Retopology for Beginners in Maya

In this Maya modelling tutorial, learn how to get started with retopology using the very handy quad-draw tool. With it, you can do all forms of retopology, from environments, characters and creatures to props. It’s used by artists in all fields, including gaming, high-end VFX and commercials.

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Joco Hamu says:

Ok, the demonstration was fine but as always only showed on an easy convex topology….
– showing what happen at concave topology how annoying the magnet system… the random face creation on vertex grid…that randomness… or mess…
– you don’t see the true overlapping lowpoly vs highpoly in the same time (you need to make some tweaks for that)
This problems demonstrated for Autodesk’s engineers some years ago and the problem (the real pain in the ass) still exist in the Maya…
Funny there are a free script what solved this problems (but lack some other feature) is the froRetopo tool.

ipi223 says:

Useful thanks! keep on!

Sanchez Gushchin says:

I can’t select edges inside base mesh, It shows a crossed out circle. Is there any solution for this?

Ben -G says:

It’s not inserting a loop for me. Am I missing something?

Gurbachan Singh says:

Sir i recently downloaded maya 2018 and when i launch it a black screen appears in place of working grid… how to solve this issue..?

Nick Kubash says:

Nice! I’m still learning a lot about 3D. Trying to understand where this fits into a workflow and what it is used for.

James Morris says:

Great video guys! Out of curiosity, you mentioned that you don’t don’t use the strips part of quad draw much. Just wondering why? I know you mentioned you like to start high level rather than too detailed which I agree with, but since you can quickly change the size of the quads in the strip why not use it? Thanks again and this was a great explanation of this tool.

Aaron Wichers says:

I have a problem when I try to use Quad draw that the faces are hiding underneath the reference so its really REALLY hard to see whats going on. Halp pls

Alexandria Stephanie Persaud says:

So helpful and clear! Awesome!

Theo Hallenius says:

Retopoflow 2 still superior

Interactive Dealers says:

Sir please do a video on baking low poly mesh

vishal nagpal says:

thanks this is really help me to recognize to retopology tool

Anandadeep Sen says:

Thanks a lot guys.This is really helpful and informative.Can I create armor using quad draw tool ? I have 3 character base meshes.I’m planning to create sci-fi armor on top of the model.Please help me out.

dopplegangerdavid says:

These two sound like they’re making an infomercial.

Sebastian Decilia says:

Pff. Blender siempre va a ser mejor

jackj147 says:

This was extremely useful. Thanks for posting!

Habib Ullah khan says:

I search a lot But this give me a greate Help

Ajax says:


I have a very serious question. What is your honest opinion on Maya’s quad draw vs Topogun vs retopology in Blender? Which do you think is the fastest/easiest to use? I am about to start making game assets for VR games and would like a head start in what to use for getting them to low poly models as fast as possible.

Callum Macleod says:

Fuck hands. Just fuck ’em.

SebbeF says:

It’s crazy how useful this is, also it makes the process a lot more fun and less labor!

Mustafa Berke Güreltöl says:

How to apply symmetry?

Frosty Dog says:

If your not using Maya but Blender, what’s a good alternative for retopology ? 3D coat or topogun ?

La Porta D says:

Why are all ALLLL of the models used for these types of videos, hideous alien mutants? lmao Like all of them.

Mumford and Dragons says:

Great video! Recently using Maya’s Retopology. Had no idea about the hotkeys until I saw you show where they are in the video.
Super handy stuff!

PandorasLuckbox says:

When you drag out geometry at around 9:20 you don’t have to use small squares, how can resize them with the middle mouse button.

432hec says:

how did you get your polys to be colored?!

I am a gamer says:


73maxmau says:

I noticed that, after a while, Quadraw become sluggish, making it hard to work with it. I tried to use it over a 300k mesh from Zbrush, and after about 5000 polys, it start get very slow. I tried to delete and even disable history all togheter, but no use. I then tried to Cache the original mesh as an GPU cache, making the entire scene of just 5000 poligons. And again still sluggish!

MoMonayMoDolla says:

Thanks for the in-depth tips! I like the way you guys always use solid arguments instead of just randomly saying that one tool is better than another. I bought your Z-brush beginner course and have subscribed.

Josh Fryer says:

Incredibly useful! Thank you!

This is Awesome says:

Hello- Freshman student here. Out of curiosity, why are you changing the topology of the model? Is it to be able to animate him? I haven’t heard of retopology yet in any of my classes, so i’m not sure what it is. Also will you be able to keep your details?

HappyHimitsu says:

Just noticed your tutorials here and wanted to thank you guys for being so clear and concise (also, not a complete bore to listen to!). Keep up the great work, you have another subscriber! 😀

Sierra says:

Very helpful

neeraj kumar says:

you said “it’s not the ideal process”
then what is? please elaborate

Head-Crab Gamer says:

So this is basically topogun built into Maya now

Ly Le says:

very helpful, u guys earned my sub!

Justin spice says:


Nick Simmons says:

Guys this is such a great tutorial, and its free. I am waving goodbye to 3d coat for retopo now!

Darijo Živković says:

Exporting to GPU when you retopology, cons and pros?

Ngân Pickery says:

Really good stuff guys!

Han Solo says:

at 12:23 “this is something you can’t do in 3D-Coat”. Well you obviously missed the extrude option as it’s definitely in 3D-Coat. There are dozens more useful tools to retopo. Maya got better but it’s light years from 3D-Coat retopology.


TopoGun 2 > Maya 2018

Maarten says:

I was wondering what’s the best way to retoppo a stacic rock is it oke to use decimation master?

Raphael Cosenza says:

Hey, thank you so much for this video! I only have one question: I tried to save my retology work to continue later on, but I can’t get the quads blue-shaded again. They seem to be under my original mesh and I really don’t want to do the work with x-ray, since its hard to look at my model e figure out where to apply the quads. How do you guys save the retology scene to work on it later? Again – thank you for the video! Helped me a lot!

Kisan Singh says:

Very nice features and tricks I didn’t, know before watching this

utkarsh agarwal says:

I would definitely like to see how to retopo face in Maya.

Lars Krüger says:

Very good tutorial. Perfect length and work speed. Nice to listen to also. Thank you!!

david monteiro says:

Very nice video as always from you guys. I do have a question regarding quick retopology workflows: if you have a low poly base mesh with good edge flow, could you use the the shrinkwrap mod to quicky adjust that to a hig poly mesh (ev. section by section so it works better)?

RealNerdzOnly says:

Ty for this wisdom

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