Low-Poly N-Gon Issues. Looking for a better method.

So after several tutorials, and other videos, I recently started making a collection of meshes from scratch. Most are in the concept phase still, but one of a fish I’ve been working on quite a bit, working towards a finished product. When I started this one, I created it with a multi-res base, and created all the details after. Once I got to the finishing phase I found myself fairly lost at first, and still a bit confused as to fix some minor nuances. The most common being n-gons that were curved on the sides, fins, and around the eyes, causing shadows where it should be smooth.

Since it is a low-poly mesh, a lot of modifiers could not help my situation. I used clean-up dissolves, and still had some geo that was not correct causing extra shadows in the render. I also tried a remesh, but it was hopeless as well, as it killed a lot of the detail. After an hour or so of changing n-gons to triangles, and manually moving vertices to where the extra shadows were not showing, I thought for sure there was a better way of doing this.

So my question is if anyone else has run across this issue, and has a good method of fixing such problems without taking so much time? I did learn quite a bit when fixing manually, but I am curious if there is a better resolution, or even ways to avoid such issues? Maybe even a better practice of creation? Any advice would be extremely appreciated. :wink:

Thank you in advance! :smiley:

have you tried converting your n-gons to tris?

Yes. I thought I mentioned that.

Use an external application to retopologise or
Plan what you are doing. The reason you end up with “n-gons that were curved on the sides” is modelling with no thought about the end result you want. You will need to manually split the ngon to take into account of any curvature of your object. In the time you’ve taken to find a catch all solution that needs no work by yourself, you could have just manually fixed it and got a better finished result

Thanks Richard!

I did stick with my concept art, but when I applied the multi-res to my basic model there were “pits” in the model. After creating a “mock-up” of my original model, it seems that’s what started my dilemma. I created the body and fins prior to multi-res, and liked the shapes it created when previewing the multi-res, but had lowered parts. I’m guessing it’s better to start a basic model after the multi-res instead of before? Any thoughts on that?

Multi res doesnt really let you edit while looking at the multi res, next time if you’re just using edit mode try the subdiv surface modifier, as it has a couple options that multi res doesnt in edit mode “Use modifier while in edit mode” and “apply modifier to editing cage during edit mode” in this way you would be able to see what would happen to the model. One thought of your initial post was that perhaps a couple of your normals had flipped, I’m not sure if you had checked that or not.

Thanks a bunch Samuraishi! I will definitely stay away from multires next time, and subsurf instead! I did apply the multires before editing, but the effects after as you can see ended up being a bit more work. I’ll start working with subsurf more, and I’ll probably use sculpt to get the added detail that I was doing with the odd mesh shape before the multires. Regardless, thank you all for the advice, and I’ll definitely make sure to put all of it to use from here on out!

On an added note, I started playing around with sculpt mode a bit more, and found a good way to fix the pitting issue. I pulled up an old save with the pits in the mesh, and was able to use the fill brush to get rid of the negative space, then the flatten brush to smooth it out. After that, I did a limited dissolve on the area to put it all back to low-poly.

At the time of writing the original post, I did not know much about sculpt mode, and actually I didn’t even know it existed (Learning to press Tab for edit/object makes you ignore that selection :o). Even when learning about it, I didn’t know there was a way to change the mesh back to a low-poly after sculpting. Just an added note for anyone that creates video tutorials. :wink: