Low poly is a polygon mesh in 3D computer graphics that has a relatively small number of polygons. The term low poly is used in both a technical and a descriptive sense.
Starting a Low Poly Model (3ds Max)Edit
When forced to work within a tight polygon budget, it's best to begin thinking of your object in simplest terms; a building as a cube, a drinking glass as a cylinder, a hill as a semi-sphere, etc. From there, you can select basic primitives and build your way up from there. For example, when starting to model a vehicle, you can start with a rectangular box with a few segments in XYZ. From there, you can collapse edges, move individual vertices, and really begin to shape the vehicles main features.
See also: UV Mapping
Notes (3ds Max)Edit
- Avoid activating all 32 smoothing group categories in 3ds Max. Leaving at least one smoothing group empty will avoid a crashing issue when importing OBJ formats into SimCityPak version 0108.
- When setting up UV maps in the UV Editor, don't mirror or flip any geometry or polygons when arranging your texture coordinates. This will cause glitches in SimCity when rendering the object, including very dark texture display in the affected areas.
- Make sure your final UV map has polygons touching all four borders of the frame. If space is left around the edge of the map, it will get cropped when loaded into the game, resulting in textures being stretched or offset.
- When UV mapping vehicle textures for SimCity, ensure your texture seams do not cross a smoothing group border, and vice-versa. When a smoothing group crosses a texture group seam, the bordering polygons can become glitched and will appear distorted in-game.