Retopology with RetopoFlow 3

Jonathan Lampel

RetopoFlow is the premier retopology add-on for Blender, helping to quickly create new low poly geometry on top of high poly sculpts and scans. This free course walks you through how to use each of the sketch-based tools, as well as the overall retopology workflow. Let’s learn to draw out new topology like a pro!

The comprehensive retopology toolkit for Blender

CG Cookie citizens receive a 10% discount!

RetopoFlow is a full retopology mode for Blender that helps make quick work of creating custom, clean, mid or low poly meshes on top of high resolution sculpts.The separate mode helps us not only get more information about the models than Blender can give by default (so our tools can work more effectively than anything else available today), but also to display the geometry in a more helpful manner.

RetopoFlow mode’s custom mesh rendering is currently the only way in Blender to see low poly geometry cleanly overlaid on a high poly mesh without overlap, distortion, or depth sorting issues. No more messing with shrinkwrap, object scale, snapping, mesh visibility, displacement, or mirror settings. Just jump into RetopoFlow mode and get started! 

Tools built for artists, by artists 

The tools in RetopoFlow mode are designed to be used by artists, and make the retopology process more like quick sketching and less like monotonous pointing and clicking. They make good topology practices like evenly spaced quads the default rather than the exception.


With Contours, you can quickly place and adjust loops around any cylindrical form. Just draw across the mesh and a loop with an easily adjustable number of vertices will wrap around the high poly surface. 


The Loops tool does exactly what it advertises - insert and slide loops. Unlike normally inserting a loop in Edit Mode though, each vertex will remain snapped correctly in place. 


Quickly sketch to define your most important loops with PolyStrips. It can extend topology, bridge between faces, or create a totally new strip. The best part? You can also use PolyStrips to manipulate any selection of quads like a Bezier curve. Everything is automatically snapped to the surface so you can focus on what’s important - the perfect placement of your key loops. 


To quickly extend your main loops or define grids in larger areas, switch to the Strokes tool. Drawing a single stroke will create a row of connected vertices, and drawing another stroke roughly parallel to the first will connect the two with an even grid of interpolated quads. Or you can draw out from a vertex to extend your selection to match the curve of the stroke. 


Large areas can be filled in all at once using the Patches too. Just select the boundary edge and click F to fill! You can shift select to toggle which vertices should be regarded as corners, so it’s flexible enough to work for a lot more than basic rectangular shapes.  


Sometimes you need to be more precise and deliberate, so PolyPen is built to give you maximum control over fine details. Select an edge, hold Ctrl, and click to extend the selection with triangles, quads, or both. PolyPen will automatically snap to other vertices and edges, and can even be used as a knife to make basic cuts. 


Quickly create more complex cuts into existing geometry using the Knife tool. 


It’s not particularly fun to select and then move vertices around one by one, so if you need to do some adjusting then reach for the Tweak tool. It pushes and pulls the geometry like a sculpt brush in a way that’s fast, fluid, and intuitive.


Gently massage your geometry into evenly-spaced-quad perfection with the Relax tool. It behaves just like a sculpting brush, except that it keeps all vertices snapped to the high poly geometry and shifts them towards a clean layout. Controls for what mesh features it tries to correct are adjustable so that you can use it in a wide variety of situations.
Awarded upon completion:
100xp +
Course Curriculum
In playlist: Free Courses