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Topology Chapter 1

By Diego Maia
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Software used:

As I mentioned, the point of this process is not to talk about the sculpting process, so let's start working on our topology. I use Silo because I really like the way the Snap tool works, but the principles can be followed in other software packages as well.

I usually start the process by making the high poly model slightly transparent as I think it helps with viewing the topology. If you are using Silo you can turn on Ghost Shaded mode and hide the wireframes (Fig.13 - 14).

Fig.13
Fig.14

Remember to turn on the Snap tool before starting to retopologize. You can find this tool in all the main software like Maya, 3ds Max, XSI and modo etc. Even ZBrush has great tools to do this (Fig.15).

Fig. 15

It is very important to make the loops follow the flow of the volumes/shapes and avoid triangles and shapes with any other amount of sides than four. You will come across problems if you use shapes with more sides than four when using blend shapes, rigging or even when rendering. Some software doesn't work correctly when rendering displacement maps and using geometry with triangles.

Start by creating a single polygon and extruding the edges from it. In the beginning the most important thing is to set the direction of the loops (Fig.16 - 17). I usually work in separate areas and then try to connect them. You can see this at work in Fig.18 - 21.

Fig.16
Fig.17

Fig. 18

Fig.19

Fig.20
Fig.21

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