Low Poly – What is it? | Blender Graphic Design Technique

Low-poly is a style/technique used in 3D modeling, and it is used to create interesting geometric representations of real objects. In the word “low-poly,” the “poly” means “polygon” (referring to the number of shapes in an object, or mesh, which is the word for all the lines, vertices, and faces that make up a 3D object). Low-poly models (as you may guess), use a low number of polygons in all the meshes. The number of polygons in each mesh is so low that you notice the edges and flatness of the objects, unlike a modern advanced 3D animated movie, where there are thousands of little polygons making up each shape.

If you look at the following 2 images, you will notice many differences between low-poly 3D modeling and photorealistic 3D modeling.

Low-Poly Tree

This is a low-poly tree that I have created.

Photorealistic Tree

This is a photorealistic tree.

Source: Blendernation

For a model to be low-poly, it has to have a small amount of polygons. For example, if you are modeling a character, it should only have 250-350 polygons, depending on your style of low-poly. Personally, I like to use numbers on the smaller side.

Low-poly is a great style of 3D modeling, and it can look really cool with the right lighting. But besides the looks, hobbyists might also choose low-poly modeling if they are animating a long movie, because it lightens the workload.

It was just today that I started modeling in low-poly. After watching a single video on how to make a low-poly tree, I figured out how to easily recreate the style of low-poly.


The 3D modeling software I use is called Blender. In case you aren’t familiar with Blender, here’s the description from Blender’s website:

Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation.

Blender.org

I looked around on the internet for low-poly project ideas and got inspired by a low-poly campsite.

It only took me one day to finish. Here’s a picture of my finished campsite:

I also made this cool island:

Low-poly island with water, clouds, and trees.

This is a planet:

If you use Blender, you can keep scrolling down to see 3 tips on how to make low-poly models in Blender.

How to Use Low-Poly in Blender – 3 Tips

I will show you how to use low-poly in Blender by giving you some tips. It is pretty easy to make things in low-poly, once you get the hang of it.

These short tips will assume that you have some basic knowledge of Blender and how to navigate it.

  1. Make sure you know what you’re modeling. It sounds obvious, but you need an idea of what you are going to model. Sketch it out on paper, or use an image as a reference.
  2. Start by adding an object and editing it. You can start by adding a singular object. Press tab to go into edit mode, and you can edit it to make it look how you want. If you are a beginner at Blender, it will help a lot if you learned more about how to edit objects in Edit Mode.
  3. Use the “Decimate” modifier. If you are working with objects that don’t fit the style by default, like a sphere (view following image for an example), go to the Modifiers tab (blue wrench) and add the modefier called “decimate.” In the modifier, slide down the “ratio” slider until it fits your style of low-poly.
Left: The sphere you get when you add a new default sphere in Blender.
Right: A low-poly sphere created by using the “decimate” modifier

Thanks for reading this article. See below for more Blender tips:

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