Masking details before decimation - is there a downside?

Masking details to preserve them before decimating seems like a really easy way to reduce polys without losing detail, but I don’t think I’ve seen any tutorials in which this is specifically recommended. Is there a downside to doing this? It seems particularly helpful in hard surface work where many surfaces are flat - just create a v high poly version, mask the sharp edges, them decimate a lot. Does it create a problem I haven’t foreseen?

There is no problem with it, I actually don’t understand why very few do it, apparently they desperately want millions of vertices :grinning:.

I have a way to decimate everything to the absolute maximum and still use smooth shading. This way you can create huge scenes with hundreds of objects without using up resources.


That’s great!

Decimating is very good way to reduce vertices count.
The disadvantage of decimating an object is it produces triangles instead of quads. Triangles are bad if you want to subdivide your model. They are also not good for retopo, rigging, animating, game models, etc.
If your final work is to just render the sculpt, then there is no problem in decimating your model.


I have little experience in retopologing, does it really make a difference if the mesh you want to retopologize is made of tris or quads ?

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I too do not have any experience in retopo. It doesn’t matter for manual retopology but it may affect some auto-retopology tools I guess.

I’ve been looking at these images and they are very interesting - do you have a video showing your technique to keep the edges like this while decimating?
This is what I’ve done, but it’s not quite the same

One way is to just transform a shape with a small number of vertices to begin with.


That’s amazing - thanks, you answered every question! It’s much quicker than my idea of masking the edges before decimation and gives great results. I’ll try it tomorrow.

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To see the details of the new brush and how it’s applied.

Incredible that you noticed and applied this, thank you!