Mode: Edit mode
Hotkey: W » Alt2 NumPad
Menu: Mesh » Edges » Bevel
As the Smooth or Noise ones, the Bevel tool is an heritage of old Blender versions. Nowadays, you should use its modifier version, which gives you the same options, with additional goodies, like the bevel width controlled by the vertices weight, and all the modifiers general enhancements (non-destructive operations, …). Note that the Bevel modifier has no recursive option. However, this is not a problem, as you can add as much modifiers as you need – this is in fact even more flexible!
A bevel is something that smooths out edges and corners. True world edges are very seldom exactly sharp. Not even a knife blade edge can be considered perfectly sharp. Most edges are intentionally beveled for mechanical and practical reasons.
Bevels are also useful for giving realism to non-organic models. In the real world, the blunt edges on objects catch the light and change the shading around the edges. This gives a solid, realistic look, as opposed to un-beveled objects looking false.
In Blender, the Bevel tool smooths the edges and/or “corners” (vertices) by “subdividing” them (see the options below for details about the bevel algorithm). Note that only the selected edges and vertices are bevelled – so if you want to bevel your whole mesh, you have to select it all!
I’m not sure the Recursion and Width pop-up numeric fields are still available in recent versions of Blender – anyway, in v2.49 under GNU/Linux, I couldn’t find them…
- The number of recursions in the bevel can be defined in an additional popup number field. The greater the number of recursions, the smoother the bevel.
- If it is one, then each face is reduced in size and each edge becomes a single new face. Tri and quad faces are created as necessary at the corresponding vertices. If the Recursion number is greater than one, then the bevel procedure is applied that number of times. Hence, for a Recursion of 2 each edge is transformed into 4 edges, three new faces appear at the edge while smoothing the original edge. In general the number of new edges is 2 elevated to the Recursion power.
- You can change the bevel width by moving the mouse towards and away from the object, a bit like with transform tools. As usual, the scaling can be controlled to a finer degree by either holding Ctrl, to scale in 0.1 steps, or by holding ⇧ Shift to scale in 0.001 steps. LMB finalizes the operation, RMB or Esc aborts the action.
- Alternatively, you can manually enter a scaling value by pressing Space. A popup dialog appears, asking you to type in the beveling scale factor labeled as Width. The scale is limited to a range from 0.0 to 10.0 and upon hitting OK the bevel action is completed.
- Bevel mode
- This tool has two modes: Normal one, which bevels both vertices and edges, described above. And a verts only, where it only bevels vertices. You can toggle between the two by MMB -clicking.
Remember that in each recursion, for each new edge two new vertices are created, with additional vertices created at the intersection between edges. This means your vertex count can quickly become enormous if you bevel with a high recursion!
(Beveling a cube) is an example of beveling a cube with a Recursion of 2. Once the Recursion number is set each face of the mesh receives a yellow highlight. The cube labeled “
Bevelling” is the tool in action.
The final result can be seen in the cube labeled “
Beveled” or “