Blender Tip: Using EdgeSplit Modifier to fix Smoothing errors

Using EdgeSplit Modifier to fix Smoothing errors in Blender

For this example, I've imported a lego brick from LeoCad

Brick imported from Leocad

It looks okay so far. Time to add some gloss in node editor and apply smoothing.

Appying gloss in node editor

Apply Smoothing

Gloss and Smoothing applied

Well that looks terrible. Maybe if I clean up the model. I'll turn the triangles to quads, remove doubles and recalculate the normals.

Covert Tris to Quads

Remove Doubles

Recalculate Normals

Errors on the surface of the brick are creating black bands

Well it's better but there are still those weird errors on the surface of the brick. That's what those black bands on the brick are.

This happens because the sharp edges need more geometry for smoothing (I don't pretend to understand anything more than that).

Using edge bevel would add more geometry but I would lose the sharp edges. Fortunately there is a modifier for situations like this, the Edge Split modifier.

Apply Edge Split Modifier

EdgeSplit Modifier applied

With the Edge Split modifier applied, the smoothing errors are resolved without sacrificing the sharp edges.

Check out the pictures below to see the results of the Edge Split modifier applied to an Ironman mini figure I imported from Leocad.

Before Edge Split modifier

After Edge Split modifier