How to ADD and REMOVE EDGE LOOPS in Blender

In this article we are going to see how to add edge loop to a 3D model to obtain extra geometry allowing us to increase the detail.

How to ADD and REMOVE EDGE LOOPS in Blender
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Adding edge loops to a model in Blender

We start with a 3D model like the one shown in figure 1, what we want is to add subdivisions to the mesh distributed along the cylinder.

3D model of a cylinder in Blender edit mode.
Fig. 1: We start from the 3D model of a cylinder in Blender edit mode.

Press CTRL+R and move the mouse to the object you want to cut until you see a representation of the new edge loop as shown in figure 2, if you left click on that moment you will create the edge loop, but you can also increase the number of subdivisions by turning the mouse wheel, so you get what you see in figure 3, a certain number of edge loops equispaced along the model.

3D model of a cylinder in Blender edit mode with an edge loop added to it
Fig. 2: With CTRL+R you can add edge loops.
3D model of a cylinder in Blender edit mode with several edge loops added to it
Fig. 3: With the mouse wheel the number of loop cuts can be increased.

When we confirm and create the edge loops, the window shown in Figure 4 appears in the lower left corner of the Viewport window, in which we can specify the number of slices and other parameters.

blender section and loop cut parameters window
Fig. 4: When applying the cuts, a window appears in the lower left corner to modify the parameters.

How to remove an edge loop in Blender

Now what we are looking for is to get rid of some edge loops but keep the shape of the object, we start by selecting the edge loop we want to remove (later we will see how to remove several loops at once). A quick way to select an edge loop is to press ALT and click on the edge that is part of the loop we want to select, figure 5 shows where I clicked and the result of the selection.

3d model of a cylinder with subdivisions in blender with one of its edge loops selected
Fig. 5: To remove an edge loop we start by selecting the edge loop with ALT+Click.

To remove those edges without leaving a hole in the model what we have to do is to dissolve those edges, so with the edges loop selected we press X and choose the option “Dissolve Edges”, this produces the result of figure 7.

vertex, edge and face removal window in blender
Fig. 6: Pressing X displays a window with delete options.
3d model of a cylinder with subdivisions in blender, with one of its edge loops removed.
Fig. 7: Selected edges were dissolved.

How to remove multiple edge loops in Blender at once

When we want to remove multiple edges with the previous method problems could arise if adjacent edges are selected, as shown in Figure 8, when trying to dissolve two edge loops that are together the result is as in Figure 9.

dissolving selected edges in blender
Fig. 8: Two adjacent edge loops are selected and dissolved.
geometry problem after dissolving two adjacent loops in blender
Fig. 9: Dissolving adjacent edge loops causes problems in the object geometry.

An alternative is to select edge loops leaving an intermediate loop unselected, as shown in Figure 10.

3d model of a cylinder with subdivisions in blender to which several edge loops are selected
Fig. 10: Several edge loops can be selected with the SHIFT key.
dissolving selected edges in blender
Fig. 11: Again a dissolution of the selected edges is made.

In this way the problem of figure 9 does not occur and the loops can be dissolved correctly, as shown in figure 12.

3d model of a cylinder with subdivisions in blender with several edge loops eliminated
Fig. 12: Result of the dissolution of the selected edges.

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