7.3. Bevelling Tools

Relevant to Blender 2.33

Blender has, since version 2.32, a Bevel tool. A Bevel is something that smooths out a sharp edge or corner. True world edges are very seldom exactly sharp. Not even a knife blade edge can be considered perfectly sharp, if you really go for accuracy, and most edges are intentionally bevelled for mechanical and practical reasons.

Blender's Bevel tool is still under heavy development and the current implementation is rather crude since all edges in a given mesh are bevelled. There's no control over edges you want to keep sharp, or edges on nearly flat surfaces, which you don't need to bevel at all.

The Bevel tool can be used in EditMode, and can be accessed via the WKEY menu, where an entry reads Bevel (Figure 7-14, left). Once selected, a popup asks for the number of recursions in the bevel (Figure 7-14, center left). If it is one, then each face is reduced in size and each edge becomes a single new face. Tri and quad faces are created as necessary at vertices. If the Recursion number is greater than one, then the aforementioned procedure is applied that number of times, hence for Recur: 2 each edge is transformed into 4 edges, three new faces appear at the edge, smoothing the original one. In general the number of new edges is 2 elevated to the Recur power.

TipVertex Number

Remember that for each new edge two new vertices are created, and some more vertices are created at an intersection between edges, so your vertex number can quickly become enormous if you bevel with a high recursion!

Figure 7-14. Bevelling a cube.

Once the Recur number is set each face of the mesh receives a yellow highlight (Figure 7-14, center right). By moving the mouse pointer, the yellow highlights shrink or grow, and their current shrinking factor is reported on the windows header. By pressing CTRL shrinkage occurs in 0.1 steps, by pressing SHIFT fine tuning is possible. By pressing SPACE a popup appears, asking you to type in the bevel value.

LMB finalizes the operation, RMB or ESC aborts it. The final result can be seen in (Figure 7-14, right).