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Alecco

need tips for low poly modelling

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hi all i need some help/advice/tips on modelling for computer games. so far ive only known to model for high res/realistic models, how i was taught. but i need to model objects/vehicles/characters etc for games and as i understand it thats a whole different method of modelling. any help would be greatly appreciated. [Edited by - Alecco on March 6, 2006 1:49:56 PM]

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Not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but Real Time Rendering was very enlightening to me. It doesn't cover modelling details, but it does talk about many different ways to optimize for specific situations. It helps to know about the systems that are going to process your models and what kind of post-processing can be done instead of just focusing on lowering poly count.

hth

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Knowing your polygon budget is important. A high resolution model may be sub-surfaced, which looks best when using quads. However, with low polygon models triangles can be safely used while still looking nice.

I suggest starting by creating a very low poly count model, which gives the general idea of what the model should look like. Then progressively add details, while keeping track of how many triangles you are using. If you want to add a detail which might bring you over budget you may need to go back and simplify some other part of the model.

One good thing to keep in mind is that a lot of detail can be added through texture mapping. With a high resolution model you may want to try creating every little thing, such as car doors being separate from the body. This is not necissary and can be wasteful in a low-polygon model. You can instead texture map the seams for the doors and try to make it look the best you can.

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thanks for the help guys, this low poly lark takes getting used to.
i'm using Cinema4D, a good way to smooth things out without adding the polys is using a HyperNurb. Does anyone know if this can be used ok within a game engine? if its supported with things ok or if i shouldnt use one.

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Howdy Alecco!

It's exciting to find another Cinema4D user :P. However, bad news. Using the HyperNURBS modifier to polys actually regenerates the geometry, creating many times as many polygons as originally were there. To see this, create a polygon object, make it the subobject of a HyperNURBS object, and then select the HyperNURBS object. You'll see all the excess geometry created. I've been working on some face modelling, and using HyperNURBS my poly count jumped from about a thousand to nearly 20,000!

Game engines essentially use polygons. You can implement NURBS in a game engine (don't know about Direct3D, but OpenGL has built-in quadric/NURBS support in the GLU library), but to the best of my knowledge Cinema4D exports these HyperNURBS objects as polygons.

Hope that helped,
Aviosity

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thanks thats a big help. looks like i gonna have to smooth things myself.
how many polys do you think i should be looking at for a vehicle in a game? my research has told me about 2000 for characters is good, but dunno what applies for a vehicle?
i'm using the symmetry tool to make sure everything (that should be) is symmetrical and working on one side of the ship. i'm on 469 polys at the mo, so about 938 alltogether when it's whole. dont think there'll be anymore added to this for the final model.
the program is Torque that the models going into if that helps.
thanks again for all the help guys.

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I suggest you ask your questions in the Visual Arts forum. This forum is a programming forum and there is a reason they call it "programmer art". I think you will get better answers from the artists in the other forum.

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