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Best practices for retopology: Is it acceptable to use tris here?


Suppose I'm retopologizing a character model. The character has spikes. At the tip of each spike lies a single vertex:

When I retopologize, I like to start with as few polygons as possible, shrinkwrap, make some adjustments, use Maya's Smooth function, and shrinkwrap again. Upon using the Smooth function, Maya turns the tris at the tips of the spikes into quads:

I understand that everything gets triangulated in the end, but would it be best practice to keep these as quads, or should I turn them into tris, like this:

Does it even matter?

Also, what are points like these called? Are they acceptable for use in character modelling for game development?


  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J grand marshal polycounter
    It is fine, it is not going to cause any problems.

    One thing you mentioned is that the smooth tool is creating the quads. That's not something the smooth tool does - it only averages position of vertex between its connected vertices. It doesn't create anything new.

    So if it appears that new edges were created that just means there was some hidden. You can check for that by pressing 3 to show a smooth mesh preview (that's like smoothing the entire model all at once).
    Got it! I'm just a bit confused though, are we talking about the same tool? I'm aware of the smooth mesh preview feature, but I've almost always used this button to subdivide my mesh:

  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J grand marshal polycounter
    yes i was confused, i thought you were talking smooth brush (either sculpting brush or quad draw).

  • Ghogiel
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    Ghogiel greentooth
    You can't control how things are triangulated in maya without actually connecting those edges. In this case I would probably connect them as tri to form the point of the spike correctly, because at export to game you don't really get a choice to lock in the tri direction any other way, and you might get those edges being connected the other way for example.
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