Anim8or Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  


An update to Anim8or, v1.00b, is available with a few bug fixes. Get your copy HERE. See the "ReadMe" file for details.

Author Topic: Finding the yellow brick road thru Anim8or editing  (Read 2061 times)


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Finding the yellow brick road thru Anim8or editing
« on: September 20, 2019, 09:29:23 pm »

 Hello everyone,
  I'm new here. I'm retired but still, hopefully, young enough to learn.
About six months ago I decided to try my hand(head) with computer graphics
of the 2d kind, a subject I knew nothing about. I found myself really enjoying it.
Then I started looking around for software that would allow animation. I came
upon Corels Motion Studio 3d. It introduced me to not only animation but the
geometry of the 3d world in an ever so gentle way. I enjoy what it offers but
its a very simplified environment. At least I learned what a 3ds and directx model
was :). In any event I searched for something that would expand my knowledge
about 3d shapes and geometry. To make a longer story shorted I came upon
Anim8or very recently. For me this is a wonderful program. I've been able to
do some basic and relatively simple things with shapes and materials. Thanks
to the wonderful community that sprung up around Anim8or I found some great
plugins to make Anim8or even more fun(various shapes,materials and the BooleanOperations which I think are great).
But I'm finding myself a little lost when it comes to making certain modifications to
shapes/meshes. (Faces and subdivisions are totally new to me :) So here's my
first specific question: I would like to make a shape/mesh more involved without
changing/scaling the shape. Lets say I have a sphere. I want to make the mesh
more detailed. I want to see more paths(hope that's the right word) going from
the top to the bottom and going left to right (or right to left). Hope I'm making myself
understood. I would like to know the best and simplest way to go about this.


  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 965
    • View Profile
    • Mission Backup Earth
Re: Finding the yellow brick road thru Anim8or editing
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2019, 06:20:29 am »

Welcome to Anim8or!

There's two answers to this question, depending on what you need and how you plan to use the mesh.  The first involves ‘smoothing’ the mesh, and the second involves ‘subdividing’ the mesh.


Smoothing divides each face of a mesh into four faces (assuming your mesh’s faces are all 4-sided) by bisecting each line with a vertex point, placing a new point in the middle of each face, and joining up the new points with lines.  Importantly, this function changes the original mesh which will now have 4 times as many faces and will subsequently be bigger, from a data point of view, and potentially more difficult to animate later.  This function includes a numeric setting; if its value is 1 each face will simply be divided into 4 with each new face aligned exactly to the original face.  If its setting is 0 the new vertex points will be positioned based on (presumably) Bezier curves, resulting in an overall smoothing of the object.  Settings above 1 can give some interesting results.

Try it out:
  • Create a sphere object (under Shapes in the left side menu)
  • Convert the sphere to a mesh (Build > Convert to Mesh)
  • Smooth the sphere (Build > Smooth Object...).  Enter 0 for an overall smoothing effect.


Subdividing is similar to smoothing, at least in appearance, however there is a critical difference.  While smoothing changes the original mesh by adding points, lines and faces, subdividing doesn’t change the original mesh.  Instead, it uses the original basic mesh to mathematically define a much finer mesh.  When rendered, the original mesh is ignored, and the calculated fine mesh is rendered instead.  The advantages of subdividing over smoothing are that the overall file size is not increased and, more importantly, the mesh is far simpler to manipulate and animate.

Imagine animating a mesh of a person's face to show expressions.  If the actual mesh was very fine (eg. smoothed) you would need to individually animate a large number of vertex points which would be difficult, painstaking and may ultimately look unrealistic.  With subdivision, your mesh can remain much coarser, and therefore be far simpler to animate, while your render remains smooth and organic in appearance.

Try it out:
  • Create a sphere, the same as for smoothing
  • Convert to subdivided (Build > Convert to Subdivided)
  • Switch to point edit mode (the icon with three dots in the ‘Mode’ section of the left side menu) to see the original course mesh that is controlling the fine subdivision.  Try moving some vertex points and switching back to object mode (the arrow icon under ‘Mode’) to see how the fine mesh is affected by the original mesh.

When defining a mesh that will ultimately be subdivided it is important to ensure that all faces have 4 sides.  3-sided faces and faces with more than 4 sides will subdivide strangely and may look odd in the final render.  This is a fundamental aspect of 'organic modelling'.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 06:56:55 am by ENSONIQ5 »


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Finding the yellow brick road thru Anim8or editing
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2019, 07:17:47 pm »

It is my good fortune to make your acquaintance.
Thank you for your wonderful and elegant response to my query. Spot on!
I now have the knowledge to at least experiment with these two forms of
a modification to a primitive shape.
Shamefully and selfishly I hope I meet you again...and soon :)
Very best,


  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 931
  • Make it, Move it--Give it Life
    • View Profile
    • youtube vids
Re: Finding the yellow brick road thru Anim8or editing
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2019, 01:48:17 am »

Welcome steved 

 Don't forget about the manual.