Edge Sets


Fȯrum Mole
Edge Sets and Features using them over and over.

These days I use UV Maps and Surfaces' borders to save Edge Selections, which is not optimal and very few feature make use of them :/ Anyway, it's just an idea, not pushing the frame where these would be possible:

Edge Set - Basically an Edge Selection map that behaves and propagates like the other vertex maps.
Input - Edge Selection, UV Seams, Surfaces/Parts/Clors Borders, Vertex Normal Map, Angle Threshold.
Output - Loadable Selection, Map accessed through menus or in a Node like Vertex maps.

Column A is sequence, exemplifying how many times the same Edge set could be reused to prop up a mesh. But of course, each step is independent.

Column A
Catmull-Clark Hard Edge (Selection call or Layout Modifier)
This sequence starts by adding 100% Weight to an Edge of a CC SubD mesh.

Smooth Shading Hard Edge (Surface Shader or Node outputting to Surface's Normal)
Since CC Hard edges make an angle at them, smooth shading looks poor most of the times on the bordered polygons. So these should be separated on smoothing calcs, hence made hard. For low poly assets this is crucial to control the polygons' flatness. So, the same Edge set is used.

Render Round Edge (Surface Settings or Node outputting to Surface's "Normal")
Still no one wants to have those crisp edges on render, that a simple hard edge produces. So methods like render-time normal shaders that make hard edges look round, must be used. TB Edge Shader and Dpont's Edge node are an example. So, again, the same Edge set is used.

UV Seam (Selection call or Unwrap option)
Although those shaders are good they are not flexible and can't be treated as a map. So, especially for detailed low poly assets, making a custom normal map offers more control. Now, all Smooth Shade Hard Edges must be a seam in the UV Map, or they might render a black edge, especially after baking operations, due to normal map texture bleading from one polygon to the other. If they are separated, by being a seam, the UV padding will make them consistent. And again, the same Edge Set is used.

Column B
Subdivision Control Edges (Modeler tool option or Layout modeling tool option)
This is basically 2 pairs of edge being added to an edge to make it harder like in this video where 1 pair is added.
Additionally a Edge Set could be made for such extra edges for easier editing afterwards.

PS: All my posts text will have #C0C0C0 color due to default color (#1C1C1C) in Blue Fluid theme being a tad dark.
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