View Full Version : meshsmoothing

06 June 2005, 02:05 PM
Hi guys....

I'm a new user of 3DS Max
I'm in modelling phase and seem that I have a big problem down here...

I'm trying to make a rifle with a polygon modelling. Then I try to meshsmooth it, and the result is really out of my expectation.....
I dont understand how meshsmooth work and it seem I fail....:sad:

I created 1 segemented cube, and when I meshsmooth it, I lost the cube, and got a 3D semi-ellips
Can somebody explain how the meshsmooth work?
Is there any other way to create a smooth corner of a polygon w/o having it meshsmoothed?

~thx for any reply
~sorry for bad english

06 June 2005, 07:26 PM
Hi there, I was in a similar position to you, then i found this site: (

Here he gives a good introduction to the meshsmooth and how it works.

Hope this helps,


07 July 2005, 02:01 AM
What type of gun? I would say you may not need meshsmooth at all---depends on the shape of the gun.

07 July 2005, 05:02 AM
rifle snipe.....
I still don't know how the shape will be, but it like usual snipe rifle....

But I think meshsmooth is very important in polygon modelling....right?
Since almost everything has smooth edges....

I'll update u with the picture very soon.....

thx for any reply
sorry for my bad english

07 July 2005, 05:05 AM
Sorry i forgot to add a very crucial question in my mind.... :)

I've been trying to ask this many times in this forum but no one reply(or I forgot which thread I ask.... :) )

What is the different between editable mesh, poly, patch, and nurbs?

again....thx for any reply....
I hope I don' t forget this thread.... :)

07 July 2005, 05:51 AM
Editable poly and editable mesh are pretty similar. Editable polys have a better toolset. The biggest difference is that an editable mesh object is formed entirely of tris (though the triangulated edges that make up these tris may be made 'invisible', while an editable poly object can have polys with any number of sides.
Editable patches are one way to model with splines. You build a spline cage that creates edges for a surface, using only quads and tris, and then you use a surface modifier to create the smooth surface. Editable patches have handles for the surface, so you can control the flow of the surface like you would control a bezier curve.
Editable nurbs are very different from the rest of these. It's hard to explain if you've never actually tried it...but in short, you can think of nurbs as modeling with curves.

07 July 2005, 01:06 AM
" But I think meshsmooth is very important in polygon modelling....right?
Since almost everything has smooth edges...."

True, BUT many times poly density is wasted, or unneeded--- to meshsmooth an entire tube just to obtain chamfered edges seems crazy. Sure the edges will become rounded, but in the process you may be adding a heap of unneeded polys along areas that don't benefit from meshsmooth. Again it depends on the shapes of the gun, but for a simple rifle barrel you really don't need meshsmooth.

07 July 2005, 05:39 PM
Hi 705,

Here is explanation of how meshsmooth works, hopefully I'll get this right. Anyone, feel free to correct me if I'm not. Hey, I was at that point in learning Max not to long ago.

Between every vertex there is tension. The tension between the vertices is kind of like the surface of a balloon. If the balloon is made out of a material that can only bend on 4 corners per side, you would have a box when you blow it up. This is the same with polys in Max. A poly object can only bend where there is a vertex.

In an editable poly, meshsmooth calculates the tension/distance between the existing vertices and places more vertices in between them in an arc. You can get an idea of what meshsmooth is doing by creating a cylinder and decreasing the number of sides to 4. The cylinder is now a box with nice sharp edges. Increase it back to 18 and you have a cylinder with round edges. This is like putting a meshsmooth on the sides of the cylinder.

Nurbs work a little differently.

The tension of the vertex can have different properties. The tension can be uniform, meaning that its pull to another vertex follows a straight path and is the same strength on all sides. This is how vertices in editable polys work and will produce a nice sharp edge. The tension can also be non-uniform, such as in nurbs surfaces or patch objects, meaning that the tension can be a different strength and at a different angle on each side. The path of the tension to the next vertex is calculated by combining the strength and angle of both vertices. Move one vertex and the pull and angle changes for the adjacent vertices. The result of this can give an object a nice smooth surface without sharp edges. This is great for animation where the surface of an object won't pinch when bent because all of the vertices react to each other. Each one adjusts to its neighbor’s movement.

One more thing on meshsmooth in polys.
The distance between the vertices or face edges will determine how "rounded" the shape will become. Two edges very close together will produce a smaller arc when meshsmooth is applied, making a sharper corner. For a nice rounded corner in your gun model chamfer the edges so they are close to each other. Apply the meshsmooth and watch as you move the edges away from each other. You see how the edge gets more round.

As ToddD said you shouldn't meshsmooth something that is already round. Putting a meshsmooth on a cylinder is not going to make it more round. I will just add unwanted polys to your model.

You should also look into smoothing groups. This will help you smooth certain parts of your model without using meshsmooth. It doesn't really smooth the geometery but, smooths the way Max renders the material. It softens the hard edges between faces in your model. After applying smoothing to an object it will definately look smoother in your renders. It would be good to use around face plates of the gun where you still want sharp edges.
The Max help files will give you a good idea on how to use smoothing groups.

Here's a great tutorial on modeling and smoothing a gun.

Hope this helps.

07 July 2005, 04:34 PM
thx's really helps me a lot...

I've ever seen a guy give me a link a simple tutorial just for poly modelling...
The owner is vanbroom or something....i totally forgot...give me a clue?

Or there is a better link for newbie poly tutorial?

One stupid question:
How on earth i can add image on my post(ex: i have image in folder E:\pic\gun.jpg, what should i write?)

Sorry, i kinda new in digital life....:)

thx for any reply....

07 July 2005, 03:14 AM
Here is the tutorial which gives a good introduction to the meshsmooth:

This explains a lot.....

07 July 2005, 10:37 AM
Thx man....this is the tutorial that I'm searching for.....

I've seen it before but i forgot the link....

thx to all of you guys.....this thread really helps me a lot

07 July 2005, 09:26 AM
uhh....guys...gotta new problem...

I used to smooth all part of the polygon since i read I can use smoothing group.
I don't know hot to used it, but it seem very important in polygon modelling...

Can someone help me?

thx for any reply...

07 July 2005, 03:53 PM
many things are 'very imoprtants in poly modeling'

- meshsmooth (group or global) always add polys and make a slower render and a bigger scene. Use it a minimum. Use slice, quickslice or teselate to add polys can do the trick. You can also use chamfer. There is a tutorial here named 'Boxmodeling a car' who is very well explain.

- USE TUTORIALS the onnovanbraam website is also very useful for beginers (I used it a lot) and there is a thousand other tutorials on the web. You must give a look!

- 3d-palace have a great video tutorial about guns.

- Consider to BUY A BOOK like (3ds max bible or something like that, many thread about that on cgtalk)

- remember that meshsmooth requiret a lot of ram and, i repeat it, there is so many ways to model something, we can't explain all in details.

-USE SEARCH BUTTON, it's your best friend on cgtalk. This site have many thread on all subject. search button will help you to find it.

Good luck

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