Topogun 2.0 review
- Crisp and sharp graphics rendering
- Fast to use, performs well
- Cross platform license
By Olli and Sami Sorjonen, Sep 15, 2011
Topogun is a standalone retopologization and map baking application developed by PixelMachine SRL. Topogun’s purpose is to make retopologization and resurfacing easy, and to enable users to bake normal and other maps from high resolution 3D meshes on lower resolution versions, in order to mimic the appearance and features of the original mesh.
Version 2.0 improves vastly on the previous 1.x version and adds many new features – including better symmetry support and new intuitive tools that help create geometry faster.
It should be noted that the version tested in this review is not the final 2.0 version, but a beta, so there might be some feature limitations or performance issues that will not exist in the final version. The current beta is, however, readily functional and available to those who purchase Topogun.
Why would you choose Topogun for retopologization or map baking instead of doing the task in a more traditional modeling software? The answer seems obvious – the purpose-specific tool should, in theory, perform better as it lacks the possible overhead a generic tool has.
Topogun offers almost a full pipeline for retopologization and map baking, with the exception of UV creation tools (which might not be a minor issue for some users). You can also use Topogun 2.0 for retopologizing your concept sculpt and then use subdivision tools to create a hi-res, wrapped mesh that captures the details automatically and then continue sculpting on the cleaned up hi-res mesh in your sculpting application.
After you’re finished with the sculpted hi-res mesh, you can build a low resolution mesh in Topogun 2.0 for real-time use if needed, go outside of Topogun to UV unwrap it, then get back to Topogun, and bake all maps, which can then be taken to Photoshop or other painting application for creating the finished textures.
Topogun 2.0 is a standalone application and when ready, according to information on Topogun’s website, will be available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux operating systems. Licenses are cross-platform so after acquiring a license, the software can be used on any of the three operating systems – this is great if you work on a few different platforms.
The software is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Most users will likely turn towards the 64-bit version which allows access to much more memory and increased performance. Topogun utilizes multi-threading, this is put into action in baking and subdivision modules. According to the author, the modules are fully multi-threaded and up to 256 CPU cores are supported.