High and low poly models are primarily related to the 3D polygon modeling techniques. Several 2D polygons are joined together in these modeling techniques into 3D models. These polygons are usually closed and small geometrical-shaped figures with faces and vertices. The geometric shape can be rectangular, hexagon, pentagon, triangle, spherical, and many more. An average 3D element can include innumerable numbers of polygons and are called mesh. Mesh is the surface of that 3D model.
The most important point in the low poly vs. high poly model is the difference in the number of polygon counts used while creating a 3D model.However, there are no major characteristics to distinguish between low and high poly models. Some people suggest that a polygon count from 1 to 10000 is the comprehensive low polygon model range. However, consider the following factors to determine between high and low poly3D characters.
Objects like a crate or a box do not require a high poly model for an enhanced look. Thus, the final detailed mesh might include a lower polygon than other objects within similar surroundings.
The designing time of the meshes includes immense relevance. A high poly model built 20 years ago might be considered a low poly model today.
Hardware is another significant aspect to consider. A high poly model for one hardware might be a low poly one for another. For instance, high poly 3D people for mobiles can be low poly 3D for desktops.
The mesh count of these polygons is available in the object’s wireframe model. The poly count of the 3D model determines its four aspects: smoothness, rendering rate, loading time, and accuracy.
Definition of Low Poly and High Poly models
Knowing the definition of both terms is essential before beginning a low polygon vs. a high polygon.
Low Poly models
Creating a low poly model is an art, but many people need to know what low poly means. Recently, it has gained immense popularity, particularly in the e-Commerce sector. In 3D modeling, you can add enhanced detail to the model, thus resulting in a high polygon count with a better design. However, enhancing the polygon numbers slows the rendering speed and takes more time. Lower polygon modeling can resolve this trading-off between improved performances and adding greater details.
Low polygon 3D models have created an art revolution and made 3D graphics rapid. Its lower polygon count and swift rendering time make low poly more feasible to integrate into creating 3D product models for architectural visualization. Low poly models render interactive surroundings and create photorealistic objects like furniture or jewelry in no time.
High poly models
High poly models refer to the polygon numbers in a 3D model, meaning the number of triangles or surfaces the object includes for making up its surface. It means that the high poly 3D characters are composed of more triangles than the low poly 3D character.
Due to the higher number of polygon counts, it becomes easier for the printer to create realistic and accurate-looking objects through high poly modeling. The detailing and realism increase with the increase in the polygons. You can visualize any complicated object like furniture, e-commerce products, virtual showrooms, and others in full detail.
Advantages and disadvantages of low poly and high poly model
Both low poly vs. high poly models comes with their own sets of shortcomings and advantages. But which is most suitable for your projects depends on the goals, available resources, and user choices. So let us go through the advantages and disadvantages of these modeling styles separately and compare the difference between low polygon vs. high polygon.
I. Advantages of low poly models
- Performance optimization: Low poly models are ideal for real-time applications like interactive simulations. The models include a decreased polygon count and are exceptionally lightweight. They load the pages rapidly and render smoothly as they require lower computational resources. Thus low poly Modeling offers enhanced user experience, particularly in areas with restricted resources.
- Nostalgic and retro appeal: Low poly models offer users an aesthetic and nostalgic appeal. Thus they have become the center of attraction in graphic design, 3D product modeling , 3D animation, advertisement, and modern art. It has successfully created a connection with the audience due to its simplicity and attractiveness.
- Efficient workflow: The new low poly modeling method is more efficient and faster than high poly modeling techniques. Artists can focus on the general composition and form of the object by spending less time on difficult textures and specifics. It is because there are fewer polygons to handle in low poly models. This efficiency allows the designers to create a larger work volume by iterating them rapidly.
II. Disadvantages of Low poly models
- Visuals are less impressive: Since the geometrical shapes in creating low poly models are lower, the modeling technique does not contain any detailing. Thus, low poly models include less impressive visuals than high poly ones.
- Manual effect addition: To truly understand what low poly means, you must manually add all the effects like reflection, shadows, refractions, and others in the model.
I. Advantages of high poly models
- Cross-section creation: High poly models can best describe an object’s cross-section. You can cut any object and zoom in to look into it in detail with 3D product animation.
- Real 3D representations: High poly modeling provides high-standard, accurate, true-to-life, and detailed model visuals. The models will never become distorted, even when you zoom it out to the maximum. Thus, artists include high poly models to render high-resolution images and videos.
II. Disadvantages of high poly models
- Intensive resources: High poly modeling is difficult and requires highly configured devices to edit and view the 3D models. Users and creators will require updated devices to access these models.
- Highly time-consuming: The high poly modeling technique is a time-consuming method for calculation and rendering. The computer has to manipulate several elements before showing the results.
|Low poly model
|High poly model
How can you make low poly look like high poly?
You can add some details in the following ways to a low poly model and make it a high poly without enhancing the polygon count.
- Implement height maps and normal maps to alter how light behaves on the model during rendering. It will create a detailed illusion of the object. You can also implement diffuse maps for adding enhanced color effects.
- Clone the mesh of the low poly 3D people character and add all the details of high poly modeling. You can implement any software, such as Substance Painter from Abode, to bake the detail of the high poly model mesh. At last, keep this baked image as a normal map on the low poly model mesh.
- Never use any picture above 4096 X 4096. Also, it is best to leave the maps out of a textured single sheet.
Different types of high poly models
In the difference between low poly vs. high poly models, it is necessary to know how many types of high poly models are present. High poly models are making their place in various sectors due to the GPU evolution. Thus, game developers combine various low and high poly models to create characters. The different types of high poly models include:
- Structural 3D high poly model
- High poly 3D props
- High Poly 3D Rendering
- High poly 3D animation
Industries that use high poly models
Many renowned companies use different software like Blender to make high poly models and create photorealistic object representations. They know how to check poly count in Blender, thoroughly observe the model by zooming in and out, and finally get an appropriate product in hand with complete clarity.
But high poly models usually prefer visual richness and accuracy over interactivity which is the opposite in low poly 3D characters. You can use high poly modeling techniques for the following industry.
- Advertisement and marketing
- Real Estate
- Education and training
- Product prototyping and designing
- Museums and art galleries
Industries that use low poly models
In comparison between low poly vs. high poly models, the former is highly useful for real-time 3D object operation and interaction. It is now time to check out the industries that have high usage of low poly 3D people characters.
- Virtual Showroom
- Yes, you can expect better performance with low poly models. Since low poly models include lower polygon counts, they need lower processing power to render. It will thus result in high frame rates rendition and smooth display.
- The best thumb rule to create a low poly model is to select pointing shapes instead of triangular ones. It is best to avoid rounded edges. You can create edges with the help of the pen tool after importing the image into the software.
- High poly modeling is for those who have cultivated taste and always seek perfection. Low poly modeling, on the other hand, is easily comprehended and accessible to the masses. Thus the preferences for each depend completely on the user and the project they are working on.
- The polygon number usually depends on the object quality and the platform you will target. The polygon count of a 3D model for mobile devices is 300 to 1500 per mesh, whereas, for desktops, it ranges from 1500 to 4000.
- Many people ask how to check poly count in Blender and how does it matter? Polygon count matters as it creates a significant balance between visual and quality by determining the model detailing.