Blender 2.6: How to Merge the Pros of Meshes and Surfaces

there are two interesting kinds of objects: Meshes and Surfaces. Each of them offers very cool features.

Object Type Specific Features

Nice Features of Surfaces:

(for example)

• They're as scalable as vector graphics (really nice!)
• You can build winding things real simply.

Nice Features of Meshes:

(for example)

• You can build organic things really good using the Sculpt Mode and a graphic tablet.
• You can use some special things like Physics.

My Question

There are things for which Surfaces are better and things for which Meshes are better. But how can I use both the best features of Surfaces and the best features of Meshes on one object at once?

For example: How can I use Physics (like on Meshes) on lossless scalable objects (like Surfaces)?

Thanks.

1 Answer

I've always just leaned on mesh modifiers. I find meshes easier to work with in just about every way. If I ever use a curve, it's probably as an animation guideline rather than as a static shape.

Advantage of Curve - they are scalable as vector graphics.

You can smooth meshes out by applying a Subsurf modifier. With an appropriately low resolution base mesh, it would work similarly to a Surface, with the added advantage of not requiring square patches like NURBS. See this subdivisionmodeling tutorial for examples of how Subdivision surfaces behave like, but better than, NURBS surfaces.

Advantage of Curve - you can build winding things really simply.

Create a mesh. Optionally duplicate it using an Array modifier (e.g. you make one stairstep, then Array it out into a bunch of stairs) Then use a Screw, Curve, Lattice, or Deform modifier to guide it along a curved path.