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I want to know how the shape, size and material of an object would affect its bevel?

(for it to have closer to realistic bevel, for photo-realism)

For example in the real world how would the bevel on the edges of a wooden door be different from the bevel on the edges of a concrete beam or the bevel on the edges of a small cardboard box?

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    $\begingroup$ The major thing to take into consideration is the materials hardness. A harder material will not wear as much on the edges, while a softer one will have much more wear resulting in larger bevels. You also need to take manufacturing into account. Glass and porcelain for example are usually manufactured in such a way to result in very rounded edges. $\endgroup$ – VRM Dec 20 '16 at 13:50
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It might not be a sexy answer, but I'd say: measure. If you want to simulate the real world, know your world.

What do you do if you want to model a realistic excavator? You either get a good model or you use reference picture. You imitate the real thing which has the knowledge of engineers. You use their knowledge. Getting bevel sizes is doing the same thing in detail.

It's mostly not shape or size, it's the manufacturing process or the intended use that decide on the roundness of anygiven edge.

So, get into the real world and measure bevels. And make a reference chart.

When I wanted to model a typewriter, I decided to measure all the bevels to get the proportions right.

The beauty of 3D is that you learn much more than to simply use the software.

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  • $\begingroup$ Just out of curiosity, how did you measure the bevel? $\endgroup$ – Igor Tatarnikov Dec 21 '16 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ I'd use calipers. $\endgroup$ – chicks Dec 21 '16 at 18:04

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