK results, but I keep running into some issues. The main one being, I could get the model perfectly lined up with one side of the reference photo, but then when I try lining it up in another reference photo, things don't go so well because there is a MESS of vertices everywhere! How can I stop from getting confused?

Example:

enter image description here

"Oh this is fairly clean, no issue."

enter image description here

"Geez Louise what is this mess!"

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    $\begingroup$ Modeling in wireframe will only get you so far before things get confusing. Solid mode will let you see your mesh much better. You need to loose the fear of changing perspective as well. 3D is as fun as playing with playdoh. Get your hands dirty, trust your intuition and enjoy it. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Mar 24 '16 at 1:21
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You can select only the geometry you want to edit and press ShiftH to Hide everything else but the selection.

From the Top View this looks unmanageable:

Top view of a bunch of vertices

So we go to Side View, select only the vertices we need, and hide everything else. (ShiftH)

Hiding and uhhiding a mesh selection

Of course the top view also shows just the vertices that we have left visible. Much easier to manage:

The top view after hiding geometry

You can then reveal the hidden geometry again when you're done editing by pressing AltH

Extra tips

Although pressing ShiftH will hide everything but your selection, pressing just H will hide the selection and leave everything else as-is. Un-hiding is the same (AltH) no matter which Hide method you have used.

This also works in Object Mode. You can hide and reveal objects in the same way.

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  • Try quad view

  • Model in solid view sometimes

  • Select vertices, use the hide vertices feature, to isolate a body part
  • Learn the numeric keypad keystrokes 1,3,5,7.
  • Rotate your view for fun via Mouse, Keypad Even numbers, Keyframed turntable
  • Of course you are using a Mirror Modifier for the symmetric being.
  • Render a low cost version every 15 minutes
  • Know how to move the reference photo. Determine if the reference photo set is consistent and adjust if possible. That means XYZ lines should line up across photos at key points such as head and feet.
  • With practice what seems like a giant headache today will be slightly smaller tomorrow
  • If you are sleeping regularly, not ingesting something bad, and not throwing up, the confusion is fine
  • Bigger Challenges await you
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  • $\begingroup$ Nice tips man. You should write a coaching book ;). $\endgroup$ – Paul Gonet Mar 24 '16 at 2:14

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