Confused about all this "sub" stuff

Hi all,

I am thoroughly confused about all this sub stuff in Blender (or 3D in general). There is subdivide, subdivision surfacing, and even the “set smooth” and “set solid”. When do you use each? I keep hearing about people making all these great models where the poly count is so low yet everything looks so smooth. Is that what subdivision surfacing is? Thanks.


yep. if you subsurface, and/or set smooth, you can make a low poly model look higher poly, and if you wish you can convert the subsurface to an actual mesh with alt C. also you may find the modelling thread in my sig to be of interest.

Subdivide makes the geometry of your mesh more complex so that you can refine it further.

Subdivision surface leaves your mesh as it is, but produces smoother surfaces by increasing the number of faces at render time. Very useful if not irreplaceable for organic shapes. This should also answer your last question.

Set smooth/solid determines how light is calculated on each face. Solid means one light intensity throughout the whole face which makes the surface look facetted. Smooth means an interpolation of light intensity between adjacent faces which makes the surface look smooth.

Just experiment a bit with the three possibilities and see for yourself. BTW, all can be combined. Actually you almost always have to use a combination to make a good model.

Thanks Kusagi. I have had this same question for YEARS.

And the ‘smooth’ button you see in the buttons window is used by selecting a bunch of vertices then clicking ‘smooth’ a few times. It basically evens out the spacing between them so instead of a lumpy area it will become quite…well…smooth.