Make custom clean meshes on top of high-resolution sculpts.
Your retopology workflow might become a little easier with RetopoFlow 3 – a great retopology mode for Blender that helps you create custom mid- or low-poly meshes on top of high-resolution sculpts.
The tool by Orange Turbine offers more information about models than Blender does and displays geometry "in a more helpful manner."
"RetopoFlow mode’s custom mesh rendering is currently the only way in Blender to see low poly geometry cleanly overlaid on a high poly mesh without overlap, distortion, or depth sorting issues."
RetopoFlow should help you with rigging, animation, and texturing. The creator describes the process of working with it as "quick sketching" that will make monotonous actions more engaging.
Here is an overview of some of its features:
With Contours, you can quickly place and adjust loops around any cylindrical form. Just hold Ctrl and left-click drag, and a loop will wrap around the high poly surface. You can easily adjust how many segments it has by holding shift and scrolling. In the example above, notice how it wraps perfectly around the finger, even though there are other fingers directly behind it.
Quickly sketch to define your most important loops with PolyStrips. Just hold Ctrl and left-click to draw out a strip. It can be an extension of or connection between existing topology or a brand new strip depending on where you start and stop your stroke. You can even draw over multiple sections of existing geometry to connect them all. You can also use PolyStrips to manipulate any selection of quads like a Bezier curve.
To quickly extend your main loops or define grids in larger areas, switch to the Strokes tool. Drawing out a single line will place a row of selected edges, and drawing another stroke roughly parallel to the first will connect the two with an even grid of interpolated quads.
Sometimes you need to be more precise and deliberate, so PolyPen is built to give you maximum control over fine details. Select an edge, hold Ctrl, and click to extend the selection with triangles, quads, or both. PolyPen will automatically snap to other vertices and edges, and can even be used as a knife to make basic cuts.
Gently massage your geometry into evenly spaced quad perfection with the Relax tool. It behaves just like a sculpting brush, except that it keeps all vertices snapped to the high poly geometry and shifts them toward a clean layout.
There are more useful tools you can use in RetopoFlow. Personal licenses cost $85.99 and studio ones start at $151.99.
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