Realistic art was admired, back in the time of portrait and landscape drawings; but when photography came in, there was no need for art to capture reality. Artists and designers started to pour out feelings and sensations into art rather than accuracy. Now in this century abstraction and expressionism is growing in the form of digital arts.
Artists and designers have a passion for abstract; they do not mimic reality or go overboard with polished lifelike 3D designs. Instead, they try to give the essence of an object in a dramatic way rather than making it over-realistic. That is where Low Poly modeling is introduced to game development.
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Polygons in 3D models:
All 3D models are based on polygons; the more polygons you add, the more detailed and realistic it will be. Low Poly is not like that. The idea is to use fewer polygons in the modeling stage; it gives a simpler, more abstract feel. Then the model is combined with a rendering style which renders each of the facets, creating a block-structure look.
Well, this does not mean that low-poly is poor quality! Proper rendering styles, beautiful light and shadow effects are used to imply a realistic environmental feel with the simplified objects. It kind of looks like traditional paper-craft or Origami.
What makes a 3D model Low Poly?
- Low Poly objects are made of simple solid polyhedra, such as ‘spheres’, ‘cuboids’, ‘cones’ and ‘pyramids’. The simple features don’t let the model be too realistic.
- There are different segments on a single surface of the object. The more segments there is, the more faces the model will have.
- Only flat shading (http://graphics.wikia.com/wiki/Flat_shading) is used to get the Low Poly feel.
- Minor deformations can give the model a geometrically imperfect look. Noise shading and adjusting strength add random amounts of distortion to each vertex.
- Flat materials are added to the object; the textures can be shiny and plasticky, with reflective highlights. Subtle changes in lighting and shading can create a huge difference in looks and feels, adds atmosphere to the plot.
- Global Illumination render settings are implied to create soft lighting. Adding Ambient Occlusion can add a noisy realistic depth to shadows.
Tools for The Artist:
The best tools are those you are most upbeat with. Some of the finest tools you can work on are- Autodesk’s 3DS Max, or Blender, or Unreal Engine 4. For more information about 3D animation tools check out my article about the Top 5 Animation Tools For Casual Mobile games. But whichever the tool, the real engine for creating fine art is the mind of the artist. ?
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