Low poly texturing, Transit Van mesh


Hello everyone, my first post for a while, infact my first for my own work.

I’ve been working on this Transit Van for a short while, it’s designed for me to practice texturing for low poly models, as before I used max shaders.

The mesh is a little lazy, no interior (which I intend to change in a few projects time), some excess polys at the back of the van. I’m aiming to build a load of models that I could plug into Unreal or Battlefield 2 at some point, but it’s come to the point in time where I need more than my own opinions.

The texture was made from photos which I took, there’s only one 2048x2048, the poly count weighs in at 4506.

Thanks for any feedback, it’s greatly appreciated :smiley:


hey there that van can be optimissed soooo much, i think you could 1/4 the tri count and maintain the same poly flow. nice clean texture, though possible a little on the high res size( i would have thought 1024x2048 but it depends on its use…

…is it designed as a drivable vehicle or just as scenery. if its scenery i would reckomend creating a low res “dark” inside (no need for extensive texturing you could even fit it between the texture co-ords you have already) and giving the map you have and Alpha layer to use as opactity for the windows


Heh, it looks interesting. You made the texture fit really well with the shape. I just made a few vans recently but mine were really low poly, ie 120 polys or so. In games 4000 isnt low poly really, maybe for production art it is. And a 2048 texture is pretty damn huge. :slight_smile: I’m not sure you need it that big looking at the amount of detail on the car paint and livery, maybe a 1024 will do?

On the vans i made recently it worked really well to put some fake reflections on the glass. Take any picture of a street and overlay it and stretch it over the glass so it looks like its reflecting. Worked nice for me, but the textures were 256x256 so not as noticable. Or just take a photo of a window of a van and put it on with the shape you need, you’ll see that in the photo you’ll often see reflections in the window not just plain atmospheric colour.

Most importantly, maybe you can get rid of a lot of the polys. The inner wheels have wayyy too many, the side of the van has too many polys stretching towards the back of the van (accross the “Call 0870…” part), too much detail around the licence plates, and i would even get rid of the symmetrical division and unified the polys down the middle. The area on the side is specifically wasteful because it’s all a flat side and as you know a flat square can be modeled with as little as 2 triangles. :wink:

Just trying to give helpful crits, perhaps coming from high-def production modeling you dont see these things as easily and are more concentrated on edge flow and stuff.


Hey, thanks, I’m just glad you could take the time to help. :slight_smile:

When I first started modelling I found a lot of annoying little curves in the bodywork, that are now redundant that the texture is on there. I took a look this morning but decided to get crit first, correct later. I put off making some of these changes as I was worried at first about editing the polys and reapplying the unwrap, but recent experience has aided my confidence with this somewhat (practice, practice, practice) :smiley:

if its scenery i would reckomend creating a low res “dark” inside (no need for extensive texturing you could even fit it between the texture co-ords you have already) and giving the map you have and Alpha layer to use as opactity for the windows

To be honest I’m not sure what you mean by a “dark”, do you mean a texture of the interior, or a person, or something else maybe.
For now this will stay as a scenery piece, I hope to change it (aka start again) to become driveable in the future sometime.

I’ve kept the texture at 2048x2048, simply because it left my options open for scaling it down, until recently I was using a 1024 … perhaps it would be wise to go back to it.

One last thing, does anybody know if I might be breaching any copyright laws? Obviously this is modelled after a real delivery van, would it be wise to change the name around slightly?

Thanks again for the feedback, gonna start some changes now I think.


i think you will be fine about the copyright, they ar not gonna sue anyone for free advertising space!

dark interior, i meant blocking out a dark interoir model, so that when you look through the window, you can see the sillouette of the seats steering wheel and whatnot inside. but it doesnt need to be excessively highly textured or modelled, just a shadowwy dark grey black effect for texture. and as i said befor you can probbably fit it in between the texture you have at the mo.


looks nice but for a 2048x2048 you’ve done very badly, with that size of texture you shouldnt see blurry things like the ford logo.
and your polycount could do with trimming.

your unwrapping is well thought out though, you could have mirrored the sides and had the text on an alpha plane to save for mirrored text.
but otherwise fine.


Thanks GLandolina, to be honest it it hadn’t occured to me that I could of used an alpha for the text.

After what everyone has said, I’m thinking that I’ll start the texture again, maybe from scratch. I just wish I’d been at home this weekend to do all this. :sad:

Again, thanks you’ve been a great help.


cool :slight_smile:
I’ll be watching this.


