I'm investigating meshes for a while. First attempts with Pohar from Rebels resulted in some pretty detailed modelling for 4k. It was the usual way. Create a mesh in a modelling tool, compress it, load it, smooth it, just the same as iqs approaches to the problem. As dx provides smoothing (loop I think), this results in tiny code and models of 500bytes or more as seed meshes. One of the problems with this technique is the model is equally "smooth" all over at the end. Its hard to have smooth parts and rough parts. Iq overcomes this by coding displacements.
This image fo a dragon was done using this technique and the result (with crinkler, shader, mesh and mesh code) was just over 2k...
Theres a good read about meshes in intros at Pouet.
I once did a 1k with several curved "lathe" objects, but it was com dropping and thats unreliable. I haven't fixed that so no code on Pouet right now. Maybe i'll try again with crinkler at some point. Lathes seem to be an option for modelling at 1k/4k. In the code I developed for gcc the models were just 8 bytes each before compression. The code to create the objects was around 350 after compression and the objects are curved: there is non-linear interpolation between points in the model. Click on the image to see what I mean.
But Lathes are limited.
Another technique I looked into was intersections of regular primitives. This can often produce surprising results. The idea is simply to rotate/translate a single primitive. The two screenshots below illustrate some results. The first is a rotated cone, resulting in a star. The second is a very small routine (180 bytes after compression) to generate organic like structures. Again no randomness, just rotate, translate, rotate stuff.
You can see the last one live in the second half of the awesomely coloured :-) 4k intro Fruit of the Loop.
But my goal is always to get away from embarressingly geometrical to something that looks modelled. It occurred to me that crinkler is very successful because it works at compile stage for compression, its not simply an exe packer. Thus my latest project is a modeller, the idea being to use the modelling commands to better compress the end model. qoob is a simple subdivision modeller based on wings3d functionality but very cut down. Its a fresh project but already I can see that no way will this be useful for 4k, only 64k. Thats disappointing but it comes from the fact that the library used to reproduce objects is 2-3k. An early screenshot is not impressive:
The idea remains right though: this is the modelling equivalent of a texture builder.