Low Poly Game Objects From High Poly Base

Assumed Knowledge: Basic Modelling skills.
Hey guys, I came up with this method while working on my Super City, and, as with my other tutorials, I really mean this as a method of making lots of various objects, not just cars. Anyway, the idea is this:

  1. Make, or download a model, that you wish to recreate in low poly
  2. Open the model in blender, and set render resolution to around 512 X 512.
  3. If the mesh is more than one object, add an empty and parent all the pieces to it. This is because you are going to need to make duplicates and move them around a bit.
  4. You will now need to duplicate your model a few times, and using the widgets, and numerical transform for exact rotations, position your models like so on your 3D screen:
    this is my render of my 3d screen. to render the 3d screen, press the button that looks like a little painting, over on the right, on your main header. you can render one of your own model, or use mine for now if your prefer.
  5. Once You have this image, open a new file, and load the image into the UV editor, so you can use it as a UV mapped texture later. But, we also need to load it as a background image. Go to View>Background Image, and calll up the render.
  6. Now add a plane to start your new model from, and parent it to an empty, just like we did the original model, because we are going to have to move it and rotate it, as we construct it. So, go ahead and flesh out your low poly model from the various views, moving it and rotating it, as you go from view to view, so it matches your diagram accurately.
  7. Once having modelled our car, we texture it, also using the original diagram. With the model selected, In side view hit F to go into face select mode, and select the faces of both sides of the car, leaving the front, back, and top, for now, and finally U to get the menu for loading options. Choose ‘project from view’, then call up the pic in the UV editor, and using S, and G, scale, and move the UV coords so they fit their coresponding region of the texture. Now just repeat this process for the front, back, and top ( helps if youre in textured draw mode in the 3D window btw ) untill your whole car is textured. Some bits, Like the treads of the tires, I loaded 1/1, and scaled them down over a bit of solid color. You can see the little squares that are the coords for the undercairrage, and the tire tread in this image of my UV window with all the coords loaded onto the image.
    Now all that is left is to add a material to the mesh, and load the image as a texture, set, in material buttons to ‘UV’ instead of ‘orco’. Here’s my model rendered, It looks like crap because I am cranking them out at high rates of speed, but by spending a bit of extra time it could look better. Anyway, that’s the basic idea, and I must say it looks pretty good for something I threw together in virtually no time.
    Good luck!

Interesting, but why not make it “real” render with AO etc. using ortho camera? No duplication needed.

no lighting, it’s just the 3D window in solid draw mode. You could do it with a regular render in ortho mode too, though.
(edit) misread that, but yeah.

this is what I’m trying to do with a realistic human model. it can be tough cause you’ve gotta get the shading just right so the seams from the different angles flow together smoothly. I’m getting the hang of it, but still looking for an easier way.

In the next version of blender, I think they are going to have new functionality just for that very thing.

i like!
way simpler than what i’ve been trying! thanks

wow this is a nice technique … hmmm :slight_smile:

I have been trying to get something like this to work too. I found a cool program called “Melody” by Nvidia that does this for normal, diffuse, and specular maps. I haven’t really played with it much, but I guess it does work. The low-poly model needs uv’s, and the high-poly one doesn’t.

It’s worth checking out- here is the link.