Remaking topology (Retopo)


Hello! We are still taking a look at "basic" blender features, and one of them, before painting textures, animating and everything, is Retopo. When you have a model that you sculpted, usually it has a looot of polygons, at they're probably not very well distributed for being animated. That's why we create a new topology based on the shapes of the original model for creating the final animatable and manageable model :)

As you can see, retopo is actually just modeling, but making the new elements (vertex, edges or faces) snap to the base objects, so we don't have to care about the shapes, allowing us to think only on topology :) Of course, we can use this technique not only with sculpted objects, but for everything. Is extensively used for videogames; we create a High Resolution model, then we make retopo, and over the new "low poly" mesh, we project all the detail of the high poly one using maps (normal maps, AO, etc).

As always, I hope you like it!! :)



Wow this is really usefull for helmets or mask on heads!

Thanks alot!

Shall try it soon

It is, Mark! I actually use this a lot for modeling cloths and things like that :)

Thanks for the comment! ;)

Nice tutorial,very helpful.I would like to see how to bake normal and bump maps from high poly to the low poly mesh.

That tutorial is already in my mind, and it will come soon :) Thanks for the comment!

Thanks for the tips! Also something else. On the emails you send to intro these tutorials, you have two links to the tutorial, but (at least for me) the link in the image in the emails doesn't work, I think it's because like for example in the email to this tutorial, the link in the image goes to "Retopo" instead of "www . blendtuts . com/Retopo" likethe text link dose. So just something I thought I'd bring to your attention. ;-)

Hi John!! Thanks a lot for telling me this, I didn't nottice! I'll try to arrange it, but I'm not sure if I can, as that emails are sent automatically :S I'll try!!

Thanks again for the comment ;)

Very well done. Clear and to the point. Thanks so much. Waiting for another one, any...
Muchas gracias por el tutorial, y todos los demas, es mas que un lujo tenerlos en español, felicidades, nose como comentario, mas adelante podrias crear un tuto de crear un personaje completo y explicando algo de topologia y lo podrias poner en tu E-store, almenos si lo llegaras a hacer cuenta conmigo para adquirir mi copia, ya que haces un exelente trabajo y de calidad, felicidades
Hola, gran tutorial, gran truco que no conocía. Algo que podrías haber utilizado para crear caras, es el script incluido en Blender, Looptools (Creo que se llamaasí), y dentro de modo de edición utilizar el modo "Bridge" para unir rápidamente las caras seleccionadas.
Great tutorial. However, I can't get the snapping to work. The starting plane won't snap to the high-poly mesh. Is your high-poly mesh in edit mode as well?
Esto es genial en español, es muy dificil encontrar tutoriales en español Thank you guys, I really didn't know that you can that, it is amazing too bad that the People doesn't explain How use blender Gracias.

New to this site. Just ordered the video. Can't wait :)

I would also like to see how to bake normal and bump maps from high poly from low poly mesh. You stuff it high class material:)
Hi Oliver, I found this useful addon which is quite a little extension to your workflow shown in the video above: Here is a demo: The Retopo is mainly done with the grease pencil, as shown in the video at the human head (something about 6 or 8 min.) bsurface 0.9 is included in the Blender Package itself. Version 1.5 is available at the website (see link above) for something round about 40$. Hope this helps! :-) Best regards, Daniel
If it was a Blender Nobel prize you would win it X-D You don´t know how much your tuts help me, and I'm sure I'm not alone :) Thanks Víctor

Wow, even I don't have time for answering all the comments, I couldn't just leave this one xD Thanks so much! But I don't think so! There are people out there who spend more time than me doing tutorials and helping community :) I hope I'd have more time :S

See you, Víctor! ;)

I have basically two questions. When you create a model using sculpting tools over plain subdivision surfaces modelling, you do it just for "detail". So, what's the purpose of retopoing a sculpted mesh? You're basically recreating the same model but with fewer details. So what's the purpose of such a process? The second question is about topology. You have used the grease pencil to draw the cage and you did it quite well. Where can I learn the "theory" behind it? You speak about "muscle flows" in your tutorial and good topology. Is there some free source to learn these concepts?

Thank you very much.

The purpose of retopoing is to remake the topology, which means that in the original mesh... topology isn't correct! Probably you can sculpt a face from a sphere or a simple cube... but the resultant topology won't be accurate for animation. So first you work on the shape, and then, with retopo, you decide the topology that works for that shape :)

If you want to learn about topology... I recommend you this blog:

Thanks for the comment, and hope you find this useful! ;)

if my understanding is correct, based on the low poly, im 'guessing'you link the full sculpt to it, and animate the low poly, which in turn animates the fully sculped model?

Dam i wana see that! or am i getting it all wrong? ... eek!

another thing, you based your greece pencil on what ýou'believe the human 'muscle'? points are for animation, because these are not the orrigionaly pollys of the model this model was sculped from a uv sphere... my question here is, where do you learn about the human muscle movements, how to you know where to draw the low poly frame?

Quick tip to make filling faces easier. If you extrude say the next loop on your topology, and bridge all the vertices so that you have a sort of "railroad track", you can easily lasso-select all of them and just hit F. This is much quicker than doing one face at a time and many times more efficient than selecting all 4 verts at a time. Cheers

You're right, nocare :) But that feature wasn't still in Blender when the tutorial was recorded. Pressing F would generate an N-Gon, which is probably not good por topology and will need to add edges later, but the "bridge two edge loops" option works fine in this situations :)

Thanks for the tip! :D