Best practices for modelling metal ridges and fins

Hey guys,
I’m modelling a steam turbine(low poly) for my Android game. I am using the attached image as a reference, and as you can see, there are a lot of bumps and ridges on the side of the main turbine casing. Would it be advisable to model these, or bake it in a normal map?



Remember, it has to be low poly. I feel that using a normal map will add another draw call which might offset it’s benefits. Also I have the same problem pertaining to some buildings, which require some bumps and greeble to be added for more detailing. Would it be best to add it through a normal map, or is there any other better way?

Thanks!

bumps and nor map are for small bumps

this is too big and requires topo to do it
unless you can use a displacement map !
but takes more memory!

happy bl

What Ricky said. There are times that you can use normal maps for bigger details, but it’s tricky and usually doesn’t give much benefit versus just using topology. This is something I see a lot from people that try to go low-poly, they often go too far. Topology is necessary, don’t try to reduce poly count so much that it causes more trouble than it’s worth.

Normal maps are good for two things: Surface Detail (pits, scratches, bumps, cracks, etc) and smoothing out curved surfaces (for example, high-poly cylinder mapped onto a low-poly cylinder)

Remember, it has to be low poly. I feel that using a normal map will add another draw call which might offset it’s benefits. Also I have the same problem pertaining to some buildings, which require some bumps and greeble to be added for more detailing. Would it be best to add it through a normal map, or is there any other better way?

It sounds like you might be using Unity for your project =) Yes a normal map will add another draw call, and normal maps take a lot more vram than extra topology and also increase your build size as much as any other texture.

Edit: I don’t know how Unity does displacement maps, but in Blender it requires a lot of topology to be effective. I don’t think they would be the way to go for an Android game.

Thanks, RickyBlender and LasonRift!

Looks like there is support for displacement maps on the Asset store, but the thought of creating high resolution mesh to displace the vertices displaced the idea from my mind! Anyway, thanks for the insight.

It sounds like you might be using Unity for your project

You are correct!

So only Unity uses the concept of draw calls??? :eek: Just asked…