I have a model that I sculpted and retopologised in another application, and then imported the retopologised mesh into Blender with a normal map.

The mesh is around 9200 verts, and I have smooth shading turned on.

I am getting an odd shading artifact in the form of jagged edges: enter image description here

While the surface is not perfect, it seems more than smooth enough that this artifact should not be happening.

The object has a normal map applied (baked from the high quality sculpt), but I can turn that off an get the same thing:

enter image description here

Here is a shot of the wireframe:

enter image description here

Is this abnormal like I think it is? What might be causing it? I have checked the mesh for everything I can think of.

EDIT: I have made the file available here (20M, sorry):

  • $\begingroup$ "I have checked the mesh for everything I can think of." Does that include double faces/vertices and/or inverted normals? That's what it looks like to me. $\endgroup$ – SvB Apr 20 '17 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ Remove doubles, make normals consistent and non-manifold geometry. Check, check and check. $\endgroup$ – Lewis Apr 20 '17 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ Can you share the model? $\endgroup$ – Rich Sedman Apr 20 '17 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ Any edges marked sharp or crease or anything? That can be hidden or obscured by UV seams, check the N panel for vis options. $\endgroup$ – StarWeaver Apr 20 '17 at 22:32
  • $\begingroup$ Does that show up if rotating model and looking at it from another view points? It could be terminator problem although I barely think it is. Try also enabling Smooth shading in Edit mode with all faces selected; maybe those still use Flat shading. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Apr 20 '17 at 23:12

The mesh is fine. The primary cause of the geometric shadow is the texture co-ordinates you have given the HDR environment. The simple HDR setup here...

enter image description here

...results in a smooth shadow.

enter image description here

As reference: Trouble Viewing Whole HDR Image as cycles world

The PBR node you have added obvious effects the edges...

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ I'd like to add that this Problem is celled the "Terminator Error/Problem" and can also happen in other render engines. This error isn't just caused by HDRIs as it can also happen in other situations, often when the model has a subsurface Modifier on it. Usually the best solution is just applying the Subsurface Modifier. $\endgroup$ – Nils Eisen Apr 21 '17 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I think you are right, in that the HDRI setup (which is just the Gaffer HDRI manager setup) was severely highlighting the problem, but I also agree with @NilsEisen in that this problem seems to be more than just that. I can see the bad shading with different HDRIs and even no HDRI at all. I have enough understanding of the issue to go one now and can experiment for better results. $\endgroup$ – Lewis Apr 21 '17 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ I believe Campbell Barton (One of the main Blender Contributors) was saying that this is a hard issue to tackle but is in the process of being fixed or at least reduced. $\endgroup$ – Nils Eisen Apr 21 '17 at 12:29

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