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/3/ I need your help. I'm new to modelling and am trying to figure how to topology good. It seems simple in concept, but I find that it very frustrating and difficult to create good topology. So much so that it often prevents me from getting a project off the ground because I'm worried the lighting will suck due to poor topology and tutorials haven't really been much help.

Doing a model with quads only isn't the hard part, it's getting quads to flow and using poles, etc... that I find to be the single largest barrier to creating something. I tried sculpting and found dynamic topology liberating because I just didn't have to worry about it. But sculpting is obviously not the ideal way to make everything. What should I do? Am I making too big a deal out of it? Does it just come naturally as you do more and more models?
what you make would ideally dictate what tools/ methods would work best/fastest. whenever in doubt, nurbs. what you sculpt has to be retopologized anyway.
>does it just come naturally as you do more and more models
yes! I used to have quite a bit of trouble with good topology too. Now I just instinctively know where to put poles from practice.

make quite a few topology studies. take a model with good topo as reference and try to recreate it. get a sculpt and retopologise it perfectly, then do it again. Rig and skin something you've made to understand where it isn't deforming well due to poor topo. You'll get the hang of it quicker than you may think.
I'm watching Grant Warwick's Hard Surface Modeling series right now and it seems like something that might be right up your alley. He does a good job of explaining how to break stuff down and know where to worry about things and where not to. He uses Max, but I'm sure a lot of the stuff he teaches can be used anywhere.
Just compare your shit to some professional stuff online, and take note on how the polygons form the different shapes of whatever your object is.
The hardest part imo, is having high poly and low poly areas in your model and having to transition without sacrificing good flow or only using quads. Sometimes if I see a cool little trick I may write it down, but my best advice is sometime my teacher had me do to practice face topology. Take a picture of a face in Photoshop and draw the topology. Eventually you will be quite comfortable with how to balance flow and quad use.

Thats not entirely true. Think about this, what if a professional guy do a 3d model of a fat guy, with an amazing topology. Are you gonna do the same topology in a 3d model of a indian thin guy? with the bones showing up?

The real thing is, you need to learn about the flow of a topology. The topology of a game character, is differente from a cinema character. Not only about the numbers of Quads and faces you have, but essentialy about the Flow these faces are following and creating.

So basically the real thing is, try to think about a flow, that will deformate well in an animation, if rigged.

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