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This is my mesh before subdividing:

enter image description here

After subdividing x3:

enter image description here

After un-subdividing x3:

enter image description here

The diamond topology mess up smooth shading and make the edges look terrible from certain angles.

It might seem like there's no point in subdividing only to un-subdivide, but the purpose is to get the smoothness that subdivisions give, but still retain a low poly count. How do I obtain to a low poly count, but keep the smoothness of subsurf and decent toplogy?

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  • $\begingroup$ There's indeed no (visible) point in subdividing only to un-subdivide. The details of highpoly models are not preserved in the lowpoly in this way. Instead use smooth shading on the lowpoly, mark sharp edges as needed and go with normal maps. The mesh will be as smooth as many details it has (from normal map or actual geometry). $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak May 6 '17 at 18:49
  • $\begingroup$ Yes but subdivide changes the shape, for example look closely at the top of the lid. $\endgroup$ – Accumulator May 6 '17 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ This is expected behavior. What were you expecting to see? $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos May 6 '17 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ I was expecting to see a quad pattern instead of a stretched diamond pattern making up the model. $\endgroup$ – Accumulator May 6 '17 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ I get the same results $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos May 6 '17 at 23:29
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This happens when doing multiple iterations. If you un-subdivided once 3 consecutive times you would keep the same quad layout.

Try it. Subdivide a mesh three times. Then click spacebar, search un-subdivide, click it. Now click spacebar again, search un-subdivide etc.

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