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AutoMerge

July 6, 2018

July 6, 2018

PDF file available here.

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It’s a good idea to remove double (duplicate vertices that are on top of each other) before UV unwrapping your model and exporting it into Trainz. I frequently check for doubles while I am modeling (3D Editor > Edit Mode > Vertex Selection Mode > A-KEY to select all vertices > W-KEY for the Specials Menu > select Remove Doubles or 3D Editor > Edit Mode > Toolshelf > Remove > select Remove Doubles).

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But, there is also a way to avoid creating doubles while you model. It’s called “AutoMerge” and it is a two-arrowed button in the 3D Editor’s Menu Bar when in Edit Mode.

AutoMerge Button.

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When AutoMerge is inactive (light gray, the default setting) a vertex may be dragged onto the same location as another vertex.

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For example, if we turn on Snapping to a Vertex in the Menu Bar of the 3D Editor while in Edit Mode and drag one of the corner vertices of the default cube over another of the corner vertex, the two vertices still exist but one is on top of the other. This can be seen by selecting all of the vertices of the cube, then selecting Remove Doubles in the ToolShelf. Blender indicates than one vertex has been removed as the two vertices are then merged. 

When AutoMerge is inactivated, vertexes are not merged so one is removed with Remove Doubles.

When AutoMerge is active (dark gray) as soon as a vertex is dragged close to another vertex the two vertices are merged into one.

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For example, with Snapping to a Vertex in the Menu Bar of the 3D Editor while in Edit Mode again turned on, dragging one of the corner vertex of the default cube over another of the corner vertex merges the two vertices. This can be seen by selecting all of the vertices of the cube, then selecting Remove Doubles in the ToolShelf. Blender indicates no vertices have been removed as the two vertices are already merged. 

When AutoMerge is activated, vertices are merged so there isn’t one to be removed with Remove Doubles.

Create a Hotkey for AutoMerge

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Unfortunately, Blender does not have a hotkey for AutoMerge. But one can be created, as demonstrated by CG Masters in Yet Another Blender Hotkey Video: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR1X4DmmPM0&feature=youtu.be.

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• In the File Menu select User Preferences and then the Input Tab. 

• Expand 3D View and Mesh.

Expand 3D View and Mesh.

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• Scroll down to the bottom of the Mesh list and select “Add New”. 

• Expand the new hotkey and set a desired hotkey. I am going 

   to use “-” on the keyboard.

Expand 3D View and Mesh.

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• Now in the left-hand box that says “none” we need to add the code for 

   the operation. A shortcut to doing this is to steal some code from 

   another hotkey that has a similar action. 

• Scroll up until you see the “Context Toggle Values” hotkey. 

• Expand this hotkey and with the mouse cursor hovering over the left-

   hand box that says “wm.context_toggle_enum” press CMD + C-KEY 

   (on a Mac; CTRL + C-KEY on a PC) to copy the code to the clipboard.

Copy “wm.content_toggle_enum” from Content Toggle Values.

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• Hover the mouse cursor over the code box in the new hotkey and 

   press CMD + V-KEY (on a Mac; CTRL + V-KEY on a PC) to paste the code.

Premove code to remove unneeded values.

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• Now select and remove the “_enum” part of the code, which is not 

   needed (the three extra value fields not needed will disappear). 

   We now have one field called Context Attributes into which we can 

   paste the needed code.

Remove code “_enum” to remove unneeded value boxes.

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• Hover the mouse cursor over the AutoMerge Button in the 3D Editor’s 

   Menu Bar and Right Click. Select “Copy Data Path”.

Copy “Copy Data Path”.

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• Hover the mouse cursor over the Context Attributes of the new hotkey 

   and press CMD + V-KEY (on a Mac; CTRL + V-KEY on a PC) to paste in the 

   data path.

• Click Save User Settings and close the User Preferences window. 

Paste “Copy Data Path” into Content Box.

(Click on Image to expand.)

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Now when you press the “-”-KEY you will toggle AutoMerge on and off.

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Note:    If you do not select Save User Preferences, the new hotkey will 

            be lost the next time you close Blender. 

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            Clicking the “X” box in the upper right-hand corner of the 

            expanded hotkey will also remove the hotkey. Don’t forget to 

            also click Save User Preferences before closing Blender to 

            permanently remove the hotkey.

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References:

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Yet Another Blender Hotkey Video.

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