Game Development Reference
Figure 5.2 The problems of non-planar polygons.
job as an experienced artist, but when time is precious there is often no
alternative. The areas of particular concern with respect to the way a quad
mesh is tripled are where the mesh will be bent the most. These areas of
maximum deformation can often be treated independently. If a mesh
contains 1000 triangles, then it is probably important to make sure that
around 100 of these are tripled correctly. Around the armpit, elbow and
knee are the key areas. Polygon modelling software will have the ability to
make a new polygon from a point selection, then remove the old polygons
that have the wrong orientation. Figure 5.3 shows what can happen
around a knee joint if the polygon tripling chooses the wrong diagonal for
the division. Good tripling can make an enormous difference to the way
the silhouette of a mesh appears when deforming.
Making a start with the head
All modellers find their own methods. Some like to start with a ball or a box
and deform it into the shape they are aiming at. Others like to start with a
blank sheet. I chose one method for the head and another for the body.
When creating a head I prefer to build the polygons from scratch, but
when creating a body I like to start with a basic mesh. At this point all
generality falls over and we look at how to build this geometry with
Lightwave 3D. At the time of writing, the latest Lightwave version is 6.5.