Need help blending normals

Hello Blenderartists!

I am hoping somebody can help me out here, I have a tree that needs it’s poly count kept under 50k, I’m almost satisfied with the result. Except in some places where you can see the ‘X’ shape of the interlocking branches/leaves. In 3DS max there was an option to blend the normals between separate objects (like smooth shading but continuing the shading to a second object). I’m quite certain that there is a feature in blender for doing the same thing, but I can’t find it anymore.

Does anyone have any suggestions about fixing this unsightly issue without pumping it full of verts?
Thanks, Ryan.

Looks great, have you tried the ‘auto smooth’ under the Object data tab?

You also have a modifier called normal edit which can help.

Hi Olle, thanks for the reply :slight_smile: ah yes, the normal edit I believe is the one I’ve used in the past. It’s quite late now and I’ve just finished work, but in the morning I will give both suggestions a try and get back to you. Thanks for the help

I have used your method and the results are definitely better than before :slight_smile:

It’s still quite clear the modelling process used, but maybe that’s just something I will have to live with on a relatively low poly tree.

Thanks for your help, Here is the same section rerendered at 200 samples.

Whenever I make lowpoly foliage, I create a hull around the canopy and then use the Data Transfer modifier to copy the normals from the hull onto the alpha cards.

You could easily apply this method here for your purpose, either by creating one hull around everything, or one around each branch.
In the data tab, enable “Auto Smooth” and “Add Custom Split Normals Data” before applying the modifier - only this will make the change visible.