View Full Version : What a low poly model really is?

08 August 2010, 10:08 AM
Yup, I'm throwing in noob question, but I want to be specific.

Say a company gives you a test to get hired for them asking you to create a low poly car (max ~ 5000 polygons).

Are you supposed to create a low poly car without being able to use smooth proxies? Meaning - the smooth proxies create additional polygons, so you probably would get over the 5000 polygon budget - do these polygons created by the proxy count towards the poly count?

The question, to sum it up, is this: can you or can't you use proxy smooths? My logic says you can use proxy smooths but up to that 5000 polygon limit.

Also, are NURBS accepted for such a test? For example, are you allowed to make a NURBS tire if the model is limited to polygons (since the results of a NURBS surface is a polygonal object afterall)? Are are you supposed to create a poligonal tire to keep everything in polygons since the game engine (this being a gaming company) would not support NURBS?

Thanks for your patience guys, I hope I have been specific enough.

08 August 2010, 06:04 PM
Generally when someone gives you a poly count limit that is the highest that they would want to go, don't go over it. Meaning, if you can build the object in less polygons that would be better as long as it looks great still!

Any polygons that you save (have leftover) can then be used for other objects within the scene.

As far as NURBS I would avoid using them. Just build the tire out of a cylinder. Box modeling is a great approach for keeping models low poly. If you have to use NURBS make sure you convert it to a poly object and clean up the mesh (remove any unnecessary polygons).

Now if they say you are allowed to use normal maps, you can build the high res cage anyway you like and detail the crap out of it. Then bake the normals and apply this to the low res cage of your car.

Because this is a test I would try to build the vehicle as close to the 5,000 poly count limit as possible but make sure to have a clean mesh flow and only make cuts that you really need in the mesh, then try to cheat the rest of the detail with the texture. This will show that you can not only do exactly what they ask (5,000 poly car) but you understand mesh flow and how to utilize textures.

Hope that helps.

08 August 2010, 07:22 PM
Yeah that's what I thought, expect for the normal maps. I'm not yet aware of what those are (I have an idea though) - I'm just learning modeling now without worrying too much about textures, UVs or materials. At least for now. After my modeling is up to par with what I think it's decent I'll get into texturing (soon, that is).

Thanks for the suggestions though. My only thing was if the smooth proxies actually count as additional polygons but I think it pretty much has an obvious answer in that they do. Do you have any idea if game engines accept proxy smooths (if in an event a high poly model is accepted)?

08 August 2010, 09:51 PM
EvilBlah is right, continuing his line of thoughts about poly count distribution...

Any polygons that you save (have leftover) can then be used for other objects within the scene.
I would add:

Or you could redistribute the leftovers to the silhouette of the mesh, one of the key features of any real-time asset is the silhouette, normal maps cannot change its shape so it's important to make it as smooth as possible, keeping in mind your target budget of course.

08 August 2010, 04:23 PM
I know it will seem like extra work for now but I really think that as you learn to model you should learn to unwrap and texture your objects as well. Normal maps aside, a lot of what is done in the game industry is about how you cheat! Modeling smart and painting the rest with textures is the way to go!

I would suggest building simple objects as you learn to model and unwrap/texture them as you finish the models. That way you can train both skill sets. Do a Blue post office box, then maybe a shack, and finally a warehouse. This will train you to start looking for more and more details as well as the tricks to model or paint what is needed.

Then jump into that car! Just a recommendation!

What software are you using?


08 August 2010, 07:15 PM
Hey man, thanks for the kind words.

I'm working in Maya as I love it... but I've also worked in 3d max in the past... found Maya to be much more friendly though. I'm also learning a bit of ZBrush and Vue Extreme... but these are just work in progress.

I'm currently going through 3D Buzz's Maya Fundamentals and Advanced Modeling tutorials that I have nothing but positive things to say about (they really are TOP notch quality, by far the best tutorials on Maya I have ever went through...). In fact, even in my precarious financial situation, I'm considering a donation towards 3D Buzz because quality people with quality products should be acknowledged and helped in whatever ways possible.

So it's just a matter of time until I get better... and also a matter of passion. I'm not really "that" passionate but I think this can change as I get better. It's hard to be really passionate about something you're not (yet) good at.

And yeah, probably most of the great stuff we see in gaming is made out of 2d artwork (texturing) and not modeling itself. That's why we have bump maps instead of displacement maps afterall.

08 August 2010, 07:48 PM
No problem!

Don't get me wrong though, modeling is a key element!!! I myself am an environment artist. I love looking at a good mesh flow and seeing how people used the polys they had to the best of their ability. I think texturing just helps add that extra dimension!! =)

As you learn just remember to not starting being critical of yourself midway through a project. Continue working and pushing forward and when you think you are finished, then start being critical. I have seen many good projects die before they have reached their prime because people start getting upset with how it looks before its ready to be judged.

Keep going! Don't stop. If things get rough play a game or watch a movie and then jump back into it! It sounds like your head is in the right place and 3d buzz is a great place to start!

Looking forward to seeing what you do!


08 August 2010, 07:59 PM
What you talk about is pretty much my mindset already.

I love environments as well so great job doing what you do. You should love Vue Extreme if you're into environments (especially nature stuff, if that).

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