Apologies if this is redundant, searching for lo-poly on the forum gives me pages and pages of specific results
I’m looking for GENERAL information. I’ve got a decent amount of experience working in a Hi-poly environment, especially an organic one. I want to know how the rules of thumb change in a low-poly environment. And of course I know that these are only general rules, so I know it’s OK to break them sometimes.
The general rules I follow are: (especially for organic modelling)
- Topology is the most important thing- major edge loops go down first.
- No ngons, ever. Avoid triangles unless closing off a round form (such as an eye).
- Avoid poles, use them wisely to control topology.
- Avoid self-intersection and non-manifold elements (such as holes in a mesh), they’re bad.
I want to know how lo-poly modelling changes these general rules, especially since triangles are now OK. Does that mean I can use triangles whenever I want to or is there a way to be smart with them? Ngons are still totally off-limits, aren’t they? And #4, I’m not sure it’s ever as important as I’ve made it, but I’ve seen game models disregard it completely. They’ll put multiple objects in a single mesh and have faces collide and yet the results still look nice.
I know with lo-poly modelling there’s a healthy amount of “it depends” but the workflow should still follow some general rules and patterns. For example: (if you want to reduce your polycount, try…) or (if the character is important, polys don’t matter so you can do it “like normal”) or something.
If specific information is needed, assume the game engine is Blender, Unity, or Unreal, with a multi-platform goal (PC, console, and tablet) because I think that’s what most indie developers are doing.
Apologies if this is a stupid thing to ask for, but having these guidelines has helped me to make clean, efficient meshes. So if there are any similar guidelines in lo-poly meshing, I want to have them around to help me.