Rigged character for 3D printing

Hi, I am very new to rigging but am looking to create a character and 3D print it in several positions. My previous experience has been high poly modelling for printing, so I have no experience with texturing or rigging. I am wondering if there is a way to create my character using the multi resolution modifier, covert that to a texture to keep the poly low during rigging and then re-apply that texture to the high poly models in their final positions?

Is there a better way to do this? Or is my only option to rig a high poly model and hope my graphics card can manage the load?

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I don’t have a lot of experience with multi-res, but yeah-- that’s what it’s for. I don’t think you need to convert to a texture or anything. You use one level of multires for posing, then you crank it up and use the other level to print. A quick test shows that you can even manually weight paint at one level, and it propagates to the next. (Which might not be a great thing, I don’t know.)

If you want, you can bake the displacement to a texture, and you can recover it from a texture. But then you need to UV unwrap, which is otherwise totally unnecessary for printing, and you don’t need a displacement map to do what you want anyways.

I still think it’d be better to make a rigged low-poly and use that to mesh deform your high-poly. Mostly because you end up with a different sort of sculpt when using multires than when using dynotopo; you have to actually worry about topo a little bit. But if you like multires, sure, go wild.

Hey, thanks for the response! When you say ‘ake a rigged low-poly and use that to mesh deform your high-poly’, how do I go about doing this?

Make a low-poly is basically “retopo.” Look up “blender retopo tutorial.”

After you make a low poly, get it a good armature. Then give it a solidify modifier, at offset 0, sufficient thickness that it encloses all your high-poly verts. Target it with a precision 5 mesh deform bind from your high poly, move your low poly around (in edit) to make sure that you actually contained every vert. Then give it a higher precision (like 8?), bind, go have lunch, come back and pose your low poly with high poly on a different layer (or whatever, I’m not sure what 2.8’s doing.)

When you like what your low poly is doing, check out the high poly. Copy the mesh deform, write one as a shapekey, mute the other, pin your shapekey, check it out for problems, print.

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