How to speed up retopology in Maya

retopology in Maya
(Image credit: Antony Ward)

The ability to perform retopology in Maya is a useful skill. Retopology is becoming an increasingly essential part not only of game development, but also film and TV production. As powerful as it is, high-resolution models just aren’t efficient enough to be used directly with today’s hardware. This means that a lower, proxy version of the model is needed to speed up animation and rendering. This, when used with a displacement map, will give the illusion that the model is much more complex than it seems when rendered.

But reducing a model with millions of polygons down to a few thousand can be a tedious and time-consuming job. Luckily, there are some great tools that will automatically generate a new version of a high-polygon model, with more manageable geometry and a decent edge flow.

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For over two decades Antony Ward, creative director at antCGi Ltd, has been provoking pixels. In that time he has worked for many top studios and also written three technical manuals.