Subsurf -- Can I modify only part of an object?

I have a mesh that started as a sphere and is now elongated with a few features in the middle. I want sharper features in the middle, but I’d like to use the subsurf modifier on the ends.

Is there some way I can apply the subsurf modifier only to part or parts of a particular object? If that isn’t possible, can I apply it to the object then do something to make sure part does not have a subsurf modifier?


Well, you could try the Shift+E on the edges or apply the modifier and then collapse the edges to make some sharper parts. The first option is the easiest, but I think the last give you a better result.

i thought you could, but you cant

What do you mean about collapsing the edges?

And what does SHIFT-E do? I can’t find a reference to it in my Blender book and can’t find it in the wiki. (Try searching for “shift e” and you get every page with an e on it!)

I don’t know what he means about collapsing the edges .

Shift-E deceases the influence of the subsurf modifier along that edge . You can adjust the value from 0 (complete influence) to 1 (no influence) . You do this by selecting an edge and then Shift-E . A dotted line will appear between the selected line and your cursor in the 3D Window . As you move it away the subsurf effect will lessen . But you can also manually adjust the value through the Transform Properties window (hotkey N) . If you have an edge selected a “crease W” value will appear . You can input values from 0-1 there .

You might wind up adding more “geometry” to get sharper features though rather then using creasing (Shift-E) . Or you could just make the subsurfed parts separate from the parts you don’t want to have subsurfed .

Okay – thanks for the info on this. If I understand you correctly, one step I could take is to apply subsurf, then use Shift-E to increase the geometry on the edges I want to be sharper, which is the same as decreasing the effect the subsurf has on those edges. Is that right?

While not directly solving the problem, I did come up with a work around. The sphere is being used to make the body of a comic book type (like “Flash Gordon”) rocketship. I had been working with a regular UVSphere and extruding it, scaling, and grabbing and moving parts of it. I duplicated the main body, moved it to another layer, so I’d have the outline as a guide, then added an icosphere with subdivision set at 4 and did what I needed with that, then set smoothing on it and it works even better than the UVSphere.

It solves the immediate problem, but I’m going to experiment with what people have said here, since that will help me solve the same problem in other cases.

Thanks, people, for the help and ideas. I’m on a number of mailing lists and forums for help in programming, Linux distro setup, and so on, and even with that experience, I am impressed by the speed and usefulness of the answers I get here!

That’s wrong. You can use SHIFT+E to get sharper parts, but it only works when you haven’t applied the subsurf.

Collapsing is the same as merging, only difference is that collapse sound better. You get to the Collapse via W->Merge->Collapse.

I think VertexPushers method is better, but if you have a slow comp then it can slow down it a lot, atleast that’s what I think, my computer isn’t slow so I’m not sure.

That’s wrong. You can use SHIFT+E to get sharper parts, but it only works when you haven’t applied the subsurf.
Well I have never tried doing what you suggest but if you look here you will notice that Shift E is something that influences the subsurf level … Maybe you are thinking of the new Edge Split modifier ?

And on a more general note i personally have found it very helpful to look though the release logs on the Blender site . Helped me understand a lot of the features in Blender new and old since I only started using last October/November.

No, he’s actually right. He was talking about applied Subsurf - which is technically no Subsurf anymore, I guess :wink:
Then, of course, once you apply the modifier, Shift + E doesn’t work anymore.

Well I guess it’s more of a semantic misunderstanding with the word “apply” . There the “applying” of the modifier in the modifier stack and then there is the “apply” button in the subsurf modifier panel … are they different in Swedish and German ? Though I guess it does say “add modifier” in the modifier panel …
I don’t think HalNineThousand meant “apply” in the sense to apply and remove from the modifier stack but more like just add …

That is true. By “applying a modifier” I mean removing it from the stack and nothing else. And that was, what Robin meant, or at least I’d think so. So, it’s just a misunderstanding :slight_smile: