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Maya F.A.Q (Updated: 2015 Oct 19 10:05 am)
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Subject: question on rigging animating models with both quad and triangles
Sure. People often put too much stock into the all quads camp. They're nice if
you can get them, but as long as your topology can reasonably describe the
shape of your model in all of its deformed states - you'll be fine.
Most game engines and render engines and displacements alike all triangulate
meshes; Triangles are not the problem. Poles containing many edges (like more
than 5) are more of a concern as they usually don't represent highly deformed
geometry very well. You can end up with what looks like pinching or denting in
areas of high curvature when the mesh is subdivided (smoothed). If it's an area
of low curvature then it doesn't matter as much. A triangle on a characters
forearm isn't a big deal, but one on their face might look funny when they
smile. It's all about curvature. For example a planar surface can have any
topology and you'd never know it, bend it into a cylinder and all the sudden it
As far as Maya's skinning goes, it knows only of vertices.
If you end up with a few triangles here and there, don't worry.