What is polygonal modeling? Polygonal modeling is the creation of a polygon mesh that repeats the shapes of the desired objects. This is the very first kind of three-dimensional modeling.
Polygonal modeling saves computer resources; therefore, models created by such methods are more often used for 3D visualization and in games. But for jewelry modeling, they actively apply this method too.
However, the accuracy of this method is very low, and the modeler has to do most of the work simply by eye. Polygonal modeling programs are often used in architecture, designing interior objects, in environmental design, and in designing small volumetric shapes.
In the design of architectural structures, the design of small forms, etc., where it is necessary to transmit the exact similarity with the prototype, the method of polygonal modeling is often used.
Depending on the tasks, 3D objects may have a different number of polygons. At the initial stage of design, low-poly models are created, which makes it possible to reduce the time for data processing.
At the same time, the level of detail will be low. To create a model with more elaborate detail, it is necessary to increase the number of polygons, such a product will be called high poly.
The method is used when you need to create an exact copy of the object. Such models have a more faceted appearance. Spline modeling involves the use of so-called splines – flexible three-dimensional patterns. 3D modeling of this type is reduced to creating a spline frame that will bend around a geometric surface.
The software specializing in this type of modeling has basic parametric objects used for work: line, arc, spiral, circle, ring, and others. Spline modeling is considered more accurate since the quality characteristics will not change when the object scale changes.
Roughly speaking, if you build a lot of polygons, and connect them together with a mesh, then a single shape of objects is formed. A polygonal model is created using a mesh, and the more polygons in an object, the more realistic it is.
If you compare the graphics of today’s computer games and those that were at least twenty years ago, you will see a huge difference in the drawing and clarity of the picture.
In our time, polygon models are again at the peak of popularity, only now on computer monitors, and in real life. People began to appear who can make three-dimensional sculptures from various materials suitable for this purpose.
They use paper, plastic, wood… If you look at the models created with the help of polygons, you can see that most of them are created by polygons with four and three vertices.
Connecting a group of such polygons allows you to simulate almost any object. The disadvantage of polygonal modeling is that all objects must consist of tiny flat surfaces, and polygons must be very small, otherwise, the edges of the object will have a faceted appearance.
This means that if an object is enlarged for an object on the scene, it must be modeled with a large number of polygons (density) even though most of them will be redundant with distance from the object.
Polygonal modeling is divided into three types: low-poly, mid-poly, and high-poly. Low poly modeling is designed to create objects with a small number of polygons, usually to save resources when high detail is not required, as well as to create low poly illustrations that are gaining great popularity lately;
The mid-poly modeling is usually oriented only to the desired result when rendering, that is, when modeling the desired geometry, for example, using Boolean operations; over the polygonal mesh, no work is done on its optimization, or they are minimal;
High poly modeling is the creation of an object with a large number of polygons, usually an exact copy of it.
The standard scheme of high-poly modeling occurs with a gradual increase in the level of detail of the 3d object:
the first level is basic, and represents the overall shape of the object;
at the second level, the base shape is refined, usually by adding chamfers;
the third level is the final one, that is, it produces a clear detail of the object, usually by applying smoothing plug-ins.
High-poly models have two related properties:
the ability to accurately convey the shape of the intended object and a large load on the system when rendering the result. It is high-poly models that are used to create cinematic effects, 3D cartoons, and even films.
True, in the latter case, they most often play a supporting role. The fact is that to display three-dimensional graphics in real-time, and even in good visual quality, developers are forced to indulge in various tricks.
Thus, in games, only low-poly objects are used, and small details are transmitted using various relief maps. Blender allows you to create a relief map when there are two models in different resolutions and parts quality.
In the future, such a map is already superimposed on a simple model and thus creates the visible effect of a high-poly object.
Clear criteria for determining low “polygonality” does not exist. In fact, low-poly models are models that consist of the minimum number of polygons that are sufficient for visual perception of a three-dimensional object.
As a rule, these are three-dimensional models of an object adapted for real-time visualization applications. In simple terms: “We create a mesh that consists of primitive figures (primitives).”
Polygonal mesh consists of the following sub-objects:
- a vertex is a point where edges are connected, there can be any number of them;
- edges – lines protruding edges of faces;
- faces or polygons — mesh cells, plane sections, which are most often triangular or quadrangular. A polygonal mesh can consist of a huge number of identical cells. To create a three-dimensional model of an object, it is necessary to work with sub-objects. It is possible to change their scale and shape, rotate, merge and divide, as well as use other operations that special computer programs allow. The result is a polyhedron. To better associate, you can remember how in movies and animations many small robots turned into one big one. Similarly, it happens with polygonal modeling. Many primitives make up one large model. By the way, most often the polygon has four faces, but there may also have three. Primitives with three faces are used only in certain cases, but there can be no more than four faces. There is no binding to real units, so the model is inaccurate. Accordingly, this method is not suitable for modeling some parts or architectural projects, where every millimeter is important.
