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What's the best way to "downsample" a hi-rez mesh?

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I've picked up a 100,000 triangle mesh of a human, and I need to create a lo-rez version of it for a game engine in such a way that I can use th hi-rez version of the mesh to generate normal maps. What would be the best way to do this with Max 7? I've thought about using a spline cage or box modelling, but I don't want to waste my time using the wrong approach. I'm not really sure that there are any modifiers that could eliminate geometry without removing the parts that need to stay. Thanks

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I've never liked the optimzed modifier because it always seems to generate poor results. I was under the impression that people didn't really use it much.

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I think nVidia has a Library to do exactly this.

Also, there was a thread recently on GameDev that featured a library that calculated LODs for 3D models, unfortunately I have no idea what the library is, but I'm very interested if anyone can point it out to me.

Now, let me dig arround and see if I can find that nVidia tool...

Edit: Here it is, Melody. Unfortunately it is only used in the creation of normal maps, and not on the LOD process itself...

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There is no proper way to do it, all tools and plugins will give you a useless topology that will be wrongly deformed and can't be animated properly.

If you have the hires mesh it should be easy to model the lowpoly version using it as guide.

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Try out the MULTIRES modifier in 3ds max, it was made for exactly this purpose, it can produce many different LOD meshes and usually gives tidier results than the OPTIMIZE modifier

hope this helps

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Quote:
Original post by StrangeFate
There is no proper way to do it, all tools and plugins will give you a useless topology that will be wrongly deformed and can't be animated properly.

If you have the hires mesh it should be easy to model the lowpoly version using it as guide.


I sincerely agree on this. I have gone through hours and hours of pain trying to downsample meshes in various ways only to come up frustrated by the time I needed to rig and animate them. Take screenshots from the front side and back and use those as background images for creating a new low-poly model -- doing it this way has saved me a lot of time and hair-pulling. There really is no shortcut to making a proper low-poly model from my experience.

Scott

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