Having trouble with topology.

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  10 October 2016
Having trouble with topology.

I'm brand new here, so I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right sub forum. I'm not sure if I should be posting here or in the Blender sub forum.

So I guess I'll start off by saying that I'm pretty new to 3d modeling and I would like to eventually learn character modeling so I could make models for video game projects. I've watched a few videos, but feel like I'm still having a rough time with certain aspects topology and "edge flow", if that's the right term. I've heard that it's best to model with quads instead of triangles (although most video game character models I've seen are made with triangles), but I frequently end up with triangles in my model that I don't know how to get rid of . I'd post screenshots if I could, but I'm a new user, and can't post attachments yet.

Anyways, my main questions are how do I learn to connect higher poly areas to lower poly areas, such as connecting a leg to a foot? What do you do when your edge loops just don't line up correctly, and how do you get rid of triangles in a model made entirely of quads without disrupting edge loops and edge flow? Hopefully I'm wording everything correctly. Thanks in advance for your responses.
  10 October 2016
Yes video game meshes do have triangles and they are fine. Quads is a very nice way to work for a number of reasons like rigging/animation and being able to sculpt on a nice mesh. It's a long time since I imported any meshes into a video game engine, but back then (don't know if it still happens this way now) the triangulation occurred when exporting from the 3d package to the game engine, which is literally just an extra edge corner to corner through middle of the quad.

If your new to modelling and 3d in general, whilst you should aim for nice clean meshes it cannot hurt to learn to get the basics of modelling down and getting the general shapes you require before chasing 100% quad meshes.

If you try and go for quads right from the word go, then you may loose out on expanding your skills from the basic levels by being stuck on trying to figure quads out, lots of time wasted when you could be improving other area's.

I would suggest getting a firm understanding of Blender and it's tool set whilst taking the time to google things like "edge loops" and studying the images that can be found. It will all fall into place within time, and you will find that making all quad meshes isn't really that difficult.

As for the "attaching a foot to a leg" scenario in regards to polycounts, there are far more people on this forum who can explain the process better than I could. It's very rare I model anything these days, and when I do it is usually hard surface objects.
My Houdini Tutorials
  10 October 2016
For organic topology research, IMHO you couldn't do better than starting with Jonathan Williamson. A highly regarded Blender 3D Artist/Instructor featured on many CG educational online hubs. Also similar to the previous poster, it's quite seldom that I'll tackle anything remotely attached too polygonal character modelling, simply because my attributes are more aligned with mechanical hardsurface workflows. However that said I've linked a series of relevant resources authored by him, that've guided my untutored skillset on past personal projects. So hopefully they'll help you out as well or at the very least give some direction.

CG Cookie archived content - "Learning Mesh Topology Collection"

CG Cookie - Intro To Character Modeling (Paid)
I like criticism, but it must be my way. - Mark Twain

Last edited by sacboi : 10 October 2016 at 10:30 AM.
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