# Vertex normal ??

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Hello I can't figure out what does 'vertex normal' mean. What's a use of it? It seems obvious that surface normal points a direction the surface is facing but how can a vertex point in any direction? I am little confiused about it. Thanks for your help!

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The vertex normal can be the same as a face normal, but it needn't be. Think of a sphere-mesh, for instance. The triangles are "flat" and their normals point in one direction. Multiple faces may (and do) share vertices. These vertices will have a normal different from that of any one of the faces they're assigned to. In this case, the vertex normal wil be the (normalised) average of the normals of the faces the vertex is a part of.

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A vertex normal is a surface normal (usually). It simply happens to be evaluated on the surface, but at the location of the vertex. Kippesoep's sphere example is a good one.

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Thanks for replies. :)

OK, I understand. Could you tell me some examples where 'vertex normals' are used in practice?

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Smooth lighting.
The sphere will look faceted like a gemstone if the face normal is used to light the vertices (since they all use the same normal).

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