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davejones

Best way to optimise 3d models

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I have been doing research into optimising 3d models in 3ds max. There seems to be so many different ways to optimise 3d models. I am unsure which method is the best and have been trying different tools such as the pro optimizer tool in 3ds max. Does anyone know the best way to optimise 3d models in 3ds max? I am trying to reduce the file size whilst maintain a high quality model. So produce a low polygon model which looks like a high polygon model. 

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There are a lot of ways to optimize 3D models for games, and this applies to any 3D software. I currently use Blender, these practices are very universal. Normally the approach I take is to manually retopologize the models into a lower poly version, then I would bake my high poly model onto my low poly model to retain the quality without having all of the polys.

When you're getting into retopologizing, you'll find that there are many methods to do this and techniques. Some people will use free hand tools that allow you to draw edges to form faces above your high poly model and create the new topology on the surface, while others will create vertices, extrude out edges, ect... on the surface and make clean quads. Keep in mind how your topology is set up because of animation. There are best practices for things like faces, ect...

Some software packages have auto tools that do this for you, and I frankly will only use this on stuff that I don't have to animate, or it's an object that I can get away regardless of how the topology is setup. When you do it manually you have more control.

YouTube will have a lot of videos for 3DS Max, so check them out:

 

No matter what tool or method you use, your main objective is to lower your poly count to (x) range, and retain good topology to assist with better animation and UV unwrapping.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, davejones said:

different tools such as the pro optimizer tool in 3ds max

Github has a good auto tool : https://github.com/wjakob/instant-meshes It actually does a fantastic job and even works with the topology a artist makes. @JTippetts provided me with it in a earlier post.

At first you would think this Instant-mesh tool should be slower because it makes higher polygon meshes, yet it does so with even triangles; that is actually a lot better than the small triangles that pro optimizer and other tools provide.

In terms of performance it is on par with the tools Zbrush provides (better than pro optimizer in performance). It's better than even some paid software.

 

There is a limit to what auto tools like this can do. There is a lot to topology that computers just can't solve at the moment. So having a artist make a manual low topology is often the best choice for quality, however it is very slow.

 

AAA games use auto topology tools because it gives you 60-70% of the quality a artist could reach, in moments; instead of hours. If you then allowed a artist to go in and fix the auto results you can get +/- 80% quality in just a few minutes.

80% of the quality 700-900% faster is more than worth the small problems.

 

Other ways to improve performance is to limit split vertices like UV maps, smooth groups and sharp edge. Over use of these line markers can result in a mesh that is two times as large.

Good topology and good normal maps remain the best way to optimize a mesh

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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11 hours ago, Rutin said:

There are a lot of ways to optimize 3D models for games, and this applies to any 3D software. I currently use Blender, these practices are very universal. Normally the approach I take is to manually retopologize the models into a lower poly version, then I would bake my high poly model onto my low poly model to retain the quality without having all of the polys.

When you're getting into retopologizing, you'll find that there are many methods to do this and techniques. Some people will use free hand tools that allow you to draw edges to form faces above your high poly model and create the new topology on the surface, while others will create vertices, extrude out edges, ect... on the surface and make clean quads. Keep in mind how your topology is set up because of animation. There are best practices for things like faces, ect...

Some software packages have auto tools that do this for you, and I frankly will only use this on stuff that I don't have to animate, or it's an object that I can get away regardless of how the topology is setup. When you do it manually you have more control.

YouTube will have a lot of videos for 3DS Max, so check them out:

 

No matter what tool or method you use, your main objective is to lower your poly count to (x) range, and retain good topology to assist with better animation and UV unwrapping.

Thanks for your response. I have been working my through reducing the polygon count of 3d models and I feel as if I have made good progress. Its now a case of knowing how to bake the high poly model onto the low poly model. 

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7 hours ago, Scouting Ninja said:

Github has a good auto tool : https://github.com/wjakob/instant-meshes It actually does a fantastic job and even works with the topology a artist makes. @JTippetts provided me with it in a earlier post.

At first you would think this Instant-mesh tool should be slower because it makes higher polygon meshes, yet it does so with even triangles; that is actually a lot better than the small triangles that pro optimizer and other tools provide.

In terms of performance it is on par with the tools Zbrush provides (better than pro optimizer in performance). It's better than even some paid software.

 

There is a limit to what auto tools like this can do. There is a lot to topology that computers just can't solve at the moment. So having a artist make a manual low topology is often the best choice for quality, however it is very slow.

 

AAA games use auto topology tools because it gives you 60-70% of the quality a artist could reach, in moments; instead of hours. If you then allowed a artist to go in and fix the auto results you can get +/- 80% quality in just a few minutes.

80% of the quality 700-900% faster is more than worth the small problems.

 

Other ways to improve performance is to limit split vertices like UV maps, smooth groups and sharp edge. Over use of these line markers can result in a mesh that is two times as large.

Good topology and good normal maps remain the best way to optimize a mesh

Thanks for your response. I have been working my through reducing the polygon count of 3d models and I feel as if I have made good progress. I have changed the triangles to quads and managed to reduce the faces.  Its now a case of knowing how to bake the high poly model onto the low poly model. 

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8 hours ago, Scouting Ninja said:

Github has a good auto tool : https://github.com/wjakob/instant-meshes

Btw, this algorithm has been integrated into Luxology Modo, which is also very good and quick for manual retopo. I really like it for character / organic modeling in general. Might be worth to check out, there was a <100 bucks version on Steam.

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I have tried to use the decimate master plugin in Zbrush but when I export and import the .fbx file into unity the mesh only has one material when its supposed to have 4.  I have selected keep UVS when using the decimation master plugin but it still only has one material in unity. 

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1 hour ago, davejones said:

I have tried to use the decimate master plugin in Zbrush but when I export and import the

In Zbrush you will want to use the retopology brush. It's ZRemesher is the auto topology tool. There is no need for plugins with Zbrush.

 

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9 minutes ago, Scouting Ninja said:

In Zbrush you will want to use the retopology brush. It's ZRemesher is the auto topology tool. There is no need for plugins with Zbrush.

 

I have imported the mesh into zbrush. The issue I am having is keeping the same amount of materials. In 3ds max the mesh has 4 materials but when I export/import from 3ds max to zbrush the mesh only comes in with one material. I want all four materials to come into zbrush from 3ds max and than when exported into unity those 4 materials are still part of the mesh. 

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38 minutes ago, Scouting Ninja said:

In Zbrush you will want to use the retopology brush. It's ZRemesher is the auto topology tool. There is no need for plugins with Zbrush.

 

Would you know of any resources on how to bake a high poly mesh onto a low poly mesh? 

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