Surface Modeling

Tools > Mesh > Surface Modeling

This article introduces our semi-automatic modeling tool for generating planar surfaces. The user draws 2D polygons on the viewport with coarse and loose strokes (first image), as the underlying snapping algorithm performs the exact alignment of the polygons (second image).

Draw Polygon

  1. Press & hold N or click in the above window.
  2. Left-click to specify the first vertex of the polygon.
  3. Left-click to specify the second vertex of the polygon.
  4. Left-click to specify the third vertex of the polygon.
  5. Left-click to continue specifying more vertices as needed.
  6. Hover over the first vertex and left-click.
  7. Release N, or press Esc or click to deactivate polygon drawing.

Draw Hole on Polygon

  1. Select a polygon (see below).
  2. Press & hold CTRL+N or click .
  3. Continue with the steps (2)-(6) of the polygon drawing described above.
  4. Release CTRL+N, or press Esc or click to deactivate hole drawing.

Select Polygon

  • Press & hold SHIFT+N.
  • Left-click on an unselected polygon (only one polygon can be selected at a time).
  • Release SHIFT+N to end polygon selection.
TIP: Holes cannot be selected.

Deselect Polygon

  • Press & hold SHIFT+N.
  • Left-click on the selected polygon, or
  • Left-click on an empty space.
  • Release SHIFT+N.

Modify Polygon

Drag Components

  • Hover over an edge or a vertex.
  • Left-click and drag.

Drag Polygon

  • Hover over the polygon face.
  • Left-click and drag.

Add Vertex

  • Hover over an edge.
  • Right-click.

Delete Vertex

  • Hover over a vertex.
  • Right-click.
TIP: The polygon modifications above can also be applied to modify holes.

Delete Hole

  • Hover over the hole.
  • Double right-click.

Clone Hole

  • Hover over the hole.
  • Press & hold SHIFT to activate cloning.
  • Left-click and drag.
  • Release the left mouse button to drop cloned hole.
  • Release SHIFT to deactivate cloning.

Delete Polygon

  • Click to delete the selected polygon.
  • Click to delete all polygons.

Snap

  • Click to automatically close gaps between the polygons. Two vertices are supposed to snap to each other if their distance is below the Snapping distance parameter.
  • Activate Auto Snap to trigger a snapping step after each polygon modification.
  • Middle-click on vertices and edges to exclude them from snapping.
TIP: Be careful with the Snapping distance parameter. While small values may leave the final model with unclosed gaps, large values could merge unrelated polygon regions.

Display

  • To hide polygons, uncheck Show polygons.
  • From the Polygon mode dropdown menu, you can select between Opaque and Transparent.
  • Transparency slider controls the transparency of the polygons.
  • Use the Face color dialog to choose a color for polygon faces.

Polygons to Mesh 

Once you finish modeling, click  to generate a mesh from the polygons. This will prompt a window to set the Merge distance. In the generated mesh, polygon vertices that are closer than this value will be merged.

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