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Fully rounded top for an extruded spline

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Ian JohnsonFully rounded top for an extruded spline
by on Mar 1, 2011 at 4:00:59 pm

I have a spline which is a vine with leaves shape. I would like to extrude it a little and have the top be rounded across the full surface, and not just beveled along the edges. I've tried converting it to poly, and then extruding it and doing chamfers and bevels, but it isn't working out. Anything using an automatic bevel ends up with overlapping faces at the ends of long narrow shapes.

How should I approach this? I would need to adjust different parts of the shape independently, because what looks good in the wide sections won't work for the narrow areas.

Here is a screen shot of the shape-


Is there a way to run a spline through the center of the shape to define the midpoint of a curve that goes from one edge to another? Any process that involves creating an outline to the inside is gong to run into self-intersection in the narrow parts.

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Graham MacfarlaneRe: Fully rounded top for an extruded spline
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:30:35 am

The only way to get an edge to run along the centre of every part of the top face of this complex shape would be to either cut it by hand or to cut the top face into many segments, select them all and use the edit poly connect command. Both methods are time consuming a for such a shape would give rise to complex areas of branching likely to cause odd mesh deformation without tweaking and trial and error.

A better approach you can try would be to:
* Extrude and cap this shape (as you have already done) and ensure you include some height segments (perhaps 4 ish would do).
* Add an edit Poly modifier and select the top face only.
* Add tessellate modifier and set it to operate on faces and face centres but you might need to experiment a little here to get the cleanest divisions depending on your shape.
* Add another edit poly modifier and select all the vertices on the top face. With this sub-object selection still active add a relax modifier and adjust to taste.

The result here will not give a perfectly centred raised effect across varying width areas of your shape but it gets quite close considering the time needed to set it up!

Graham Macfarlane
3D animator and VFX specialist
London UK

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