Merging vertices in Blender could be necessary to remove double vertices (overlapping vertices) or for other hard-surface modeling purposes. There are a handful of methods for merging vertices in Blender and we’ll quickly cover them here.
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Merge Vertices By Distance to Remove Doubles
When two or more vertices of a mesh object are so close together that they can’t be distinguished, problems occur.
These are known as “Doubles” or “Double Vertices” in 3D software. Double vertices use unnecessary data and cause significant shading problems. Here’s how to fix them.
To remove double vertices in Blender, select all or a portion of the mesh in Edit Mode. Use the shortcut “M” to see merge options and choose “By Distance.”
After we merge by distance, we can open the Operator Panel in the bottom left of the 3D Viewport. Here we can adjust how far apart we want to merge vertices.
In the operator panel, we see a distance. Vertices that are closer together than this distance will be merged during the operation. Vertices farther away than this distance will not be merged.
Changing this distance or selecting either of the options below it will change the very last operation we conducted.
If you’re looking for how to merge entire objects together, that’s a different post.
Other Ways to Merge Vertices in Blender
Perhaps you want to merge two vertices that are not overlapping (doubles). This is necessary if we’ve messed up our geometry with things like the knife tool. The same shortcut “M” can be used to merge vertices in other ways also.
Select two or more vertices that you want to merge. The order in which you select them is important. Press “M” on the keyboard to merge the vertices. A small context menu will appear with a few options.
The following image will serve as an example for each method of merging vertices below. The numbers indicate the order in which the vertices were selected.
Depending on your selection, you may see some or all of the following options:
Merge At Center
When we’ve selected two or more vertices, we will have the option to merge them at their center. This will consolidate all of the vertices into a single vertex and will place it at the “center” or median location of where the previous vertices were located.
Merge At Cursor
When two or more vertices are selected and the “Merge at cursor” option is selected, the vertices will be consolidated into one vertex. The new vertex will be positioned at the location of the 3D Cursor.
We may see the option for “Collapse” under the merge settings. When this setting is chosen, selected “islands” of vertices will be merged independently.
For example, if we have several non-adjacent faces of an icosphere selected and choose collapse, a single vertex will remain for each unconnected island. It will be placed at the median center of the selected island.
Merge At First
Above I said the order in which you select the vertices may be important. The “Merge at First” option tells Blender to combine the selected vertices. Blender will then place the new single vertex at the location of the first vertex which was initially selected.
Merge At Last
Similar to the way “Merge at First” works, “Merge at Last” combines the selected vertices into a single vertex. With this setting, the newly created vertex will be placed at the location of the vertex which was selected last.
Merge Edges & Faces?
So we’ve covered how to merge vertices, but what if we want to merge edges or faces? Well, with the merge operation, Blender will essentially treat edges and faces the same way their component vertices would be treated if selected.
So, if you have some edges or faces selected and use the merge functions, it will operate exactly as if you had changed to vertex select mode. Each vertex used to create the selected edges and faces will merge when the operation is run.
When we use the term “Merge” for edges and faces, we may mean we want to “Join” the edges and faces.
Joining Edges & Faces
If you are looking to take two adjacent faces or edges and make them into a single, larger one, you probably want to “join” instead of merge them.
To join or merge two adjacent faces in Blender, select the faces in edit mode and and press “F.” Blender will combine the faces if topologically possible.
However, in almost all situations this will cause the creation of an ngon. An ngon can cause shading and other issues so be careful.
The same “Join” operation will work to create a plane between two or more edges. For example, if we select two edges and press “F” a four-sided face will be created to fill the space between the two edges.
We may need to recalculate normals after adding geometry like this.
There are a handful of ways to merge vertices as part of our 3D modeling workflow or to remove double vertices. The keyboard shortcut “M” can be used when multiple vertices are selected. Then we can choose from the available methods of combining the verts.
I hope this helped, have a look around the site and check out my videos on YouTube.
Also read the Blender manual’s documentation on the merge feature in Blender.
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