Originally Posted by Cdawilliams
So the Quick blockout mesh is more of a silhouette to get the shape for the final model, but certainly isn't the final high poly, or low.
Would you then use this blockout to build upon for your high? And once complete, duplicate again to simplify the topolgy to form your low?
Right, just to block in the proportions and silhouette. Depending on how clean you model your blockout, you might start adding your control loops etc directly on the blockout, or you might start modeling the shapes from scratch with the blockout in a background layer. Sort of depends on how clean your edgeflow on the blockout is and how complex the shape is, some really complex shapes will benefit from remodeling with more geometry instead of trying to "retrofit" the blockout.
When the high is done yeah generally, I will copy a small chunk at a time from it and simplify(remove edge loops etc) to build low, or if the shape is really complex/detailed model the low around the high in the background layer. Rinse and repeat until your model is done.
One important thing to remember when removing loops from the highpoly cage is that using the cage mesh straight up like that as the low isn't always a good idea. You want the low to match the final result of the high as much as possible, a common mistake people make is matching the shape of the high cage, not the sub-divided end result, which can be bad with curves and things that "shrink" when sub-divided.
You can also sometimes go back to your blockout to start your lowpoly, depending on how much your high has changed with the highpoly, or how clean the blockout was to start with. I usually do really quick messy blockouts, so its often more effective to reduce the high or remodel from scratch around the high. Often times I do a little bit of both(reduce and remodel). Objects that have a lot of high frequency detail are often easier to model from scratch around the high, whereas objects that have low frequency details are often easier to reduce from the high.
I've already made a few of my own game props but they were fairly simple in design and I tackled this by just producing a low poly, then duplicating and producing the high. They looked ok, but sometimes I neglected my original UV's and ended up with some stretching.
Yeah with really simply objects you may not need to do a blockout. It can be really helpful though, even with simple objects to create a blockout and then throw it in game with a gray texture and crappy uvs. This allows you to check your proportions from the player's perspective.