Retopology is the process of converting high-resolution models into something much smaller that can be used for animation. It can be a difficult process, but the basic idea is to create another mesh that simplifies the original HD asset.
This process is usually done manually with tools like Retopoflow, a superb addon for blender. The source code is available on github.
The result is perfect if you are ready to spend several hours to redraw all the geometry.
Even if the retoplogy was not as good as the one below, it is was good enough for game engine.
This process is time consuming and must be done once the mesh is finalised. This does not fit fast prototyping requirements.
To test high density meshes (scans for instance) in a game engine for instance, it’s far too slow to redraw the surface of each object.
Instant Meshes is a life savior in this scenario: even if the simplified mesh is not as good as a manual one, the time improvement is enormous. In 10 to 15 minutes, the software will generate a relatively good mesh.
Instant meshes uses a smooth algorithm that optimises edge alignments, represented in the UI as strokes running along the mesh.
- Scientific paper form ACM Siggraph Asia 2015: https://igl.ethz.ch/projects/instant-meshes/instant-meshes-SA-2015-jakob-et-al.pdf
- Official website: https://igl.ethz.ch/projects/instant-meshes/
- Github repository: https://github.com/wjakob/instant-meshes