With the advent of VR (Virtual Reality) technology, developers continuously face various challenges to create visually stunning and innovative surroundings for the products. 3D model and modeling is an outstanding art form that helps to revolutionize any product with cutting-edge services. Thus, it takes high skill sets and time to create them. The best way to achieve a 3D model is using low poly models with minimal polygon numbers. Low poly is associated with 3D models and has become quite popular due to their polycount characteristics.
A lot of effort and trickery is involved in creating a realistic virtual environment to display the products efficiently and smoothly. In this article, we will check out how to make low poly models for virtual reality, their benefits, varieties of low poly models, and the best tools to create them. Let us delve more into this topic below.
Definition of Low Poly Models
LPM or Low Poly model is a 3D model with fewer polygons. Polygons are different geometrical shapes, mostly quadrilaterals, and triangles, to create a mesh. The thumb rule for creating the best low poly 3D character is to make the poly count higher with greater detail. However, there are exceptions in some cases.
The primary reason behind the popularity of low poly 3D art is their file size and performance cost, which is drastically lower than the high poly models. It is one of the best options for virtual reality e-commerce businesses with blockish and simple art styles or lower budgets. 3D artists can create high standard low poly models by integrating huge numbers of triangles and squares, which will resemble an object abstractly.
Low poly models usually include very low vertex count and thus provide better VR surroundings. Low poly 3D models implement lower processing power of a computer and prevent frame loss or any lag in the 3D world.
Benefits of Low Poly Models
Low poly models come with the following benefits.
Simple to work
Low poly models are hassle-free to view, edit and load. Lower polygon counts assist in easy loading and lightweight-sized view. Also, low polygon models are simple to edit due to their easy and less complex mesh.
Ideal to use for the metaverse
Low poly models are perfect for virtual and augmented reality experiences. The computer rapidly manipulates the 3D models in virtual surroundings in real-time with no time lag.
Perfect for real-time engines
Implementing high computational power for low poly model rendering is unnecessary. Thus, it makes it is perfect for on-the-fly rendering for 3D modeling or any product animation. Also, their go-to approach is to create it faster, as free low poly 3D models do not require high detailing. But low poly models have mostly valued elements due to their less impact on the performance like the 3D high poly models.
Different Types of Low Poly Models
Low poly models, like most 3D models, include extensive uses. Though low polygons dominate the e-commerce industry, these can also be used in other media or industries. Below we have listed the top low poly models most used in creating a virtual reality environment.
Low poly Product model
You can create simple low poly 3D product models, animation, and other virtual reality environments.
The low poly 3D merchant model
The object must meet certain quality standards while creating the 3D product models. The user will receive a versatile and high-quality model by meeting this standard. It can be used for various experiences like VR (Virtual Reality), Augmented Reality (AR), marketing, and product rendering.
Low poly prop models
Different free low poly models require a recognizable design and visual representation. But these characters can also be created with no need for high detailing. In these cases, low poly models create great props with fewer polygons.
How to make low poly models?
Consider how many models you need if you are wondering how to make low poly models or modeling. Since there are no specific approaches to building these assets, there are some easy ways, like below, to do it.
Customized low poly modeling methods
Most developers become confused about where to start creating a 3D model that has yet to be built. In creating low poly models, you have to concentrate on a lower number of polygons. There is no need to consider techniques like NURBS or digital sculpting. These methods are primarily suitable for high poly modeling. The most suitable techniques for creating low poly models are edge and box modeling.
You can create a basic geometrical shape with box modeling and break it into smaller pieces like a cracked mirror. This process will result in hundreds of shapes. The initial shape will gain some unique features with each deformation, making it more like the targeted object.
Edge modeling creates an outline for the complicated design portion and mesh division for the rest portion with the help of standard mesh. This technique allows you to create features like realistic wooden texture, rounded edges, structure, etc. So, edge modeling pays additional attention to the parts that require the most, along with the standard procedure.
Besides these two techniques, you can use generative modeling when you become good with 3D design and coding. It is a rare method where the computer will create a 3D environment and models depending on the codes and scripts.
Converted models Modeling
To ensure compatibility and optimize performance, designers sometimes convert high poly for 3d modeling into lower ones. It is primarily done with the help of the process called baking within specialized software 3DS Max or Blender.
For instance, to complete baking a high poly dog model to a lower one in a Blender, you must unwrap the mesh and build a new texture for the image. When preparing the new design, you must assign a customized image texture and shader. At last, you have to set up the two versions within the same position and begin baking the cycle. This way, you can have a bitmap of a low poly dog 3D model.
Many techniques are also available if you need to shorten the designing time and convert a current reference into 3D art. One of the most popular methods is image-centric modeling, where you must insert a photograph inside a special application. The application will identify and convert the object’s structure and features into a mesh. It is quite a helpful but imperfect method, as it cannot always identify an object's hidden parts. Thus, you must be prepared for many corrections if you select this method.
Another technique for creating low poly 3D models is 3D scanning. It implements a specialized device to capture the features, textures, target size, and many more. The software then converts the entire object into a highly precise mesh. It would help if you also made the entire model with a high triangle count.
Common tools to create free low poly 3D models
While working on projects for low poly 3D models, developers or artists primarily relies on various tools for manipulating and creating their models. Below we have mentioned some of those tools used in low poly 3D modeling.
Artists can select and alter specific components such as angles, vertices, or edges with the help of this tool. You can also modify the shape and structure of any model with a selection tool.
By pushing or pulling any particular edges, polygon, or vertices, extrusion tools can offer dimension and depth to flat surfaces. You can also add features, variations, and protrusions to the geometry of any free low poly models with an extrusion tool.
It helps the developers to accurately align the angles, vertices, or edges and create clean and precise geometry. Snapping tools offer precise alignment and positioning of the model elements by snapping to the vertices, grid, and other objects or edges.
Polygon modeling tool
This tool can edit and create the geometry of polygon models. You can shape any structure or form of low poly 3d characters with various modeling tools like extrude, merge, edge loop, bevel, and split.
Implementing this symmetry tool allows you to edit and construct any 3D model symmetrically within a specified axis. It is easier to maintain the effectiveness and symmetry of any 3D model to ensure all the changes made to a particular side of the model are automatically copied on the other side.
Previewing and rendering tool
This tool allows the developers to create specialized characters like low poly dog 3D with applied materials, lightning, and textures in real-time. It will help you to examine the overall appearance of the 3D model and check out if it is being accurately made.
1. What are the most used software for low poly modeling?
Having the most appropriate equipment and software is crucial while working on low poly 3D modeling and realizing creative ideas. SelfCAD, Blender, Autodesk Maya, Cinema 4D, Modo, and 3DS Max are some of the most used software for creating low poly modeling.
2. How to make low poly models smooth?
You can make your low poly models smooth in two ways. Firstly, by activating the smooth icon tool in the selection tool and, secondly, by activating the round object tool in the modify tool. You can also adjust the smoothness level according to your preference.
3. What are the different applications of low poly modeling?
Various creative disciplines and sectors implement low poly modeling for their work. The different applications of low poly modeling include e-commerce, augmented and virtual reality, architectural visualization, graphic and illustration design, product prototyping and designing, metaverse, retailing, virtual showroom, and 3D printing.
4· What is the art style of low poly modeling?
Low poly models and modeling is a digital art style to create a simple 3D model and restricted polygon numbers. Low poly modeling has become immensely popular in the e-commerce industry since the 1990s.
5· Why low poly modeling is popular amongst developers and artists?
Low poly modeling is popular today due to its retro aesthetic, simplicity, and charm.