Smoothing question

I found a corbel on turbosquid that was made in max. If you look at the op spiral in the wireframe you can see that it is made of a round tube with only 4 verts in the cross section:

Is it possible to get that type of smoothing in Blender, or do I have to rely on additional geometry to get the same effect?

Yes using the subsurf modifier.

or the multires modifier

So it’s additional geometry then. I wasn’t sure if they had some proprietary technology that allowed that kind of smoothing without having higher subdivisions. I guess they just rendered the standard wireframe over the turbosmoothed mesh.

1 more question, why does it look like Blender is splitting up quads into triangles when it applies smooth shading? Is it possible to group several faces and have it shade smooth without it being affected by the edges?

i think the edge split modifier will accomplish this

Because internally they are triangles, they are displayed as quads, or others, but the triangles are required to draw, and deals with rays and so on… blah blah blah…

In other apps there is a smoothing angle that is used for smoothing operations, Blender has this in autosmooth, for render time only, but it is not reflected in OpenGL like other apps can display. For smoothing to show accurately in OpenGL and Cycles in Blender the edgesplit modifier has to be used. It has a setting for smoothing angle as well. I don’t like the approach much since it doubles the edge count, but it is effective.