Expanded Library

Retopology Techniques in Maya

by Justin Marshall

With the advent of the high-resolution sculpting workflow, the modeled assets we create can sometimes be difficult to work with in their native state. Software required: Maya 2014.

What you'll learn

With the advent of the high-resolution sculpting workflow, the modeled assets we create can sometimes be difficult to work with in their native state. For this reason, various tools are typically used to create a new, pipeline-friendly topology for the model. There are different methods for creating this geometry and it's important that the method we use be quick, efficient and give us the control we require. In this tutorial, we'll cover the tools in Maya 2014 that make this retopology process go much faster. We'll cover setting up our reference model using the Modeling Toolkit. We'll talk about using Quad Draw to interactively place points and polygons across our model's surface. We'll also cover the Shrink Wrap functionality and talk about edge flow concerns as we create a new mesh for a character model. We'll finish up by looking at the UV process and baking out our color and normal maps to apply to our new, lower resolution mesh. In the end, you'll be able to create optimized meshes out of your own high-resolution sculpts. Software required: Maya 2014.

About the author

Justin thrives as a lead modeling author at Pluralsight. Growing up, Justin found a deep interest for the computer graphics industry after watching movies like Jurassic Park, Toy Story, and The Abyss. His ambition would lead him to work at Sony Imageworks in Los Angeles on movies like Monster House and Surf's Up. Justin has also had numerous articles, tutorials, and images published in 3D World and 3D Artist. As an author, Justin enjoys collaborating with fellow authors, especially on project... more

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