Tip – Stone Retopology Methods

Discover retopology methods

Retopology is a fundamental aspect to many modeling workflows these days, and there’s many different ways to do it. Not only are there a variety of techniques available, the workflow can vary a lot depending on the subject matter. Whether you use surface snapping, shrinkwrap, or even the Contours add-on, the goal is to recreate an existing form with improved, adequate topology.

Retopology techniques covered

Although quick, this video shows you four different techniques that’re commonly used for retopologizing various forms. The method you choose often depends on the specific needs of the project.

  • Triangles to Quads – effective for quick and dirty mesh changes, generally not good for detailed models.
  • Remesh Modifier – good for reworking sculpting bases, but not good for animation.
  • Shrinkwrap Modifier – useful for manually reworking forms, such as when retopo’ing organic forms.
  • Contours Add-on – works great for any kind cylindrical forms, available for purchase from https://cgcookie.com/downloads/contours-retopology-tool/

Want more?

hardsurface-retopology_feature_956x400For more retopology education, including a complete walk-through of difficult forms, check out the advanced hard-surface retopology course from Jonathan Williamson.

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9 Responses to “Tip – Stone Retopology Methods”
  1. Posts: 4

    I’ve discovered Contours, even at version 1.0, has crashy behavior still. This happens if I don’t stroke my cursor just right.

    • Posts: 4176

      Hey Christian, can you share some more details? Screenshots of what you’re trying to retopo, the exact error messages, etc will all be very helpful in tracking down the problem.

  2. Posts: 54

    nice tips.

    I think the best one particularly for retoping the stone is the first one though, just triangulate and then back to quads. Keeps it low poly and maintains its form.

    The other techniques don’t really looks like good results for the stone in particular but are great for retoping a lot of other objects that need to be retoped like characters and other forms. The remesh one is not bad, it produced really good results, but I think the first one is best particularly if you wanted to use that stone within a game engine.

    Thanks once again for the tip! I always knew you could triangulate the mesh but never new you could convert the triangulated object back to quads until now.

  3. Posts: 45

    Agree, triangulate and back to quads in this case maintains form pretty well. Another option, if we aim for the game engine, is to retopo it by hand. :)

  4. Posts: 2

    So whats the take on Ngons anyway?..

    I’ve not used them at all and have stuck to quads for the entirety of my experience, so it’s kinda hard to imagine where they’d go in a workflow other than just knocking something up real quick to example it before you start the proper thing.

    I mean, you’re just gonna have to go back and clean the mesh some more anyway if you retopo Ngons, even in this most efficient way.

    Or am I missing something here?

    Great video anyhow, it’s nice to see this covered a little more in depth.


  5. Posts: 91

    The Shrinkwrap Modifier (3) really surprised me. I think that one had the cleanest topology. It’s definitely my favorite in this video. But, the Triangulate then convert to Quads (1) was a close second. It would be interesting to try all these out with different objects. These are some great tips.

  6. Posts: 10

    These methods for retopology must be interested. I want to try these methods… :-)

  7. Posts: 10

    after watching your tutorial videos, I thought it would be fun to find a creative way as excrise to improve my flowing topology, remesh, sculpt methods for retopologize models by playing around… So, what I did.. http://youtu.be/8D_Fsf4RlD4 what do u think? couple of shrinkwrap and dynotopology that I have little issue.. any suggestion? thanks!

  8. Posts: 2
    holywalrus says:

    Quick question. Could a combination be used? Such as sculpting with the dynamic topo then shrinkwrapping over it? or converting all the tris created by dynamic topology into quads? Im fairly new to 3d modelling and am looking for better ways to retopo my stuff.

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