This is a bit of an odd question but I was wondering if there is a way to preserve vertices to remain unphased when using a modifier that decimates/adds geometry?

Below is a model I downloaded of a high poly male mesh. enter image description here

The mesh contours don't quite work out very well in this explanation but imagine the red lines are vertices that loop all the way around and connect again; ideally these would function as joints that could be used to move limbs. I would like to decimate the mesh detail without destroying the vertices marked with a red line. I suppose you could manually reduce the level of detail by dissolving certain edges or vertices, but I think decimating the geometry with a modifier is quicker, albeit dirtier.

Would you need to add the vertices you wish to remain untouched in a vertex group, or a sculpting mask? If anybody has a recommendation I would love to hear it. Thank you for reading.

UPDATE: I tested a method suggested to me. I selected the vertices I wanted to keep, created a vertex group, assigned them to the vertex group and named the vertex group to Joints. I then applied a Decimate modifier to my model, selected the Joints vertex group, and clicked the double arrow button on it, which decimates everything except the vertex group. enter image description here

My result looks a little sloppy and could use some tweaking, but I am very pleased. This could prove useful for creating different levels of detail (LODs). :)

  • $\begingroup$ Your base mesh was really nice. You can reduce loops quickly by holding Alt and then clicking on a loop. You can do this multiple times then press 'x->g' to dissolve them. You can also hold, "Ctrl+Alt" and click an edge to select the entire row of parallel edges. Then use "checker deselect" and then "Edge Loops". This will leave every second loop selected. Now you can use x->g to delete them. With a model that is all quads, you can also use the Un-Subdivide option for the Decimate Modifier, it will try to keep an all-quad topology. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 17:48
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you! I feel I could have done better, especially with the toes, but that could be remedied quickly. Thank you for the comment! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


Vertex groups

Decimate modifier has a field where you can specify the vertex group that will be affected by the decimation. The little arrows on the right set the "inverse" selection.

enter image description here

In the image sequence below you can see how the sphere vertices that are assigned to the vertex group remains untouched till the very end of the decimation process:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ I see, thank you! I will give that a try. :o $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ I tried it and it worked very well. I have updated my original question with my result. :) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 15:15

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