Flat or Smooth Normals for Retopology?

Hello there,
This is my first post and I hope it’s in the right section! I’m currently working on a character for a game project (supposed to be used in Unity later). For me it’s the first time creating a 3d character and even though I’m absorbing tutorials and courses, my apologies, if the question appears noobish.

So I sculpted and retopologized this little guy here and now want to bake the details of the high poly onto the low poly. I’m wondering now if I should do that with smooth faces on the low poly, or flat faces? Or should I select al rather “sharp” edges (on the bones etc.) and make those sharp and the rest smooth? Will low poly surfaces appear smooth with the high poly normals and displacement baked on top, or do I need to do the manual thingy and if so is there an add-on to make it quicker?

Also for the baking itself, a team member told me, that I could do that in Substance Painter, but a lot of tutorials were using the multiresolution modifier (can also be done before uv-unwrapping) and the results looked pretty neat. Can you recommend one practice over the other? I thought maybe there are big differences between film and game characters in workflow etc. But what do I know… If you have a good source for complete character workflow that would be super helpful.

Thanks for the help y’all and stay safe!

When baking from a highpoly model to a lowpoly, always use smooth shading on the lowpoly mesh, otherwise the normal map will have artifacts. It is only ok to have sharp edges at the UV seams.

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Smooth, but mark all your UV seams as sharp. Less information in the normal map that way, and it compresses smaller for your game later.

Do not mark any other edges sharp, just the UV seams, and do not leave any seams as not sharp, even if they’re on a relatively flat surface.

Thank you!

Thank’s! So baking the textures now would be better than using a multires modifier first?

I don’t really understand your question. What do you mean “now”? Multires is for your high-poly. You can use it at any stage. Whatever you do baking should be last because otherwise any changes won’t be reflected in your maps, but of course that’s obvious. If you mean the baking from multires feature in Blender… eh, it’s kind of good, but also circumstantial. And you’re right, you can do your baking in Substance, and it will probably do a better job of it too. Baking in Blender is rough. You can get good results if you have patience, experience and the right addons, but if you don’t, Substance is easier.

As for the addons you were asking about in the OP, Bake Wrangler is the one I like.