Blender Bevel

Feel free to show us the power of the almighty edge loop by modeling this simple object:

http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/5342/objectnl1.th.png

Don’t forget to show us the mesh wires when you are done.

Actually the challenge is up to you. The edge loop you marked red in the picture runs right through a pole. You said the old bevel will keep the edge flow, allowing you to smooth the edge by adding loops using CTRL-R. I predict the following: In the best case, the loop will not run where you expect it. In the worst case, Blender will say “could not order loop” and insert - triangles!

In any case the old bevel will exhibit the same kind of seams, because they are not caused by triangles in the first place.

I admit this object is slightly more complex than the average bookshelf, but hey, you have the modeling diploma. Convince me.

Dude, you’re grasping at straws and trying to think up extreme examples & rule exceptions to try and win some kind of losing argument. Trouble is, this isn’t a debate thread… it’s a help request. I wanted to know whether any other Blender users out there know of a good work around for what I see as a recently introduced shortcoming to the bevel tool.

The challenges you have just set are easily met. Almost any nut could make that beginning shape; with or without quads. I made it very quickly with all quads but what’s the point? Bevel function is what this thread is about. I could easily bevel the whole thing with an older version of Blender; the edgeflow would be maintained and no triangles introduced. The newer Blender bevel would introduce a host of issues which to this point, you seem to be totally oblivious to despite many wasted words of typing to clarify.

In fact, I think you’ve ignored pretty much everything I said last time.

Likewise, the challenge is not on me. Poles are no obstacle where there are only quads, exception being if the edgeflow twists and runs into itself. That red line would be easy to adjust, provided you had first used a decent bevel when smoothing the edges. If you had used the one currently in Blender, you’re looking at an edge by edge nightmare. Boss would wanna see it in five minutes. Ten minutes he’d be rehiring.

…again, green areas appeared to show seams which I believe were caused by the popping I have mentioned earlier. Could be wrong here, a closer look would confirm. If so, then your own example confirms that even on solid models, correct edging matters.

Please stop rubbing my diploma in my face. It was a tough course (they fail a quarter of the class)…

…I’m really thinking you should perhaps start a separate thread to discuss the pros & cons of edgelooping. This one is because I wanted some practical help on the beveling tool. Triangles are okay in some circumstances, but this thread was never intended to open discussion on that.

By the way, I recently won first place in an open Speed Modeling event where I used Blender against others mainly using Maya. I’d really like some solutions to the beveling issues because otherwise I’ll never do the same for hard surface modeling (they judge hugely on flow).

OK, it’s pretty obvious you have no clue. Please don’t waste other people’s time. Blender does not have enough active developers to deal with nonsensical requests like yours.

BS. Subdivision modeling results in E-poles almost everywhere. They are neither exceptional, nor extreme.

I wanted to know whether any other Blender users out there know of a good work around for what I see as a recently introduced shortcoming to the bevel tool.

The workaround is a no-brainer. Apply a subsurf modifier to the mesh. All triangles will be gone.

The challenges you have just set are easily met. Almost any nut could make that beginning shape; with or without quads. I made it very quickly with all quads but what’s the point?

The point is that you don’t understand what I am talking about. It doesn’t matter whether you use tris or quads there, you will end up with broken, self-crossing edge loops anyway. These edge loops serve no purpose; maintaining them is a waste of time and polygons. That’s why I posted the example.

I could easily bevel the whole thing with an older version of Blender; the edgeflow would be maintained and no triangles introduced. The newer Blender bevel would introduce a host of issues which to this point, you seem to be totally oblivious to despite many wasted words of typing to clarify.

You still fail to grasp that in any mesh more complex than a simple cube, the poles will make beveled edges flow in unpredictable ways. You will end up redoing the topology anyway. Just to make this unmistakably clear (and for future reference) here’s an example of an E-pole beveled the old way:

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/9939/epolexw1.png

All quads, yet there is no defined center that prevents the mesh from deforming irregularly when smoothed. Feel free to count the edges that need to be remapped so that you can insert a loop running from bottom left to bottom right. The new bevel requires changing only one, because there will be one quad and one triangle in the center.

