It’s not an isolated vertex, this happens in a lot of places. This armor plate is not a complicated shape, it’s actually flat with several (not many) protruding bits. I mean, I hoped splitting the models into smaller, simple parts would help solve this issue, but if I export the whole tank as a single model, combining all parts, I get exactly the same results.
There might be people who’d ask “why is this so important?”. Just a few reasons why:
- Surface rendering inconsistencies: You can get the specular “reflection” look like cut along the overlapping edges of an otherwise continuous-looking surface, for instance.
- Per-face normals wrong calculations: This produces dark areas in the inconsistent faces, leading to smoothing groups errors during previews and renderings (3ds max actually hates this). It can be fixed by recalculating the normals and killing the smoothing groups, but that fix doesn’t work with many overlapping edges/floating vertices.
- Lighting artifacts: There can be “shiny lines” along the shorter overlapping edges; using per-vertex lighting (and I think we all do) can get very messy.
- Shadow artifacts: Using shadow-casting techniques, the silhouette-defining vertices/edges must be consistent. There are times when this wrong mesh topology can create “holes in shadows”, areas inside projected shadows where there’s actually no projected shadow (think of a boolean substraction within the shadow).
- Mesh Skinning problems: Be it rigid skinning or soft skinning, these vertices detached from large areas of our meshes are troublesome to weight and create unwanted deformations. If I pass meshes with this topology to a rigger/animator I might be killed on the spot.
These are indeed just a few reasons why this is actually a problem, you can come up with more. This tank I’m using as an example has an overall “boxy” shape, characters and organic models are quite a pain. As a final image let’s see the hull of this tank in UU3D with the “Degenerate 3D” edges automatically marked in red; the surfaces should be flat grey but you can also see the “smoothing groups” problem darkening some areas in an inconsistent manner. I mean, it’s consistent for this mesh topology but it really shouldn’t be happening. The model was exported as is from Qubicle 3, no other processing was applied:
So, any advice? How can I export my models from Qubicle without these artifacts so I don’t have to re-model them, UV-map them, make new textures and all?
Thanks in advance,