I'm manually modelling a low-poly character that I would later like to add a subsurf to, but in testing it, the subsurf turns the entire thing into a rounded blob. Is there a way to tell the modifier to ignore certain edges so they can stay sharp?

  • $\begingroup$ There are several ways to achieve good looking results when working with Subsurf, like supporting loopcuts, and crease. All them rely on good (enough) topology. See blender.stackexchange.com/questions/6425/… $\endgroup$
    – Mr Zak
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 16:05

3 Answers 3


Unfortunately the subsurf can not be masked by vertex groups.

But there are several solutions:


  • Select your hard edges
  • Invert selection
  • Subdivide
  • Hit 'Smooth Vertex' in the Tools panel
  • Move the edges (that now a are a little out-set) to the right places

Lots of manual work but you have all the control. Should be feasable on a low poly character.

Results depend on you artistic skills.

B) Using EdgeSplit

on the hard edges and applying subsurf to the rest. Then rejoin the Edges after you applied subsurf.

Did not test with a character (especially if its already weight painted)

C) What I usually do is the following:

  • If you character turns into a blob on subsurf-lvl-2 already it is to low poly. You need to subdivide the whole mesh. (That preserves your low-poly shape but adds more faces for the subsurf to not make a blob)

  • After it looks good with the subsurf modifier you can apply it.

  • Select your hard edges and parts of hi detail (like the face)

  • Invert selection and create a "LoPoly" vertex group.

  • Use the Decimate modifier with lvl X to reduce the polycount while masking it to the LoPoly vertex group.

  • Apply the decimate.

Your edges stay hi poly and sharp. The rest is lowpoly but smoothed by the subsurf you applied before.


Not that I know of. I'm not even sure how this could be possible (how to transition from sufsurf'd faces to locked faces?).

The Bevel modifier can use vertex weights, though : https://blender.stackexchange.com/a/16323/3461

Alternatively, you can use W -> Subdivide Smooth, but it's destructive.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't want any undivided faces, just certain edges. As an example, say you were running a subsurf on a cylinder, is it possible to have the cap edges left at 90° angles? $\endgroup$
    – Danial
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 15:34

i don't know a preventative but I know a solution.

i want to round off some cubes, but not others, so: I add a subsurf modifier

I'll set the render and view options to three. the switch to edit mode, the press 'loop cut and slide', on the left

now, if you hover over the shape, you'll start to see purple rings, click on the rings that loop around the shapes you DON'T want to round off and slide them until they reach the edge of the shape: like so repeat this until you have the look you want, im gonna slide it all the way so it looks like a regular cube.(repeat this with all faces until you have the look you want, im gonna slide it all the way so it looks like a regular cube.)

repeat with all shapes you DON'T want to round off

Now loop cut and slide the rest of the shapes until you have the look you want, round off these shapes to your hearts content:

hope this is helpful! :)


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