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Probably an obvious answer, but I can't figure out why my mesh is causing such a weird crumpled up look with the subsurf modifier. I've gone through to make sure there are no doubles or overlapping vertices, but it still looks weird when I apply the subsurf. Any idea what I might be doing wrong?

enter image description here

Here is the .blend

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Short answer:

Bad topology.

Longer answer:

enter image description here

You have here some non-manifold geometry as internal edges, badly made faces (one face across 3 prepared quads), ngons and for some parts you will need support geometry (to eliminate shading issues and hardening edges). Subdivision Sufrace modifier don't play along with those. You will need to have quad based topology with proper edge flow.

As for this particular question there is too much to cover on how to repair every broken part, I would encourage you to have a moment to redo the whole mesh having in mind quad based topology. Also, use Mirror modifier so you will not need to make changes on both sides (there are some differences now).

Look for example at this topology:

enter image description here

Also you can learn something from here: http://topologyguides.com/

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  • $\begingroup$ You're right. As frustrating as it is, it'll be a lot easier to start over again than to fix those issues. I think a large part is that I am trying to fix things and making it worse. A few of the most interesting parts of that guide you suggested is keeping quads square and letting modifiers take care of more complex geometry rather than adding too much manually, which is what I think I was doing. Just out of curiosity, was the revolver you posted using a modifier on both meshes? $\endgroup$ – lakerice Jun 13 '17 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ @lakerice revolver is from here: miriambonetti.blogspot.jp/2014/02/hard-surfacing.html but as far I can tell just by looking at it, the top mesh is without modifier and the bottom with. Also I don't know which software author used there, but it doesn't matter; good topology is good everywhere. There are mainly two most important things. Keep them quads and be aware of edge flow. $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jun 13 '17 at 14:20

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