Retopologizing using the Quad Draw tool

The Quad Draw tool in Maya is great for retopologizing a model. You basically draw a new mesh on top of the (probably way too high density scanned) mesh, Here is a video on the basics.

Quad Draw Tool

To start drawing quads on top of an existing mesh

  • Select the surface you want to re-topo (draw on)
  • Make live (right click – make live, or magnet icon [plain magnet])

You can see which surface is live on the top icon shelf, next to the snapping and live magnet

Quad Draw “Hotkeys”

  • LMB Click > Create vertices
  • Shift + LMB Click > Create Polygons
  • CTRL + Shift + LMB Click > Delete Components
  • CTRL + LMB Click > Insert Edge Loops
  • MMB drag >Move components (tweak)
  • TAB LMB drag > Extend (Extrude Edge)
  • TAB MMB drag > Extend Edge Loop

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