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UVing non Quad Topology

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I'm always looking at the gaming industry in serach of more efficient workflows. I recently bumped to a couple of modeling/texturing articles that caught my eye, but left me with more questions than answers:

 

https://polycount.com/discussion/168610/proboolean-dynamesh-hardsurface-workflow-tutorial

 

https://marmoset.co/posts/baking-a-hard-surface-weapon-in-toolbag/

 

So the gist of these, is:

 

- They use heavily boolean operations for complex parts on their regular 3d modeling package

- Then they bring them to Zbrush and use Fibermesh (apply a quad shell of non specific flow/not the same as remeshing with topology in mind)

- Then they reproject the details between models 

- and finally they decimate the model to lower the poly count.

 

I even went and bought a few game assets to check them out and indeed, in most of them the topology was hideous.

 

So my questions:

1. Is this really the gaming industry standard.  I am not convinced the procedure above is a quicker or more efficient way to model complex objects. These people however they are allegedly industry professionals, so my guess is more likely that I'm missing something, than them relying on booleans due to their lack of proper modeling skills.

2. How on earth do they go about UVing non quad, non flowing topology? There must be a tool on Max  or Maya or something that automatically cuts off UV shells by angle difference, and still that won;t be good enough for proper Uving.

 

Would love to hear some thoughts.

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Even I use booleans occasionally if I am later retopologizing ! Take that Quaffle I made a few days back - that got done with a horrible boole initially but it gave me the perfect base shape to built my actual polygons on top of before it went in the bin once finished in that service...  so if they are using it for quick iteration, and ZB is going to rescue it later, then that's entirely understandable...

 

I have an idea why tris don't matter to UVs, but should leave it to someone that deals with UVing game stuff every day to tell you the best practices there...

 

CBR

 

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  • Thank you for the input Cerbera. I'm only using booleans in non planar extrusions/intrusions. For everything else I find it much faster to model in SubD directly.

     

    I tried just for the sake of it to UV and retetxture bought game assets to no satisfactory result. The labor was just too much and the end result far from optimal.

     

    Perhaps someone who works or has worked in the gaming industry can shed some light.

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    I read the first tut and there wasn't any mention about texturing. The second one gets pretty detailed about steps regarding poly-groups, smoothing groups, uv packing, baking cages.... I got lost in all of the details. So it seems that they sort of automate the uv unwrap process at a particular stage, which makes sense for very detailed models that would take too long (in the gaming industry) to unwrap by traditional methods. It's really interesting stuff, though.

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  • Thank you for your response Vizn.

    So I read a few more articles and apparently this is NOT the industry standard. So at least for AAA games people retopologize with specifiic topology flow in mind, which in turn would  have UVing making sense again.

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