Modifiers are automatic operations that affect an object in a non-destructive way. With modifiers, you can perform many effects automatically that would be otherwise tedious to do manually (such as subdivision surfaces) and without affecting the base topology of your object.
Modifiers work by changing how an object is displayed and rendered, but not the actual object geometry.
You can add several modifiers to a single object to form a Modifier Stack and you can Apply a modifier if you wish to make its changes permanent.
There are four types of modifiers: Modify, Generate, Deform and Simulate.
The Modify group of modifiers are tools a bit similar to Transform ones, but which do not directly affect the shape of the object, rather some other data like vertex groups…
|UV Project||Project UV coordinates on your mesh|
|Vertex Weight||Edit a vertex group of your mesh, in various ways|
The Generate group of modifiers are constructive tools that either changes the general appearance of or automatically adds new geometry to an object.
|Array||Create an array out of your basic mesh and similar (repeating) shapes|
|Bevel||Create a bevel on a selected mesh object|
|Boolean||Combine/subtract/intersect your mesh with another one|
|Build||Assemble your mesh step by step when animating|
|Decimate||Reduce the polygon count of your mesh|
|Edge Split||Add sharp edges to your mesh|
|Mask||Allows you to hide some parts of your mesh|
|Mirror||Mirror an object about one of its own axis, so that the resultant mesh is symmetrical, and you only have to model/edit half, a fourth or a eighth of it|
|Multiresolution||Sculpt your mesh at several levels of resolution|
|Remesh||Generating new mesh topology based on an input surface|
|Screw||Generate geometry in a helix-pattern from a simple profile. Similar to the Screw tool in the mesh editing context.|
|Skin||Automatically generated topology|
|Solidify||Give a depth to mesh faces|
|Subdivision Surface||Smooth the surface by creating interpolated geometry|
|Triangulate||Ensures consistent triangulation, especially useful for bump map baking|
The Deform group of modifiers only change the shape of an object, and are available for meshes, and often texts, curves, surfaces and/or lattices.
|Armature||Use bones to deform and animate your object|
|Cast||Shift the shape of a mesh, surface or lattice to a sphere, cylinder or cuboid|
|Curve||Bend your object using a curve as guide|
|Displace||Deform your object using a texture|
|Hook||Add a hook to your vertice(s) (or control point(s)) to manipulate them from the outside|
|Laplacian Smooth||Reduce noise on a mesh's surface with minimal changes to its shape|
|Lattice||Use a Lattice object to deform your object|
|Mesh Deform||Allows you to deform your object by modifying the shape of another mesh, used as a “Mesh Deform Cage” (like when using a lattice)|
|Shrinkwrap||Allows you to shrink/wrap your object to/around the surface of a target mesh object.|
|Simple Deform||Applies some advanced deformations to your object|
|Smooth||Smooth the geometry of a mesh. Similar to the Smooth tool in the mesh editing context|
|Warp||Warp a mesh by specifying two points the mesh stretches between|
|Wave||Deform your object to form (animated) waves|
The Simulate group of modifiers activate simulations. In most cases, these modifiers are automatically added to the modifiers stack whenever a Particle System or Physics simulation is enabled and their only role is to define the place in the modifiers stack used as base data by the tool they represent. Generally, the attributes of these modifiers are accessible in separate panels.
|Cloth||Simulates the properties of a piece of cloth. It is inserted in the modifier stack when you designate a mesh as Cloth|
|Collision||Simulate a collision between objects|
|Dynamic Paint||Make an object or a particle system paint a material onto another object|
|Explode||Blow up your mesh using a particle system|
|Fluid Simulation||The object is part of a fluid simulation… Modifier added when you designate a mesh as Fluid|
|Ocean||Quickly create a realistic, animated ocean|
|Particle Instance||Make an object act similar to a particle but using the mesh shape instead|
|Particle System||Represents a particle system in the stack, so it is inserted when you add a particle system to the object|
|Smoke||Simulate realistic smoke|
|Soft Body||The object is soft, elasticated… Modifier added when you designate a mesh as Softbody|