Retopology nightmare

So I’ve watched dozens of in depth retopology videos and tutorials, have taken courses, and just cant seem to get the hang of it. To be more specific, corners and making hard edges. After many attempts and loading previous saves time and time again i am about to call it quits. Edges always have defects, cant seem to ever get rid of tris, edge loops for hard edges is useless.

I’m doing a CGcookie course right now, so I’ve been going off that method, which is blocking out, beveling, and adding a solidify, which is later cut in half (i guess? not sure how to describe it), and then the hardening of edges is started which is where my problem comes in. And from what i gather the solidify is to make it look like the individual objects that are retopologized seem to be connected mechanically.

So if anyone has any magical retopo tips or suggestions, I’m all ears lol. A video on hard edges or corners would be appreciated. Anyway, I’ve attached the .blend with decimated objects for memory sake but had to delete just about everything for file size, and they’re named as well. “JawRetopo” is my current attempt and what I’m having trouble with, but i didn’t even bother continuing this time round, just cant understand it. And “FirstRetopo” is my some what successful attempt but could have been better I think.

Thanks for any help! This is driving me nuts.

Helmet_Retopo_BA.blend (4.87 MB)

Here’s an example of the edge loops causing issues, but I’m not sure how to achieve that hard edge without adding edgeloops around the entire mesh. If I don’t then I end up with tris here and there, which tends to look even worse than this.

I say hard edges but to be precise I mean slightly beveled.


Helmet_Retopo_BA2.blend (4.87 MB)

Does this help? I put ina loop cut to mark the edge flow, it doesn’t really do much else.
Really I’m not too sure what you want to achieve, exactly.

Well tbh im not sure how you got to that point, but yeah, it helped a little. Adding another esdgeloop and using the knife tool lessened the defects.

And to be more clear, the goal is to have slightly beveled hard edges (like worn metal), and have zero defects or edges that don’t look clean and crisp. Which in turn means that the retopology is clean and proper. My issue is having that clean retopology on edges and corners. I seem to always end up with tris or ngons and that obviously leads to overlaps and ugly bits of mesh.

Another example of what i don’t want and I’m not sure how to fix it…
No tris or ngons there but yet the mesh is all messed up. And thanks for your help!


Heres the .blend for that issue in the pics for a better understanding.

RetopoIssue.blend (530 KB)

You have complicate the thing by trying to keep the topo on this zone, you need to use in this case fool loop edge around the circular open. it will even help you maintain the shape outisde here.

For be more clear… use the knife tools, and around the circle open, continue the loop on the plane face, on the upper zone, it will fix it…

here your loops are only on one side of the circular open… Blender dont understand where is the edge in reality.

Im not at home, so i cant use your file, but i show you an example:

If you need a loop for support a sharper edge you should end with something like that:

And if you want to have a loop reduction then, do it far of the curve, on the planar zone.

Not sure what you mean. Do you mean like the top circle in this picture? Cause that still leaves the same over lapping effect.

Ahh, the pic hadn’t loaded when i looked at your post.


Your post was very helpful but im finding an issue with whats beveled and that seems to still be causing the issue.
I have this part beveled on mine…
Trying to fix it now but this is where the main problem lies lol


Yes it is because you need a new loop for supporting the circular jointure with the plane surface, ( control the bevel of the corner )… so you create one, and then if you dont want it goes around the full model you reduct it… but far of the corner, otherwise you will end with some trouble .

So for coming on the reduction of edge loop … on the flat face, just a simple diamond 3 to 1… ( for the example… )

It is ugly, it is just for show you one example.


and with subsurface… this is way less ugly, and far of the corner it should work fine.

Note, this is one quick example, theres a ton of different way for doing it…

Note triangle, on flat surface, is not completely to ban, it is more a problem on curved surface.

This said, even there, the topo is not perfect, for really be on perfect, there will need to have a separation loop between the circular one and the "corner "… but this is then easely fixable.

Hey i tried waiting to see if it would change but the attachments aren’t working. Says that its invalid.

Oups sorry… I was at work, and our security check have block it …

As i was said, here it is still not a perfect topology… but not so bad and you can control the corner between the circular part and the flat part … ( for goes better a second loop should be made for control perfectly the curvature on the jointure… ) butt i think it is allready a good start.

Again it is one example, theres many way to do something like that,just only one to remember, if you need to to a reduction of loop, never do do it close to the curvature or right in a corner or in your case never right around the circular point… move this reduction far away, where it will not be a problem… your loop reduction on your first try was not a bad idea in itself, but it will create this distortion as you have seen…

Tomorrow … if i have a bit of time i will try show the right method for it ( just it is saturday and need time for my family before it ).

If i wanted to be really pure on the topo , my topo should reflect this flow …

The red line show the edge of corner flow … and the blue one is showing how the flow over the hole should be… with this topo, the advantage is you can still add suport loop everywhere for the subdivion whithout much trouble … So as you see if you compare with my screenshoots… it will be needed to cut a new loop horizontally for complete the right flow …

But honestly if you want to keep the rest of the model clean without going to complicate your life with loop reduction ( keep a grid as the rest of your model ( who is pretty cool )… dont need much that what i have show you …

Yeah that’s a major help. Avoiding the full edge loops seems impossible but like you said making the grid from the start will help organize it better, and just reducing them further away from the corner (which still adds tris i think but keeps the mesh normal). But your topo is exactly what i was trying to achieve so thank you! Will probably end up referring to this a lot. Another issue i think, is that i was using bevels in incomplete loops so it confused everything even more, plus added tris. Thank you for all the help!

Glad to have help you a little bit.