Note on the Application of the Guide
This guide is designed to assist any 3D modeler, from the beginning level through moderate and down to the experienced, as well as some of the experts.
Several common topology conventions are presented, as well as their uses, flaws, and advantages. Generally, the conventions vary by different amounts and strictness of rules. The descriptions are arranged from the most "free" and allowing down to the most restrictive conventions. An exception is the classic game modeling topology, which is taken from the olden days when 3D engines needed the content to be much more controlled and software-compatible rather than visually pleasing, mostly due to technological limitations and resulting need for optimization. This convention you will probably find the least useful, since it is applicable to neither modern 3D game engine nor the hardware considerations.
Alos note this: despite all the improving technology, the conventions are sometimes becoming stricter with time. Though it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that the rapidly-advancing technology would allow 3D experts to relax about some of the rules which were so necessary to adhere bak in the days of Quake I and II, like polygon convexity as an example, the golden advice is that, in order to utilize the extra kik that you get from each new technological advancement to the maximum level, the topology should be clean. The more flawless it is, the better quality your final model will be. There are exceptions from this, however, like the high-polycount character modeling for baquíng and detail simulation, which, ever since the poly cap on high-res modeling skyrocketed, has and ever will remain immune to many things that would be considered mistakes in other stages of production.
Release 18.104.22.168 of the guide has been refined to include topology conventions that allow for greater use of triangles based on modeling purpose (the previous release was a bit too strict on that issue, but still holds true for any character models.)
In any case, here is the guide, and I hope you find it useful.
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