I have a very big piece of mesh that I want to apply modifiers to. Let's use the example of Laplacian Smoothing.

Here's what I'd like to happen:

  • Import my STL mesh and select it
  • Load the "Laplacian Smoothing modifier."
  • Change some parameters, e.g. change "Factor" to 0.5, "Repeat" to 10, and uncheck "Preserve volume."
  • Hit "apply," wait an hour for it to compute, and see the result

However, here's what actually happens: when I load the modifier, it immediately automatically applies the modifier to the object based on the default parameters. This takes a long time because my mesh is huge, and meanwhile I never even wanted to see what my object looked like with the default smoothing, I wanted to change the parameters first. Then I change the "Factor" parameter, and as soon as I click in the next box to change another parameter, it automatically updates/calculates again - no, please stop, I still need to change another parameter! So I have to wait another hour before changing the next parameter. Basically this results in numerous lengthy, undesired computations, and it seems unnecessary to me.

So is there a way to suppress the calculation of a modifier until I say so? I.e. make it NOT apply in a "live update" sort of way, but instead, let me change the parameters first, without updating the mesh, and then only compute when I hit "Apply"?

I've seen some questions around here regarding using python scripts to apply modifiers. It seems like a python script may be one way of doing what I want. If it's the only way then I'll have to learn me some python scripting.

But to be clear - and this is why I think this is not a repeat question - I'm wondering if there's another way using the GUI to achieve this. Some kind of checkbox or option in Blender that says something like "don't auto-update when using modifiers, only compute when user hits Apply." I looked around and didn't see anything like that in Blender.

  • $\begingroup$ You could try to enter Edit mode of the object, and add modifier from there. Laplacian Smooth by default is disabled in Edit mode, so it should be added easily. It may not work in case of modifiers which are enabled in Edit mode though. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Oct 1 '15 at 21:54
  • $\begingroup$ Mr Zak: That did work! For Laplacian Smooth, at least. It's not a totally universal solution, but for Laplacian Smooth it is a very quick and easy solution. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – DrSandwich Oct 2 '15 at 13:48

Set modifier on a simple object and then transfer it to a more complex one

Use an "host" object to set up your modifier with the wanted parameters (e.g. a simple plane/a cube/a vertex..).

Once the modifier is added, switch its 3D vieport visibility off to prevent calculations.

Once satisfied with the settings, select both objects, make the "host" object the active object and then Link the modifier to the other by pressing Ctrl+L and choosing Modifiers from the pop up menu.

enter image description here

The modifier will be transferred with all his settings, even its "non visbility", to the selected objects, so you'll just have to apply it and wait for the end of the calculations.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ This worked, thank you. Mr Zak's "edit mode" suggestion in a comment to my original question also works in this case, but as he pointed out it's not universal; your solution should work for every modifier. $\endgroup$ – DrSandwich Oct 2 '15 at 13:53

On the modifiers that have the option (such as subsurface) lower the "View" parameter. Is this what you were looking for?

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the suggestion. While this does work for preventing subsequent auto-updates as I change parameters, it does not prevent the modifier from auto-calculating immediately upon being added. So I'm still stuck with the long calculation when I first load it. $\endgroup$ – DrSandwich Oct 2 '15 at 13:50

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