Sunday, 6 October 2013

5 simple steps to making a clean cut in Blender

In this post I will outline the method I use to making smooth cuts (or spaces) in my meshes. It's pretty basic and I'm sure you'll find examples of this elsewhere.

While I admit its not completely perfect because of the introduction of ngons and triangles, the result seems to be quite good and the amount of polygons required is quite low which is great.

The following images show what I'm talking about. The second image uses the same method to achieve the opposite shape.

The result of this tutorial

The following steps assume you have a mesh with a Subsurf modifier.

Step 1 Position where you want the cut/space in your mesh to be.
I usually use the Edge loop tool (ctrl+R) to set where I want the loops to define where the sides the thole will be. It helps reduce unwanted distortions. If your mesh happens to have edge loops already there, use those.

Step 2 Make some lines 
Draw an edge using the Knife tool (K) around the area that you want to become a hole. Ensure that when you change direction you leave a triangle between the edges as shown in the picture. Make sure the edge you are drawing is close to the existing edges you defined earlier.

Step 2 Make some space
Delete the polygons where you want the space to be. Notice how the mesh is being smoothed. This will be fixed later.

Step 3 Extrude
Select the edges around the polygons you just deleted and extrude downwards (or whatever direction you want). Again, notice how the mesh is smoothed. The next step will resolve that.

Step 4 Add lines
Creating these lines will make the corners sharp. Use the Knife tool and cut from the outer edge of the mesh up to the corresponding vertex of the triangle mentioned in step 3 making sure to cut as close to the corner as possible.

Step 5 Add sharpening line
The purpose of this line is to make the edge sharper as well as producing smoother geometry where the triangles are.

Done. I hope someone found this useful.

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