How to use Retopo (the Vertex Weight Loss Program)

So I did my first full ‘retopo’ (re-topology) tonight and it is awesome! What is retopo? From what I understand, it is a method that allows you to model a low-poly mesh over a high-poly mesh. Why is this important? Well, it’s good for reducing poly count, are you one of those people who could care less if you scene was bumped up to 3 million polys? If you are, go read something else! 🙂 If you are a game designer though, or a frame rate conservative, stick around!

So, for this lesson our subject will be Alfred: Alfred is a fish made on Sculptris. See photo below to find out how a retopo diet changed albert’s weight from 10,682 vertices to just 222! Yes folks, that’s a difference of over 10, 000 vertices! Interested yet? Read on!

Albert Before










So here’s how retopo works, you create a new, 1-vertice mesh,  you then click the snap button (it looks like a magnet) and select ‘edge’ (Well… you can select any one you want, you are not limited to ‘edge’) and then I recommend just using the default ‘closest’ from there, using your one vertex mesh and the ‘e’ (extrude) key, you can draw your new topology and make faces using the ‘f’ key. Tips: In order to better see your mesh it is recommended that you go under your object’s menu (the one that looks like an orange cube) and under ‘display’ check X-Ray. This will allow you to see through the other objects, so you can focus on the topology of your mesh better. it is also not recommended that you have your mirror modifier (if you are using one) active during the retopo process.

Albert, In progress








So, albert is now finished, Click the link below to download the .blend in case you are curious to how this works, or just want a free fish model 😉 Licensing note: Albert is ©2011 Stopsecret design, he can be used in whatever you like, the only stipulation being you can not resell him as part of a 3d model package or by himself, thank you, and enjoy!

Click Here to Download Albert

Albert, after retopo










I hope you enjoyed this post and that it will be useful to you! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them in the comment box below!


-Stopsecret Design


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( I have been doing 3d for awhile now and have become skilled in both the worlds of 3d design and game development. As such, i have created a blog to show my artistic talent and share tutorials with others :)

11 thoughts on “How to use Retopo (the Vertex Weight Loss Program)”

  1. Pingback: Rendered Smoothie

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