I am a very new user of blender and game modeling as a whole, so forgive me if don't use the correct terminology. I'll try to explain this as best I can. I'm trying to figure out how to 3D-print a game model without it looking polygonal and with the smoothing that you see in the game engine. Here's an example of Aron from Pokemon Sun;

In-game, the model looks smooth and has smooth shading.

enter image description here

But when imported into blender, the model is very polygonal; This is how the model looks imported into blender

So here's the question; how can I render the model or alter the polygonal base model so that it can be exported to stl like a smooth game render without recreating the model entirely? Are there any tutorials you know of that could help? I have looked at some tutorials for subdividing and the mesh and smoothing vertexes, but that basically gives me rounded polygons rather than a more smoothed surface.

Thanks in advance!

  • $\begingroup$ In your screenshot, on the left hand side panel, you can set the object shader shading from flat to smooth, telling the shader to treat those faces as smooth continuous surface, making render result smoother. $\endgroup$ – HikariTW May 1 '19 at 13:34

This looks like a perfect time to use a Subdivision Surface, which is a modifier that adds additional polygons for each polygon in your base mesh. The default implementation of this also smooths them out, which should produce the result you're looking for.

You can then apply the modifier and turn it into real geometry, and then send that geometry to the 3d printer.

The easiest way to apply a subdivision surface is select the object and press ctrl-2, which (at least in the default keymap) is the shortcut for apply a subdivision surface modifier with a 2x resolution, effectively subdivide-smoothing the mesh twice over. Once it's on the modifier stack, you can adjust the number of subdivisions until it looks how you want.

It might make any creased areas of the mesh overly smooth though - I can't tell from the original image how sharp it's intended to look, but there are ways around that problem too - investigate the bevel modifier with the limit method set to angle, and experiment with the angle value. 30 or 60 degrees usually looks good and preserves some but not all creases. Make sure to put the bevel above and thus before the subdivision modifier, or it won't appear to do anything.

Here's a couple of screenshots with a default suzanne, then a subdivision surface suzanne, and then a bevel at 60 degreees + subdivision suzanne:

base - base suzanne mesh.

subdiv - with the subdisivion modifier

also - also with the bevel at 60 degrees or higher. Note the eyebrow creases.


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