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Best software to retopo hard surface CAD topology to use in games?

polycounter lvl 2
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solitudevibes polycounter lvl 2


Fusion360 -blender(?)

I wana adopt this workflow. Many studios are using this workflow already and its actually going to save me a ton of time going further. Im talking about guns made in CAD. I have never done any retopo in my life and im willing to learn any software that does it the best. I work in blender btw but im sure there are better software that does retopo.

What do you guys think?


  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d ngon master

    CAD spits out a somewhat usable lowpoly/base mesh with some cleanup. Use any program for that. Otherwise, no one program is "better" than the other, especially when you whittle it down to tasks like retopology.

  • Firebert
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    Firebert polycounter lvl 14

    By hand is absolutely the best, regardless of the app you're using. Blender should do the job just fine and there are some nice toolsets available for purchase that work a lot like other toolsets in Maya, Max, Topogun, etc https://blendermarket.com/products/retopoflow .... but if you don't care about your UVs and some unnecessary geo, there's always InstaLOD in Extreme Construction mode (dodges bottles being thrown at me while I quietly slip out the back door 👻)

    Since you're starting out with retopo for hard surface, I highly recommend reading these posts by EQ so you can plan your UVs and mesh normals for final output. This knowledge should save you a lot of heartache in the later stage of the retopo process, and allow you to troubleshoot errors you may encounter.


  • solitudevibes
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    solitudevibes polycounter lvl 2

    Thanks! ill give it a read. So i decided that ill be doing my modeling in fusion360. Then ill transfer the model into MOI3D just to use its export feauture to FBX or OBJ and finally ill fix some minor issues or retopologize if necessary in blender. UVs will be done in blender aswell :D

    Thank you everyone for your help!


  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter

    The core difference MOI3d vs 3d max and such is vertex normals . MOI3d exports usually perfectly shaded model with all vertex noramls "explisit" in 3d max terms. Max does the shading by smooth groups and proper edge flow that drives vertex normals automatically.

    When you want to make extra edits of MOI exported model in 3dmax / Blender etc you could easily create extra shading artifacts ( gradients in corners ans cylindrical roundings) because general 3d modelling packages have a long history of ignorring "explisit" normals and re-set them based on edge/ polygon flow.

    So you just have to be careful and keep it in mind . Also many people would tell you how wrong your edge flow is because they just doesn't understand vertex normals concept . Still you have to be aware , some game engines recalculate vertex normals based on smooth groups by default and you have to set them to don't.

  • SebKaine
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    SebKaine polycounter lvl 5

    i am not a modeling expert but for automative retopo of CADS models i get pretty good result with this.

    i would use moi 3D to go from nurbs to poly. i would not hesitate to have many materials groups in the initial model to sort pieces

    i would import them in houdini and for each loop each pieces and process it into quad remesher by using the material group option to help the solve

    i would then do a labs auto uv or a labs rizom unfold in houdini on the mesh to create automatic UVs

    i would see how it goes when shaded

    retopo only things that really look bad

    of course automatic process will not generate an AAA clean topo / clean UV models. But it can generate a good enough models that will render OK in your game.

    it's always the trade of between doing things cleanly by hand and take the time needed to do it. Vs use an automative process to try to get as much good enough assets possible with the less human work hour possible.


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