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The smoothing setting in PhotoToMesh V4

On the main dialog, at the top right, is a slider called "Smoothing". This is to smooth out unwanted roughnesses and sudden changes in the mesh. Some photos or images have small sharp objects in them you'd rather not see in your final STL object. Here is a very simple starting image:

The three images below show the effect of smoothing on the final output:

Smoothing a 3d mesh, none applied

You can see above that not having any smoothing can give unwanted detail in the background, difficult to print or machine.


Smoothing a 3d mesh, some applied

Just setting the smoothing to 1 resolves a lot of the problems, as shown above. Setting the smoothing to 3 may be a step too far, see below.


Smoothing a 3d mesh, lots applied

But note that the smoothing has less effect when the numbers of points (or triangles) in your mesh is higher. If you want more detail about this, then read on...

Many people have asked me why the smoothing setting in version 4 is whole numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) whereas in version 3 it was real numbers (0.39, 1.25 etc.). The fact is that V4 whole numbers represent the reality better than the V3 real numbers.

Smoothing operates on the 3d mesh itself. A setting of 1 means that neighbouring points as far as 1 step away will be considered when smoothing an individual vertex. So the higher that number the more points are considered in the smoothing operation.

(It was the same in V3, except that I wrapped up the idea in a % number. But in reality the calculation always ended up with a single whole number. That is why, in V3, some people saw sudden changes from 0.3 to 0.31 for example, and no change from 0.31 to 0.55)

What this means is that the more points you have in your mesh the less a smoothing setting of 2 (for example) effects the final mesh.

Here is a mesh with 400 points around the circumference and the smoothing is set to 1:

Smoothing a 3D mesh, example 1

And here is the mesh with 800 points around the circumference and the smoothing is still set to 1:

Smoothing a 3D mesh, example 2

Since there are more points in the second case a smoothing of 1 has a smaller "reach" and the vase, while still smoothed, has more detail.

Not ideal, but currently that is the way it is.

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