Complex Bevels

As far as I can tell, in Blender, you have Inset and Bevel, (which always does a 45 deg. bevel), but there is no ‘complex’ bevel or profile bevel style tool. Is this correct or am I missing something?

In Lightwave, the Bevel tool allows me to specify both an offset and an inset per bevel action, thus the resulting angle is not restricted to 45 degrees. These actions are controlled on the fly by mouse movements so are very workflow friendly.

There are also some good ‘profile’ bevel tools such as BevelPlus (Bevel++) and Vertibevel for Lightwave, allowing complex multi-bevel actions. Does any such addon exist for Blender or is this still a ‘weak’ area in modelling?

I’m just wondering how much it is worth getting to grips with the modelling in Blender vs modelling mainly in Lightwave and then exporting. It’s a little frustrating as many of the modifiers and the stack method of applying them is very useful, but if I need to perform 2 or 3 actions in Blender to a single action in LW, it seems wasteful.

I am hoping, as a new adopter of Blender, it is simply a case of not knowing yet another “hidden” trick vs the functionality not being there. :confused:

There is a really nice profile bevel addon for sketchup that makes this easy, even with adding text to surfaces. Just select the edges to bevel and a profile and it does the rest, including adding or subtracting geometry on acute-angle corners as needed. It works on “hill” or “valley” edges. But it isn’t a simple modifier in a stack, so if you decide you need different text later, you have to go back and redo it all.

This kind of modifier, hand in hand with a quad ring generator and retopologizer along edges would be awesome. As for now though, my workflow for this kind of problem is to use extruded curves and then hand stitch the edges back together when I convert it back to mesh. It’s fairly quick, especially with nice tools like the F2 addon enabled, and an acceptable trade off (at least for me) to keep everything in one workflow as I can with blender.

Shame that, a decent bevel action has been one of the few things LW has over Blender modelling wise. I’m surprised no one has tried to put together an addon before now as per Vertibevel et al for LW.

The latest builds (and the coming 2.70 release) of Blender now gives some profile control on bevel: you can use a parameter that goes from 0 to 1 to change the profile from extreme concave to extreme convex, with circular at .5. I know this isn’t what colkai was asking for, but the code now has the foundations for doing arbitrary user-defined profiles, which I may be able to work on for 2.71.

The functionality is there and has been there for 10 years or more.

Create a curve in the shape of the profile you want then assign that curve to another curve’s Bevel Object field. One object modifies another.

You can also find complex bevel shapes on Blendswap as well. (Molding Profiles)


@howardt: I have been watching your development of new bevel modifier capability and really appreciate what you are doing. Thank you!

@Atom: Here is an example of where a curve (or mesh) with a profile will sometimes overlap on itself. The resulting mesh can be cleaned up, but it isn’t automatic and creates non-manifold headaches. In addition, manually making a curve line up with the edges of another mesh is laborious, but this new modifier holds promise to make this much faster.