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How can I apply a modifier only to a part of an object? I want to model a goblet with a pedestal, and if I add a subsurf, the pedestal, of course, gets an unwanted round shape. How can I avoid that? I have tried Googling it, but, to my surprise, found nothing.

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The quality of all the aswers is overwhelming, thank you all very much ! –  user2664856 Dec 21 '13 at 11:41
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is possible on some modifiers via vertex groups, however this is not possible with subsurf modifier.

You could instead try some of these:

For reference, here is the original subsurfed mesh:

enter image description here

  • Separate the pedestal and goblet into different objects (P). E.g. by separating the face of the cube on the +X axis:

    enter image description here

  • You can Split off geometry in edit mode with Y. This will give basically the same result as Separate, but within a single object:

    enter image description here

  • You could also use the Edge Split modifier the same way, by either using CtrlE>Mark Sharp, or with the Edge Angle property.

  • Use supporting geometry (i.e. edgeloops) to make edges less round. You could use CtrlR to add loopcuts, or use CtrlB to bevel edges (using the mousewheel to adjust the number of segments). E.g. bevel with 2 segments:

    enter image description here

  • Use Mean crease to make edges less round (ShiftE). E.g. with a Crease weight of 1:

    enter image description here

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Mean Crease worked marvelously for me, thank you very very much ! before i accept your answer i want to give a chance to others to answer the question with the partial application :-) but again thanks for fast answer ... I would give +1 but i dont have 15 rep here yet -___- –  user2664856 Dec 21 '13 at 9:51
    
@Gunslinger As far as I can tell, they are the same thing. It is called mean crease in the Ctrl+E menu, and Mean Crease (or Crease if only one edge is selected) in the properties region. –  gandalf3 Dec 21 '13 at 9:52
    
upvote made up :) thanks –  user2664856 Dec 21 '13 at 11:47
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Yet another way, is to use Bevel modifier. For comparison, here's the result of Edge Crease:

1a

... and with Edge Bevel Weight + Bevel modifier:

2a

Both are done by marking the same set of edges, the latter with Edge Bevel Weight,

3a

... then placing a Bevel modifier atop (applied before) the Subsurf, setting its limit method to Weight so it uses each edge's bevel weight to consider which ones to bevel:

4a

The bevel's smoothness can be further configured by tweaking the modifier's Width and Segments settings. In contrast with edge crease, this method adds vertices, even more with each additional Bevel segments:

5a

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very detailed answer +1 –  user2664856 Dec 21 '13 at 11:46
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Another way would be to separate the mesh into two objects and group them. After that you can assign modifiers as you like to the different parts of the mesh,

  • First select some vertices in the Edit Mode, P to Separate,

enter image description here

  • Select both objects and set one as parent Ctrl-P

enter image description here

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thank you too of course :) –  user2664856 Dec 21 '13 at 11:55
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