Now let’s take another look at the model posted earlier. This is the pole that you marked:

http://img387.imageshack.us/img387/4646/model1tp7.png

And here’s the mesh:

http://img387.imageshack.us/img387/51/model2ag3.png

The vertex in the center connects no less than 10 quads. Guess how much remapping has to be done for a loop running the way you suggested earlier. The edge flow after beveling will be random, loops will cross themselves left and right. Boss would wanna see it in five minutes? Good luck.

I am not disputing the benefits of edge loops and quads on animated organic models. However keeping non-organic meshes quad-only is totally pointless. It’s a useless exercise for the simple-minded. Blender has other issues that are much more important to fix.

Thanks eye208… that last post you made has some really intresting material! I’m thinking points you raise highlight just how difficult it’s going to be for a dev to fix the script… it would pretty much be an entire rewrite, so perhaps just keeping both old and new scripts would be the easiest way.

Regarding your wire, with those unnecessary poles, your topology is kind of screwed to begin with… bevel or subdividing will never fix this. The idea is that you should be able to insert edgeloops and have them follow your form, or you should be able to select entire edgeloops and slide them around tweaking dimensions. Yes, E-poles can be a humbug but on the whole you should try to preserve the flow to make adjustments easier down the track.

I was expecting your wire to look something like this…

http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/2879/model2edgetc5.gif

If it had good edgeflow to start with…
…then that request from the boss would be easy to fix with the old bevel, but not so after the new one had been applied.
The older bevel does a better job of preserving the continual flow, whereas the newer bevel would tend to pull things apart at the corners.

For those of us who have reason to maintain the flow, having the new bevel break it is very frustrating. (That and I’d like a one edge becomes three implementation)

i agree with eye208

One word: Torus!

Even if the bevel algorithm was rewritten from scratch, there would be no way to predict which way your boss wants the face flow in a beveled E-pole. As I pointed out, there are several “right” ways which are mutually exclusive. No matter how smart the bevel algorithm gets, you will be making manual changes anyway.

Regarding your wire, with those unnecessary poles, your topology is kind of screwed to begin with… bevel or subdividing will never fix this.
Exactly. The seams that you saw in post #15 were caused by poles, not triangles. Compare these pictures:

http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/9315/picture8mg8.png
http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/7647/picture7yu3.png

The first picture shows the mesh prior to the final extrusion. The poles are normal E-poles (5 edges per vertex). The new bevel handles them just fine. There are no seams, despite the triangles.

The second picture shows the mesh with “double-E” poles (10 edges) after extrusion. Regardless of the bevel algorithm there will always be seams due to the sharp angles.

I was expecting your wire to look something like this…

http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/2879/model2edgetc5.gif
My mesh was extruded from the cube in the default scene in about 30 seconds. Cleaning up the topology would have taken an hour. That’s more time than I am willing to spend on a forum post.

If it had good edgeflow to start with…
…then that request from the boss would be easy to fix with the old bevel, but not so after the new one had been applied.
The older bevel does a better job of preserving the continual flow, whereas the newer bevel would tend to pull things apart at the corners.
No. Even with clean topology there would still be an E-pole to deal with. As shown in post #23, depending on the topology of the bevel the flow can take either of 4 turns. This means you will be making adjustments in the majority of E-poles crossed. Changing the flow is much easier with the new bevel. All you need to do is mark one edge and rotate it either CW or CCW:

http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/1650/picture9tt6.png
http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/3348/picture10gb3.png

Using the old bevel, you have to deal with this:

http://img375.imageshack.us/img375/7626/picture11bb1.png

For those of us who have reason to maintain the flow
If you continue to play by these rules, you will be missing a lot of the things that make Blender special. There are good reasons to embrace triangles and multi-poles in non-organic modeling. Here’s a quick example:

