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Set Vertex Normals

Home >> The MODO Toolbox >> Vertex Mapping >> Set Vertex Normals

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No Smoothing

Smoothing offers users the ability to graduate the shading across polygons to produce a surface that appears smooth without adding any additional geometry. While normally generated in real-time in the 3D viewport, or at rendertime based on the settings of the surfaces Material item, MODO has the ability to essentially freeze this smoothing by baking out the current values, displayed in any 3D viewport, into a fixed 'Vertex Normal' map that will override any settings of the Material when present. This allows users to edit these values outside of the Materials 'Smoothing' settings , if desired. Once the Vertex Normal map is generated, it is saved with the model and can be exported in various formats.


The 'Set Vertex Normals' command is found in the menu bar under "Vertex Map > Set Vertex Normals". When the command is invoked, the following dialog opens offering users some options for the creation of the normal map-

Set Vert Normals

Normals Vertex Map: This input field allows users to assign a specific name to the resulting vertex map. Once generated, it will appear in the 'Lists' viewport, under the 'Other Maps' heading.

Use Smoothing Angle: When the 'Use Smoothing Maps' option is enabled, the smoothing values are captured from the Material Items 'Smoothing' and 'Smoothing Angle' settings. When disabled, users can specify a 'Smoothness' value that will be assigned to all vertices in the target geometry.

Smoothness: The 'Smoothness' option is available when the 'Use Smoothing Angle' option is disabled and allows users to define a 'Smoothness' amount. When left at 100%, (the most common application) all vertices will be fully smoothed in the target model. Once applied, users can then go in and select specific edges and then apply the 'Split Normals' command to add creases to specific areas of a surface.

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Important: When a vertex normal map is associated with a mesh item, modifying the smoothing value for that surface will no longer affect the actual smoothing of the surface in the viewports as vertex normal maps supersede any other settings. To modify the values, you'll need to remove the map and generate a new one with the new values or apply the 'Split Vertex Normals' command with an appropriate edge selection.



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