You can crease or harden
the edges on your polygon meshes. Hardening or creasing the edges
sets how the mesh transitions between faces enhancing the realism
of your model.
you harden an edge on a polygon mesh, you change the direction of the
normals associated with the shared edge, which in turn affects the
shading along those edges. When you crease an edge of a mesh that
has an associated subdiv proxy, the edges on the smoothed high resolution
version are creased by physically modifying the polygon smoothing
surrounding those edges.
In this lesson, you’ll
try both methods on your helmet mesh.
To display hard and soft edges on a mesh
- Right-click the low resolution mesh,
set the selection type to Object Mode,
and then select the helmet mesh.
wireframe mesh on the helmet updates to display both dashed and solid
lines. The dashed lines indicate edges that are set to display as
soft shaded. The solid lines indicate edges that are set to display
as hard shaded. The reason some of the edges are hard and some are
soft relates to the particular settings for some polygon tools.
To soften the edges on the mesh
- With the low resolution version of the
helmet still selected, select
Normals > Soften Edge.
of the edges on the helmet mesh are set to be shaded in a softened
fashion. The wireframe mesh updates to display as dashed lines indicating
that all of the edges are set to be soft shaded. You may not notice
any immediate effect on the smoothed high resolution version, but
its important that you perform this step before you proceed to harden
specific edges on this model.
To harden the edges surrounding the face
- Right-click the low resolution mesh and
set the selection mode to Edge.
- Select the inner edges that surround
the perimeter of the face shield (see image below).
TipYou can quickly select
the inner edges surrounding the perimeter of the face shield using
the Select Edge Loop Tool. You
may need to double-click in a couple of areas to complete the selection.
Normals > Harden Edge.
selected edges are hardened on the low resolution mesh.
Notice that the same
edges on the smoothed high resolution version of the helmet are
unchanged. For edges to display sharp on the smoothed version, you
must turn on the Keep Hard Edge attribute.
To turn on the Keep Hard Edge attribute
- In the perspective view, select only
the smoothed high resolution version of the helmet mesh.
- In the Channel Box,
in the Inputs section, click the listed
proxy to display its attributes.
- Set the Keep Hard Edge attribute
The sharper transition
between the face shield and the rest of the helmet now appears on
the smoothed high resolution version.
- Select all of the edges for the grill
vents and harden them as well.
To crease edges on the mesh
- Select the lower outer edges on the face
shield (see image).
Edit Mesh > Crease Tool.
- In the scene view,
press the middle mouse button then drag the mouse to the right to
add a crease to the selected edges.
A thick line appears
on both the low resolution model and the high resolution version
to indicate that a crease has been applied. Notice on the high resolution
version that the related edges have become sharper in appearance,
but not as sharp as if they were hardened using the Harden Edge feature.
- Save your work.
You can toggle the
creased edge display (thick lines) by selecting
Your model is now complete. Depending on your
requirements you can delete the construction history on both the
low resolution and high resolution versions.
Refine any regions on
the helmet as required to gain more experience with the tools presented
in this lesson.
If you need to work with
either version of the model separately you can ungroup the two meshes
by selecting the top node of their hierarchy in the Hypergraph window
Window > Hypergraph: Hierarchy)
Edit > Ungroup.