Weld Modifier in Blender 2.8x | Hard-surface Modeling Update

Hey Gleb Alexandrov here and let’s take a
look at the weld modifier and how it can help us to achieve the better modeling workflow.
For me the typical usecase would be the boolean operations and the topology issues associated
with them. You can see the minor artifacts caused by
the combination of the boolean and the bevel modifiers. That’s a very common thing right? And usually we solve these issues by collapsing
the modifier stack, jumping into edit mode and removing the redundant vertices, or something
like that. That’s exactly the idea behind the weld modifier
but it does it procedurally. Without us having to sacrifice all our procedural goodies that we
have setup. Before that modifier hit the shelves, we were
very modest with adjusting the bevel width, it has always been a safer option to keep
it low. But now we can actually give it a try and experiment with not so modest bevel
widths. Let’s see how it works. First let me isolate
this piece by hitting the slash on the numpad. And let’s go modifiers and add the weld modifier.
We want to use it solely for fixing the after boolean topology so i will place it above
the bevel modifier to not accidentally mangle the bevelling effects. This mesh artifact is surely caused by the
near miss vertices that lie too close to each other. So by adjusting the distance of the
weld modifier we can actually merge those vertices. Once again before the introduction
of this modifier we used to do things manually. Let me try to demonstrate it. I will Shift
D to duplicate the mesh, remove the weld modifier. Apply the boolean modifier. Mainly to get
access to the mesh data. And now I will just grab this editable poly, if you allow me a
little bit of the 3dsmax terminology. Tab into the edit mode, select all vertices by
pressing A, and then press Alt M and merge everything by distance. Judging by the prompt
at the bottom of the user interface zero vertices were removed, that means no duplicate vertices
were found. But we can adjust the merge distance to increase the threshold, the search threshold,
apparently it is very easy to go over the top with adjusting the merge distance, so it’s
better to keep it pretty minimal. Just enough to remove the most vicious groups of near
miss vertices. So the point is that now we can do the exact
same thing but without collapsing the modifier stack. Without ruining our carefully prepared
procedural rig. Well, it doesn’t always work as intended.
Nothing could beat manual intervention when it comes to really fine adjustments but it
gets the job done at least in the concepting stage. So let’s add the weld modifier for
this second object. Position it above the bevel and carefully adjust the distance. And
again it’s very easy to overdo the distance and thus mangle this silhouette too much. And also we have the duplicate limit slider,
it limits a number of elements found per vertex. Zero makes it infinite and honestly I haven’t
found a reasonable use for it yet so let’s just stick to the default value of 1. What we can also do is limit the effect to
a certain vertex group and that’s it. We have just 3 settings and i’m sure more will
be added later on when this modifier will be maturing and getting new features over
the course of Blender development. But it’s already awesome! One more problem we see here is the classic
after boolean artifact. And actually we can try to add a 2nd weld modifier after the bevel.
And see how it works. So let me go modifiers>Weld. And carefully adjust the distance
because if we overdrive it, it will start eating the bevel and we certainly don’t
want it to happen. So as you can see at 0.00 something it hits
the sweet spot. Where it just removes the problematic issue without touching the rest
of the geometry. So yeah that’s pretty much how the weld modifier can be utilized to enhance
the procedural non destructive workflow within Blender. I mean the hard surface modeling
workflow of course. It’s simple yet elegant and i think it’s already indispensable at
least in the intermediary stages of the hard surface modeling workflow. That involves
the boolean cutout operations and stuff like that. Well great things about modifiers as opposed
to manually dragging the vertices around is that they are dynamic. You can make adjustments
to the original mesh at any time you can replace the modifiers, move them up and down the modifier
stack and so on. Alright one more thing that i wanted to show
is this use case. So we have a cylindrical shape and we bend it using the simple deform
modifier. And unsurprisingly we see this kind of a seam where the edges of the object meet
because the simple deform modifier doesn’t have any kind of merge checkbox unlike the
array modifier for example. And previously we have had no practical way of getting around
this issue. Well technically we could resort to apply the modifiers but procedurally uh-um.
There was no way of doing it. And now we can tweak it with the weld modifier. So that’s pretty much it for this tutorial
kudos to Blender developers that keep adding the features like this machinegun style. And
if you wish you can contribute to the development of Blender too because it’s open source –
Surprise! My name is Gleb Alexandrov and you’re watching the hard surface modeling update
for the 2.8 version of Blender, drink more coffee.

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