I'm sure we're all familiar with the Cycles normal bug (aka terminator bug) that causes bad shading on sharp edges when smooth shading is set. The normal fixes to this are to use higher levels of subsurf (which lessens but does not remove the problem), or the Edge Split modifier which solves it by splitting the sharp edge.

I want to use the new Pointiness attribute in Cycles materials. However, it doesn't work on areas that are Edge Split, because the edge is now technically open. If I turn off edge split, then it works, but I'm hit with shading glitches again.

What can I do that would let me use pointiness and edge split (somehow get the pointiness data before the edge split is applied?) or counter the shading glitches in some way other than edge split?

  • $\begingroup$ notice also edge split modifier can be used. $\endgroup$ – user3800527 Aug 29 '17 at 12:04


You can use autosmooth (added in 2.71) instead of edge split:

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It works exactly like edge split, but without actually splitting the edge.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you. I am using this successfully on some meshes. On other, even if I check the Auto Smooth box, the field for Angle is greyed out. Turning autosmooth on seems to be making the shading worse. This is an imported .obj. Why can't I set an Angle? EDIT: Nevermind, it seems I imported it with Smooth Groups. I cleared the Custom Split Normal Data under Geometry Data and now it's working. $\endgroup$ – Ascalon Apr 2 '15 at 9:17

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