Hard Surface Modelling High poly / Low poly : which workflow ?

Hi everyone,

My objective is to model one of the beautiful sci fi guns figured on this concept here (Artstation external link), and to later texture it using Substance Painter.

I realized that using high poly models in SP was not a good idea (it crashes something), and that it was a better idea to use a low poly model with a normal map to obtain the details.

So i wondered which worflow to use to obtain both a low poly and high poly meshes for my sci fi gun.

I began blocking out the major forms in low poly (i haven’t even used subsurf yet) : [ATTACH=CONFIG]462461[/ATTACH]

and planned (once its finished in low poly) to duplicate the whole thing, and then refine it until i have a sufficient level of details to produce a normal map that i could employ in substance painter.

But then, i wondered if it wasn’t more efficient to start by modelling a high poly asset, the duplicate it and retopo to obtain a low poly model.

What’s your opinion ? How would you do it ?


I think it may be better to start with the detail version and then work from there. You’ll have more success with baking if the low poly version conforms to it. Trying to do it the other way around may end up with you having to reconstruct the low poly anyway. Once you apply sub surf it’s going to change it enough so that any duplicate will need editing.

Retopology is usually done as something constructive. Rather than editing an existing base mesh. There’s no guarantee the duplicate will conform simply because it’s the same mesh without sub-division.

I’m not saying you couldn’t do it that way. But it’s not the route I’d take. :slight_smile:

ok thanks i will try that :slight_smile: