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For background, a lot of times I need a vertical wall, horizontal bottom and a nice connecting curved surface between them in front of the camera. So far, I used two methods:

  1. Deform a plane along the curve. Takes some time to get it right, as curve deformations a tricky. Almost impossible to make it truly horizontal or vertical.

  2. Create a cube, add bevel, apply, remove unnecessary parts of the mesh. Bevel tends to have artifacts around the corners of the cube for large bevel values and number of segments (e.g 25% of the cube side length, 64 segments)

What do you use? Am I missing some basic technique?

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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The fastest way I can think of is:

  • Add a mesh cube
  • Delete two vertices (so that you're left with a right angle)
  • ctrl1 to add a subsurf modifier
  • and then ctrlr to add an edge loop near the end of each face so that the ends are square (I can't post screenshots at the moment, sry).
  • done

Andrew Price does something similar near the middle of this tutorial (at time 31:19): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yd7ad08e54&feature=player_embedded#t=1879

His result is the same, but he starts with a plane instead of a cube.

As a bonus, if you're willing to learn a little Python and Blender coding, it's not hard to make an add-on that would add that object as a primitive in the Add->Mesh menu.

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There is already an addon which will add a custom user made mesh as a primitive (I think it's called Creaprim) –  gandalf3 Dec 17 '13 at 20:01
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I usually do it like this, it's the quickest I've been able to find.

  1. Add a curve (I like to use paths because they are initialised as a straight line)
  2. Change its shape around a bit
  3. Convert it to a mesh Altc
  4. Extrude (in edit mode, e)
  5. Admire the beauty. Beautiful!
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Awesome, thanks! For my particular purpose (vertical and horizontal planes connected) I like Matt's approach with subsurf a little better, but would use the above technique for a lot of other stuff. Would give you more votes if I could :) –  Alex Pakka Dec 17 '13 at 20:03
    
@AlexPakka You could extrude it multiple times as well. Of course, Matt's is neater :) –  Anonymouse Dec 17 '13 at 20:19
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The absolute fastest way to do this is to just add a plane, extrude one side and crease all the edges (ShiftE) except the one where the planes join (you can also select the edges and increase the Mean Crease in the properties panel). Next add a subsurf modifier and shade it smooth, much less polys than the other solutions and an equally nice result.

enter image description here

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Another way is to use a plane and bevel it in edit mode. I can do the following steps in a about 10 seconds (including the time to start and stop the timer).

  1. Add plane:

    enter image description here

  2. Extrude one edge up:

    enter image description here

  3. Select corner edge

    enter image description here

  4. Bevel with CtrlB. Use the keyboard or the scrollwheel to set the number of segments:

    enter image description here

  5. Shade smooth.

Example:

enter image description here

Convenience:

If you find your self creating these objects for what seems like every other project, you could either:

  • Make a primitive out of it with the CreaPrim addon so it's available in the Add mesh menu. (See this answer for instructions)

or:

  • Include one in your startup.blend on a separate layer (this is what I did):

    1. Open a new file

    2. Create the "bent plane" object and optionally move it to another layer.

    3. Save the startup.blend (CtrlU). Note that this will save everything (view angle, materials, objects, user preferences, etc.) as it is as the way blender will start in the future.
      See this question for more information.

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This is a good idea, but it is also #2 on the OP's list of known solutions. –  Matt Dec 17 '13 at 20:35
    
@Matt I think the OP was using the modifier, as they said "apply" –  gandalf3 Dec 17 '13 at 20:36
    
I was under the impression that ctrl-B added a Bevel modifier. Does it not? –  Matt Dec 17 '13 at 20:39
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@Matt No, it bevels the selected edges (I'll put up some images in a second) –  gandalf3 Dec 17 '13 at 20:40
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