Add a circle (7 edges, filled), duplicate twice, connect, extrude …

http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/4098/picture1la0.png

… add a subsurf modifier, raise the circle centers using proportional edit …

http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/7475/picture2nu2.png

… apply the modifier, extrude some faces at the base …

http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/8559/picture3oj0.png

… select all faces, extrude (individual), smooth, delete selected, select the rest, extrude (region), fatten along normals, add a plane for the ground, set up basic lighting, and get the camera ready …

http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/6485/picture6zd0.png

http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/5486/picture5lv2.png

http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/6523/picture4xd4.png

There is no proper edge flow in this mesh. Each window corner has two poles where 8 edges meet the same vertex. The bevel modifier may or may not add triangles. I don’t care. Putting this together in Blender is a matter of minutes. Cleaning up the mesh to get it in line with THE RULES™ would take a week (and lots of coffee).

Think about it this way: The actual reason why your Maya colleagues get anal about edge loops in non-organic meshes is because they suck at speed modeling. They don’t want to get owned by the Blender guy, so they come up with all kinds of stupid rules to restrain you. “Industry standard” in a speed modeling contest, give me a break …

Wow that’s a pretty awesome mesh!
In minutes even?
A couple of procedural textures could turn that into anything!

If I wanted to reduce polys, which loops would I delete?

Prior to bevel, each window element uses 12 quads. You can bring that number down to 10, but there is no quick way to do it, as far as I know. Unless there is some clever script out there that does it automatically, you will have to retopo each window by hand. There are 2480 windows. The face count is 29960 for the base mesh, 124792 for the beveled one.

I Likes smooth stuff heh heh.
bevel is nice to use inn die.
norwegian-english:
Ting-stuff
bra-nice
glatt-smooth

Exactly… if you had only used the old bevel to create those outer lines for each edge instead of extrude, you would have done it in five seconds, not an hour; clean edgeflow and everything. The newer bevel can’t do it and I really miss this functionality.

http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/6302/betterwireow7.gif
Old Bevel

  • Three lines per edge
  • Maintains the flow
  • No “rotating edge” to worry about
  • Time taken: five secondsI notice your images show only two edges for each of those long edges. That is where I think your flow has problems. Either have one edge (nonbeveled) or three (beveled). I did specify three lines in my original post. We were always taught that a basic bevel generally has three edges. I’m hoping, given your rotating edge problem, you can now see why. If not, maybe you never will. Beveling the old Blender way gives this “correct” three edges. The newer bevel does not.

…those ugly seams should never have happened. Not hours. Seconds.

Of course… where bevel is used as the guaranteed final step, you can get away with anything… I don’t like gambling on that though when other people are allowed to change their minds about something at any stage.

I really like the look of that mesh modeling demo you gave though. Nice. I have another way of showing wires using double materials and Z depth, but yours is great for an actual physical mesh quick effect. (triangles ignored)

Erm, okay… it never happened. They don’t exist. (pause)
Enjoy the break? :eyebrowlift2:
Those contests aren’t actually producing finalised industry standard work of course, but they are mainly industry based participants and edgeflow is one of the main criteria they are looking at in judging. On more serious contests (not speed modeling), they sometimes hire people from the likes of WetaDigital for the judging.
Basically I would have found the older bevel very handy for a cool effect that’s not going to have them saying “look at all his triangles”. Subdiv does fix tris, but it also makes the whole mesh heavy and they are wise to it. The “speed” contests are usually a minimum of three hours. I would just like to be able to, say, make a few quick beveled nuts and bolts with no triangles in them… too much to ask?

OK, I downloaded Blender 2.44 and did some research. In fact I was both right and wrong.

