Smoothing Groups

3ds Max uses Smoothing Groups to create hard/soft edges between polygons, by splitting/combining vertex normals. When neighboring polygons do not share the same Smoothing Group, this creates a hard edge between them.

Maya uses Harden Edge and Soften Edge to do the same thing.

UV Shells

To reduce shading errors with tangent-space normal maps, it is best to use hard edges on your model everywhere there are UV edges. This creates less extreme gradients in the normal map, which reduces shading errors when you use a non-synched renderer, reduces errors introduced by LODs, and allows the tangent basis to twist around appropriately.

Smoothing Tools



How to assign smoothing groups inside of 3ds Max
Image by Ben 'poopinmymouth' Mathis

CategoryGlossary CategoryTextureTechnique

SmoothingGroups (last edited 2014-06-21 15:34:00 by EricChadwick)