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[WIP] Modern Revolver - I'd like some feedback on the high poly topology

Hey guys,

I'm making a modern revolver based on a concept art and I'd like some critiques of it. I know high poly topology doesn't have to be perfect as long as it looks good after baking but I always worry about my topology not being good enough. I have some problems with making holes in the barrel though, you will see it on the pictures.

https://imgur.com/a/kExLUdA Here are a few pics of the model with turbosmooth on

https://imgur.com/a/Z159qGQ  And a few without turbosmooth

Actually I've used two kinds of turbosmooth methods, the front part of the gun with the barrel has edge loops near the edges to make them smooth while the rest of the gun has 2 turbosmooth modifiers by using the smoothing groups. I guess the edge loops would be the proper way to do it?

Also I think the concept art has some problems, like that rail where you put the sights are not as wide as the body of the gun and it can't be without messing up the rest of the gun. Also I think the mag is a bit too big, at least the ammo looks weirdly long and I've even made them a little bit shorter than the actual mag. The description said that it's a 8 round mag, I think it's a bit too tight for 8 rounds but I made it that way anyway.

Of course it's always possible that the concept art is perfectly fine and I've only overlooked something so feel free to give me any kind of critiques! I'm happy to hear any kind of advice.

My goal is to make it a game ready model in the end. I'm also thinking about bringing it to Zbrush to add some details but honestly I have no idea what details could I add, I fear I'd overdo it and make too much damages on the edges. I absolutely a beginner in Zbrush though.


  • teodar23
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    teodar23 interpolator
    If your end goal is a real time engine you might want to do some softer edges. And small stuff like those vents at the front you might want to rethink your approach. You could do them in painter/ndo or use floaters instead of all that topology mess. Dont get me wrong its not just your topology but in general small indents like those make for a troublesome experience. So look into floating geometry for some parts of your model or just do them in the texture if they are very small.
    Since you are going to use zbrush i recommend doing the rounding of the edges in there and not bother doing a good looking high poly in max
  • Ravanex
    @teodar23 I really wanted to make those vents real so you can see through it but so far it's a nightmare to make it connected with the barrel. Maybe I could close the inside of the vents so they still have depth then just paint that polygon black. However this way if you'll look inside the barrel from the front you will see that there are no holes so it may look a bit weird but I don't think a lot of people would spend time looking at the gun from the front even if it's an fps game.

    I watched some tutorials about Zbrush but the UI seems so confusing. I'll try using it anyway though I'm just not sure what result I'll get haha
  • teodar23
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    teodar23 interpolator
    For me zbrush is a nightmare so i keep away from it.
    If you have a specific goal in your head you have other options. For example if you want to import it in UE4, you can use mesh decals with pom.
    Even if you still want to go through the traditional workflow of baking down from hp, you can have floaters in the hp and have different parts of the lp assigned to different parts of the hp, e.g. the inner of the vents gets baking from a floater, the main body gets baking from the main hp and the floater. that way you get that nice rounded edge without too much of a hassle.
  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    I watched some tutorials about Zbrush but the UI seems so confusing. I'll try using it anyway though I'm just not sure what result I'll get
    If you're new too max > ZB for hard surfacing, then I'd suggest this comprehensive walkthrough which seems fairly straightforward enough for most first timers getting to grips with:

    (the best I've seen and I don't even use this method for guns)

    personally, your hp geometry is unnecessarily dense on top of comparatively contributing minimal silhouette detailing support, whereas an effective use of smoothing groups coupled with basic chamfering would've negated using a control loop strategy, to begin with.

    Side note:
    Concepts are essentially the result of a fictitiously aligned design process that must still adhere to real world parameters, in order to convey a plausible result and for those starting out imo it's more useful at first tackling OEM firearms rather than conceptualized designs in terms of fomenting an optimal knowledge base   
  • Unknown_Target
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    Unknown_Target polycounter lvl 4
    This is good as a 3d printable model or a high res model that you're going to bake down to a real time model later. Tight modeling, too. The newest standard of subdivision modeling in 3ds Max is OpenSubDiv. It's a little slower than Turbosmooth but it was developed by Pixar, is used across software packages (hence; "Open" subdiv) and also supports edge creasing, which all modelers should have in their toolkit IMO. :)
  • Zi0
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    Zi0 interpolator
    The edges on your high poly are so hard that it almost looks like a low poly, you wont be able to bake properly with such hard edges.
    Ravanex said:

    Also I think the concept art has some problems
    Its up to us 3D artist to translate concept art to 3D art, if you think that a couple of part should have different proportions otherwise it wont translate well to 3D then make the changes, in a work environment it would be something that you would discuss with the concept artist.
  • Ravanex
    @teodar23 It's indeed a nightmare to use at first but it's an awesome program if you can learn it :D I've heard about floating geometry but haven't tried to use them yet. I think I'll just make the holes on the main body without connecting it to the barrel. I think it would need a lot of polygons for the vents to match the curve of the barrel. It wouldn't worth the extra polygons considering that it's barely visible.

    @sacboi Thanks, I'll definetly do that tutorial! It looks so easy to make detailed high poly models in a very short time with that method. I know that the edges are too dense, sometimes I have problems with deciding how soft an edge should be. I always think my edges are too soft so I make them a bit harder, sometimes a bit too much as you can see haha Only the front part of the gun has edge loops, the rest of the gun was made with smoothing groups. 

    Honestly I'm leaning towards being a prop artist (then maybe environment later) not a gun artist but I'm not sure so I just try to model all kind of things and this revolver seemed easy enough.

    @Unknown_Target I've finished a one year course in January and my teacher (who works in the industry) said that we can use both turbosmooth and opensubdiv but he used Turbosmooth all the time so I just went with that. I'll look into OpenSubDiv though, it never hurts to learn more things :) 

    @Zi0 Sometimes I have problems with deciding how hard or soft an edge should be and since this is a piece of metal I thought it wouldn't hurt to make the edges a bit harder but you are right, I also thought that it looks exactly the same as the low poly one. Fortunately I've saved a version of the front part without the edge loops so I can always redo them. 

    It would be definetly easier to discuss those things with the concept artist, actually I could write him a message but I don't really want to bother him so I'll just figure it out myself. He has a ton of concept arts and if everyone would message him about how to model the guns then he wouldn't even have time to sleep. Not to mention that you can always learn a lot when you figure things out by yourself :)
  • Unknown_Target
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    Unknown_Target polycounter lvl 4
    @Ravanex it's standard at the shop I've worked at to use OpenSubDiv because of its greater capabilities. Not surprising that your teacher hasn't shifted over though because they're very similar. Again, OSD just gives you edge creasing, which if you haven't used it before you wouldn't know how useful it is. Glad you'll check it out! :) 
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