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).

Drawing

Polygon: Press & hold the N-key or click  to activate the drawing of a new polygon. Left-click to add polygon vertices. Left-click on the first vertex to finish the drawing of a polygon. 

Hole: Press & hold Ctrl+N or click to activate the drawing of a hole on the selected polygon. See below for how to select a polygon. Once activated, you can draw a hole in the same manner as drawing a polygon.

Polygon Selection & Deselection

To perform some editing operations, you must first select a polygon. Only one polygon at a time can be in the selected state.

  • Press & hold Shift+N and left-click on a polygon to select it.
  • Press & hold Shift+N and left-click on the selected polygon to deselect it.
  • Selecting a polygon deselects any previously selected polygon.

Polygon Editing

All the operations below, apart from Snap and Delete All work on the selected polygon.

  • Left-click and drag polygon vertices and edges, or an entire polygon.
  • Right-click on a vertex to delete it.
  • Right-click on an edge to insert a new vertex.
  • Middle-click on vertices and edges to fix them during the snapping.
  • While the Shift key is down, left-click onto a hole and drag it to clone that hole.
  • To delete a hole, double right-click onto it.
  •   Delete removes the selected polygon.
  •   Delete All removes all polygons.
  • Snap aligns the polygons and automatically closes gaps between them. Two vertices are supposed to snap to each other if their distance is below the Snapping distance parameter. 
  • When Auto Snap is enabled, a snapping step will be triggered after each editing operation. 
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

  • 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.
  • To hide polygons, uncheck Show polygons.

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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