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worldcrafter

Retopo efficiency for games

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For games where the model will be converted into tris and use a texture and normal-map, Is it more efficient to use separated topology like this

ztg1li.png    (22 tris)

 

 

Or joined topology like this

 

4gt728.png  (28 tris)

???

and why

Edited by worldcrafter

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If it is a static mesh, one that doesn't need to be animated, then you should generally keep the poly count as low as possible, in this case meaning seperate geometry. On the other hand, if it is animated, I generally keep the geometry as one mesh as much as possible (barring external armor and the like unless you have no need to change it, in which case, you can generally just model the armor as part of the body (not generally recommended though unless you are really concerned about draw calls due to more difficult uv maps and less texture space for the character. The other thing to be careful of us baking issues when using two or more separated, and while Andrew has worked very hard o removing those, depending on the complexity of the object you can still need some tweaking of the settings to get it to work right. If you are going for mobile development, always try to keep the poly count and texture size the smallest that you can, any visible seam won't matter on the smaller screen size of a mobile device unless it is just screamingly obvious. However if you are developing for console or pc, sometimes it's worth having those few extra polys to give more detail and realism to your work as that's what people are expecting more and more these days; still be careful as those six extra tris you saved by making separated geometry could allow you to put in an added detail such as a crack that can't entirely be believable with just a normal map! Hope that helps! If you have any other questions feel free to message me or just post on here again :)

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so your saying the only reason I havent seen game ready models with this kind of separated topology, is that the baking doesn't work very well and produces nasty seams?

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No, what kinds of game ready models are you referring to? For instance, look at a building in a game, more often than not, the floors of a building will be a different mesh. You could technically model a building with multiple floors, support columns, and walls as a single mesh, but you would end up using many needless polygons, you would also have a horribly hard texturing the building and getting a proper amount of resolution for each part. In oversimplified and general terms, you are much more likely to see inorganic hard-surface models be comprised of multiple meshes such as buildings, guns (depending on the gun and animation purposes), appliances, entry hatches, even doors. Notable exceptions to this rule where you would want an organic mesh that was split into multiple meshes would be vegetation of all kinds and cyborgs to name a few. Please let me know what kind of game ready models you are referring to so I can try to clarify further. Thank you!

EDIT: If you are really interested in game modeling, you should really consider looking into 3ds-Max Modeling for Games. I've never owned 3ds-Max, but if you can make the things in that book with another piece of software such as blender, lightwave, modo, and 3d-coat, you will truly know a lot about that software and the theory and mentality behind modeling, including when to use separated geometry :)

Edited by GeneralAce55

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You can model simple primitives like that in the game engine anyways.

Better to import, if possible, I think.

They can be separate.

I seen some model buildings like lego's by importing custom pieces like that into the game engine.

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