Retopology Tools for 3ds Max

Use Retopology Tools to automatically optimize the geometry of your high-resolution model to create a clean, quad-based mesh. Useful for removing artifacts and other mesh issues for animation and rigging, these tools can also be used to apply textures and manipulate objects.

A clean 3D topology is key to achieving professional results. When a model's vertices, edges, and faces are better organized, animations will appear much more fluid and rendering will require less memory. Poorly-optimized meshes can also create visual artifacts as well as problems when applying modifiers. Using the Retopology Tools for 3ds Max, you can quickly correct many common problems introduced by a less than optimal mesh.

Retopology Best Practices

The following tools and techniques will help you quickly achieve great results when working with Retopology Tools for 3ds Max.

Poly Count and Shape

It is good practice to work with models that are under 200,000 polys, if possible.

Tip: Press 7 to show the current poly count in the top left of the viewport.

Retopology works best when an object contains uniform, equally-distributed faces. A number of modifiers are available that can help optimize the mesh before beginning the operation or if you encounter areas after computing that are still not desirable.

Useful Modifiers

The following modifiers can help achieve the best and fastest results when using the Retopology tools.

Relax Brush and Relax Modifier

To repair any artifacts created by hard edges during the Retopology operation, use the Relax brush or modifier to smooth the edges and then recompute.

Holes, Spikes, and Small Details

Any holes left in your mesh will create additional complexity with the output because the algorithms will attempt to keep them. This will increase the processing time needed for retopology and influence the resulting mesh data.

Like holes, spikes or small details such as noise that comes from a photogrammetry capture can cause extra information to be calculated and slow down the overall processing time.

If this data is not needed, it is a good idea to manually remove it using the Relax Brush or Relax modifier to reduce the surface impact. Much like holes, spikes or small details such as noise that comes from a photogrammetry capture can cause extra information that needs to be calculated and slows down the overall processing time.

Deleting Isolated Elements

Sometimes small non-visible elements can appear within a mesh. Solving these elements requires extra processing time so it a good practice to select and delete them before using the Retopology tools.

To delete isolated elements:

  1. Add an Editable Poly modifier to the object.
  2. Press 5 to switch to Element mode.
  3. Click on the object to select it.
  4. Press Ctrl+I to invert the selection.
  5. If any element appears selected inside the mesh, press Delete to remove it from the object.

Post Retopology Processes

Generative Models

When working with low-poly models that you plan to Boolean together and then retopologize into a clean quad output, it is recommended that you first remesh using the Subdivide modifier or use sub-divisional surfaces to add more form to your model. Otherwise you may reconstruct low-poly data that will appear angular.

Reference Topics