The term “Low Poly”, arising from English low and polygon, implies the use of a three-dimensional model with a small number of polygons. The concept of low-poly originated long ago in 3D modeling, where low poly models were used to save resources.
Relatively recently, the fashion for low-poly styling of portraits, animal photographs, and other images has come into different spheres of activities. As they say, everything new is actually well-forgotten old, that means history repeats itself.
Low Poly illustrations are a trend these days and we can see them everywhere – in books, animations, video clips, apps, etc. So the low-poly modeling is the backbone of any kind of modeling.
And the basis of any low-poly model is the shape, topology, magnifying glasses, poles, proportions. Why? Yes, because low-poly modeling is saving time, efficiency in editing, the ability to quickly change the structure of the mesh on a global scale (for example, to change the shape of a car wing or bumper).
High-poly will not allow you to do this quickly and even more so perfectly smooth and beautiful. Subsequently, the low-poly model, if necessary, can be smoothed out.
You will have on hand “light” model, which can be used as in large scenes with a bunch of objects as for studio close-up photography.
Besides, low-poly 3D models are used when, due to some circumstances, high details are not required. Low-poly models are also used if acceptable visual quality can be obtained at lower cost using additional computer graphics techniques (for example, normal maps). In addition, it is worth noting that the increase in the number of polygons in the model leads to the need to use additional resources for their processing (more calculations, an increase in the occupied memory).
In this regard, on mobile platforms, where resources are significantly limited, low-poly models are widely used. Also, “light” models can be opened without problems even on a very weak computer.
In any case, the main rule when modeling a model is its versatility. This means that the entire mesh of the model must be well thought out and each polygon/triangle is demanded.
Where you can use Low-Poly Modeling
In today’s world, this is quite possible to accomplish low-poly modeling in different areas of expertise, since 3D graphics are a new standard, both in the advertising business and among designers and, therefore, are in demand in various fields. Low-poly modeling is the creation of various three-dimensional objects using specialized programs that allow performing certain tasks, for example, Maya, ZBrush, 3Ds Max, etc.
All virtual spaces and non-existent heroes are created using a special technique for using polygons. As we have said, so-called ordinary geometric shapes with three or four faces, which are connected at different angles into one object.
In order that it started moving, it is necessary to change the parameters of the components – to draw, move, rotate. Since they are all connected, the action is similar to the tension of the web – the other segments are deformed in accordance with the first one.
The smaller the area of each individual piece, the greater their total number, and therefore, the higher the image accuracy. In such cases, it is customary to talk about the quality of graphics – in some games, you can do it higher and lower.
This is true in cases where the power of the computer does not allow you to quickly display all the fragments. It cannot be said that a small number of polygons – low poly models are worse than high poly, when there are many more details. For a part of the animation, the general form of the hero is sufficient, if it is secondary or one of many.
The main character is usually painted in more detail. On top of the graphic shapes textures that complete the image is superimposed.
Three categories of people will be delighted with the idea of developing their business on polygonal sculptures, and these are those who love origami (creating all sorts of pieces of paper), those who respect the volumetric graphics, fans to play computer and video games. Low-poly modeling is very similar to the art of making all kinds of paper figures.
Remember the familiar to us from childhood airplanes and ships, it is also origami. The second category is lovers of creating 3D graphics.
To those who love three-dimensional graphics, it is known that in graphics the main task is to create shapes using various computer editors, using various techniques.
For example, it can be polygonal modeling. For gamers, the word polygon is also not an empty sound, since literally all games on the computer being played on a certain number of polygons.
They are formed through the appearance of various objects of the game. As we see, the more such polygons, the higher the accuracy of the model and the more memory it takes.
This factor becomes critical in areas where high detail is not required, but objects should be lightened as much as possible. This problem can be solved by low-poly models. They consist of the optimal number of polygons, sufficient for the perception of the object. Low-poly modeling is widely used on mobile platforms, in games, applications, presentations.
Using 3D low-poly modeling, you can create the following objects:
- architectural models;
- heroes and characters of games, films;
- locations for shooting movies and games;
- statues and souvenirs;
- housings for equipment and appliances;
- prostheses, orthoses;
- details of various mechanisms and much more.
In our company, you can order low-poly modeling of any level of complexity and purpose. Our employees are competent specialists in the field of 3D technologies and they are ready to fulfill any of your orders efficiently. Entrust low-poly modeling to true professionals who own all the modern tools for a quality result.