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Old 07-05-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
RossHildick3D
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Topology: Tris, quads or both?

I'm in my final year of a Computer Animation choosing Modelling as a somewhat specialist subject of mine: Thus far I've only ever modeled in quads, as you'd expect, and taught that a triangle in a mesh is very rarely a good thing and should generally be avoided at all times. We have also been taught that if you were to produce a character, for example, that was to be all triangles - you'd model it in quads, as you usually would, and then convert to triangles upon completion.

However, my question is this:
At what point do you combine the two?

I'm in the process of putting together my first serious demo/showreel and in doing so have recently been wading through various pro reels and the topology, to me, looks... well... bad

Here's an example of what I'm talking about:


I use this as an example because the creator of this mesh has a pretty sexual blog about good topology and seems to know his stuff.

The back of the knees here... wow - at the risk of looking like a complete nublet, that to me looks like awful topology

can someone shed any light?
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:59 PM   #2
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What you have to understand is that topology like that is completely permissible in a game model. Edges like those allow the artist to add finer details without having to increase the polycount of a much larger portion of the mesh. Also keep in mind that the model will be triangulated in the engine anyway.

If this were a cinematic model, the topology at the back of the knees might be questionable, but could still probably cut it for a model with poor visibility or one that is at a distance.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatulentFuzz
What you have to understand is that topology like that is completely permissible in a game model. Edges like those allow the artist to add finer details without having to increase the polycount of a much larger portion of the mesh. Also keep in mind that the model will be triangulated in the engine anyway.

If this were a cinematic model, the topology at the back of the knees might be questionable, but could still probably cut it for a model with poor visibility or one that is at a distance.




Ok, so what you're saying is that if something if for a game, it doesnt matter as everything is converted into triangles by the rendering engine?

But with the topology here, that knee looks like it would deform horribly? Would it not?
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:19 PM   #4
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Some good reasons to keep a mesh all quads as long as possible:
-A base mesh for sculpting (even tho it's getting irrelevant as sculpting apps evolve)
-Makes selecting your mesh a lot quicker!

If you are setting up UV seams for uv mapping, you hit 2 shortcut keys and boom: seam line created
If you are weighting your mesh manually, same thing, you can select and grow edgeloops in a predictable manner instead of manually selecting verts *most of the time* since poles will disrupt an edgeloop.

Tris are perfectly acceptable, in fact building old school or mobile models with only triangles will make your asset a lot more efficient because you have instant feedback on silhouette vs. amount of triangles you can spend.

The knee you see above will deform horribly if weighted horribly...
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyk0

The knee you see above will deform horribly if weighted horribly...


Am I right in thinking it would be harder to do though? Or at least involve more work at the rigging stage? Surely if this was a character that often ran or jumped thus making good deformation in the knees imperative, a better solution would be to use quads but use denser/sparse edge loops in that area? Maybe I'm just being a noob
I can see what the modeler did though in why the topology is the way it is, I just can't imagine myself deforming certain areas of this mesh with ease
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:17 PM   #6
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The knees are kind of built like in the images below (images by Mark Dygert), see the most left standard topology while the right side has a nice round meaty shape when bent...that's why there are some odd cuts in the bayonetta model, to make the silhouette rounder when the joint is bending.



Yes it will be a bit more work to weight, but if you are used to doing it manually you won't see much of a difference. The vertex weights would look like this:

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Old 07-06-2012, 11:17 PM   #7
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