This feature performs Catmull-Clark subdivision on the selected entities using Pixar's OpenSubdiv library.
Depending on the entities you select, the tool will have different effects.
Groups and Components
If you select a group or component, this tool will create a locked subdivided high-resolution mesh that can be edited using a low-resolution proxy mesh.
To edit the mesh, double-click it and the Subdivision Settings dialog should open and the proxy should become visible.
When you are finished editing, you can click 'Close Editing'. This will allow you to continue editing the proxy later.
If you want to permanently remove the proxy and edit the high-resolution mesh directly, click the 'Commit' button.
If you select faces prior to activating this tool, only the selected faces will be subdivided and smoothed. No proxy is created in this case. You can apply more iterations by repeatedly clicking the 'Subdivide and Smooth' toolbar button. Adjacent faces that were not selected will be automatically split using soft edges. This allows the geometry to edited later in a predictable way without vertices ripping apart.
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