Would MoI be a good alternative to SubD modeling for game props?

 From:  SurlyBird
5571.3 In reply to 5571.2 
Hi, Tim. I use MoI precisely for game asset creation. I model my high-end prop in MoI, sometimes I export at a high level for additional sculpting in Zbrush, and I create my final, in-game asset based off of a low-res export of the object I made in MoI. I use Modo as my main pipe into Unity, but I have used Maya, Max and XSI(Softimage) for the same thing and they all work fine.

The biggest issue you are going to run into is whether you should retop (re-build) the high-end mesh or clean-up an export from MoI. It will depend on the object, but I usually start with a lower-res tessellation from MoI and proceed to clean the mesh up in Modo. However, sometimes on more curvy, ergonomic-oriented things, I will use traditional retop techniques (Modo added great functionality for this in 601). Cleaning up a MoI mesh can be time-consuming. I've found ways to speed things up by building purposefully lower-res versions of the same model in MoI. For instance, I'll take something like a pipe or a cylindrical shape that I used by sweeping a circle over a curve to make the high-end object and make an alternate version using a hexagon or an octagon (octagon is a little easier to work with). I might even make a simpler version of the curve I use to sweep (using corner points instead of curving points). Much easier to clean-up in your other DCC tool.

Some will argue that Sub-Ds are better and it might be for them. I find the time I would spend making Sub-Ds 'work' on most assets is time better spent making the asset cool and interesting and that's often the result of trying different things. In short, I get more bang for my buck, timewise, by running through a bunch of different iterations or prototypes instead of making a good high-end sub-d model only to want or need to change it later.

I'm not trying to plug my website for no good reason, but if you look at some of the weapons I've made, you'll see my workflow. I rely *heavily* on MoI. In fact, I really don't want to work any other way.

Here's a few links:




I am working on a simple workflow tutorial showing the benefits of the MoI approach. Someday I'll get around to finishing it.

In short, MoI is not only a good alternative to Sub-Ds, I'd say for most hard-surface things it's superior in just about every way. The only negative thing I've found is that people on a production team unfamiliar with the tool often don't want to consider it for some unfathomable reason. But that's a topic for another conversation.