With Power Surfacing RE, you have several workflow options from which to choose. Your decision will be made depending on the quality of the reference mesh and the accuracy required from the retopo mesh.
The reference mesh can be a scanned mesh, where it may be straight from the scanner, Image A), or it may have already been though a clean-up process, Image B). When the reference mesh has been created from an existing CAD model or part, the resulting reference mesh may be clean, but not provide enough detail for accuracy, reference Image C). A SubD or polygonal model, Image D), may be used as a reference mesh to create a simpler mesh for more efficient modification or use in real-time simulation where dimensions rather than detail must be retained. C) CAD object used as a reference mesh, left cylinder uses medium Image Quality resolution used, right image uses high Image Quality resolution.
D) High poly SubD mesh as reference mesh
The accuracy you require from the retopo process will vary. If the reference mesh is from a very messy scanned mesh or a good scan of an older and distressed object, less accuracy will give a smoother result. If the scan is very clean, or has been processed into a cleaner state, you may opt for a higher degree of accuracy. More detail or accuracy can be achieved by more and smaller faces, or, through the use of the Add Interpolation option. When used, the Interpolation step should be the final step before conversion unless modifications are planned.
Clean-up can be performed directly onto the reference mesh to remove unwanted features or improve surfaces prior to the retopologizing process.
Modifying the Interpolated Mesh
If you plan on making alterations to your retopo mesh you should make them after using Add Interpolation and only after unconstraining the vertices that will be involved with the manipulation. Several of the retopo tools, such as Offset and Extrude will automatically un-constrain vertices as part of their functionality. Tweaking unconstrained vertices allows you to alter the mesh quickly to arrive at your desired result. Be aware that moving constrained vertices may produce undesired results as their offset and influence is recalculated.
A retopologized mesh, left, modified, right
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