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I am modeling a glass top desk, and seem to be stuck at adding a simple bevel to the top of a metal part for the desk.

In the screenshot below, the first two objects are the same, one in edit mode, and the other in object mode. The mesh on this one is very straight and smooth; it reflects the light like I would expect it to.

As soon as I add a simple bevel to the top edges, it screws up the mesh, as you can see in the third object.

I have tried a bunch of things, including trying to apply an edge loop cut, but have thus far been unsuccessful.

Any ideas?

Screenshot

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    $\begingroup$ Topology of your object is not clean. You have there mostly triangles and ngons. Try to change Bevel > Limit Method to Angle and fiddle with the value. It can help, but as I said at the beginning, such topology isn't helpful. $\endgroup$
    – cgslav
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, that is very helpful, and it does give me something to research. Just before this step, those bottom corners were just sharp edges; I wanted to turn those edges into smooth curves, so I applied a bevel to them with 7 segments. That is where those neons and triangles came from. If this is not a good method to smooth out the curves, what method should have used? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ It is a good method but sometimes Bevel modifier in Blender is not sufficient. In (I hope) 2.8 Bevel modifier will also have option to harden normals and those surface inconsistencies will be gone. You can check it in soc-2018-bevel branch. $\endgroup$
    – cgslav
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 20:18
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    $\begingroup$ For now you can try to build your mesh with help from Y.A.V.N.E add-on (you will need to apply bevel modifier). Or build model with proper edge loops. Than bevel will probably be enough, and if not you can use subdivision surface along with proper topology. $\endgroup$
    – cgslav
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ It has become painfully clear to me that I am in way over my head, and that I have a whole lot to learn! I think that my next step is to take at least side A of that brand new hard surface modeling course on BlenderMarket. Thanks for your help! $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 21:38

1 Answer 1

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Thanks to the help from @cgslav, pointing me in the right direction, and from this video: Blender Hard Surface Modeling : Are NGons Bad?, I was able to work out the steps to get the bevels I wanted without the messed up final result. Those steps are as follows:

  1. First, add the bevel to the bottom four edges to convert those angles to smooth curves.
  2. Now you can add the finishing bevels to the straight edges:
  3. Go into Object mode
  4. Click Smooth in Tool shelf -> Tools -> Edit -> Shading
  5. In Properties Editor -> Data -> Normals, select Auto Smooth
  6. Go into Edit mode
  7. Make sure select mode is set to Edge Select
  8. Press A to deselect all edges
  9. Menu Select -> Sharp edges
  10. Properties -> Transform -> Edges Data
  11. Set Mean Bevel Weight to 1.0
  12. Set Mean Crease to 1.0
  13. Press Ctrl-E, select Edge Data -> Mark Sharp
  14. Press Ctrl-E, select Edge Data -> Mark Seam
  15. Go into Object mode
  16. In Properties Editor -> Modifiers, select Add Modifier -> Bevel
  17. Under Limit Method, choose Weight
  18. Increase number of segments to 4
  19. Set Width to 0.1

Here is the final result:

Final result

As you see, the side surface is perfectly flat and straight now. I am very pleased with this, and hope it will help others who come across this same issue.

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