Join Adam Trachtenberg for an in-depth discussion in this video Strategizing the new topology, part of Hard Surface Sculpting and Retopologizing in Cinema 4D.
It behooves us to take a minute to think about what we want to accomplish before we start willy-nilly creating polygons all over this thing, so let's think about it. What is an ideal retopology or new topology for sculpting? What is it going to look like? Well, as we discussed, when creating the basic model, there are a few things to keep in mind. One, you want to generally keep an all quad mesh, all four-sided polygons. I'm pretty religious about that and probably more than I really need to be.
I've seen people incorporate some triangles in hidden places and it doesn't seem to be that dangerous, but I avoid it. The other main strategy is that you want to have an even distribution of mesh. You don't want to have super-big polygons in one area and smaller polygons elsewhere, although that is not a 100% rule. You don't want to necessarily nor could you actually necessarily have equal polygon size everywhere. There are certain areas of your model where you know you're going to want more detail, like in this case, around the cockpit area, around the front of the engines, around the front of the energy weapon, so it's okay to have a little more mesh density there.
What you don't want to have is too little density in places where you know that you're going to want to have some pretty high detail. As far as the layout of the mesh, it is similar to subdivision surface modeling, which you're probably familiar with. In other words, you're going to want to use edgeloops to define areas of the mesh so that the topology follows the deformations. See, I'm drawing a circle around the front of this with my mouse and that's because I want to have an edgeloop that runs sort of oval around the cockpit. I want an edgeloop that runs sort of square around the front of this.
I want an edgeloop that runs square around the front of the engines. You want loops running down the wings, and that is because the deformations are going to look better if they're not sort of running against the grain of your underlying mesh. So, that is the basic description for the strategy and let's get to it in the next video.
In this course, modeling expert Adam Trachtenberg shows viewers how to use the sculpting tools in C4D to create a hard surface model, retopologize the sculpted model, return to sculpting mode to add fine details, and generate texture maps that approximate the illusion of detail—without the weight of polygons. He demonstrates the steps using a fantasy spaceship model, the kind you'd see in professional video games, television, or feature films. Watch and learn how to use these techniques to build your own.
- Sketching the rough form
- Building a simple polygon model
- Working with C4D's sculpting brushes and masks
- Retopologizing the sculpted model
- Creating bump, normal, and displacement maps to add fine detail