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I'd like to subdivide a mesh, but only cut the long edges of the quads. So, with all faces selected, I want to halve the quads instead of quartering them

Beauty and short were settings for the subdivide tool. They did that wonderfully. Seems the functionality has been replaced or removed. Look under options and you know what I mean.

To illustrate it further:

enter image description here

The top mesh is the base, the middle mesh is the result of an ordinary subdivide and the lower mesh has only it's long edges cut. Imagine thousands of long faces that need more topology.

Why don't I want to do it manually? Becaus or cases like this one:

enter image description here

What's today's way of doing that?

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you add some screenshots or something to illustrate what you mean by "but only cut the long edges of the quads"? Also, back then when? In which previous version was this available? $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ Actually the beauty and short button were common knowledge and there for 10 years. dunno why that question deserves a downvote $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 20:45
  • $\begingroup$ maybe you could link to some old wiki pages? (BTW, it wasn't me..) $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ If I understand your question, you basically want Loopcut, but for many face loops at once? $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 21:01
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think you need such a thing now that Ngons are supported. You can, however, triangulate with a beauty option (if that helps). Or use one of the new tools like vertex connect, not sure what you actually wanna do without a screenshot. $\endgroup$
    – CodeManX
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 21:18

3 Answers 3

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You can select an Edge Ring (sort of the opposite of an Edge Loop) with Ctrl+Alt+Right Click and subdivide that.

Subdivide an edge ring

Also remember there's Subdivide Smooth as well, which is nice for interpolating the curvature of the model (though it cannot do this on a flat 2D surface like this example).

Unfortunately it won't really help in that Icosphere case though.

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  • $\begingroup$ i did not know that. Great tip! $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 19:23
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The trick in this case is using edge select mode.

Select one set of the long edges you want subdivided.

enter image description here

Use Select similar length to get all the same length edges you want subdivided.

enter image description here

Subdivide. Adjust the operator properties to get multiple cuts.

enter image description here

By only selecting the long edges when subdividing your cutting the long edges only, so you don't subdivide the short edges that gives you the 'extra' unwanted divisions between existing edges.

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    $\begingroup$ That works if they have the same length, but beauty took the longer edges relative to the four edges of each individual quad $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 19:37
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    $\begingroup$ I have a non-related question, how do you make the "operator properties" floating panel to appear, where you adjust the subdivide options?¿ $\endgroup$
    – invicente
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 4:49
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    $\begingroup$ @invicente - Press F6 - it's also the same as what is available at the bottom of the toolbar - press T $\endgroup$
    – sambler
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 11:40
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Found this post because I also miss the 'beauty' feature. You end up with useless subdivisions when subdividing short edges too. My solution is to subdivide and then remove doubles with an appropriate merge distance.

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