View Full Version : Character: Finnish soldier

11 November 2005, 09:17 PM
I've been doing high poly 3d stuff for couple years now and I thought it's time to learn some lowpoly modeling. High poly is quite different compared to this so there may be some obvious mistakes in the model that I haven't noticed.

Some problems/questions:
Usually when working on highpoly you have to use quads only. Is that the way to work in realtime models aswell? I know that everything will be converted to tris when exported into game but is it considered bad modeling if you are using 5 or more sided polys? How about pole issues?
Currently the model is separated to 3 different objects (helmet, head and body). Should I weld everything before texturing and uvmapping? Are open holes allowed or should I go for 'closed' mesh?
I'm having 1950 tris at the moment (aiming for around 2500 tris). Is this too much for current game engines? I've noticed that for example in battlefield2 options you can select how detailed game models are. Did they actually make multiple models or can the game automaticly optimize models for older computers (something like the optimize modifier in 3dsmax)?
Those questions may sound a bit silly but I'm new to this whole lowpoly thing. I'd appreciate if someone could answer to atleast some of them.

Finally, the model. It's basic finnish soldier with winter equipment. There are some missing gadgets like grenades, clips, weapon, etc but I'll add those later. I'm going to make normal map in zbrush once the base mesh is finnished.

11 November 2005, 02:14 AM
Yeah its good to have a budget on polys, at the moment 2500 tris is quite low for todays engine, my aim would be like 4000 tris after all we are moving towards nextgen stuff, 6-10k tris will be the norm.

If your happy with using quads then thats fine, five side poly shouldn't be used for the sake of deformation. Game engines do triangulate meshes but its good to check by converting to triangles before exporting so don't get any odd issues with the mesh.

Just make sure the main mesh is closed i.e the head to the body, others can be open and keeping seperate texture is a good habit, you see that helmet can be used on other models without the engine having to load the whole template its about saving memory I guess.

Anyway its a good start, keep it up

11 November 2005, 02:09 PM
Hey thanks tintin! You cleared things up quite a bit. I'll probably increase poly budget to something like 3000-3500. If it was like 10k, then it wouldn't differ from highpoly modeling at all :)
Well anyway, I've been working on the model a little. Poly count is 2200 or so but it needs some smoothing. Head and torso are now welded.

Here is a fancy render of the current model:

11 November 2005, 05:13 PM
nice work, im also modeling a low poly soldier model at the moment. Have you worked on the textures already because if they can really make your model much nicer, or is this just a placeholder?

11 November 2005, 07:59 PM
Yeah, I agree. IMO textures are the most important thing in lowpoly models. The model is not textured yet. I just colored some polys with the poly select thing.

11 November 2005, 05:42 PM
Started working on highpoly version which is used for making normal map. I'm going to add details to his clothes in zbrush.

11 November 2005, 05:59 PM
Wow this is comming together nicely I love how this is turning out the new high-poly version is very nice good work.

11 November 2005, 03:32 PM
Thanks Okimao.
I made some normal map tests but those didn't look that good. Gotta make some changes to the high res model.

Here's a quick update for high poly. His hood caused some problems.

11 November 2005, 06:24 PM
that is great stuff, I think the poor soldier could benefit from real hands (5 fingers)

12 December 2005, 04:02 PM
i wouldnt start with the lowpoly version of a character.
In my opinion you have a much better worklflow when starting with the highpoly version and after finishing it create the low poly.

12 December 2005, 05:23 PM
that is great stuff, I think the poor soldier could benefit from real hands (5 fingers)

Hehe, thanks. Actually Finnish army is using that kind of winter gloves. You can't shoot or do anything when wearing those so ppl call them 'NoCanDos'. Well, atleast those keep your fingers warm :rolleyes: Heres a pic (

i wouldnt start with the lowpoly version of a character.
In my opinion you have a much better worklflow when starting with the highpoly version and after finishing it create the low poly.

Yea well it would have been good idea to start with highpoly. Its more natural way for me since I've done mostly highpoly stuff. However I didn't have any plans to normal map this when I got started.

Does anyone know how many polys battlefield 2 characters have? Found a document which suggested using 8000-10000 polys. Is this correct information?

12 December 2005, 05:46 PM
He's coming together nicely. I don't really have any crits for you, but I do have some information, though I'm not certain about Battlefield, I know this about HL2

HL2 for PC, characters can be 3000-9000 triangles, with as much as 2x1024x1024 textures.
For example, Alex is ~8600, and the average soilder is less than 5000.

If HL2 characters carry those standards, I'm sure BF2 would have similar if not more. As for 5 fingers, if you take it that high, this is ok, but as far as in game is concerned, individual fingers is almost never noticed. If you don't want to make a five fingered hand, I'd suggest at least a thumb an index finger for this polycount. On the other hand, your character is supposed to wear mittens so this is irrelavant as it's part of the character's design. Keep plugging away at this, he should come out solid.

I forgot to add: I've experimented going both ways, from low first or from high first, they both work, but whatever works best for you is what's important. I've come to prefer building high first, because it's easy for me to build a low poly mesh around the high once it's done.

12 December 2005, 12:48 AM
Thanks Gradius. You gave lots of useful information.
I didn't actually expect that high poly counts for current gen games. But I guess it's because I usually play with lowest possible settings. I had to check how battlefield looked like with maxed video settings... and the differense was huge. For example a minigun with low mode is basicly a 8-sided tube. Same minigun with high settings had more polys in one barrel than the whole weapon in low mode.
My previous base mesh was a bit too simple so I decided to start it over. This time the detailed version was used as a base to start with. The problem was that the model from zbrush had something like 80k polys to optimize... Topology is quite awful but I'll work on it tomorrow. Hopefully he's going to get proper uv layout soon.

Here are some wires of the new base mesh(~5600 tris):

12 December 2005, 02:35 AM
arm him, arm him, an incomming ambush

yea he looks better, well done :)

12 December 2005, 12:49 AM
arm him, arm him, an incomming ambush

yea he looks better, well done :)

Heh yea. He needs a weapon. I actually started modeling it but I didn't find good enough references so now I'm working on textures.
UVs are now done and he got a decent normalmap on. However I'm having problems with projection modifier. If I try moving any cage vertexes, it selects some random parts of the cage and moves those instead of my selection. It worked fine earlier with very first normal map tests but now it has gone crazy... Well atleast push tool is working fine but the cage needs some fine tuning. Highres mesh needs some detailing too but I can't use zbrush as I'm on holiday. Maybe its possible to add some folds in Photoshop.

Color map is under construction. I realized that it may look a bit boring as winter coat doesn't have much color variation. Its just plain white. Maybe some dirt and seams but thats pretty much it.

Low res is 5140 tris and has a 512^2 normal map and 1024^2 color on. Helm is still untextured. Here is a pic (helm is highres version):

12 December 2005, 03:13 AM

normalmap + color

Any ideas what might cause these artifacts? Normals are all smoothed, normalmap doesn't seem to have any blunts there and the highres version looks ok too.

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