How to smooth blending between adjoining cylinders?

Im trying to make this so Im building it with cylinders. But how do I create the smooth transition where the bottom cylinder meets the top one?

you need to bevel these parts:

Or you can fake it on Cycle render with Bevel Node

I can’t make it work, do you know what I could miss?

I think you need to switch eevee to cycles in render engine (like on my screen at the right panel, under outliner).
Or you have separated objects, then you need to joining them (select both and hit ‘Ctrl+J’).
Or you Radius value in Bevel Node is too small or too big.
Can’t tell you what exactly without visually looking.

Weird, doesn’t seem to work correctly, it has a very small effect and it doesn’t even look like a bevel… anyway, thanks :wink:

Im seeing that your shapes have very few divisions. In order to make this a hard surface edit, would you subdivide after doing this bevel?

if it’s supposed to stay within Blender (for image or animation purpose) you can keep it low-poly and give it a Subdivision Surface modifier. It makes things easier to stay low-poly, in your case though it looks like you need a bit more than a 8 vertex cylinder. If it supposed to be exported or printed and you can’t keep it low-poly or can’t keep any modifier, then apply the modifier.

This doesnt do anything to my model. Oddly cycles wont render this now and just shows blank image. As soon as I add the bevel in the shader and link it to normal as you show, the cycle render turns blank. If I delete the bevel and re-render, it stays blank in cycles… it only happens with gpu computer. CPU computer works but the bevel doesn’t show as working

In terms of hard-surface modelling, is it ok to apply the sub-d modifier?

It depends, do you really need to apply it? If you can keep it’s always better because it’s much easier (and lighter) to work with a low-poly. Also, always keep a copy before applying the Subdivision Surface, that way you can always come back to the low-poly version.

So would I make two cylinders with 8 sides each, and then join the vertices, and then bevel?

if you’re just talking about just 2 cylinders, you can use 2 x 8 vertex cylinders, but the picture you show has shapes that are a bit more complicated than just 2 cylinders crossing each other, so it may be safer to begin with 2 x 16 vertex cylinder, actually to give an answer I should test the real thing. I used 2 x 8 vertex cylinders just for demonstration.

Sometimes you begin with a very low poly cylinder and you end-up finding that it’s not enough, sometimes you can easily fix it with additional vertices, sometimes you need to redo it from scratch… at least me, I guess modeling experts can guess from the beginning what is the right road?

this thing will be modelled low poly with proper creasing.
You can get the workflow from here and learn a lot from this guy.

Clean up the boolean operation and make good topology. then make bevel at the junction with correct Profile (Option in bevel operation).

If you asked me this question a few years ago, I’d say you should do the intersection by carefuly constructing it with proper topology.

But you know what? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Cheating FTW!

Remesh, Smooth, be done with it. Yes, it will have lots of polys, and it won’t be nice to unwrap, but who cares. If you use triplanar projections for textures, you don’t need to unwrap at all. As long as it’s not supposed to be a game model or part of a very complex scene, it will be fine.

try also the “data transfer modifiers” you can transfer the normal data of one object to a vertex group, keeping the 2 objects separate

Im still a bit newb at blender. How would you go about starting this build? Would you start with cylinders and then join them? Or boolean union?
Or start with planes and then loop cut as needed and … ?

If you remesh, you don’t have to care about booleans. It handles intersecting meshes just fine. Just throw on a Remesh modifier, then a Smooth modifier so it’s not so edgy, set the resolution not too high, and start adding primitives till it looks about right. Apply mods when done. You can top it off with QuadRemesher if you don’t mind spending a few dollars on an addon. Or use Blender’s own autoretopology function that I forget the name of, but YMMV. That’s about it. Easy peasy.

“easy peasy” lol… I wish! Any chance I could bother you to do a screen capture video of these steps? Im not sure how to do what you’re talking about? I mean what do I even start with?" Cylinders intersecting? ANd then what? Im not a total newb in blender but this is above me.