What's Diff Between Plane and Grid?

In object mode, if I select Add->Mesh, I can select plane or grid, and then from that base object, start adding new vertexes, edges, or faces, and I can pretty much model just about any basic surface/shape I wish. But, I still don’t really understand what deep or real difference there is in Blender between the base grid and the plane. Is chosing one over the other going to limit shomehow what I might want to do later? Are there guidelines somewhere which can help me decide which one to start with, or does is not really matter?

The Plane is a single quadrilateral face that can be subdivided and loop cut to your own taste, and the Grid is a user-defined subdivided plane that is equally divided by the answers you give to the UI that posp up. Difference in use comes along with the purpose behind your modelling, same as the difference between a cylinder and a tube, or an extruded circle. Each comes in handy depending on the model you are building.


I understand your response, craigomatic, but I’m still confused. Let me describe what I’m wondering in a different way. Suppose I start Blender with a new empty scene and do these steps:

  1. Add a plane and hit subdivide twice. Now I have a plane with 5 rows of vertexes, each row containing 5 vertexes (i.e., it is a 4x4 array of square faces. Now, return to object mode, move the plane to the left a few units, and unselect it.

  2. Add a grid, setting X res to 5 and Y res to 5.

Now, in object mode, when you right-click on the left object, the Link and Materials panel indicates it is a plane. R-click the right object, it indicates a grid. Otherwise, both look identical to me. If I select either one and go into edit mode, other than the names, I can’t tell either one apart.

So, from this point forward, what can I do with one of these objects that can’t be done with the other one in exactly the same way using exactly the same steps? I’ve tried several simple experiments to see if I can do something to one that can’t be done to the other, but so far no diffs I can find.

That basic difference is what I’m wondering about. It’s that difference which would help me decide which of the two object types to start with based on whatever mmodeling job I face.

I realize that internally the data structures for the two objects are represented probably in different ways (I’m a fairly decent c/C++/VB programmer), but what difference does it make to me as a modeler?

Maybe the difference is NOT in what I can do to either one, but instead maybe one of them renders more slowly, or takes more physical file space? I just can’t tell any diff, and it bugs me. If they are the same, that’s okay. I just wonder.

1 Like

A 5X5 grid and a plane subdivided twice are the same and represented the same way internally – it doesn’t matter what mesh primitive you start with.

There’s no Physical difference. I think the historical reason for having both was that it was easier for Python Scripts, and their authors, (way back before UI’s in scripts were commonplace) that relied on vertex displacement to use a Grid.


Thanks for the info. I’m one of those who wants to learn the incredible details, down to the minute items. Someday I can see myself not only creating videos with Blender for fun, but perhaps, also posting tuts here. In the latter case, knowing the gory details helps me decide what should or not be mentioned; that is, what’s important and what’s actually not.

Also (if I understood correctly what was confusing you), “Plane” or “Grid” are the default names for the meshes when you create them. Let’s say you modeled a head and you started from a plane simple in the beginning, well in the end if you didn’t rename the object it’s still gonna be called “Plane” even if you have 5000 faces. Same goes for any objects you create.

It’s a good habit to rename your objects after you created them because if you don’t you’ll end up with 20 objects called “Plane.001, Plane.002, Cube.001, Cube.002, etc.”. It can get confusing when you have a big scene.

Renaming: really good advice. Actually, I did know this, and was not confused by that. It’s still good you added the comment, however. No doubt others might read this and be helped. Nevertheless, I was still aware that I started in one case with a plane, and a grid in the other case. So, no matter what I named them, I considered the possibility that there might be something different going on with each.

I’ll add in passing that of the several “Intro to Blender” docs I’ve read (or, am reading), I note that none of them I’ve seen so far discuss renaming items explicitly. Of course, it’s obvious (I think) one should name things, but the docs don’t seem to provide an early explanation on just how to do it (despite the trivail/easy way it is done). It took me quite awhile before slow-witted me actually realized how to do it. Might be others are having a similar problem. I’m a training instructor (Crystal Reports, Access, VB, perl), and it never fails to amaze me what many people are confused about (including me). Finally, I do see many excellent docs on Blender available on the web, including especially the Blender wiki.