Practice 2: Clothing Retopo (LB 6)

Practice 2

Low-poly Method

I did a similar method for retopology that I used on my Laudna sculpt, converting Marvelous’s UVs into flat geometry, creating a low-poly version from that, and transferring attributes in Maya from the geometric high poly to the flat low. However, I was able to refine this process a lot more this time around, and it generally went much faster.

Artists disagree on the best process for creating the low-poly version: some recommend simply automatically doing it in ZBrush with ZRemesher, while others advocate for a fully manual method. I ended up doing a combination of the two. I started out ZRemeshing the flat pieces, using guides to encourage good edge flow. However, I ran into a huge issue when the polycount got reasonably low: the corners and edges were simply being lost in favor of cleaner quads (essentially, collapsing where they formed sharper points). I was able to massively improve the automation by adding thickness to my meshes in ZRemodeler, ZRemeshing the entire thing, and then deleting that thickness/back wall.

This maintained the overall pattern shapes far better, but still left some minor issues that I was later able to manually fix with Maya’s quad draw. I also ran into a few problem areas where the geometry was extremely important to the shape, such as on the pleated skirt where the edge lines need to line up with the creases; here, I simulated a much lower-poly version directly in Marvelous and then manually cleaned it up.

Final Touches

I then used the ‘transfer attributes’ feature to convert the flat low-poly to match the full high-poly version. At this point, I then made a few minor changes to the underlying geometry, welding a few of the pattern pieces that needed to be one solid piece (e.g. the shorts). I also deleted as much excess geometry as I could: some areas of the vest that had two layers were poking through the outer geometry, and there was no need to keep the undersides that would not be visible in the final product. This helped keep the polycount fairly low – I could likely have gone even lower with more manual work but I was still far under the assigned limit so I decided to leave it.

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