easy question: smoothing groups or something like them?


How do you smooth an entire mesh but have hard edges along certain edges? Max has smoothing groups. Maya lets you choose the edges and pick smooth/hard. What do you do in Blender?


You can crease edges, shift+e I believe. Or if that’s not what you’re looking for, when you set smooth it only affects what is selected…


Here’s a way to do it that’s a royal pain in the ass and creates extra verts, but it works:

  1. In edit mode, select all verts, and hit smooth.
  2. Deselect all.
  3. Select a group you want to smooth seperately.
  4. Hit ‘p’, and choose Selected from the pop-up option.
  5. This will make the selected verts into their own object.
  6. Go out of edit mode.
  7. Select both the original object and the newly created partial object.
  8. Ctrl-J to join the objects together.

You will now see a smoothing seam along the border of the two object pieces.

There are disadvantages to doing this, though, and it won’t work for everything.


The solution is definitely to use shift-e to set the hardness of the edge. Make it about .85 or .9 and it will look like a right angle with a slight softness/bevel. Or just make it 1.0 for a total right angle (assuming the angle of the underlying polys is 90 degrees, of course).


One note for weighted edges, shift EKEY to work you need to have SubSurface on with the render value set from 3 to 5 depending how tight you want the edges to be.


As stated above, the creases feature will work for the renderer with subsurfs turned on. If you’re trying to make a lo-poly model with nice smoothing groups for gaming or other realtime content, though, you’re kind of screwed.


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