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I have a model with more than 500.000 polygons and I want to speed up the drawing process in my game. So I decided to use a lowpoly model and normal mapping, but found no software to get a lowpoly model from my hipoly model. Does anyone have an idea how to do this?

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What program did you use to make the original model? Some tools have this sort of generation built in. –  Clockwork-Muse Nov 27 '12 at 22:02
    
Consider what you mean by "lowpoly". Converting from 500k polygons to 50k would work fairly well with automated tools, but to get down to 5k you would probably need to simply redo the model from scratch using low-pol methods. And this depends on what exactly it's a model of; if all 500k polygons are a really detailed smooth sphere that's different than if it's a model with lots of nooks and crevices. Automated tools work well on the former, not so well on the latter. –  jhocking Nov 27 '12 at 22:12
    
Decimate modifier in Blender does the Magic! –  Ayyappa Nov 29 '12 at 13:42

2 Answers 2

For an automated process, MeshLab can decimate meshes reasonably. If you want more control, lots of 3d modeling packages have retopo tools. Blender with the 'Remesh' or 'Decimate' modifier can also do a good job.

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Give Progressive Meshes a read (PDF). Scroll to the very end to see some pictures of his results. Obviously that document goes way further than what you're looking for, but the fundamentals of simplification are there.

Basically, for some n edges, turn them into vertices by averaging their two endpoints. The more times you do this, the simpler your mesh will be while maintaining the same rough shape. For best results, get rid of smallest edges first, and try to avoid getting rid of edges on sharp corners or high detail areas. These can usually be detected by using the surface normals.

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