3d & animation

What Is Low Poly? Learn About Polygon Art for Video Games and More

Learn about low poly: a computer graphics art used in video game design and other creative fields

Low poly art is one of the most attractive contemporary styles used in video game design, animation, and illustration. You can create cool and simple-looking objects using blocky polygons.

This modeling technique has been used to create low-res 3D models, thanks to the simplicity in which you can create basic objects and the fact that the rendering process is in turn reduced. What is low poly exactly? What does the term mean and what are its main features? Art director and low poly 3D modeling expert Daniel Gutiérrez (@danielgutierrez) explains more.

Daniel Gutiérrez
Daniel Gutiérrez

What is low poly?

As the term suggests, it is a modeling technique that uses the lowest possible number of polygons to create a 3D model. The objects created have few faces and few vertices. If we think of it through the idea of resolution: the higher the resolution, the higher the level of detail, the lower the resolution, the lower the level of detail. The aim of this aesthetic is to favor abstraction using geometric shapes over detailed design.

Why is low poly a trend?

Despite its minimalist appearance, low poly modeling requires a high degree of creativity, as you need to make the most of limited resources to create complex compositions. It has the power of simplicity. It is a style in its own right: many artists have adopted this technique for its aesthetics, and its unique colors and shapes. It is a trend because it is not exclusive to 3D and is found in posters, sculptures, and also tattoo art. It is an optimization technique because you can work on your objects quicker digitally, due to the limited polygons.

What Is Low Poly? Learn About Polygon Art for Video Games and More  3

What are the advantages of low poly?

The advantage of low poly is being able to apply it to different mediums, from the popular animal sculptures made from concrete, plastic, or paper to illustration and video games. It allows you to play with textures, shapes, and colors. Furthermore, thanks to the multiple faces of the polygons, you can play with light and textures and achieve some interesting effects.

What is the most important thing when creating low poly objects?

It is important to bear in mind that low poly objects have less definition and are made with fewer polygons, spheres, cylinders, or cubes. By using flat lighting, the models will get the desired flat-shaded blocky look.

Daniel recommends Blender as the best software for working in low poly. It is a solid choice of software that brings excellent results and has AAA classification. Furthermore, it is free, high quality, and used by a large community.

Daniel Gutiérrez
Daniel Gutiérrez

Daniel Gutiérrez teaches the Domestika courses Low Poly Character Modeling for Video Games, in which you will learn to design, 3D model, and texture a videogame character in low poly, and Low Poly Set Modeling for Video Games, in which you will learn to design, 3D model and texture in Blender a background in the same style to integrate into the video game development platform Unity.

You may also be interested in:

- Introduction to 3D Design and Modeling with Blender, a course by Luis Arizaga.
- Introduction to Unity for 3D Video Games, a course by Álvaro Arranz.

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