Decimate skinned models

Does anyone know if decimate modifier works for skinned models? Is it possible to reduce poly count for a character? Thank you!

I think the answer is “it depends on what you’re trying to do”. What are you trying to do?

You can use decimate modifier after skin modifier, and this will reduce poly count in the viewport. I think it will only make the file smaller if you actually apply both modifiers, which you also have to do if you wish to export it to another program. This interferes with the UV mapping for textures if you have it, unless you specifically use decimate → planar → delimit → UVs

Thank you! I’m very new to the skinned meshes and was wondering if the weights will be recalculated and the mesh will “behave” appropriately

It really depends on the situation, but many times using decimate leads to a mesh that’s hard to deform. If you have a character that needs to be animated in any stretchy way, like with skin, then decimate might lead to strange shading problems. If it’s not animated, or if it’s just hard surfaces like a robot or something, it would probably be fine.

I see, thank you! Is that right that than it just makes sense to first decimate and only then add skin?

No, I don’t think that will work, unless I misunderstand your situation. Decimate only works on faces.

I wish I could answer this simply, but I don’t know what you’re starting with and I don’t know what you’re trying to do. It depends a lot.

If I understand right:

  1. You have a framework or skeleton of vertices.
  2. You’ve added a skin modifier.
  3. You might have also added a decimate modifier?

You can go ahead and copy your object, or the whole file, and start playing around with these things yourself. It won’t hurt anything! If you have a copy you can always go back if you mess it up too far to undo.

To clear the possible confusion, are you sure you are speaking about Skin modifier (which takes a mesh made of open edges and gives it volume) or it is actually Armature (the one which deforms the mesh using skeleton)?

I actually meant importing already skinned model just for the purpose of decimation, if it’ll work in that case. I don’t have much experience with skinned models, so wanted to ask about “general” knowledge/experience.

Decimate will likely break it then. Best bet is to keep the copy of original mesh and then utilize Data Transfer modifier (or Weight Paint - Transfer Weights command) to transfer vertex groups from the original to decimated