Well the best way to reduce the surface density, is to isolate different curvature inflections and avoid making 1 single surface. But it depends what the objective is, cause there’s obvious pros and cons either way.
The network curves are the base starting point, and will lead to potentially high control point density depending how closely the netwrksrf conforms to them. While the resulting surface can be edited and rebuilt to a lower density afterwards, etc. I suppose one could explore rebuilding a higher density deg 3 UV to a lower density deg 5 UV…
The drawback for netwrksrf is it’s only seemingly able to create degree 3. If in the future it were able to be degree 5 compatible, then maybe it would be more compatible with lower density results with better “quality” upfront – as some might say.
I personally don’t see any reason to use any degree other than 1, 2, or 3, on any given surface.
Although, I’ve seen some users demonstrating some interesting things with deg 5’s.
If networksrf becomes compatible with deg 5’s someday, then I’ll probably play around with it more.
My opinion is, it does take skill and patience to successfully manage curve networks that are necessary to create elaborate, organic, high compound curvature, high density surfaces. And that is what leads to particular users being against using it. It’s not easy when you have a situation where there’s maybe 50 or 100 or 200 curves and something isn’t right and the surface wont network right away and you have to find the problem – like a needle in a haystack per say.
But, believe it or not this workflow does have a skill curve, and the newbs are usually the ones that will hate on it and act like it’s not them and they’re being the newb isn’t perceived as the actual problem.
They might think it’s ok to just use a loft or a sweep and have a huge tolerance of deviation and blame the network surface users as being the newbs
Oddly, my background began in the traditional parametric solid modeling programs before they had any good “free form surface” tools. So, back then for me, I approached things in the beginning treating everything like it was an “extrusion of a 2D sketch” solution for every problem – ‘cutting’ or ‘adding’ geometry and then filleting to finish everything.
Later, I needed to attempt to create ever more organic shapes. So, that lead me to using the now evermore famous “loft” 'ing approach. During those days I then thought lofting everything was the solution for every problem.
Eventually, I began using Rhino4 then Rhino5 everyday and learned how bad all the “lofts” really were that I imported from all those other programs I’d worked in.
I used to think “lofting” was the most amazing and most powerful methodolgy – until I discovered network surface and working with curve networks and manipulating the UV curves that are the underlying fabric of any nurbs surface.
When I became fluent in managing curve networks in the upwards of several hundred curves per situation, I learned that lofting is simply just childsplay.
Back in the “lofting is the solution to every problem days”, I used to spend weeks building sketches and guide-curves for a single lofting procedure that might have contained in the upwards of a dozen different sketches on different planes in order to attempt to remotely comprise some particular organic shape, and still fail to obtain 100% satisfactory results.
Nowadays, I would simply just network the surface, rough it out, and evolve it directly to become whatever I need it to be – directly composing the network until it is shaped exactly as it needs to be.