View Full Version : How to add a new vertex/edge/face to a mesh

10 October 2008, 07:38 AM

I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but I've searched everywhere and haven't found an answer.

I'm trying to add a new vertex to a mesh and create a new face based on the new vertex.

Example: imagine a mesh with a single square-shaped face. I would like to add another vertex beside this face and use it to create a triangular face composed of one of the square-shaped face's edges and edges between the corresponding vertices to the new vertex:


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This is very simple in 3ds max and I find it hard to believe that it is not in maya, but I can't find it and it's driving me nuts.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

10 October 2008, 03:27 PM
Not quite sure if I understand but I'm thinking split polygon tool. :shrug:

10 October 2008, 03:29 PM
And you can chamfer the vertex to make a face.

10 October 2008, 03:31 PM
Hi HawkBoy,
I'm exactly in the opposite situation. I know Maya very well and just started to learn Max. Not because I need better modeling tools, in Maya I can model with ease everything I can imagine, but because I need better rendering tools, in Maya I can't render with ease, and often at all, what I want.

In my short encounter with Max I found some things that are better and some that are worse than its counterparts in Maya.
I started my max learning by reading the manual in a linear fashion. I'm paying close attention to all rendering related sections like lighting, material, and rendering tools, and then briefly going through its interface, navigation, and modeling capabilities. Although I found Max manual better than Maya's, after I read the modeling section, I still don't have any clue how to achieve in Max what you are trying to figure out in Maya.
Since I know how to do this in Maya and I can't imagine any simpler way, after reading your comment that this is easier and simple in Max, I decided to check if I will find so too.
Well I spent about 30 min trying all sorts of things without any luck, I also looked in the manual, and even made a seach in the Max forum. I still have no clue how to add a poly face to an existing one using Max. I went as far as laying out single vertices but dint' find any way how to make a poly face with them. In fact so far I have no idea why whould floating vertices are needed at all and can't imagine any advantiges with this.

:):)So, since you started this thread saying it is easy in Max, first let me know how can I do that there and then I'll tell you know how to do it in Maya.

Once we know how to do it in both programs we can share an opinion about which method we prefer. So far based on our expereiences this appears to be very unintuitive in both programs.

10 October 2008, 03:57 PM

Emil3d: I wish you'd just give me the answer and assume I was honest enough to reply, but ok...

Keep in mind my terminology is a bit off, but...
In max, if you have a mesh, you just switch to the face edit level and click on create (it will remain depressed till your done). You then select the vertices you want to use in order to create the face in circular order and a face is created. The norm of the face points in the right-hand-rule direction defined by the order in which you selected your vertices (i.e. if you select your vertices in a counter-clockwise direction, the normal will face you, which is typically what you want).

And that's it.

I understand that it is smarter to use more high-level tools like extrude, bevel, etc. but sometimes I just want to get in ther and manually mess with the mesh!!!

So, how do I do this in maya?

10 October 2008, 04:41 PM
Ok, so the best way I've found to do what I want is to turn on snap to vertex and use the create polygon tool to make the faces I want, then refine them using the split face tools, and finally combine the new faces with the old mesh and merge the corresponding vertices.

Even then, my norms come out wrong and the shading is a bit messed up (I know what the problem is, but I don't know what it's called or how to fix it in maya).

There has to be an easier way, no?

10 October 2008, 05:59 PM
I you have modeled say half a figure with polygons, and do a duplicate and scale -1 x axis, then when freezing that half, the normals will flip. A reverse normals will flip it back again. The normals flip every time you scale something with a negative value, say to flip the model over the x,y or z axis.

10 October 2008, 08:28 PM
Emil3d: I wish you'd just give me the answer and assume I was honest enough to reply, but ok......Hey HawkBoy,
I never assumed anything bad about you:), apologies if my message appeared to suggest so - that was not my intent. I just felt that your initial message was missing an explanation about how max does this after you claimed how simple it is and I felt that my answer would be complete if it also includes my opinion too, but before that I wanted to know how this is done in both programs.

So, here it is. From the Polygon menu set, go to Edit Mesh > Append to polygon tool. Like with all other menus, if you hold your mouse over that menu, highlighting it, a tip will appear at the bottom left on your screen telling you what to do. Max has the same thing but unlike Max in Maya it is really useful once you understand the terminology. Get used to looking at it everytime you need help. If you choose the Append to polygon tool when nothing is selected in your scene, the first click over geometry will select the object, once the object is selected, clicking on a border edge will assign the first shared edge of the new polygon being created and start the creation process indicated by arrows appearing on all open edges that can be used. Unlike Max, in Maya you can't use this tool on closed geometry. At this point you can use either another existing edge by clicking on it or click somewhere else to create a new vertex. When you click to create a new vertex it will be constrained to the gird of the current view but you also have the following options:

hold v to snap it to existing vertices
hold x to snap it to intersections of the grid lines
snap to any point of a live object (snapping target) if you have one in your scene
click the middle mouse button to activate the transform manipulator and type the absolute or relative position of the vertex in the input box on status bar at the top right of your screen.
If you want to undo one or more steps while appending a new polygon use the Delete key.
To complete the cretion process press Enter or if you want to complete and keep the tool active for appending additional polygons, press y.

Maya desent support free floating vertices and, as you can see, there is no need for that since you can position a vertex during the poly creation with full precision and unlike Max you can use all four viewports to complete the creation which is great for things like tracing a character head over a photo in four different views.
To start from scratch use the Create Polygon tool from Mesh menu. It is the same like Append to polygon tool but for creating the first polygon face. Then you can use the Append to poly to continue. I'm looking for similar tool in Max that can allow my to start by drawing a single free form poly without starting with some primitive, do you know if it has one?

In my opinion Maya's solution for creating a polygon added to an existing geometry is more powerful and takes less effort. Just count the steps and the clicks to create the same thing in both apps. Max however has one advantage - you can add a face to a closed object which in Maya is called non manifold geometry and can be achieved by using the extrude tool on a selected edge.

Hope this helps and thanks for explaining it how it works in Max. What confused me with finding how this works in there was the fact that unlike Maya, Max can't select different kinds of components at the same time, and I was looking at creating the new poly at a vertex level selection. I din't expect that the vetices will show up in polygon selection mode.

10 October 2008, 12:12 AM
Wow... great explanation. Thanks!!!

I completely agree that maya's method is better. My understanding is that Maya was built from the ground up less than a decade ago. As such, its underlying architecture (the code) is much cleaner and better organized. This makes a lot of its tools more... elegant than max. That's why I'm trying to learn maya =)

About your question, to make a free-form addition to an object, I would just make a spline primitive, covert to mesh (or whatever form your main object is), and then attach. That's the only way I know of, but its very possible there is a better way. While I often edit faces by hand, I've rarely had to add more than a few vertices manually.

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