The old bevel algorithm would never produce this:

http://img375.imageshack.us/img375/7626/picture11bb1.png

But it would not produce this either:

http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/6302/betterwireow7.gif

You were talking about a “one edge becomes three” bevel by applying the old bevel twice. I did, and this is what I got:

Step 1:
http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/8859/step1ty0.png

Step 2:
http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/8392/step2jv1.png

I agree it would be nice to have the bevel type you described. But Blender’s bevel never worked like that. The old bevel did not maintain edge flow at all; it would just add triangles all over the place.

if you had only used the old bevel to create those outer lines for each edge instead of extrude, you would have done it in five seconds, not an hour; clean edgeflow and everything.

No. Even if the old bevel had worked as you described, it would not have been helpful with that particular model. The “windows” were created in four steps: select all faces, extrude individual faces, right-click, smooth. The final step is key because it shrinks all selected faces equally without changing their height relative to the surrounding edge loops. This will change the topology but not the shape of the model. Bevel will change the shape as well, and that’s not what I want to do at this point.

Hey, you’re right!

The older bevel does terrible triangulation things when making concave bevels, like here:

http://img161.imageshack.us/img161/2616/stepszf0.gif

The one on the left is what the old bevel really does, with the one on the right being my theoretical ideal.

My top (first) example of just a cube did not show this because it had no concaves.

That’s right… I do remember having to touch up here and there. Still prefer that one myself, as the concaves aren’t that hard to fix and I usually make relatively low poly shapes. I think both bevels have their place.

I’m not sure that Maya fares much better either… there’s a whole lotta bevel options to play with… might have to pose a few questions on other forums or play a bit more. Kind of late in the evening right now though.

So yeah - nice spotting. :eyebrowlift:

Hey junior… I dont think you understood what been discussed in this thread :slight_smile:

Sorry for offtopic

Damn, I was wrong about that one. Before even bothering with the Maya forums I played with their bevel and got it in one step…

http://img76.imageshack.us/img76/6956/mayabevsa9.gif
…all I needed to do was set “segments” to 2 for the recursion. It’s not a “whole mesh” bevel like the old Blender one but a “select only edges you want” bevel similar to the new one of Blender.

Still, I’m not going into the comparing packages thing. Posted that up for its relevance. There are plenty of things that Blender had been able to do before Maya was doing them, and some things even now Blender is simply better at… goes both ways.

I’d still be happier if Blender maintained / built on the older bevel method.

@eye208: The mesh you made in post #27 is awsome! The images you posted after these two lines, about half way down are not showing up in the post. Could you repost them? Thanks.

… add a subsurf modifier, raise the circle centers using proportional edit …
<image is missing>

… apply the modifier, extrude some faces at the base …
<image is missing>

.

They show up fine for me. I was going to suggest it could be because they are PNG images, but then so are the others. Try browser refresh? Sometimes the odd ImageShack server has problems. Direct links to those images are…
http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/7475/picture2nu2.png
http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/8559/picture3oj0.png

Earlier I did browser refresh and restarted the browser several times, that did not fix it. Now they show up fine. Go figure. No need to upload them again. Thanks.

BTW, this thread is really interesting! It’s nice to see so much “passion” about modeling techniques!

Hi Guys,

I’ve been trying to re-create the eye208’s 3-circle example, and I got stopped at a trivial step:
“Add a circle (7 edges, filled), duplicate twice, connect, extrude …”.

Added the circle, duplicated, connected, and trying to extrude - no matter what I do, I cannot extrude the mesh along the normals. I have tried setting the pivot, the orientation, the “E, Esc, Alt-S” trick, and it always seems to be expanding each vertex towards a single centre.
On the other hand, If I try the same thing on the faces a 3D mesh (eg. after extruding region first along Z), works perfectly fine - see attached screenshot.
What am I doing wrong?

Thanks for your help,
G.

Attachments


I was wondering about that myself. I suppose you could do the extrude twice, to get the 3d version, then flatten that version back to a plane by scaling along z to zero, then removing doubles. That would preserve the outline while making it planar again. Or, you could just select the bottom verts and delete them.