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Watertight vs. Low Poly
show user profile  graphix72
Hellooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo world!

Ah, that's better. Now, I have a question to do with style, so perhaps it's an opinion question. Whenever I model, I try to make my models watertight. Sometimes I even run an STL check to see if there are any unwelded vertices or open edges. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to making optimizations and lowering my poly count and clean geometry. I look at bad geometry with disgust!

So, sometimes I have to deal with reducing the number of edges and such issues, which are not always easily resolved. For example, when you go from a curved surface down to straight edges, and you have to reduce all the vertices that shape the curve down to a few. Lately I've been dealing with this while building a beautiful baroque arched entrance. So what's the question?

Is it better to make your model watertight, a single editable poly... or is it better to group several objects together? For example, my entrance is flanked by two pillars, which I kept as separate objects. But in the final stage, I attached them to my entrance (because I hate groups, for some reason) and I had to do a lot of cutting and welding to make sure everything is water tight. So, am I crazy, or would you pat me on the back for doing it right? I'm curious about how you do it.

read 396 times
6/13/2010 2:13:41 PM (last edit: 6/13/2010 2:13:41 PM)
show user profile  horizon
Yes, you are crazy.
It all depends on the purpose.

For real time engines, it depends on the engine. Some might deal with the open geometry fine, some might not. It even makes a difference if the object is static or movable. For some reason not known to puny artist like me, our engine doesn't like broken geometry when calculating dynamic shadows. For static we use it all the time.
Doesn't have problems with multiple objects at all, though

For in max, depends on the renderer, and the material. Vray glass and other refractive materials won't look right if the mesh is not closed. It doesn't have the same problems with shadows AFAIK.
Since it's high poly anyway, I'd keep the meshes closed, but wouldn't worry about attaching and welding all the pieces.
If they are separated in the real world, model them like that

read 380 times
6/13/2010 4:02:02 PM (last edit: 6/13/2010 4:02:36 PM)
show user profile  graphix72
Thanks for the good answer. Presently, my modeling is high detail high poly stuff, not for games (at the moment) but more for beauty shots. Later I may make low poly versions of it by generating normal maps from the high poly versions.

So I should've kept the pillars separate. Hmmm...

read 357 times
6/13/2010 7:24:02 PM (last edit: 6/13/2010 7:24:02 PM)
show user profile  horizon
Just make sure you project the normal map separately too if you keep separated objects

read 348 times
6/13/2010 8:05:16 PM (last edit: 6/13/2010 8:05:16 PM)
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