Question about mesh topology

Hello, I am looking to try and model, slightly more complex shapes. I found out about topology and having good topology is something one should aim for.

In this case I am trying to model a holder for a crane type arm, for a game so I would need the polygon count low.

I am finding it difficult and I don’t really know how to get good topology. Could someone help me understand how to get the shape I am trying to do with good flow of the topology that would allow me to use a multi-resolution modifier and still be low polygon to work in game. I am not sure if what I have created is okay or not okay.

This was the first one I attempted using loop cuts on a cube that has multi_resolution modifier but on slopes the quads are stretched I heard that is not what one should aim for.

This was the shape redone using new quads but there is an extra ordinary vertex I had to do that, otherwise triangles would have been created on the outside edge I wanted good follow on the outside edge.

shows both different meshes in smooth mode

this is the first one I attempted

I guess what I am trying to ask is, if what I have attempted is the correct way or not? Am I over analysing this? And how would one of attempted a shape like this? any way I could improve the topology?

Any ideas or advice to improve my knowledge on this subject would be welcome


why do you need a multi-resolution modifier ?
are you going to sculpt it ?

did u try to do it with simple subsurf ?

how low poly do you want it ?

did a subsurf model with mirror solidify and got around 3.6 Kverts

did a quick one with approximate shape!

how does it look ?
let me know if you want the file!

happy bl

Thanks, RickyBlender yeah that looks great how did you create the shape was it through sculpting? You kept is all as quads how did you do this? Also How would one get more sharper angles.

Regarding the shape you created, that looks great but that does look like a lot of polygons, that might be too much is there any way to get it lower. From the start I might have attempted this shape wrong, I am sorry. For this holder type thing I am thinking between 200-400-1000 faces is this even possible? what is the lowest one could get for a shape like this but keeping the shape and topology nice and neat with quads. I am not sure but I think I need to understanding topology better.

I saw a tutorial and the person always seems to use a multi resolution modifier, I am not sure if this is the correct modifier to use for this.

I never tried a sub surf. The polygon count needs to be low, I am trying to create assets for source 1 HL2 EP2 an old game engine. Though I am keeping the possibility for more advance engines if need be but I still like polygon count low.

Using as little polygons as possible but keeping the shape I am trying to get. I think I have already used way too many polygons for this model. Here is a picture of the overall model and there still needs wires and other extra stuff I wonder how to model low poly but keep all these details.

Here is a very rough picture I just done I can do a better one if needed.It looks strange like a crane type of structor
it is called the combine claw extractor- alien technology.

I am just intrested in getting that shape sharp like the picture, everything I have done is wrong.

Thanks again any ideas how would one attempt this shape for low poly models I have used too many faces from the start I think.

here is file see the modifiers added on one model
mirror subsurf solidify

I mean it depends how rounded you want it !

on the model shown I use subsurf level 2 which gives rounded curve
but could be only level 1
did test at level 1 and I get around 1000 verts

you model is complicated and may require a lot of verts
function of how rounded you want it !

ztopo1.blend (224 KB)

happy bl

Topology is important but might not be for the finished (non-deforming) game model that needs to hold the textures and silhouette. That doesn’t mean it has to have nice all quads topology, it will most likely be triangulated anyway.

Yes but with very low polygon count you will lose detail. For example

Four objects on the left (-X) use subdivision surface and all quads structure to define the form, using 16736 quads, or 33472 triangles. Four objects on the right (+X) is a low polygon approximation of that with just 288 triangles.

There probably is a happy middle ground when baking normals from the high polygon model to the low one, but the low polygon version would need hard edges beveled to get nicer edge detail. Those would add more polygons, would maybe end up somewhere around 600 triangles.

Modeling something you don’t see with good topology is nearly impossible for anything complex. It’s also hard and slow way of designing something.

If you’re designing this asset, finalize the design first using whatever means you’re comfortable with to get the details down. When you’re able to see the details and forms, then start thinking about its topology. Otherwise you try to imagine a ball, end up with topology for a cube, have to correct and when you’re done hours later you find that the ball wasn’t what you wanted and you have to start all over again.