Low Poly modeling in Maya


Most often, low poly models are associated with games, including those developed for mobile platforms. The use of these models is quite justified here since games are made with the expectation of certain capabilities of user devices – and if the number of polygons is too large, the system requirements of the game will become so high that their level will not be available to most potential players.

In addition, low-poly models are also used in games made in the style of minimalism – there are no high requirements for detailing characters and decorations (and that is why such games do not have very high system requirements). a piece with a small number of polygons is markedly angular

Low poly model

Low-poly models (also commonly referred to as low poly) are three-dimensional models based on a small number of polygons. An important condition is that this amount is enough to understand what the visualizer wanted to demonstrate.

And, although the power of modern computers allows working with a large number of polygons, which for the better affects the detail and realism of the model, low-poly models continue to be in demand.
Low-poly models can be used in any field of visualization, where there are no high requirements for image quality, however, it is necessary to reduce the load on the equipment during rendering.

It may be some kind of scene where a particular model will be in the second or even third plan, so it will not become the center of attention. For example, to revitalize the rendering of a residential complex, it is often recommended to add cars or people – low-poly models can be used as such objects.

High Poly Model

Recently, the graphics in games have made a tangible step in terms of quality and realism. Here you one not do without highly detailed models, and the more details – the more polygons. Such models are called high-poly or high-poly models.

A good high poly model can consist of millions of triangles. But if each model in the game will be of such a level, then a typical computer simply will not be able to process them and simultaneously display them on the screen. Therefore, more often the modeler first makes a high-poly model, and then its low-poly copy.

The process of creating low-poly based on an existing high-poly model is called retopology. It is the low-poly model that players see in most graphically simple games.

Modeler tools

Many 3D tools are used to create 3D models. For example, Autodesk Maya or Max, Blender or ZBrush. Modelers usually use several at once. In Autodesk Maya, Max or Blender one can create almost any three-dimensional model or scene, adjust the light, create special effects, animations and so on – these are full-fledged programs for working with three-dimensional graphics. But there is more specific software.

For example, ZBrush and Mudbox specialize in creating characters by sculpting, but it is much more difficult to make direct and strict forms in them – for example, mechanisms. Therefore, 3D-modelers often use Max and Zbrush in parallel.

Previously, specialists used to use 2D editors like Photoshop to create textures. But recently, programs have appeared that make it easy to texture the model immediately in 3D. For example, Substance Painter or the Quixel software package.

Now it’s possible to paint with a brush directly on the model, which greatly speeds up the process. A set of ready-made brushes and materials allows doing this even better than before. The artist no longer needs to draw rusty metal on the car body from scratch – the programs already have the necessary materials.

The process of creating low polygonal models

Since one of the relevant areas where low-poly 3D models are involved in the gaming industry, consider the process of work on the example of creating a game character. Work on other low poly models is similar.
Each game must be unique in its own way.

Even if the game is a clone of another game. Otherwise, the player simply will not pay attention to it or quickly forget it. Therefore, key art is still better to be unique with artists and modelers. In extreme cases, one can buy ready-made assets and modify them beyond recognition – this will take less time, but the scope of imagination will be limited.

For a developer, there is nothing worse than a player who confuses his game with another one. Most likely, ate such a visual image must be created so that the player remembers the game over the years and can easily find it among thousands of others.

In situations where one needs to reduce the number of vertices in a high-poly model while maintaining geometry using special tools of Autodesk 3Ds Max and Maya, remember: if you want to reduce the polygon mesh of a 3D model, which consists of several million polygons (or even tens of millions), then you need a powerful computer with a large amount of RAM.

If the hardware resources are not enough, then it is advisable to divide the 3D model into several parts by removing some groups of polygons and export/import in parts one by one. We also note that 3D models, consisting of several million polygons, open well through Autodesk 3Ds Max and Maya.

The process of creating a low poly model in Maya is as follows:

Stage 1: creating a high poly model. The initial work on the character takes place without attention to how many polygons will ultimately work out – at this stage, high detail and achieving the result outlined in the technical task is important. The model is created according to a given sketch and as a result, should fully comply with it.

Stage 2: Retopology. This is the name of the process of creating a low-poly model based on the key points of the prototype with a large number of polygons. Naturally, the rules of grid topology continue to be taken into account here. Retopology can be performed both in the 3D editor itself, in which you work, and using additional programs.

Stage 3: Texturing. So, we have got the model, the number of polygons of which already corresponds to our task. Now you need to give this framework of polygons the same realism as on the high-poly model. To do this, texture maps are created that are superimposed on the corresponding sections of the character model. Some visualizers recommend creating a texture immediately on top of an existing model – this saves time without sacrificing quality, in contrast to creating a raster map in a graphical editor.

After the texturing is completed, the work is considered to be completed.

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