Is there a way to smooth along one axis?

Hi, this is my first post on this site. I have been using Blender for about a month now and I have questions that I think I’m ready to ask. This question is about the Mesh Tools>smooth button (not set smooth). I know you can scale, move and resize along an axis, but I haven’t found a way to smooth along a single axis. Is there a way to keep my x and y values from changing when I smooth?

I am not interested in the set smooth option since it only changes the appearance and not the actual mesh, and I don’t want to subsurf at this point because it deforms edges of objects and quadruples the amount of polygons. Thanks for any help you guys can give. This seems to be a very friendly community for a very useful program.

i…dont…think…so, not directly at least. Maybe someone will come up with an ingenious solution. But I am sure there is no way to do it directly in blender without scripts.

hmmm… Perhaps what you need is a script that flattens faces along their normal axis. Search for it in this forum, if you can’t find it i’ll post it…

Not exactly what you’re asking for, but the Wkey menu>>smooth option will only smooth edges that are selected. You may be able to get the effect you’re looking for by a judicious selection of edges to smooth.

A way to move vertices only in the z direction is to use scale constrained to z. (Skey then Zkey)

Subdivided plane tweaked along z axis into pyramids

Scaled along z axis

Scaled some more.

It’s not smoothing, but anything you do that only effects the z axis is going to look something like this.

Thanks everyone for the replies. I searched for a script and found one here: called Flatten. It sounds like what I want, I’ll have to test it later.

Nope, that didn’t work. It just took my selected vertices and flattened them 100% along one axis. I need something that will adjust the position of selected vertices relative to the vertices they are attatched to without pulling it one way or another. It seems like it should be a pretty simple script that would lock x and y and allow smoothing on z only, but I have never tried scripting and it might be more trouble than it’s worth. I still need help if anybody has any other ideas.

Well, what did you expect from a script called flatten? It really sounds like you just want to scale along the z axis. How is the smoothing you want to do any different?

Orinoco, you are right about what I am trying to do. The only thing is if I scale manually it is never as pretty as what smoothing can do. I am working on the roof of a car and I am starting in top view. I build a grid of x’s and y’s which are perfectly spaced except right along the windows, which curve. Then I try curving the roof up in side view, but it is never very accurate because I am eyeing it. I tried proportional editing but I couldn’t get the curve I wanted. So when I’m done curving the roof, I smooth it, taking out my imperfections.

The smoothing works great except along the edges where vertices aren’t spaced evenly. Sometimes they connect to two points in one direction and only one in another. When i smooth, my nice xy grid gets deformed. I just wish I could lock my x’s and y’s in place so that smoothing would only move vertices up and down. It is like scaling, I just would prefer not to do it manually because I’m not that good at it.

Anyway, I haven’t found a script for it, so it looks like I have to get better at manually editing my mesh in this case. Sorry about the long explanation. And I appreciate the feedback, I hope I’m not sounding ungrateful or too picky or something.

I think I may know what you want, and I wish there was function like this too. I sounds like you want the line created by the selected vertices to behave like a “spline”.

Another possible work around.

I’ve selected four vertices along the edge, they are lined up in the x-axis. Notice the position of the 3D cursor, it is directly below these vertices in the x axis.

Same vertices after To Sphere was used, at about 50%. Since the vertices and the cursor are all in the same plane, the To Sphere becomes a “To Circle”, and the percentage lets you specify how close to the circle you move the verts, so it acts something like a smooth function. It will still move the verts in two axes, though. You can then use the scale to zero trick to snap the verts back in line along the other axis you didn’t want moved.

Another suggestion, put the words “Car roof modeling problem” in the title, to attract the attention of the car modeling buffs. They may have better advice on this issue.

And yet another suggestion: a picture is worth a thousand words – post a screenshot.

(BTW: being picky is a good thing. That’s how the really great blender artists became really great blender artists.)

Thanks for all the good advice, everyone. I will try out these ideas and search out some tutorials as well.