There is smooth mode (3 on keyboard if I'm correct) to show objects 'smooth' in the viewport, but when I render it, there is no smoothing.

What should I do in order to get a smooth render?

I've tried to look for tools for smoothing, but was unable to find anything. In 3ds max I could achieve it by applying the modifier Turbosmooth.

  • What renderer are you using?
    – mhlester
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 22:43
  • I'm using mentalray
    – Avdept
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 6:35
  • If you're using mental ray, it should render smoothed automatically. My answer can't possibly be helpful can it?
    – mhlester
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 6:36
  • It is helpful, i was about to switch to Vray, so any info is welcome :)
    – Avdept
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 6:41
  • I've confirmed, Mental Ray doesn't require anything special. If it's smooth mesh in the preview, it'll render that way by default. The only way I could break it was if I unchecked Use Preview Level for Rendering in the shape attributes, and set Render Division Levels to 0. I'm guessing you didn't do that
    – mhlester
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 15:28

3 Answers 3


I'm going to assume you're using V-Ray. It's the most popular renderer that doesn't by default inherit from the smooth mesh settings.

  1. So, you've made a cube, and pressed 3 to smooth it:

    viewport smoothed

  2. When you render, it isn't smooothed:

    render not smoothed

  3. You have two options.

    • Enable subdivision on the shape (attribute editor for the shape node): shape smoothing
    • Globally tell V-Ray to render based on the viewport subdivision (render settings): global smoothing
  4. Either option will smooth your render:

    enter image description here

  • I'll see what I can come up with when I get back to the office in another 9 hours
    – mhlester
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 6:42
  • Hey in my attribute editor under - attributes- there is no vray option do you know why this is? thanks
    – user27982
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 3:11
  • @austin V-Ray is a third party renderer (plugin). If you haven't installed it properly you won't have the menu. Are you rendering in V-Ray?
    – mhlester
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 4:32
  • i dont have v-ray option..:(((
    – user72309
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 8:24

Or you can apply a Modify > Convert > Smooth Mesh Preview to Polygons on your mesh. It will then render properly on all renderers... but you'll lose the ability to further modify your object using smooth mesh.

  • Hi Laurent, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in Graphic Design Chat. Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 10:21

You need to create a subdivision approximation in mental ray and have smooth mesh preview on:

  1. Go to windows rendering editors > mental ray > approximation editor.
  2. There is a subdivision rollout in the approximation editor.
  3. Under the subdivision rollout hit the create button.
  4. Make sure smooth preview mesh is on in the attribute editor.
  5. Render
  • Thanks for the contribution and welcome to GraphicDesign! Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 21:12

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