View Full Version : Modeling for smoothing vs modeling for clean UVs/Normal maps

08-29-2011, 04:16 PM
kinda a noob question:

I have noticed that certain details on a smoothed mesh can require extreme distortions at the low poly level, for things like creases and ridges, sharp folds along eyelids etc. The smoothing algorhythm sometimes requires severe overlapping and angles on the low-poly cage. I've been getting the hang of exaggerating my low poly cage so that the smoothed version looks as I wish, but now I notice this tends to lead to UV overlaps, and artifacts in the normal map (even where the UVs are not overlapping, but the low-poly edges do overlap).

When you guys model for creating normal maps, do you avoid these low-poly cage exagerations?
If so, how do you typically achieve such details as eyelid creases and ridges/folds -just leave it to the high poly version?

The Laughing Gnome
08-31-2011, 03:56 AM
Hey, from the sound of things you could probably use an introduction to using support edges.

This tutorial should be a pretty good place to start:

http://cg.tutsplus.com/tutorials/autodesk-3d-studio-max/3d_cg_vfx_modeling_autodesk_3dsmax_subdivision_smo othing/

Once you understand the basics of how support edges work, you should have no trouble getting a good level of control over your smoothed mesh without the funky low poly geometry.

Also, if you want to know more about the way support edges and edgeflow works in character modelling, this should be pretty helpful too:

http://wiki.polycount.com/FaceTopology?highlight=%28\bCategoryTopology\b%29 (http://wiki.polycount.com/FaceTopology?highlight=%28%5CbCategoryTopology%5Cb %29)


09-01-2011, 11:36 AM

09-02-2011, 10:54 AM
Its finally sinkining that there is a HUGE difference in approach between
1.)lo poly modeling as a base for hi poly sculpted models
2.)lo poly modeling as base for a normal mapped ingame object or character.

09-02-2011, 12:04 PM
this leads me to a question: with so much detial being baked into the textures, in what situations does edge flow really matter for game models?

Dylan Brady
09-02-2011, 12:09 PM
for every part of the model that will be animated. edge flow is extreemly important.

09-04-2011, 08:46 AM
Like Bonebrew said. Proper edgeflow allows the polygons to bend in ways that effectively mimic how real-world objects tend to fold and bend.