Help with smoothing

Anybody know what is going on with smoothing? I created a mesh and I’m trying to smooth it out, but it still looks blocky for some reason.

Any help would be awesome.

Any smoothing result will depend on the base topology, something we don’t know anything about in your case. No blend file !

Gave you got duplicate vertices, have you got edges close together, do you have an uneven mesh etc etc etc ?

It looks like you applied smoothing to low poly models. For instance, the doughnut shapes look as if they have about 12-16 faces around the outer rim. Is that correct? If this is the case, you’ll need to subdivide the models to create a higher poly count. Easiest way is probably to apply a subsurf modifier.

The default of 32 faces for circles and spheres is a bit excessive if you’re not going for photorealism, and can quickly add up to a massive poly count. But halving it creates lumpy models like what you have above. I find that a count of 24 is usually enough to give me nice shading when I apply smoothing and still cuts down the poly count by 25% from the default.

Another trick to getting your smooth shading to look nice is to pop on an edge split modifier. For models that have both curves and exposed edges or corners, this will calculate the smoothing as if you had put creases or a ring of extra vertices against that corner or edge to reinforce it.

Hope that solves your problem. Let me know if it doesn’t. :slight_smile:

It sort of does. These are game models, so should I use a normal map?

Normal maps are useful if you want to create the illusion of a textured surface without actually modelling it and creating a massively dense poly count. For instance, if you wanted the illusion of an engraving on a door, you could create a basic cube with only six polys, make it high and thin to match the shape of a door, then apply the normal map to one face to make it look like that face has engravings instead of just being flat. This allows you to acheive game models that look very complex, but are in fact just simple cubes. There are limits to this, because normal maps do not create actual geometry (bumps in the suface of the mesh). They just bounce the light back to the camera to make it look as if there is a shape there. But if you look at the side object from an oblique angle (meaning side-on), you would be able to see that while there are a lot of highlights and shadows on the surface of the object, the surface itself is actually flat.

In terms of improving the roughness of the models in your screenshot above, though, no. Normal maps won’t fix that. You have to have smooth shading on your low poly models first before a normal map will work correctly.

I know what a normal map is and how to use one. what I’m suggesting is to use a normal map baked from a subdivided version if this mesh to smooth out those hard edges that I get while my low poly model is set to smooth shading. I’m gonna try that later on and I’ll post a result.