Retopologize Nine Times Faster with the Shrink Wrap Modifier in Blender
Though retopologize is not a word in the dictionary, it's one present in every 3D modeler's vocabulary, as it's something that every 3D artist goes through. While it's definitely not the most fun part of the modeling process, it's one that is extremely important. Retopologizing is basically the process of taking a high resolution mesh, typically one that has been sculpted in an application like ZBrush or Mudbox and re-created with the basic shape still there, only a lower resolution. Then normal and bump maps can be created from the high-resolution mesh and applied to the low-resolution mesh, that way your model has the illusion of detail even if it's really not there. While retopologizing is a process most common in the video game industry it's still important for nearly every other medium. Even if you're creating a character for film, a 3D model can often reach into the millions of polygons, this not only greatly increases render time, but trying to animate with such a high-resolution mesh is virtually impossible. Unless of course you wanted to wait forty-five seconds for the viewport to update every time you moved a finger. So whether you're modeling for games, or for movies it's a technique you'll find in both mediums. Having to re-create a model you already spent hours and hours on is not something most modelers enjoy, but luckily there are many different techniques and tools out there to make the process easier. You can use the various snapping tools in most 3D applications to create new polygons that snap to the shape of the underlying mesh, or bring it into dedicated retopology applications like Topogun. Knowing where you can speed up this process is very important, for instance, re-creating an entire character mesh point by point can be a tedious job, but it doesn't have to be as long as you know where you can speed things up! In this article, we are going look at some of Blender's powerful modifiers that can be used to take a retopology project from five hours to just five minutes. That way retopologizing won't be something you dread, and you can keep your entire workflow in one single application.