Re: What is the thing with triangulation?
on 07-13-2005 05:35 PM
Well, everything will end up triangulated in a game engine anyway, I always triangulate realtime in-game models as I work anyway for the reasons you say (definining shape/smoothing with optimal number of polys).
The only reason you might not want to triangulate a low-poly model completely is if you're giving the model for someone else to work with. It takes a lot longer to get an easily-workable, mostly-quad mesh from a triangulated model, than it does to properly triangulate a mostly-quad mesh.
So if someone else in the team likes to work in quads (like Sage says, workflow reasons, easier to select polys and add detail with connects and bevels etc.), you should leave your mesh in quads so they don't get frustrated trying to work with a totally-triangulated mesh.
You can display all edges anyway (in Max at least) when working with Editable Poly objects and quads, if you go to the Viewport Display settings in Customize -> Preferences menu. It'll show "hidden" edges (the triangle between two verts of a quad) as a dotted line, and visible edges as a solid line. You can easily turn hidden edges in Max7 with the Turn button in the Edit Edges rollout of EPoly, or in earlier versions of Max with Edit Triangulation.
If you've done all the work, like UV's and texturing too, though, I don't think it really matters if the final model is triangulated or not, unless your client SPECIFICALLY asks for a model in quads. It'll be turned into triangles in the end anyway. Anything else is personal preference.