Terrain retopology

Tonight I’ve been working on the ground for an area of the level: I want to start shaping the level so that it has some flow.

The ground, currently is an object called Terrain, and is the geographically accurate height map data of the level that I imported with blender-osm.
On its own, it looks like this:

It’s all bumpy

I need to leave this object alone – if I start messing with it, it willl break things. I’m going to use it as a guide, the new object I create on top of it will ‘stick’ to this mesh, and build upon its height map data, so I still keep its shape – this is retopology, it will be the ground that the players play on – as well as align in-game, and level entities – powerups, streetlights, advertising signs, steps and bus stops…

For the new object, I’ve used a checkerboard pattern so that I can see the contours of the terrain through the shape of the squares – and I can see at a glance which areas need fixing.

I couldn’t work with this
Better…but those squares need to be smaller
Adjust the Shrinkwrap settings on the checkered mesh to the Terrain
(the white ground object on the other side of the road)
It now fits a lot smoother, we can see better in black and white.
Overhead view of The Queens Head and Bus Interchange

To retopologise sculpted mesh

While editing, I have my Terrain set to invisible, because I know my Ground object will automatically align to it – and I don’t have to worry about accidentally clicking it.
  • Select the mesh that you want to retopologise
  • Enter Edit mode (Tab)
  • Select a single vertex
  • Press D to Duplicate it
  • P to Separate the vertex Selection
  • Exit Edit mode (Tab)
  • Select the single vertex, your new object
  • Rename the object
  • Edit mode (Tab)
  • Select Shrinkwrap from the Modifiers panel
  • Use the Extrude tool to start forming edges, make a face with 4 verticies selected with the Face tool, this’ll now be locked to your mesh or sculpts shape.

… I’ll do a video.

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