Thursday, November 19th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Get free auto-retopology tool Instant Meshes

Leading Swiss university ETH Zurich’s Interactive Geometry Lab has released Instant Meshes, a useful-looking free tool for semi-automatically retopologising 3D meshes.

The software is based on IGL’s research paper Instant Field Aligned Meshes, presented at Siggraph Asia earlier this month. At the time of writing, its source code was still being actively updated.

(Fun factoid: Lead author Wenzel Jakob is also the creator of the interesting open-source Mitsuba renderer.)

Convert any mesh to uniform quads, then customise edge flow
The software converts geometry to uniform quad or triangle meshes, automatically following the curvature of the geometry and snapping edges to sharp features on the model.

In addition, users can adjust edge flow manually by drawing strokes along which the software should create lines of edges directly onto the surface of the model.

The software can handle point cloud data from 3D scans, and works with very large meshes: the demo above shows a 372-million-triangle mesh being converted to quads in under 10 minutes on a 16-core workstation.

The retopologised geometry can be exported in OBJ format.

Instant Meshes is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. We had trouble installing the Windows build, but this thread on The Foundry’s forum confirms that the Linux and Mac OS X versions work fine.

Download Instant Meshes from GitHub

Watch a video on using the software recorded by Blender user Michael Lackner