is an editable object with five sub-object levels: vertex, edge, border, polygon, and element. Its usage is similar to that of an , with controls for manipulating an object as a polygon mesh at various sub-object levels. Rather than triangular faces, however, the poly object's faces are polygons with any number of vertices.
While working with poly objects, you can use a “press/release keyboard shortcut” to temporarily override the current operation and perform a different one. As soon as you release the keyboard shortcut, you return to the previous operation.
For example, you might be working at the Polygon sub-object level, moving polygons, and need to rotate the object to access a different part of it. Instead of having to exit the Polygon sub-object level, rotate the object and then re-enter the sub-object level, you could simply press and hold 6, rotate the object, release the key, and immediately return to moving polygons.
To see a list of press/release keyboard shortcuts, go to Customize Customize User Interface Keyboard panel, open the Group drop-down list, and choose Edit Poly or Editable Poly. The actions in boldface are the ones that you can assign as press/release shortcuts. Not all are assigned; for information about assigning keyboard shortcuts, see .
The actions in boldface can function as press/release shortcuts.
Commands for specific sub-object levels, such as for edges, appear a rollout for that sub-object level (for example, Edit Edges) in the Editable Poly user interface. This leaves the with functions that you can apply at most sub-object levels, as well as at the object level.
Converting an object to Editable Poly format removes all parametric controls, including the creation parameters. For example, you can no longer increase the number of segments in a box, slice a circular primitive, or change the number of sides on a cylinder. Any modifiers you apply to an object are merged into the mesh as well. After conversion, the only entry left on the stack is "Editable Poly."
Normally, if you apply a modifier such as to an editable poly object and then return to the Editable Poly stack entry, you cannot see the effect of the modifier on the object's geometry. But if you turn on Show End Result while in sub-object level, you can see the final object as a white mesh, the original sub-object selection as a yellow mesh, and the original editable polymesh as an orange mesh.
Soft Selection controls apply a smooth falloff between selected sub-objects and unselected ones. When Use Soft Selection is on, unselected sub-objects near your selection are given partial selection values. These values are shown in the viewports by means of a color gradient on the vertices, and optionally on the faces. They affect most types of sub-object deformations, such as the Move, Rotate, and Scale functions and any deformation modifiers (such as Bend) applied to the object. This provides a magnet-like effect with a sphere of influence around the selection.
Editable Poly (Object) functions are available when no sub-object levels are active. These functions are also available at all sub-object levels, and work the same in each mode, except as noted below.
Vertices are points in space: They define the structure of other sub-objects (edges and polygons) that make up the poly object. When you move or edit vertices, the connected geometry is affected as well. Vertices can also exist independently; such isolated vertices can be used to construct other geometry but are otherwise invisible when rendering.
An edge is a line connecting two vertices that forms the side of a polygon. An edge can't be shared by more than two polygons. Also, the normals of the two polygons should be adjacent. If they aren't, you wind up with two edges that share vertices.
A border is a linear section of a mesh that can generally be described as the edge of a hole. This is usually a sequence of edges with polygons on only one side. For example, a doesn't have a border, but the object has several: on the lid, on the body, on the spout, and two on the handle. If you create a cylinder and then delete an end polygon, the adjacent row of edges forms a border.
The Edit Geometry rollout provides global controls for changing the geometry of the poly object, at either the top (Object) level or the sub-object levels. The controls are the same at all levels, except as noted in the descriptions below.
Applies subdivision to the object in the style of , so you can work on a lower-resolution "cage" mesh and simultaneously see a smoother, subdivided result. This rollout is available at all sub-object levels, as well as at the object level, and always affects the entire object.
Specifies surface approximation settings for subdividing an editable poly object. These controls work like the surface approximation settings for surfaces. They are used when you apply a to the editable poly object.
Paint Deformation lets you push, pull, or otherwise affect vertices by dragging the mouse cursor over the object surface. At the object level, Paint Deformation affects all vertices in the selected object. At sub-object levels, it affects only selected vertices (or vertices that belong to selected sub-objects), and recognizes soft selection.
These topics describe settings for tools for editing Editable Polymesh surfaces. The settings are used in , in which you can adjust settings parametrically and see the results immediately in the viewports.