As I use CATIA V5 to model and Blender in Cycles to render I've been having some problems with de export-import process between these two softwares.

My usual way to do it is by creating a tesselation (polygon mesh creation) in CATIA, then exporting in .stl, importing it in blender and then applying the smooth feature to avoid those mesh divisions. Sometimes this works but the thing is that when I have small details I'm being forced to reduce the size of the poligons in the tesselation (make a heavier mesh in CATIA) so the stl's of a single product are about 700mb, making the scene slow to edit and also, when applying the smooth, I've some small poligonized shadows that I have to edit later in Ps.

Stl - Mesh - Smooth surface with annoying shadows

So there's my question, does someone knows how to properly export-import from CATIA to Blender in order to get a smooth model that it's suitable for a nice render?

Hope someone can help me with this issue.



You can use a Decimate modifier in Blender to make your mesh more manageable. First, import your high-res .stl in to Blender. To try and minimize shading artifacts and improve the Decimate results, select the whole mesh in Edit Mode and apply Remove Doubles (Mesh > Clean up > Remove Doubles).

After that, go to the modifiers panel and change the method to Planar (I can't tell what exactly your mesh is from the pictures you gave, but It looks like it is mostly flat).

Adjust the Angle Limit and Delimit settings so that your mesh looks good without a loss of detail on high-res areas, then apply the modifier.

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