I recently started with Blender to upgrade a model from a videogame character so I can 3D print some parts of it on a 1/4 scale. This means some parts of the model need to go from a low polygon model to a high polygon model, which includes the texture details as an actual mesh.

Some parts have already been recreated from scratch, but for some complex parts I just want to increase the detail from the existing mesh, as that would save me a lot of time.

One part of the model consists of a bunch of different leaves, which need a much smoother, rounded edge. What is de easiest way to achieve this?

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ You could use Subsurf Modifier, but as far as I can see whats happening there (tris not quad faces) it will probably fail. Please upload one of those leaves in blend file to: blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com and I can take a closer look. $\endgroup$ – cgslav May 6 '17 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ You could go with sculpting, either with Multires modifier and increasing level of subdivisions as needed or with dyntopo with just painting details as needed. While the first method needs more or less good starting geometry, the second can require some cleaning afterwards (although the mesh will be manifold after dyntopo so it should be printable increasing its width can become a pain). $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak May 6 '17 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ <img src="https://blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com/embedImage.png?bid=3265" /> I have uploaded a blend file. I did manage to give the edges a bit more detail, but I did this by subdividing and smoothing some vertices and adding the edges manually. It is pretty time consuming so I hope there is an easier way to achieve a similar result. Also, the outside edge will be a problem for 3D printing, so I need a way to make it thicker. $\endgroup$ – Shadow-Link May 6 '17 at 21:24

Final result:



Sadly you will need to retopologize your meshes. Happily it's not that hard and it's certainly good practice.

Main goal is to have quad only topology, which will allow us to use modifiers and have better control over the mesh itself.

There is no simpler method that I'm aware of to get high poly from low poly in order to prepare mesh for 3D printing.



  1. Remove vertices from the back of the mesh.
  2. Merge two bottom vertices (I think only this particular mesh has this issue).
  3. Delete one side of the mesh.
  4. Add Mirror Modifier and select Axis accordingly to your mesh and check Clipping.
  5. Delete inner edges.
  6. Select two bottom vertices and hit F few times to fill in faces.
  7. Make Loop Cut trough the mesh.
  8. Place top vertices a little bit higher (use Edge Slide - G>G) to make nice Edge Loop and add another Loop Cut for sharp center (press E when sliding edge to make it even with left/straight edge).


  1. Add Solidify and Subsurface Modifiers.

Final thoughts:

Now you can add as many Loop Cuts as you want to have sharper/smoother edges. You can use Mean Crease to sharpen them even more. Meshes from your file may produce some issue while printing. It's better to make an effort and prepare good mesh then loose time and money while printing.

Blend file:

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much! It is still a lot of work, but this will really help me out. I still have to get used to keep the vertices in squares, but being able to use all the tools and modifiers will make this a whole lot easier. $\endgroup$ – Shadow-Link May 7 '17 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Shadow-Link I always encourage people to model using only quad topology because it will help in many ways along whole 3D process. No matter if you want to add details, make rig, animate mesh or keep it as much non-destructive as you can. Quads are the only way. Check also: topologyguides.com It will help a lot. $\endgroup$ – cgslav May 7 '17 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you once again! There is some very useful information on that site :P $\endgroup$ – Shadow-Link May 7 '17 at 20:56

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