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

 From:  Tim (TWKELSEY)
Wow, thanks everyone for the great replies to my questions. Your answers were very insightful and helpful to me.


It is great to hear that others are using MoI successfully in their game asset creation pipeline. I checked out your web site and your game assets are top notch! Great work and I really liked the way you not only showed the end result but also the workflow that you used to achieve the final low poly game objects. I noticed that you are using Substance Designer for texturing and map generation…I just bought this application as well and think it will be the future of texturing (especially with apps that support it natively like Unity). I appreciated your explanation of the different techniques that you use to generate a low poly mesh from your MoI nurbs model. Just to summarize, it sounds like any of the following workflows would work (depending upon the complexity of the MoI object that you are starting with):

1) Export high-poly mesh from MoI to be used as basis to bake normal/ambient occlusion map for low poly object
2) Generate low poly mesh by one of the below methods:

- Simply export a lower poly mesh straight from MoI and use that “as is”
- Export a lower poly mesh from MoI and clean up the mesh in poly modeler as needed
- Retopo the high poly mesh in poly modeler to create a low poly mesh
- Build a “more simple” version of the nurbs model in MoI and export that simplified version to create a more game friendly object (this was a great idea that I didn’t think of)

@Michael Gibson

It’s great to see that the creator of the application is so active on the forums. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. The tips that you provided about techniques to avoid when coming from a subd modeling mindset were very helpful.

I understand that many people are extremely productive at hard surface modeling using subds, and while I can hold my own, it has never seemed as intuitive and easy as it should be. For me, subds force me into a mode of focusing so much on topology during the creative phase that I spend most of my brain power working out poly flow puzzles rather than just designing. I am going to buy MoI this evening and am excited to learn more about nurbs modeling.

To answer your question about what the Unity game engine expects…

Unity does not support the rendering of subdivision surfaces (most game engines do not) since they are processor intensive and not really appropriate for real-time game engines. Unity only accepts standard poly meshes (though it will honor smoothing angles). When Unity loads a mesh, the engine will triangulate all of the polys in the mesh (if all polys aren’t already triangles). Therefore, a typical workflow for someone creating a game asset for Unity using subd modeling would be: create high res subd model, create low res version of same model, triangulate the low res mesh in a poly modeler (it is better to triangulate yourself so your UVs and normal maps are optimal in Unity), UV map, bake normal and ambient occlusion maps onto low poly mesh (using the high res mesh to supply detail), texture, bake diffuse and specular maps, export low poly mesh (with uvs and all texture maps) to Unity.