Mudbox/Maya Retopology

Retopology

Info

Retopologising is the art of taking a high polygon sculpted mesh and rebuilding the mesh so that it will work for animation and subd workflow.
This video is a timelapse in ZBrush and Maya. In ZBrush we use Zremesher which is very similar to Mudbox’s Auto retopology

ZRemesher Retopology Example – Andrew Silke

 

Autoretopology Using Mudbox (4 mins)

First step is to auto retopologise the model in Mudbox. This is very easy to do and is found under
Mesh > Retopologise > New Operation
The Retopology Window will pop up.
(Make sure at least 2014 Service Pack 1 is installed to fix all the bugs that came with the initial release.)
Operation Name
The name of the retopology settings
Output Mesh Name
The name of the mesh it will create
Target Base Count
The rough amount of polygons of the new object. For faces about 3000 is a good starting point, more detailed meshes can go higher, more cartoony can go lower.
Face Uniformity
How evenly the quads will be placed

Video 1.1: Autoretopology Using Mudbox (4:48 mins)
 

Video Notes

First step is to auto retopologise the model in Mudbox. This is very easy to do and is found under
Mesh > Retopologise > New Operation
The Retopology Window will pop up.
(Make sure at least 2014 Service Pack 1 is installed to fix all the bugs that came with the initial release.)
Operation Name
The name of the retopology settings
Output Mesh Name
The name of the mesh it will create
Target Base Count
The rough amount of polygons of the new object. For faces about 3000 is a good starting point, more detailed meshes can go higher, more cartoony can go lower.
Face Uniformity
How evenly the quads will be placed

 

Drawing Guide Curves for Retopology (9 mins)

Drawing guide curves is very easy, simply go to the Curve Tools Tab (bottom Left).
To draw a regular curve
1. Curve Tools (tab) > create curve
2. Click and drag on your object.
3. To size the frequency of the curve use the brush size, smaller is usually better.
To edit a curve use
Curve Tools (tab) > Grab Curve
To Smooth a Curve
Curve Tools (tab) > Smooth Curve
To draw a curve that goes straight down the middle
1. Curve Tools (tab) > Curve Loop
2. Go to the tool options,
3. Click on Mirror X (plane X)
4. click on snap
5. Draw the plane down the middle of the object
Soft and Hard Constraints Curves
Soft curves in retopology are curves thatMudbox will try and follow with it’s topology
Hard Curves are curves that Mudbox will definitely put a line in the topology.
Setting Hard or Soft curves for Retopology.
1. Open the Retopology Settings Window
Mesh > Retopologise > New Operation
2. Right click on a curve in the 3d viewport set it to hard or soft
(Sometimes you must be right on top of the curve) for the dialog box to appear.

Video 2.1: Drawing Guide Curves for Retopology (9:18 mins)
 

Video Notes

Drawing guide curves is very easy, simply go to the Curve Tools Tab (bottom Left).
To draw a regular curve
1. Curve Tools (tab) > create curve
2. Click and drag on your object.
3. To size the frequency of the curve use the brush size, smaller is usually better.
To edit a curve use
Curve Tools (tab) > Grab Curve
To Smooth a Curve
Curve Tools (tab) > Smooth Curve
To draw a curve that goes straight down the middle
1. Curve Tools (tab) > Curve Loop
2. Go to the tool options,
3. Click on Mirror X (plane X)
4. click on snap
5. Draw the plane down the middle of the object
Soft and Hard Constraints Curves
Soft curves in retopology are curves thatMudbox will try and follow with it’s topology
Hard Curves are curves that Mudbox will definitely put a line in the topology.
Setting Hard or Soft curves for Retopology.
1. Open the Retopology Settings Window
Mesh > Retopologise > New Operation
2. Right click on a curve in the 3d viewport set it to hard or soft
(Sometimes you must be right on top of the curve) for the dialog box to appear.

 

Reduce Hires Mesh For Maya (2 mins)

Reduce mesh is found
Mesh > Reduce Mesh
Target face count is the amount of triangles in the final model. We usually leave triangle fit to closer. Anything under 100,000 faces is ok for Maya retopology.

