I may have been using this wrong, but I've been applying materials to a complicated object, and using Mask Modifiers (and hitting apply) to hide the parts I was done with and didn't want in my way anymore. I wasn't using weights at all.

I've put a lot of work into this. I wanted to start bringing those "done" vertex groups back to see my finished work, but can't find any way to do this. I have a number of vertex groups under my object in the Outliner, but right-clicking on them and selecting "unhide" causes a "Not yet implemented" error.

Can I get these masked vertex groups back, or was I basically deleting my work as I went along?

  • $\begingroup$ That was the answer I was suspecting but dreading. $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2018 at 23:13

1 Answer 1


Once you apply a modifier the transformation is permanent.

enter image description here

Modifiers are designed to work in a non-destructive way, once you apply them it is going to be very hard to go back to a previous state, as the undo function is quite limited (and completely unavailable once you save and re-open a project).

Unless you have a good reason to apply a modifier, you don't need to

Form the blender Manual:

Modifiers are automatic operations that affect an object in a non-destructive way. With modifiers, you can perform many effects automatically that would otherwise be too tedious to do manually (such as subdivision surfaces) and without affecting the base geometry of your object.

They work by changing how an object is displayed and rendered, but not the geometry which you can edit directly. You can add several modifiers to a single object to form The Modifier Stack and Apply a modifier if you wish to make its changes permanent.

If you need to disable the modifier temporarily you can use the camera and eye icons.

enter image description here

Again, from the manual:

Render (camera icon)

Toggles visibility of the modifier’s effect in the render.

Show in viewport (eye icon)

Toggles visibility of the modifier’s effect in the 3D View.

Show in Edit Mode (box icon)

Displays the modified geometry in Edit Mode, as well as the original geometry which you can edit.

Show on cage (triangle icon)

When enabled, the final modified geometry will be shown in Edit Mode and can be edited directly.

  • $\begingroup$ I think I applied them because I wanted them "hidden" in Edit Mode. Even though there's a "Display modifier in edit mode" button, it doesn't hide them. Until I applied it, then they were really hidden. Really, really, really hidden. $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2018 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ I think, H and Alt-H is what I trying to come up with. $\endgroup$ Apr 1, 2018 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ @pr3sidentspence You can make some modifiers (including the mask modifier) operate in edit mode by selecting the icons to the right of the camera and eye icons cegaton outlined $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Apr 1, 2018 at 1:44
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 It makes the faces transparent, but they seem to still be "in the way" of selecting anything behind them. I have a feeling there's some terminology I'm missing, so forgive me for that. $\endgroup$ Apr 1, 2018 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ @pr3sidentspence That's what happens if you select only the Display in edit mode icon; if you select both that and Adjust edit cage to modifier result then the vertices should be effectively deleted (until you disable the modifier/adjust the vertex group etc.) $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Apr 1, 2018 at 5:23

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