Modeling for games Question

How can i create a high detailed model that is still usable in a game engine? I have read some things but im confused about Low poly/high poly/ Hard surface. Like what is the difference between them? And what would be the best for a multiplayer game for something like “Rust”.

And what is the right work order? like creating the model and then uv wrapping etc. that is what im confused about what does UV wrapping actually do? and what does baking do? does it lower the polygons and still has the detailed lock on the gun or ?

example off picture below


Take things one at a time. UV mapping is a little like reverse tailoring a shirt. Say you had a shirt with no seams, but you wanted to lay it out flat like a sewing pattern. You cut seams in a way that will allow it to do this. Once you have done that, you ‘unwrap’ it, then you can paint on your model using texture paint, as well as use render baking. First learn UV mapping, then render baking.

Starting at the top.
Low poly usually means that the model has a low amount of polygons to define the shape of the object, the models are usually not very detailed.
High poly means that the model has a high number of polygons, they are usually used in showcase models where there may be close-up shots of the models details.

Hard surface is exactly what it says, it’s usually a type of modelling workflow that is uses in solid objects like weapons, vehicles or buildings (just to name a few)

UV unwrapping is basically like putting all the polygons of the model on a flat surface so that textures and such can be added, the UV map is basically the texture coordinates for the model.

Have you ever seen illusion drawings, where an artists draws a piece so that it looks almost real and 3d? baking is basically the same where the details of a high poly model or random details on a texture or baked on a lower poly model to make it seem more detailed.

Remember those school projects when you were younger, where you had to make a box from a piece of paper…? UV mapping works the same way except you’re doing it the other way around… In a high-poly to low-poly workflow the low-poly model serves as the optimised mesh for a game engine. The high-poly model in this workflow serves as the baking object, you use it to bake down/project its details onto the low-poly. The result is a normal map, a type of texture image which represents different directional lights (X,Y,Z channels). This is how game models are able to create the illusion of smoothed or rounded edges…

quick answer, use normal maps.

most vehicles are not considered hard surface modelling besides the mechanical parts. the shell and majority of interior is not hardsurface.

I hate to be the one to say this but you post in threads as if you’re trying to meet your post quota for the day. Don’t take it in a bad way, but what you’ve just said now literally makes no sense.

You have two types of modeling/sculpting categories…

Hard-Surface = Anything mechanical or man-made.
Organic = Any shape or object which exhibits features of the natural world.

While it’s true that vehicles do incorporate organic shapes these days, vehicle modeling is by its very nature Hard-Surface modeling. So I don’t quite understand where you get that from… “Most vehicles are not considered hard surface modelling…” Who exactly told you that…?

If you ask anyone on this forum they’d say the same thing:

You have automotive modeling just as you have character and gun modeling, but those are simply connotations of the subject incorporated.