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Thread: The tab key

  1. #1
    Newbie Member jream's Avatar
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    The tab key

    Is the tab key equivilent to MeshSmooth in 3dsmax?

    I dont understand this though.

    I make a separate object and hit tab and it smooths both objects.
    Is there a way to do it to only one?
    Or is this just a preview mode?

    I dont understand the point of the Tab key if its just a preview and
    doesnt actually make your shape that way.
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  2. #2
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    If you want to subdivide only one object, either select the object you want subdivided before you press TAB, or put it in a separate layer.

    TAB key subdivides your object; it's not just smoothing it, and it's not just a preview. At the default level of 3 (under general options; press "o") each polygon will be subdivided into 3 parts on each axis. So each face of a 6-sided cube would be subdivided into 9 polys.

    I don't know 3dsmax, so I can't say anything about Meshsmooth. Hope this helps!

    (And since I'm a newbie too, I hope it's correct! )
    Last edited by Warwind; 10-07-2006 at 06:07 PM.

  3. #3
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    Tab will perform your choice of SubPatch or CatmullClark subdivision algorithm on the selected polygons (or all polys in all active layers, if nothing is selected). As Warwind states, the level of subdivision can be adjusted.

    Any polys that are already subdivided will be converted back to the original polygon. So you can think of the thing as a toggle.

    Some things about each algorithm--
    SubPatches is LW's native algorithm, if I understand correctly, one of the first SDS algorithms. It is pretty fast, and resolves the mesh well. Its primary limitation is that it cannot subdivide polys with greater than 4 sides.

    CatmullClark, or CC, is a more advanced algorithm which you've probably heard of before (I'd be surprised if Max didn't have it, but I can't say). LW's implementation of this algorithm is still somewhat in its infancy. The greatest advantages of this algorithm are the ability to subdivide ngons and the ability to weigh edges. The drawbacks are that its slower, produces more resultant polys, and is still kind of unpridictable.

    I haven't used Max either, but I imagine this MeshSmooth function performs some sort of subdivision algorithm. As far as smoothing both objects, LW Modeler does not handle anything at the "Object" level--there are only Polys, Vertices, and Edges. If you want to operate on somewhat of an object level, you can separate out pieces into Layers. Only objects in the active layer(s) will be subdivided or unsubdivided. You can either open up the layer palette, or use the row of small buttons on the upper-right hand corner of the modeler window. They should each have a diagonal line through them.

    When you send the model over to Layout, Layout considers each layer as a different object. Hence, it is a good idea to set up parenting in Modeler.

  4. #4
    Heir to the Throne RedBull's Avatar
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    Also you may want to be aware of shortcut-key for Subdivide- "Shift-D"

    This will allow you to subdivide the mesh, that in combination with the Tab-Key is likely pretty similar to meshsmooth from what i'm aware.

    Tab is a toggle as others mentioned, you can switch from patches to polys and vice versa, save in either patch or polymodes.

  5. #5
    YES TAB is like MeshSMooth in MAX but you don't see subdivided wires like in MAX, you still see same level of wires but smoothed mesh with level you select in general options keystroke "o" and default level is 3 if i recall correctly 8mine is now set to 4 since LW9 had some update so they are faste rnow). SubPatches is as already mentiond LWs native SubDs algorithm and level 3 would mean that ONE polygon (Quad) will be divided in 3*3 = 9 polygons if you freeze it or at render (if you sav emodel as SubDs and not freeze polyfons). If you switch to Subds Catmull Clark mode than it's more 'coz it rises exponentionaly so level 2 at CC would usualy be enough to have it smooth as level 3/4 on subPatches but subpatches are faster .
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