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Using Subdivision to Smooth off a Figure
January 9, 2013
DAZ Studio
Some of the newer figures these days make use of a feature called "subdivision" in DAZ Studio. Although the technicalities of this feature are rather complex, it basically splits up each polygon into several polygons to help smooth them off.

In this article, I will explain how you can add this feature to legacy Poser figures or content to reduce the blockiness of lower resolution models.

When a figure is saved in DAZ Studio's weight-mapped format, settings like SubDivision can be saved with the figure, and automatically added when the figure is loaded. This cannot be done with traditional Poser figures though. Fortunately, it's an easy process to add subdivision to a Poser figure, and improve the look of your renders. 

As an example, I'll use our Toon Monkey. This figure was specifically designed to make use of subdivision. By having a lower resolution model that uses subdivision, the scene can contain a lot more content (or copies of the figure) without running out of memory and slowing the interface down. When rendered, the subdivision makes the figure look much higher resolution and generally improves the render.

Here is the Monkey figure as it loads by default. This is in mesh view so you can see the actual polygons. Notice the highlighted areas especially, as they show the blockiness of the basic model.

OK, so lets add subdivision to this figure. In DAZ Studio, we simply select the figure or object in question and switch to the "Scene" pane. From the menu on the top-right of the "Scene" pane, we select "Edit > Geometry > Convert to SubD...":

Subdivision will now be added to the model, and in the mesh view, we'll see a slight difference. Notice the same areas highlighted previously? Each polygon has been divided into 4 polygons (look for the slightly lighter grid) effectively smoothing them out:

With the Monkey selected, you will also see that on the "Parameters" pane, under "Mesh Resolution" there is now a "High Resolution" and "Base" option in the "Resolution Level" selector. By selecting "High Resolution", you can adjust the SubDivision Level slider to add more or less subdivisions to the model.   

OK, so let's see a comparison of the actual render now. Here is the exact same scene with and without subdivision added:

Much better, right?

Poser has a similar feature. It is not actually subdivision, and doesn't work quite as well - but it's still worth considering using...
Under the Render Settings in Poser, select the "Smooth polygons" option to round off blocky polygons.

I hope this article will lead to more smoothed renders :-)

all the best,

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3 comments posted - login to post your comment

@warmblood - glad to help!

Thanks, Steve. This really helped me with some old props that I wanted to include in a render.

Thank you Steve!

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