retopo questions

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  10 October 2009
retopo questions

several simple questions:

1. what is retopolization?

2. what is it good for?

3. how do i retopolize a mesh? (as in do i need a plug-in, which menu is it in)

also, i get an error message when i try to display all help topics in ZBrush 3.2 for mac, but it worked fine in 3.12. anyone else have this problem?

thanks a bunch.
  10 October 2009
when you sculpt things, they get messy. Often you have something that is unusable in animation since the topology (the mesh structure) is so badly messed up but the sculpture looks good so you use a retopology tool like Topogun to recreate a clean mesh topology and remap the shape/texture of your sculpture onto the cleaned topology/UVs.
  11 November 2009
okay, here's a quick and dirty answer to question 3..

so you've got your tool and you're ready to retop.

with your tool selected and in edit mode, go into the tool palette and make a zsphere.
enter edit mode if you're not already in it.
go to Tool>Rigging>Select Mesh
select the mesh you want to retop from the window that pops up. it should be first in the list since it was the most recent one you loaded before making the zsphere.
go to Tool>Topology>Edit Topology.
now the zsphere is replaced by your mesh, with a red circle on it.
click outside the model once to deselect that red circle.
now you can start laying out your new topology. to add points, be in edit mode. to move points you've already made, be in move mode. to remove points, alt click them while in edit mode.
at any point, you can press "a" to preview your new topology.
having symmetry on during this process can be very helpful.
when you're done making your new mesh,
go to Tool>Projection>Projection
press "a" to preview, if it looks messed up, adjust the Project Range (in that same subpalette) until it looks good when you press "a".
then go to Tool>Adaptive Skin>Density
the higher the density you set on the slider, the higher the quality of the new mesh will be. when you're happy with the density level, click Make Adaptive Skin.
this creates the new version of your tool. it will be automatically added to the tool palette, with the name of the original, but with "skin_" before it in the title.
select it, and you're done!
  11 November 2009
retopo in ZBrush is a waste of time. Aside from the goofy workflow and since it lacks a lot of the tools you want during retopology (merge verts, soft sliding, edge loop insertion, etc), it's definitely best to use a program like Topogun or 3D-Coat. I prefer Topogun since it's faster than 3D-Coat and has a nicer interface but the 3D-Coat retopo brush is nice.
  11 November 2009
Isn't there a button to auto retopologize a mesh after doing all this? How do you clean up hard to reach areas (like a mouth interior, etc.)?? It would be nice to convert everything to quads.
  11 November 2009
I even tried to import with star tool using tri2quad; merge, 35-40, weld at .01. No effect on the tris. I basically want it to go back to a software such as Maya & quadrangulate but there is no effect on that either. Hmmm.

I thought the retopology rigging tool was supposed to make life easier on a hires sculpt. If I cannot get simple quads with this, it seems like I'll have to go back & manually rid my tris in Maya? No way!
  11 November 2009
There is no "automatic retopology" for any software. The closest thing I've seen is importing a mesh into voxels in 3D-Coat (making sure it has high resolution) and then quadrangulating the voxels, which will do an arbitrary and uneven quandrangulation. If you need something good for characters, it won't be good but if you just need quads, it's fine. I've used it a few times for organic stuff.
  11 November 2009
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