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Applying Flat or Smooth Surfaces

The monkey head looks weird with the rough edges and polygons that currently comprise its shape. This look is useful for some things, but for objects that should look more organic, you may prefer to have a smooth surface. This option only changes the surface’s appearance; it doesn’t add any geometry. You have several ways to smooth a surface in Blender:

  • Select the object you want to smooth. On the Tools tab of the Tools Region is a Shading option with two buttons: Smooth and Flat. If you click one of those buttons when you’re in Object Mode, every part of the object will use that shading method.

  • In Edit Mode, select the faces you want to shade, and use the Smooth or Flat shading options on the Shading/UVs tab of the Tools Region.

  • In Edit Mode, select the faces you want to shade with the smooth or flat method, and press W to display the Specials menu. From the Specials menu, choose the option you want: Shade Smooth or Shade Flat.

Figure 3.5 shows where these options are in Blender’s interface.

Figure 3.5

Figure 3.5 A comparison of flat and smooth surfaces and the menus that access these options

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