View Full Version : smoothing group question

08-09-2011, 02:09 PM
Hey PC people,

A quick question concerning smoothing groups in max. Is it dependent on light? In other words, once I apply a smoothing group, parts of the model get some dark shadows when viewed in the viewport with the default light.

Once I added some omni lights, then those shadows are gone and I can see the smoothed edges. Is this the case?

08-09-2011, 04:39 PM

Specifically, look at the text on the left of the image that talks about normals. That explains what soft edges from smoothing groups does.

08-10-2011, 02:33 AM
in addition to the above link - if you smooth your object then 3ds max will try to make it look round by applying shading to simulate the roundness. However if your object is not really round (e.g. it's a box), then this shading (=the dark areas you mentioned) might look strange and out of place.

Making the dark areas look less dark by aiming a light on it is just fighting the result but not the cause. The cause is that you're telling max to make something look round that isn't really round.

solutions: add more geometry or overthink your smoothing group assignment.

08-10-2011, 06:00 AM
Thanks guys for the info. I was playing around with geometry and smoothing groups and did notice the effect light had on the model.

I will keep whacking at it till I get this concept down.


08-10-2011, 10:13 AM
Read up on vertex normals and you'll see how it all comes together