Creating a multires mesh in Blender works just like adding any other modifier to a mesh object. Multires are often important in 3D configurator projects.

Scultping Blender

The Multiresolution Modifier resembles the Subdivision Surface Modifier in appearance. By default, the Multiresolution Modifier starts with zero subdivisions on its mesh. Use the Subdivision button to increase the degree of subdivision you want to add to your mesh. The subdivision increases the values for Preview, Sculpture and Rendering. Like the View and Render values in the Surface Non-Divider modifier, these values control how many subdivision planes you see in the 3D view, both when modeling and rendering your model.

However, unlike the Surface Modifier subdivision, you don’t have exactly six subdivision planes to switch between. In the Multi-Resolution modifier, the number can be as low as zero and as high as your computer’s processor and memory can handle it. And before you add a level, you have the option to choose Catmull Clark Subdivision or Simple Subdivision as you can with the Surface Modifier subdivision.

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Warning: The only drawback is that the Multiresolution Modifier does not allow you to freely switch between subdivision types at a specific level. Switching from Catmull-Clark to Simple (or vice versa) affects all multires levels.

Tip: If you have a subdivision surface modifier on your mesh, we recommend applying it to your mesh or removing it from the modifier stack before adding the multiresolution modifier. Since the Multiresolution Modifier uses the same process to create subdivision levels, you don’t have to be both active at the same time.

After you have added a level, you will have some additional options. If you click “higher removes”, All Subdivision levels larger than the level you are currently in will be removed. So if you have five subdivision levels and you are at level 3, click “delete higher” to effectively eliminate levels 4 and 5.

Selecting the Optimal Draw check box does the same thing as the corresponding check box in the Surface Modifier subdivision: it prevents Blender from displaying divided edges in the 3D view.

Some 3D modelers who use Scultping like to place the model’s wireframe on the mesh (Object Properties > Display > Wire) while working, so they have an idea of what their topology looks like. Without the “Optimal Draw” option, the 3D view of your model can quickly become overloaded, so checking this box simplifies the display for you.

Now, when you try to enter edit mode on a Multires mesh, you will still only see the nodes available to you in the cage of the basic mesh. So how do you actually edit as the additional nodes created by the Multiresolution Modifier?

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The answer: Sculpt mode. Sculpt mode treats your mesh very much like a solid piece of clay. They have a variety of sculpt brushes that help them shape their mesh to look exactly the way you want it. You can activate Sculpt Mode from the Mode menu at the top of the 3D View.

Alternatively, if you have activated the Pie menus add-on, Sculpt Mode is a menu item that you can select by pressing the Tab key. When you are in Sculpt Mode, the Tools tab of the Tool Tray (T) is updated to display a variety of options available to you for editing your mesh.

Tip: If you have a drawing tablet like Wacom’s, Sculpt Mode uses the pressure sensitivity a tablet provides.

If you are working in Sculpt Mode and use the Multiresolution Modifier, the general workflow starts at lower levels of subdivision to block the rough shape of your model, and then moves to higher levels of subdivision for detailed elements of your model.

The process is very similar to traditional modeling in meatspace, as well as box modeling in the CG world. The only difference in this case is that the Multiresolution Modifier allows you to move freely between high and low subdivisions, so you don’t have to hide your entire model in one go.

Nothing says that you need to use the Multiresolution Modifier when modeling in Blender. In fact, Sculpt mode works quite well without any Multiresolution Modifier.

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We hope we were able to give you a first brief overview of the Multiresolution Modifier in Blender. If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to contact our experts in our forum.

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