Face Normals

Face Normals should point outward to avoid an backface culling errors at render time

How to Check & Change Direction of Face Normals

There are two methods in Maya to check for backfaces

  • Turn on Display > Polygons > Backface Culling
  • Turn on Display > Polygons > Face Normals

Changing a face’s normal direction is a one step process

  • In the Polygons menu set, go to Normals –> Reverse

Video Tutorial


Edge Normals

Edge normals define the softness or crispness of geometry as it transitions from one face to another in the same mesh.

  • Here’s an example showing problematic edge normals and corrected edge normals

  • Here’s an example when a hard edge has soft normals and must be fixed

How to Correct Incorrect Edge Normals


  • Making edges hard that should be soft

>Select required edges and select Normals–>Harden Edge


  • Making edges soft that should be hard

>Select required edges and select Normals–>Soften Edge