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I've been working on a project which involves generating 3d game models, mostly hard surface ones, procedurally. Do I have to worry about keeping the topology clean? Will topology affect texturing, or have any other consequences on the model that I haven't thought of?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't procedural generation a red herring? The real question is whether clean topology is important, and what it affects. \$\endgroup\$ – congusbongus Feb 13 '15 at 3:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not quite; Clean topology is very useful for easier manipulation of the model in 3d modeling software. This, however, isn't important in my case. \$\endgroup\$ – Sfou Feb 13 '15 at 12:52
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A clean topology mostly helps you to skin (add bone transforms) your model without it looking weird, as longer surfaces don't give you many points for the transform to work with. Many small triangles, or thin long ones, would add overhead to drawing the model to some extent and I seem to recall that they might cause some issues with mipmaping (but I can't recall any particular case I've seen it or find any references so I might be wrong about that part).

But if you use marching cubes (or any variation thereof) you would get a decent topology to begin with, and trying to fix the topology before you see any visual artifacts would probably fall under "premature optimization". Unless you're planning on adding bone transforms, then you need to pay attention so you create decent topology around the joints.

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