What exactly is low poly and high poly?

Ive been seeing a lot of posts around about low poly buildings and high poly ones, but I was just wondering what they actually were? Sorry if I sound like a noob.


Low poly means there are less triangles in a build, which is a lot of the time associated with less realistic. High poly Is the more triangles models. There are said to be more realistic. As a high poly the most triangles in one model is 10,000. Do you will have to work around that.


It’s actually a misconception that low poly means less realistic. You can make perfectly “realistic” (whatever qualifies as realism) models that are low poly count with a great texture.

Low poly and high poly have a distinct purpose - being that low poly is much better for game performance.

A typical professional workflow is to model in a high poly version of an asset, bake the diffuse/spec/normal maps, and apply that texture to a low poly version of the same asset. This way, your assets can appear detailed, but still are good for game performance.

Of course there are other purposes, but this is the main one.

It’s worth noting that low poly is not a style, what many people think is low poly is actually just flat shading, which is a separate thing altogether.