When modeling, I sometimes run into the problem of trying to subdivide a face but can not do so because one or more of its edges are already subdivided.enter image description here For example, in this image, I can't subdivide the selected face because the other faces by it are already subdivided. When I try to subdivide the selected face, it just subdivides the edges instead.


I use the knife tool K to solve this problem.
LMB on one vertex, LMB on the opposite vertex, then press Enter.

Do this for each vertex that isn't connected, across the face. Cut2

The process is much faster than it sounds. I'm hoping that someone will answer with a quick two step solution though.


As a general rule you should avoid ngons and triangles.

enter image description here

To deal with the big and ugly ngon in the center of the screen, select opposing vertices and Join them with using vertex connect: Press the J key.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Then do that on the cross section.

Then get rid of all of the triangles and ngons and make every possible effort to use quads.

enter image description here

enter image description here

For some ideas on how to deal with changing topology see Johnson Martin's page on:


An example from that page:

enter image description here


You can fix this by dissolving the vertices

First delete the four subdivided edges four edges

Then, in vertex mode, select all four of the "edge vertices" and press X then D to dissolve them. edge vertices

finally select the four corners and press f to fill.
Now you can subdivide again! Gif of the whole thing it's amazing, i know


To fix the problem in your example it may take a few extra steps. It really isn't as hard as the eight steps may tell you

  1. Select the face you wish to subdivide

  2. Press Shift+D, then right click to cancel.

  3. Next move the face, it is important you move the face precisely. For example I did Y then pressed 2
  4. With that new duplicated face, dissolve all vertices except for the corner four.
  5. Now, you can subdivide the face. In your example, it looks like you only want to do it once.
  6. Now it is time to put the face back. Start by deleting the original one. Now move the plane back the exact opposite number you moved it forward. So, for me, that would be Y then -2
  7. You need to now connect all vertices. There are a couple methods but here is my preferred method:
  8. Go into wireframe mode by pressing Z. Since the vertices are in the same spot it will be difficult to select both, so press C to bring up the circular selection tool. Select two vertices right next to each other and press ALT+M, then A. Do this on the corners and edges. There you go! All subdivide.


I would, however, takes cegaton's advice in removing N-gons and triangles

  • $\begingroup$ This works but when I start doing more complex models edges can have multiple verticies and dissolving them would make a flat face. This can be a problem especially if multiple edges of a face are subdivides and dissolving all the verticies would make one huge flat face. $\endgroup$ – Playjoy Jan 10 '17 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ @playjoy can you give me an example? Because faces shouldn't have any more than four vertices $\endgroup$ – Unnamed Sentient Being Jan 11 '17 at 1:59
  • $\begingroup$ I added a better example; problems like this happen often, when I subdivide certain faces to make it easier to edit. In the image above, it would be difficult to dissolve the vertices as the model is curved and would mess up the mesh. $\endgroup$ – Playjoy Jan 11 '17 at 2:57
  • $\begingroup$ @playjoy updating answer... $\endgroup$ – Unnamed Sentient Being Jan 11 '17 at 14:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.