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Blender Normals/Shading issue

For my aircraft model I'm struggling with a shading issue which I am positive is caused by the normals of the model.

When I cut out the flaps, spoilers, main gear doors and main gear wells, I had set shading of the wings to flat.
When I set shading to smooth the shading of the different wing parts didn't match up. I believe this was caused by the parts being separate objects and therefore shaded individually.
Autosmooth off.PNG

If looking at the model in MCX and FSX the shading seem to be consistent with how it looks in Blender.
Video from FSX:

If turning on auto smooth for the wing parts the model looks ok in Blender, however in MCX and FSX the shading hasn't changed. If comparing the mesh normals in the generated .x file, the sections are identical whether autosmoothing has been turned on or not.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to solve this?


Resource contributor

Unfortunately, I don't know of anyway, but have you tried placing it through MCX (it also has a Smooth function within the Options tab?
Thanks Doug,

Is this the SmoothShadingNormalTolerances? Should I expect parts which fall in below the dot product value to look smooth if I use it?
Thanks Doug,

Ah, had a two year old version of MCX, so no wonder I didn't find it.
Unfortunately, this yielded similar shading results, with each part shaded separately.


Resource contributor
Hi Morten,
A couple of things...
1. More edge loops! There's no need to have polygons that span the whole wing - break the geometry down a bit more and try to get the polygons as square as you can to avoid problems later on. Protip: watch some tutorials on how to create good topology and how to avoid n-gons.
2. Select an object of your model, let's say the wing, tab into edit mode, "a" to select all, right click->Shade Smooth. Then, go to the "Object data properties" (green triangle), go to normals->and switch "Auto Smooth" on. Increase the angle to 90.
Having done that will now smooth everything that has an edge-angle of less than 90 degrees. Now comes the fun part: while in edit mode, press 2 for edge mode and select all the edges you want sharp. Right click->Mark sharp.
3. Now everything should look dandy in Blender, however it won't fix it in the sim, because the exporter can't auto-export those sharp edges. To fix that, go to the modifiers of the object and add an "Edge Split" modifier to the selected geometry.For more control, I'd recommend you untick the "edge angle", so that the edge split is solely controlled by the "mark sharp" edges you place.
4. Rinse and repeat the process for all geometry.
Excellent, thanks. Edge Split modifier solved it for me.
Also, great tip on more edge loops. I will keep this in mind for my next AI model.