Workflow Question: Modeling with Geometry Nodes vs Add Modifier

Question Modeling

I have been asked by a fellow author to model their space station for 3D Printing and use in marketing images and video. I've spent a lot of time thinking about how best to model it. The base shape of it is easy. 7 Tauruses, 5 of them the same size, the other two both smaller sizes, equidistant along a central cylinder. After that, there are space docks and industry between the rings. I plan to do those as a cube base. The model is complex in the required precision to place the orbital industries attached between the wheels and the need to cut it apart for 3D Printing. 

I understand that geometry nodes are modifiers. But I can see building the torus with its plating and greebles and windows, then using geometry nodes to instance them along their central cylinder, then place their spokes from the taurus-wheels to the central cylinder, and also use nodes to prep their animations. The taurus-wheels will spin among other bits. 

But I can also see modeling out 1/4 of the wheel, the cylinder, and two spokes, mirror it, then instance it until I have all 7 of my wheels and do something similar with the industries and docking bays. 

I am wrapping my brain around the general concept of the best times to use geometry nodes to supplement the main modeling process and when it's better to stick with straight polygonal modeling.

1 love
  • Martin Bergwerf replied

    Hi ddfurlong ,

    That's a great question. But there is not a straight answer to this, it is also for a part preference.

    I highly recommend you watch:

    Specifically the first two Chapters (Introduction and Ferris Wheel), that will help you to decide when to use what (Chapter One) and also give you a lot of useful techniques to tackle the space station (Chapter Two).

    In principle you could use only Modifiers or only Geometry Nodes, but a mix will probably be the most efficient.

    A circular Array, for instance, can very well be done with the Array Modifier, but is a lot easier to set up with GN.

    2 loves
  • Omar Domenech replied

    I agree, there is no straight answer, like many thigs over and over, it's mostly preference. This is one of the reasons why one of the advices given is always to start over, when you're having trouble with a model. The more you restart, the more ways you begin to explore on how to do the same thing over and over and you end up with the perspective of how best to approach a challenge when you're modeling. So don't be afraid to experiment and test ways you think are the most efficient and if it doesn't work, start over with another approach.  

    2 loves
  • Dwayne Savage(dillenbata3) replied
    One of the best parts of GN is modularity, non-destructiveness, and ease of breaking up repeating pattern. With a space station repeating pattern isn't a problem. So, in this case it boils down to which method are you more comfortable with? Do you want to challenge yourself by using the method that is less comfortable? How much time do you have to work on this? I think if you have the time that using a combination is probably the better route. 
    1 love
  • dfurlong replied

    Thanks everyone for your responses. I was kind of hoping for an ideal time to use one or another. I’ll rewatch the assembly intro and Ferris wheel videos. I interrupted those and it’s been a while. 

    1 love