Main objective of this blog post is to give you an Idea about Different Types of Topology.



Step 1 Quick Review

Modelrs make great efforts to achieve for CLEAN topology. A 3D Mesh with well organized polygon distribution, edge-loops, a few or no triangular faces.


1.1 Different types of Topology

There are mainly three types of polygons:

  1. Triangle
  2. N-Gon
  3. Quads

1.1.1 Triangle, N-Gon, Quads


A polygon having three side edge or face is a Triangle Polygon. Avoid using a triangle polygon while doing modelling or animation.

Triangle polygons can cause problem on subdividing or smoothing geometry while a mesh can be easily deformed and animated. 



A five side edge or face makes an N-Gon Polygon. N-Gon polygon often causes problems at render time, when texturing and especially when deforming for animation so it is mostly avoided. 



A four side edge or face makes a Quad Polygon. Quad polygonal method is preferable the most suitable one while modelling or animating an object. 



1.2 To Choose Useful Topology


1.2.1 Quads Topology

Why to choose Quads??

When modelling with quads, the wireframe looks clear and the model will be easier to edit or animate. When you are working on a good project you need a good geometry n wireframes with clear mesh (polygons). By using quads you can create a clean geometry of polygons which make it easy to follow a particular model with a good edge flow and can be modified by you easily.

Clear mesh works well with Unwrapping and texturing too. It is also good to work in quads if you plan to pass the model to any kind of animation. It is easier for you to convert a model made up of quads to triangles than it is for someone to convert a model made up of triangles to quads.


1.2.2 Simple Quads Topology (Animation)

Whenever modelling a human model we need to think about limb topology. Basically Limb Topology is useful for having proper animation in human model.

Here you can see some of its examples: Simple quads topology:

  • simple-quad-topology-1
  • simple-quad-topology-2

The very first example, here u can see the Hand/Leg’s topology is the basic one. This is the topology we generally use for a basic human model. Whenever you use this type of topology for Hand/Leg you will get some problems with animating it.

In this topology we added basically three edges at knee or elbow point. But while animating this hand/leg u will get some mesh or overlapping polygons at the back side of knee or elbow point. In second example it is only two edges used for the Hand/Leg topology. But still having the same problem.

There is no solution for using this simple quad polygonal method. But there is a solution called Limb Topology.


Step 2 Limb Topology


2.1 Advantage of Using Limb Topolgoy

Here is the solution. By adding a two edges on knee or elbow point and then merge it on its back side. It can easily animate Hand/Leg without any overlapping polygons. It will use for animating human model without any overlapping polygons. Limb Topology helps in both hand and leg animation.


2.2 Limp Topology (Animation)

So this is a basic solution for bending (animating) hand or leg in particular way


The solution is to add two edges on knee or elbow point and then merging it on its back side. It can easily animate Hand/Leg without using any overlapping polygons. It can also be used for animating human model. Limp Topology helps in both hand and leg animations.

So, this is a basic solution for bending (animating) hand or leg in this particular way.

I hope you find this blog is very helpful while working with Different Types of Topology. Let me know if you have any questions regarding Topology. I will help you ASAP.

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I am Game designer. I am working on 3D game design. I love to share designing tips & tricks with you.