After getting a crocodile skull, doing a test-run and cleaning up the skull, we now proceed to model our optimized geometry. The goal is more or less the same as the early garbage bake that we did before, just with a higher level of detail than before.
I’m also going to pay attention to edge flow, which means that the polys should be laid out so that they follow the topology of the dense stl scan. This is a crucial issue for meshes that will deform later, such as an organic character. Here, it’s more or less a question of efficiency and accuracy: to get the least number of polys to fit as closely as possible.
The workflow of steps such as these is critical, and can make the difference between an enjoyable hour of zen-like meshing or a miserable day-and-a-half. The basic tool modules are simple enough: create polys from edge, vertice or poly manipulation, while constraining the position of all elements to the dense mesh in the background. Above I’ve made a video of this process in modo… another very good tool for this is 3Dcoat (and all software have the necessary units – from Blender to Maya). Key is a in-window workflow, where keyboard shortcuts intuitively allow toolset changes. In this way, I can quickly extrude edges, lengths of edges, pull a poly out from a vertex or edge and snap it to a cohesive edge. I’m rusty, and this skull would take me about a half-day of concentrated, undisturbed work (which apparently isn’t going to happen today).
Next up: finishing this process and baking. Might take a while before I get to preparing this as I’m off teaching for a week. Any questions? Requests for other 3D processes? The visit rate makes me think this is useful, but… you’re a shy bunch!