Video 3.1: Reduce Hires Mesh For Maya (2:08 mins)
 

Video Notes

Reduce mesh is found
Mesh > Reduce Mesh
Target face count is the amount of triangles in the final model. We usually leave triangle fit to closer. Anything under 100,000 faces is ok for Maya retopology.

 

Setting Up the Meshes In Maya (4 mins)

1. Import the obj models or Send To Maya from Mudbox.
2. Name the models correctly, hires and retopologise
3. Key the visibility of the loresRetopology on on frame 2 and off on frame 3
Visibility hotkey = ctrl shift alt v (only my prefs)
4. Key the visibility of the hiresRetopology off on frame 1 and on on frame 2.
Visibility hotkey = ctrl shift alt v (only my prefs)
5. Put the hires object on a display layer.

Video 4.1: Setting Up the Meshes (4:43 mins)
 

Video Notes

1. Import the obj models or Send To Maya from Mudbox.
2. Name the models correctly, hires and retopologise
3. Key the visibility of the loresRetopology on on frame 2 and off on frame 3
Visibility hotkey = ctrl shift alt v (only my prefs)
4. Key the visibility of the hiresRetopology off on frame 1 and on on frame 2.
Visibility hotkey = ctrl shift alt v (only my prefs)
5. Put the hires object on a display layer.

 

Creating The Surface Constraint (Maya 2014 Only) (5 mins)

There’s 2 ways to use the setup the surface constraint.
Andrew’s prefs…
1. Select the hires object
2. Enter the hires object activate the toolkit marking menu
Press and hold ctrl alt d > select constrained object
Manual Maya
1. Open the Toolkit
2. Go to Transform Constraints > Other Surface > Select the name of your surface
Now Activate the Toolkit and move some verts on the lores model
Andrew’s Prefs
Press and hold ctrl alt d > Toolkit On/Off
Manual Maya
1. Open the Toolkit
2. Options > Activate Modeling Toolkit
Now use the move tool and the verts of the loresRetopology should snap to the hires object.

Video 5.1: Creating The Surface Constraint (5:42 mins)
 

Video Notes

There’s 2 ways to use the setup the surface constraint.
Andrew’s prefs…
1. Select the hires object
2. Enter the hires object activate the toolkit marking menu
Press and hold ctrl alt d > select constrained object
Manual Maya
1. Open the Toolkit
2. Go to Transform Constraints > Other Surface > Select the name of your surface
Now Activate the Toolkit and move some verts on the lores model
Andrew’s Prefs
Press and hold ctrl alt d > Toolkit On/Off
Manual Maya
1. Open the Toolkit
2. Options > Activate Modeling Toolkit
Now use the move tool and the verts of the loresRetopology should snap to the hires object.

 

Quad Draw and Rebuilding Polygons in Maya (14 mins)

Quad Draw is easy to use select the loresRetopology object then
Andrew’s prefs
Press and hold ctrl alt d > Quad Draw
or
Maya Manual
1. Open the Toolkit
2. Options > Activate Toolkit
3. Quad Draw (button)
To use the Quad Draw
Click anywhere on the highres object to lay green verts
Hold shift and mouse over an area to activate the quads, click to make a quad
To create an edgeloop hold shift over an edge, the edgeloop will appear. Click to create

Video 6.1: Quad Draw and Rebuilding Polygons (14:02 mins)
 

Video Notes

Quad Draw is easy to use select the loresRetopology object then
Andrew’s prefs
Press and hold ctrl alt d > Quad Draw
or
Maya Manual
1. Open the Toolkit
2. Options > Activate Toolkit
3. Quad Draw (button)
To use the Quad Draw
Click anywhere on the highres object to lay green verts
Hold shift and mouse over an area to activate the quads, click to make a quad
To create an edgeloop hold shift over an edge, the edgeloop will appear. Click to create

 

Progressed Example (1 mins)

This model is an example of a mesh that as had some retopology cleanup performed on it, still not finished.

Video 7.1: Progressed Example (1:52 mins)
 

Video Notes

This model is an example of a mesh that as had some retopology cleanup performed on it, still not finished.

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