Sorry this update has taken so long and that there are no pictures, but I’ve been ill and looking at the monitor is a painful experience. Despite my impeding death, I’ve managed to cut the mesh up to 2136 polys, which is less than half what it was before. I’ll postup an image ASAP, so maybe others can point out more polys to cut, as I’m not sure there’s many left.

Hopefully tonight there’ll be some images to look at.


Hey man, nice work on the van so far, but there are some things you can do to save MANY polies.

let me see if i can find one of my old vehicles.

Ok this is not one im proud of, but look closely at the wireframe. The edges by the wheel rims collapse together, you dont need to follow them up along the entire van.

As long as your mesh is 3/4 clean you wont have any lighting problems and it saves loads of polies.

Also, the wheel rims can be optimized too, if you have the uvs on there layed out differntly with differnt texture parts, do this. Go into the side view in your Maya or max, print screen, bring it into photoshop and voila, you have 1 texture for your wheel. For the tire tracks too, another trick is called poly folding, well at least thats what i call it. I only found this out when i started working at ubisoft, its really usefull. Take the verts of the end piece wheel and bring it right overlaping the 2nd pair of verticies, then do the same with the next one and so forth. I wish i could make an image and show you what i mean but im all locked down here.

also, the subdivision down the middle of your can is not needed, as you have a full texture. Usually people make half the model and then mirror that, but with text, as you probably found out or know, causes a problem.

I hope i helped a little



Hey all, thanks for the insight G0st, I don’t fully understand what you mean. My assumption is that I shouldn’t necassarily keep the same poly structure from the bottom rims, all the way to the top.

I think the mesh is now down to 2128 polys, I’m getting a little worried that if I take out too many polys it’ll lose it’s shape.

I’m toying with the idea of making the rear wheelarch/bumper combo it’s own element to maybe shave a few more off. I’m wary of this too as at uni we were taught to try and keep meshes as one, with no open edges. Tho it’s my understanding this practice may have now changed … not really sure.

I might hack up the wing mirrors too, as they were a very tired late night addition, and they’re beginning to look a little sloppy.

Again, thanks for all you’re help, it’s gonna feel great when I finally finish it! :slight_smile:


The van is looking much more optimized now, which is nice, but you have many 5+ sided polygons. Some game-engines may not have a problem rendering it out, but for the most part, it’s best to keep a polygon at 4 edges or less. I’ve edited your images a little bit to show you what I mean:

The red lines represent where you should consider cutting some polygons. It was kind of difficult to see how all of the polygons are connected around the doors for example, so I tried my best. I’ve also noticed some perfectly 4-edged polygons cut to make two triangeles… while that’s doesn’t hurt the model in any way, it’s just not necessary–makes the model look less “clean”.

If you don’t mind also, some of my personal opinion as well… Some cars in games look great until you take a look at their tires… when I see boxy tires, I can’t say I believe the car will drive anywhere. A few extra polygons spent on tires go a long way. If it’s a static model which will just be sitting by the side of the road, you can even take off two tires and put the car on blocks on that side… just use those polygons on the side that will face the player the most :slight_smile:

Keep up the good job mate!


nice edits!

I would suggest taking the windshiled areas and extruding them inwards to give yourself \a little more depth to the vehicle. With the edits you did, it wouldnt hurt =)

Also, one thing that really really adds to a vehicle, is the windshiled whipers. People always forget em =)

Keep us posted


thats looking sssoooo much better. buuutt, you can stilll take away a few edge loops, for example the wheels reduce the detail in the hub and addd afew sections to the whole thing (9/10 is way tooo low for the amount of detail you have in the rest of vehicle)

to keep the same/silmilar poly count you can optimise in these areas, the exhaust (remember not seen that much), the handles (possibly think about just texturing them), all the corners of the indents are currently chamfered, these could be gotrid of.

keep it up

looking good, havent lost any shape yet, but youd be surprised what can be faked with a good texture map.


I think you can optimise that texture a lot. The texture for the bottom of the van could be mirrored, as it ins’t going to be seen much anyways. The sides of the van are basically the same paint job. you could mirror them, with the exception of any polies that contain the words that couldnt be mirrored. There are other little parts that you have that could be mirrored as well as the texture isn’t different enought to warrant its own space. Textures take up a lot of memory really fast, try to save as much space as possible. In my experience, 2048x2048 textures are used rarely if ever.


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