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I've been doing some retopology, but snap and shrinkwrap won't keep the retopologised mesh above the surface of the original mesh. Why is this and how can I fix it?

enter image description here

This is the topology of the mesh. enter image description here

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The Shrinkwrap Modifier can only move vertices to match the target object. If there aren't many vertices in a particular area, that area will not match the target object as well as places where there are more vertices.

A simple surface will require less vertices as there are less details to match, whereas a more detailed surface (or areas of higher detail) will need more vertices.

Patches of the original object showing through are indicative of not having enough geometry, or not having placed geometry where it's needed.

By overlaying your images we can see that the places that are showing through are where some of the larger faces are. You need to either add more geometry into these areas (a guide of where you might add an edge loop is marked in red) or move edge loops that are near those areas, closer together so faces are smaller:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Another way is to let faces be a bit inside and once retopology is done add a Subsurf modifier with maybe another Shrinkwrap to catch more details. Editing work is being done on less faces then. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Jul 21 '17 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ @MrZak True, but it's going to make the whole model far more detailed than needed vs just adding in a few extra loops, which will have an effect on viewport performance, particularly if you are then using other modifiers (like an armature) for animation. $\endgroup$ – Ray Mairlot Jul 21 '17 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I guess these are 2 different ways which depend on situation $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Jul 21 '17 at 17:30

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