5 low-poly pitfalls to avoid if you’re making games


Game development is more democratic than ever.
Indie game designers are putting out awesome new titles that are being consumed by gamers all over the world. A lot of these games use low poly modeling—a simple design concept that will always have a place in game design—even as graphics and performance continue to get better. However, there are a lot of moving pieces that go into designing and making a game work. It’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed. Here are five low poly pitfalls to avoid. (Link to Article)

The Shrinkwrap Modifier… is…

…A Hard-Surface Modeller’s Best Friend:

In its simplest form, the Shrinkwrap modifier is tasked with snapping the current object onto the surface of another object. It also has the ability to only snap specific vertices if you specify a vertex group… I think the Shrinkwrap modifier was probably first created as a retopology tool, the snapping allowing you to easily create new, low-poly geometry, over your high-res model, without having to constantly think about manual snapping. (Link to Article)


Base Mesh Creation Workflow with Silhouette for Games

Workflow for building a low-poly base mesh for 3D game

Workflow for building a low-poly base mesh for 3D game

This article is aimed to equip you with a better informed overview when constructing a 3D base mesh for games with the technique of Object Space Normal Mapping In the art of digital model making, there are many different methods that let you manually shaping the polygons according to your liking.  For instance, these methods are box modelling, edge modelling, image-based modelling (e.g., like the displacement map technique), digital sculpting and etc.  You can read more about these techniques if you are new to 3D modelling

Though some of the above methods did warrant you some creative freedom during the process of meshing, however, not all the methods are efficient when there is a strict requirement for you to model after a reference with precision.  Therefore, I would like to share with you an alternate approach, which might be handy to you when building something that required high-level of exactness.  The technique that I am about to discuss here was largely originated from the good old fine art of Silhouette Paper-Cut, as shown in the following screen grabs.  You can read more about the used of Silhouette as an art form via Wikipedia if you are curious about it. (Link to Article)

Skin Modifier

I was experimenting with the Skin Modifier and in my opinion it’s not perfect. For some things it can be quick and fast, but if precision and good looking forms is what you’re after then you will have to play around a bit until it looks right. Which can be a bit time consuming since you don’t have total control over areas that bend, like the armpit for example or the neck is too short. To fix the arm, I had to change it to a different pose (T-Pose). I guess the whole point of using something like a Skin Modifier is to get the rough shape or form so that you can get right into sculpting, which is great for creatures modelling/sculpting (not saying that you can’t do that for characters). For me personally, I still prefer the old Box method. Maybe what you can try is combine both methods? Box and Skin Modifier. I find the Skin Modifier makes it a lot easier to block out the arm and hand. Perhaps you can do that and attach it to your Box form?


[BD]: Inflate / Deflate

Brush Demonstration (BD for short from now on) is a short series that I’ll be putting together to show how each brush in Blender’s sculpting mode is used. I am basically learning and discovering them as I go, and today it’s the Inflate/Deflate brush.

Earlier I was trying to give more definitions to my Thumbnailling experiments last night, and for this particular head I noticed that it was difficult to add form and volume to this flat piece of mesh/polys. Blob and Clay brushes won’t do it! With patience, you can actually get the look that you’re after, but why when the Inflate/Deflate brush can do it much quicker? When using this brush I imagine that I’m blowing air into a flat balloon. Very useful when you’re trying to solve cylindrical shapes/forms such as the arm, leg etc… if they’re too flat or thin then simply Inflate them! Too fat? Deflate it.

[BD]: Snake Hook (with Rake, Blender 2.77)

In this demonstration I used only the Snake brush and Smooth. That’s about it! The last sculpt in the video wasn’t sculpted entirely with the Snake but I used it just to show the Snake brush’s functionality.

Think of the Snake brush as an Extrude tool with the ability to Move and Rotate proportionally all in one brush. Now that is cool!

Hard Surface and Action Figures

For me personally, when it comes to humanoid and creature modelling I can visualize and improvise as I go, even with very little references. This is because I see faces and body shapes everyday in the real world, but when it comes to hard surface modelling—let us use Iron Man as an example here—I run into problems (though I haven’t really given hard surfacing a try yet) and have a hard time visualizing. It takes skill (I think) to decode a blueprint, so for me, a front and side view aren’t enough! I believe the best way to improve in this area is to really get a hold of, for example, an actual Iron Man figure. The best references are the ones that you can touch, feel and can see from all angles.

I was at a toy store today looking for a Stormtropper but couldn’t find the head and ended up taking a few shots of something else.