To me, hard surface modeling doesn't mean boxy surfaces, so at some point you need good tools to deal with edge loops/slicing for subdivision surface modeling.
Coming from Modo, I could probably request hundreds of features, but instead I will try to focus on the most obvious one.
Please let me know if some of this feature exist, as I might miss some functionality ?
1) Subdivision display mode.
We (I) badly need a subdivision display mode the doesn't just mix a cage display with the subdivision result.
Once in sub-d display mode (-
, it's very difficult in Houdini to select points or edges, as they might be under the subdivision surface.
Modo version display the limit surfaces on the subdivision model, and you can easily select components and do your modeling in this mode.
2) Local LoopSlice.
They are few handy options in Modo :
- The slice is only done on the selected poly
- You have a visual feedback where the slice is created (%)
- There is symmetry mode than will really speed-up the edge looping work.
3) Edge Slide / duplicate
- This is really my favorite edge loop method
- You can specify a numeric distance for the sliding … when creating support edges for subdivision surface, you try to keep this distance
constant all over the model.
SDS modeling for hard surfacing is all about creating support loops to crease the model … and it's a very boring tasks.
That's probably the reason why solid modeling (Nurbs) get a lot of success lately, with product like Fusion 360, and MoI3D (by far my favorite tool for this tasks).
In Fusion you can do hybrid modeling, turning cages SDS model into Nurbs surface, and use all the solid tools to add details/trims and fillets.
It would perfectly fit the nodal procedural aspect of Houdini, but that's an other story : https://www.sidefx.com/forum/topic/55277/?page=1#post-248072
Traditional DCC try to copy this solid modeling method too, with product like MeshFusion (Modo) and HardMesh (Maya) for example.
Because dealing with flat surfaces and booleans are really fun in Houdini, but the bevel tool is useless on curved surface.
In Houdini we have Soft-Boolean, part of the Direct Modeling from Alexey Vanzhula … and so far it's really my preferred product (partially because Houdini's node graph
I really hope some collaboration can be done with Alexey on the subject !