Strategies for creating universal meshes?


Right, so the title says it all. How would one approach getting to a universal mesh, something that can be reused with modifications over and over again?

I imagine an incremental method is necessary, retopologising the parts that proved to be weak, while using it as soon as possible.

So how would a mesh like this look like? Dense to give flexibility in the possible shapes, or very light but organised to be able to add loops if and where necessary?


You could do what’s called kit bashing. You’d sculpt different anatomy types and then add accessories, doing so you will build a library of assets that can be re-used / modified for future projects. With Zbrush you could even use Zremesher as a starting point for the low poly model.


Sorry for the very late reply.

Well, I know about kitbashing, I should have been more clear: I am interested in having universal meshes in animation production. Kitbashing is great for showcasing ideas, but it has to be reworked for animation scenes.

So the best case scenario is to have a mesh that can be reshaped to fit any number of characters and one will not have to redo the uv’s, blendshapes and jint assignments, because the vertex ID’s are not changing.

The worst case scenario is the part where you have to redo all of that, because you need to change the topology here and there. There is still a slight speed gain, because you modify an existing geometry, but everything else is lost.

I was thinking about having pieces done, like heads, arms, legs, torso, then transfer the skinning data to the final mesh - this seems to me the the most promising, but all of this is mere hypothesis, I don’t have time to try out all.

I imagined some people already have similar systems in place


I remember reading an article about head geometry, where they talked about re-using the same topology but for different heads…If i recall correctly. For the exact same reasons you described, something along the lines of “Why redo it every time when you already have something that works”. I can look for it but there’s no guarantee i can track it down.