Number of Verts for Circles and Cylinders

Question Modeling

Hello to all my fellow CG Cookie members!

I had a question I've been wondering about for a good amount of time now. When I'm watching tutorials under the guidance of instructors, it's easy working with basic shapes such as circles or cylinders to know how many verts to add in the pop up window in the bottom left hand corner. However, I just realized that I don't really know the "rule of thumb" or general principal for myself when working independently and how many verts should be added, and for what reason.

Is there a good method or general practice for that? I know there can be many answers for this, but as an example--today, I was working on a low poly model of something, and I added between 8 to 12 verts on a cylinder and circle. That's good for low poly, but what is a good practice? Many times, it seems like tutorials input different numbers than the default amount of verts. What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks and happy modeling!

  • Martin Bergwerf replied

    Hi austinfarmer786 ,

    Some thoughts....

    There is not really a rule of thumb for that. It can often depend on what you're making; for a hexagonal nut, for instance, you will definitely not want to use the default 32 Verts! 

    Try to use as little Verts as possible (there is Shade Smooth and the Subdivision Surface Modifier). It is usually a lot easier to add Vertices, than to remove them.

    After more than 10 years of using Blender, I still sometimes add a Circle with the incorrect amount of Vertices for what I'm making and have to start over. When someone in a tutorial adds a Circle with a certain amount of Verts, chances are they came to that specific amount by trial and error.

  • Omar Domenech replied

    It's all down to your judgement really and that comes with experience. And as Martin says, after years of doing 3D, sometimes you misjudge how many verts you need and you add too much or too few. Just give it time and patience and in time your brain will start to correctly estimate, more often than not, the amount you need for what your working on. The important thing is to notice a mistake in time and not being scared of starting over, because one tends to want to fix the problem and you often loose more time than if you just start again.