I am still quite unsure about a lot of things, the model I work on will be imported into the unreal engine so it shouldn't have too many faces/tris, but I encounter a problem here...


This is how my model looks flat shaded, it has been subdivided two times at this point and has around 6000 faces.


But now, when I select smooth shading, the whole model looks bulky, I considered subdividing it once more which would make it look smooth but then it would be up at 52000 tris, which I think would be too much.

When I bake a normal map off a high poly version of the mesh and apply it, would it hide the bulkyness? Or is there a way to only subdivide certain parts of the mesh to avoid senseless masses of faces on toes and tail?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What does it mean "looks bulky" for you? Can you encircle on the image areas with problems you see? $\endgroup$
    – Mr Zak
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ i.gyazo.com/878a1f42535f488ccf2bbe1516a8f48f.png You can see that the shading doesn't look smooth at all $\endgroup$
    – Silaries
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ You limit the vertice count, because you want to use it in unreal, yet you are trying to edit you model based on Blender's viewport shading (which may be totally different). Why not export it to unreal and try out various shading settings? This question appears to not be about a Blender issue. [Side note: Yes, baking a normal map from a high poly would remove some of your artefacts which appear in Blender's viewport shading] $\endgroup$
    – Leander
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ Because my laptop isn't able to run the unreal engine, the end product will be sent to someone else for import. $\endgroup$
    – Silaries
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


A normal map will definitely do what you are thinking of, however once you add a texture to your object you will not notice the 'bulkiness' of your object nearly as much. In fact, I would suggest optimizing your model more by removing some vertices, as adding a texture and normal map will make a lot of them unnecessary. One thing to keep in mind is that triangles are not a bad thing in game models, so use that to your advantage when adding or removing vertices.

When adding a normal map, keep in mind that you can add more details such as creases in the skin, skin texture, scales, etc. For the high poly mesh you will bake the normals from I would suggest using a multiresolution modifier instead of a subsurf and sculpting in as many details as you can before baking.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you that is the answer I was hoping for haha! Is there some way to delete unecessary vertices or does it have to be done manually? $\endgroup$
    – Silaries
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ Manually is the best way to do it, simply because you have complete control over what stays and what goes. I would recommend looking up how game models are constructed to get an idea of how much you can get away with. $\endgroup$
    – Brenticus
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 19:23

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