Using the SurfaceToolΒΆ

The SurfaceTool provides a useful interface for constructing geometry. The interface is similar to the ImmediateGeometry node. You set each per-vertex attribute (e.g. normal, uv, color) and then when you add a vertex it captures the attributes.

The SurfaceTool also provides some useful helper functions like index() and generate_normals().

Attributes are added before each vertex is added:

st.add_normal() # Overwritten by normal below.
st.add_normal() # Added to next vertex.
st.add_color() # Added to next vertex.
st.add_vertex() # Captures normal and color above.
st.add_normal() # Normal never added to a vertex.

When finished generating your geometry with the SurfaceTool call commit() to finish generating the mesh. If an ArrayMesh is passed to commit() then it appends a new surface to the end of the ArrayMesh. While if nothing is passed in, commit() returns an ArrayMesh.

st.commit(mesh)
# Or:
var mesh = st.commit()

Code creates a triangle with indices

var st = SurfaceTool.new()

st.begin(Mesh.PRIMITIVE_TRIANGLES)

# Prepare attributes for add_vertex.
st.add_normal(Vector3(0, 0, 1))
st.add_uv(Vector2(0, 0))
# Call last for each vertex, adds the above attributes.
st.add_vertex(Vector3(-1, -1, 0))

st.add_normal(Vector3(0, 0, 1))
st.add_uv(Vector2(0, 1))
st.add_vertex(Vector3(-1, 1, 0))

st.add_normal(Vector3(0, 0, 1))
st.add_uv(Vector2(1, 1))
st.add_vertex(Vector3(1, 1, 0))

# Commit to a mesh.
var mesh = st.commit()

You can optionally add an index array, either by calling add_index() and adding vertices to the index array or by calling index() which shrinks the vertex array to remove duplicate vertices.

# Creates a quad from four corner vertices.
# Add_index does not need to be called before add_vertex.
st.add_index(0)
st.add_index(1)
st.add_index(2)

st.add_index(1)
st.add_index(3)
st.add_index(2)

# Alternatively:
st.index()

Similarly, if you have an index array, but you want each vertex to be unique (e.g. because you want to use unique normals or colors per face instead of per-vertex), you can call deindex().

st.deindex()

If you don't add custom normals yourself, you can add them using generate_normals(), which should be called after generating geometry and before committing the mesh using commit() or commit_to_arrays(). Calling generate_normals(true) will flip the resulting normals. As a side note, generate_normals() only works if the primitive type is set to Mesh.PRIMITIVE_TRIANGLES.

You may notice that normal mapping or other material properties look broken on the generated mesh. This is because normal mapping requires the mesh to feature tangents, which are separate from normals. You can either add custom tangents manually, or generate them automatically with with generate_tangents(). This method requires that each vertex have UVs and normals set already.

st.generate_normals()
st.generate_tangents()

By default, when generating normals, they will be calculated on a per-face basis. If you want smooth vertex normals, when adding vertices, call add_smooth_group(). add_smooth_group() needs to be called while building the geometry, e.g. before the call to add_vertex() (if non-indexed) or add_index() (if indexed).