Sunday, August 29th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

UnPLUG tools ships TopoWrap

UnPLUG Tools has released TopoWrap, a new Maya plugin for retopologising 3D scans.

The software streamlines the process of converting raw 3D scans of actors into lower-resolution meshes with a topology suitable for use in animation or general CG work.

A lower-cost alternative to standalone tools like Wrap
Like Russian3DScanner’s standalone tool Wrap, TopoWrap transfers the proportions of a high-resolution 3D scan to a lower-resolution base model.

The resulting mesh retains the overall appearance of the original scan, but has a poly count and topology more suitable for animation and rendering.

UnPLUG Tools describes TopoWrap as a “simplified implementation inside Maya at [a] more affordable price”.

Some manual clean-up required, but faster than retopologing a 3D scan by hand
Workflow relies on the user identifying corresponding points on the source and target head models.

It is possible to select groups of polygons on the mesh to exclude from the transfer process, used to avoid artefacts around concave parts of the head, like the mouth cavity, nostrils and eye sockets.

Users can smooth out surface roughness manually using a Paint Relax tool.

TopoWrap can also bake texture maps from the original scan – there are currently presets for 1K, 2K and 4K resolution – for use on the lower-res mesh.

The complete workflow can be seen in the video above: it requires a fair amount of manual clean-up, although much less than when retopologising a 3D scan by hand.

Pricing and system requirements
TopoWrap 1.0 is available for Maya 2016+ on Windows, Linux and macOS. A single-user licence costs $45. Multi-user licences cost from $70 for two users to $505 for unlimited users.

Read more about TopoWrap for Maya on UnPLUG Tools’ Gumroad store