View Full Version : Optimizing for normal mapping

01 January 2004, 06:57 PM
Hi guys,

I have been reading on some normal mapping tutorials, and it doesn't seem like a simple task to get it done.

For instance, on Ionization's website:

Ionization (

when he says: I find it easiest to construct the high poly first and then build or optimize down to a low poly version.

What modifier does he use to optimize down and how do you know which details to leave and which to remove?

i am trying to learn this method, but so far it seems very confusing.

some help or clarifying on this could really do me good.


01 January 2004, 07:11 PM
1. yes, it is very confusing

2. when he says optimize down, he means either using the optimize modifyer (if you're using max) AND doing it all by hand, or JUST doing it all by hand.

01 January 2004, 08:56 PM

You can also use this tool, it is a lot better than the one from max, but you will still have to do some optimizations by hand.
It is free and open-source in case you wonder ;)

01 January 2004, 11:14 PM
I personally find it's more work to use auto-optimizers than it is to hand-optimize the model. Using Erase in Editable Poly, it is quick and easy to erase edge loops as needed, and it keeps the topology in good shape, which is essential for good deformation during animation.

Although that Sylphis tool looks the best yet, all the auto-optimizers I've seen seem to kill good topology, messing up edge flow. The MultiRes modifier is another one. Although at least it lets you select verts you want to keep.

Or... if you're using subdivision modeling to build your high-res model, you can just pop down to the low-res cage mesh and start from there. Easy as pie.

For the low-poly mesh you want to preserve the basic silhouette of the high-poly model as much as possible.

01 January 2004, 11:41 PM
Although i have yet to try building the high poly mesh first, i find it quite easy to model the low poly prior to modeling the high poly.
When model the low poly first i try to keep as many edge loops as possible so that its easy as heck to start modifying the high poly mesh. Then i just start bashing out as many details as humanly possible. Sometimes i have to go back and optimize the low poly mesh just slightly, but i find this techinique works quite nicely:)

01 January 2004, 11:57 PM
Other tool wich work very well : Polygon Cruncher (freeware)

For more informations :

btw, the best solution is the hand-optimize off course.

01 January 2004, 12:18 AM
@ Dinodiegus

Hey, he says something about building so much words, and optimizing for low. in maya which i use there is a tool that dose that, you tell it how much percent you want it taken down. the problem is your mesh turns into garbage. the best method i think you can try is what i do. get you selections like...a loop select and delete edges. in maya there is loop select, and a delete edges, which deletes vertices with your cut, i dont know if max is the same way i cant remember. but by doing it this way you have 100% control of what your game model is going to look like. if you want certain edges left on your models face you decide, i dont think anyone would like to keep there model after letting some tool do it automatically. thats just my opinion. but what i do seems to work great cause i still have a very clean mesh when im done.

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