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Surface Curve Precision

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Cameron Dozier
Surface Curve Precision
on May 18, 2013 at 6:35:11 am

I need to know how to change the shortcut, 3, when modeling with NURB surfaces. This shortcut changes your Curve Precision settings to "highQuality" but in reality I still have surfaces that aren't meeting their edges and curves that are blocky and crappy. So, I changed my preferences to increase the precision and I'm happy with that...but I need to change that "3" shortcut, or create a new one to match my higher curve precision standards. That way, if I hit "3" by accident, or if I want to speed things up but lowering the precision by hitting "3", I won't have to select everything individually to turn up the precision again for render or conversion, I can just press another hotkey like "3" that would up my curve precision to my specification, for everything. Can anyone help? I'm really surprised that it's been so frustrating, it's delaying everything.

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Steve Sayer
Re: Surface Curve Precision
on May 21, 2013 at 2:05:04 pm

Are you saying that the surfaces are blocky and imprecise at render time? It sounds like you also need to investigate the concept of NURBS tesselation a bit more.

Tesselation is the process by which NURBS surfaces are converted into a collection of triangles for displaying or rendering. When you use the 1, 2, 3 hotkeys, you are affecting the display tesselation of the surfaces--i.e. the amount of tesselation done by your computer's video card in order to show you the surfaces.

The problem is, the display tesselation is separate from the render tesselation. Switching from 1 to 3 will make a surface look smoother on your monitor, but it won't change how it renders.

Instead, you need to access the 'Tesselation' section of the NURBS shape node in the Attribute Editor. Here you can increase the curve precison in a way that your renderer will notice and understand. You can also increase the tesselation between those curves, adding triangles and smoothing the surface much more successfully and precisely.

Here's the Maya help chapter on the subject.

There are commands in the Render menu that let you affect the tesselation of all the objects in your scene simultaneously. You can also select collections of objects and then use the Attribute Spreadsheet to quickly modify many objects at a time.

Hope that helps.

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